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 Poll: Police Questions Yes 8 (61.54%) No 5 (38.46%)

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Author: Subject: Police Questions
12AX7
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Police Questions

The following is a true story, lacking details so as to remain general. After a while I'll fill in the details.

-=-=-

I was raking leaves the other day. Some officers found a curiosity across the street. After checking it out, one came over to me and asked some questions.

Am I a suspect?

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evil_lurker
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Until your ruled out, then you, along with everyone else is suspect.

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
Magpie
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I don't think you have given us nearly enough information to make a judgement.

The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
Sauron
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Like, what was the curiosity next door and, what questions did they ask you?

Did they question anyone else?

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
The_Davster
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You might want to be more direct about what the curiosity was...

bag of drugs?
porn?
bag labelled "Tim's chlorate sack, 5kg"?
Something nice in the neighbors trash pile that thought they had a use for and wondered if you thought the neighbors would mind them taking it.

[Edited on 5-12-2007 by The_Davster]
chemrox
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Never answer questions from policemen unless they are, "where is the nearest donut shop?" or "when did you shoot your wife?"

"Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion." — Robert Burton.
Rosco Bodine
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Nooooo of course you're not a suspect , you are a possible "material witness" or otherwise "a person of interest" , get it ? And of course it's all very routine ,
and you don't need a lawyer , because only a person
who is guilty of something or has something to hide
would need a lawyer .......right ???

Oh they are soooo slick , got their rap and their act down pat , and believe me it's a routine that's all good for them ,
and all bad for anybody they want to make it bad for .
They will make up shit they will swear you said , when you said no such thing , have you confessing to crimes that
you don't even know about , and secure warrants based
on their own lying affidavits . By the time you get through
paying lawyers to fight some bullshit charge , you will be bankrupt and homeless , and by the time you have gathered the evidence to successfully appeal a rigged trial
that wrongly sent you to prison , you will have already served your sentence , so it will be a new round of civil suits and good luck suing the state , where the state of course runs the courts Getting the picture on how the scam works ?

And last but not least , if you say the wrong thing , or even nothing at all , you might just be "obstructing justice"
or "interfering with a police officer" , those are always
good spur of the moment false charges which may conveniently be used as a pretext for throwing somebody in jail , when witnesses are around that would make it hard to make up any other bullshit charge .

Everything gets upgraded to a felony and multiple charges
that are double to three times the actual offense being
charged in the beginning .

Now don't you sleep better at night knowing you are so well served and protected ?

If cops are generally such fine examples as to merit
their status as worthy of being moral governors of
the rest , then why do you suppose it is a felony to
even publish one of their home addresses ? If they were
fair and square in how they treat folks then why would they worry about any dissatisfied customers paying them
a visit at their own home ?
MagicJigPipe
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That reminds me! I was pulled over and searched a few years ago. At the time I was delivering pizzas for a local pizza place. I had a notebook that I kept track of tips in. Usually, I would write the address, amount, tip and sometimes a little note about how (not) polite the person was.

It just so happened that the cop that pulled me over recognized one of his buddy's address' and it just so happened that I wrote by it "what an asshole!" I was arrested (without telling me what I was charged with. I didn't even know they could do that), my car was towed and I was taken to the station where I was questioned for an hour about what I was going to do with this "cop hit list" (there were 2 that I can remember). THEY WERE PISSED! Finally, they mustered the intelligence to figure out what was REALLY going on and they let me go and left me to get my car out of impound without them even apologizing to me. They still kinda acted like they were right and I was wrong.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Rosco Bodine
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First understand that cops view themselves as some sort of supersoldier and you are a lowly civvie who is supposed
to act like an obsequious subordinate , yes sir and no sir ,
absolute unquestioning obedience . The moment you get the attitude that you are a citizen taxpayer and they are a public servant who works for you , that you have rights
and choices , then you have an attitude problem in need of an attitude adjustment and they will try to find a way to stick it to you .

Whether or not you want to play that game is your choice
too . I generally never do , but then I am an old fart and I have no more patience with the aggravation .

One thing you need to keep in mind is that a huge percentage of people in prison never actually completed
an actual crime , but were arrested and convicted fully on
some "crime prevention" sort of scenario like a "conspiracy to commit crime XYZ " , basically where the law has become
a "thought police" which judges "intent" as a crime itself ,
and "in the interest of public safety" has locked a person
up in "anticipation" of an actual crime which of course has been prevented . The problem is that there is so much room for interpretation , and many people actually scheme and contemplate things that are never followed through to completion . But much of law enforcement truly is premature intercession , so the threshold can be way too low for
where they prosecute , for "intent" as if their ability to
even read minds was so godlike as to judge . This is
where the home experimenter could have huge problems ,
never having done any actual crime , but by having materials
that may be misconstrued as intent or as paraphernalia ,
as much as a machinist could be misconstrued to be in
possession of "burglary tools" . Got a lab , then you are a suspected dope chemist , yeah boy you must be a meth cooker , having all that "unlicensed" equipment . Likely story that you are a scientist .

[Edited on 6-12-2007 by Rosco Bodine]
Sauron
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The crime of conspiracy requires as part of the prosecutorial burden of proof, that at least one party to the conspiracy has made an overt act toward completion on the conspiracy.

And almost invariably, at least one conspirator is a state's or government witness, ratting out the others to save his own skin orThis is not the "thought police" get a reduced sentence.

This is not Orwellian "thought police" but a crime with a long history in English common law.

And it is simply not true that any large proportion of today's US prison population were railroaded under conspiracy charges. Fact is that prosecutors tend to shun conspiracy cases because they are rather difficult in court, juries do not much like them, and often the jury can tell a rat when they see one and do not put much faith in their testimony.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
Rosco Bodine
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Criminal attempt and conspiracy to commit and accessory
charges as well as posession charges are highly ambiguous charges that are brought sometimes collectively , along with obstruction of justice , by zealous prosecutors who hurl an assortment of shit at once hoping
they will find something that will stick . And there are many laws which "presume" guilt of certain crimes when
other collectively specified conditions have been met which are not themselves individually crimes . Certain separate
"components" for example collectively constitute a crime
when common to the same person . And this is in no
way limited to destructive devices but extends to an assortment of other things where not just attempt is
presumed , but actual *guilt* is presumed and any *proof of innocence* is impossible to provide . Literally
being charged alone for some offenses are matters where no defense is possible given the way the law is written .

[Edited on 6-12-2007 by Rosco Bodine]
Sauron
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Federal gun laws are mostly originally under the tax code, ATF used to be part of the IRS. So many of those crimes are non-intent crimes, meaning that criminal intent need not be proven, and is not part of the prosecutorial burder.

However, apart from those, there are very few federal crimes that do not require proof of mens rae (criminal intent). And no state laws that I am aware of.

How is posession of a controlled substance ever a thought crime? Likewise no one can be charged much less convicted of being accessory to a crime for THINKING. There must be action and the action must be proved.

You seem to think that most people in prison are innocent and should not be incarcerated. I think most people in prison are guilty as hell, and probably deserve worse than what they are getting. And a lot more people ought to be incarcerated who are roaming the streets of our cities and making life miserable, and often short, for honest law abiding citizens.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
Rosco Bodine
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You must have led a charmed life not to be aware of the
everyday police tramplings of citizens who are
"honest law abiding citizens" while the millions of illegal aliens get a pass to do just about as they damn well please .

You must have never had the experience yourself of any adversarial situation with the authorities or observed
some of the abuses that arise involving friends or family ,
and further you must not have been personally acquainted
with any but the noblest of policemen , or else you would know better just exactly how the story goes concerning
the "justice system" . It's big business and its a dirty business . And indeed there are many people imprisoned
who are wrongly imprisoned . There's more than a few that have been wrongly executed for crimes they didn't commit . The state sets the bar very low for what is
required to prosecute , and if you think a presumption
of innocence applies , that is your illusion too .

BTW , in the county where I live there have been nearly three hundred federal civil rights lawsuits and criminal complaints filed and pending settlement *against* police officers , this year alone . And these are *not* unfounded nuisance suits .

[Edited on 6-12-2007 by Rosco Bodine]
YT2095
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I see theres a new Poll been added to this thread with a Yes and No option, and thats Nice, no really thats Nice!

but, Whats the question?

\"In a world full of wonders mankind has managed to invent boredom\" - Death
Twinkies don\'t have a shelf life. They have a half-life! -Caine (a friend of mine)
JohnWW
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"What's the question"? I would suggest one of my own, regarding Pig questions allegedly in enforcing the drug laws, which is the excuse they most often use for trampling on peoples' civil liberties, in two parts:
(a) Do you think that the whole criminalization of drugs business, including of alleged precursors (the purchase of which at least is liable to bring oneself to the notice of the Pigs), which has been around only since about the 1950s, is a massive multinational conspiracy by the tobacco and alcohol industries, to maintain their monopolies on recreational drugs?
(b) Do you think that, in lobbying congresses and parliaments to get them to outlaw drugs, the alcohol and tobacco interests bribed law-makers, and continue to do so by way of donations to right-wing political parties and bribes paid to Pigs?
If drugs were legalized, it would destroy the lucrative black-market for it, from which criminal gangs profit enormously, and so make them less available, not more available.
Sauron
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The issue is not whether or not the draconian drug laws are proper. I suspect most of us would like to see them abolished. I know I would, but perhaps for different reasons that some of you. I have stated my logic elsewhere and will not repeat myself.

Rosco Bodine did not say that the drug laws are inherently unjust and and that therefore most of the people imprisoned for drug offences are "innocent".

That would be a political argument not a legal one.

No, Rosco said that the police are imprisoning peopole for thought crime. That's false. He said that a large segment (vague term) of the prison population were convicted for what amounts to mopery with intent to gawk. That is not true either.

Having fucked up he now wishes to switch to an ad hominem attack, accusing me of being naive, inexperienced, or somehow insulated from social realities. Well, balls, Rosco. I am a former deputy sherrif and longtime private investigator in one of the most corrupt cities in one of the most corrupt states in the union. There is very little I have not seen, or heard about. One of my immediate family was city attorney and chairman of the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee of New Orleans. Other family members were police officers. One cousin is presently special agent in charge of the DEA office in Jackson, Mississippi. I lived through the whole Jim Garrison foolishness and let me tell you, Oliver Stone got it all wrong. Another of my cousins was lawyer forn the Marcello crime family. (Oldest Mafia family in the US, predating any of the NYC families.)

I moved on to the international arena for thirty years and saw what governments do to each other, and what the UN does, and that sickened me even more. Sickened me so much I quit.

And I STILL say that most convists are where they ought to be and deserve worse.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
markgollum
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It is my opinion that for a significant portion of the police, there is essentially no difference between them and many of the criminals they are supposed to be taking off the streets.
I would like to share an experience a family member had, for the purposes of this discussion I will call him “Bob”.
Bob is a very well respected businessman with an exceptional character, whom I regard as completely trustworthy.
However he did go through a difficult period in his life approximately 25 years ago when this was not true (but he was never a liar), during this period while he was battling depression he did some foolish things such as taking his brothers car without permission and driving around the county til he ran out of fuel (all without a drivers licence). These escapades resulted in him being “known” by the local police. One day a few years later he bought new trike, paid for the insurance, and bought a licence plate, in his excitement upon reaching home he decided to take it for a spin in the back alley, when he had just finished putting the trike back in the garage a police cruiser drove by and noticed the tracks in the snow, the officers asked him what he thought he was doing and he replied that he had just bought a new trike and wanted to see how it ran so he only drove it up and down the alley and parked it in the garage. The officers asked for his insurance and asked if he knew had broken the law, Bob replied that he knew he wasn’t supposed to drive trikes in the city and gave his insurance. The officers told him to get into the cruiser, Bob told them he would as soon as he locked up the garage and told his fiancé where he was going.
The moment Bob reached over the fence to open the latch one of the officers struck him and threw him to the ground where he was handcuffed, kicked and punched by both officers, he was then thrown in the back of the cruiser and started to be driven to the station, while on route dispatch reported an armed robbery in progress at a convenience store and the cruiser was ordered to the location, after a brief chase of the suspects, the car stopped and the police ran up to it where they recognized the occupant and told him to go home, Bob saw a sawed off shotgun in the car before they drove away, Bob was driven to the station, locked in a holding cell for half an hour then released, he ended up having to walk home.

I have known several police officers to a degree, one of them a member of the RCMP told me that I would be shocked to know some of the things the RCMP do, he refused to tell me what they were because “I would prefer to not have to worry about this kind of thing coming back to me ”.
I know the family of another, they frankly tell me that they never have to worry about getting speeding tickets or any traffic violations because “that’s just common courtesy for members families”. Sometimes if a child of a member is caught committing a crime he is just let go, even for drug offences.
MagicJigPipe
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I am inclined to disagree with you on your last statement Sauron. I agree that most convicts are guilty and should be in jail. As far as MOST of them deserving worse... Not so sure. No one (aside from rapists and murderers) should ever have to live in fear of being raped. Especially people who are in prison for mere POSSESSION of drugs. With some obvious exceptions I think when someone does drugs it is a single victim crime. On par with masochism or suicide. Mandatory minimum sentencing is wrong and I think it would benefit society more if drug addicts were "helped" rather than being thrown in jail only to become a real criminals.

These are all just my personal opinions and I am, in no way, meaning to say your opinions are wrong. Let us remain on this path of civility.

[Edited on 7-12-2007 by MagicJigPipe]

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Rosco Bodine
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Personally I don't believe in the punitive or correctional value of locking up a human being to rot in a cage for years , when the humane thing to do with those who really can't be let out , is to put a bullet through their head .

So I fundamentally differ with the whole concept
of the "prison system" as long term punishment .
And even on short term confinemnts those prisoners
should be working a full work week doing something ,
not laying in a bunk , or sitting in a dorm watching TV .

Most of the truly hardcore criminals are products of
the environment and system which has made them what they are , although I do believe some people are just plain evil for no assignable reason .
Sauron
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Some will get raped and some will do the raping, the law of the jungle applies in a prison. If a convict isn't mobbed up, or can get associated with a prison gang, then he has to rely on his own ability to defend himself. And assaults are often not done one on one.

Anyway, I actually agree with a lot of what Rosco says in his last post. A bullet in the head would be more humane. And cost the state a lot less.

I also am in utter accord with osco with regard to illegal immigrants. Both political parties are selling out all Americans, and most especially those who worked hard to emigrate to the US legally and get naturalized.

I have very good friends living in Mexico and what they tell me is that the Mexican middle class, those who are educated and employable, have no interest in moving to the US. Those who illegally migrate are Mexico's underclass, uneducated and unemployable. Our politicians want to make the problem go away by waving their hands and making the illegals citizens. But, more illegals will come. And the US is the poorer for it. All the political parties want to do is to attract these people to become voters for THEM. To hell with what is good for the country. THAT is a sellout. If we started shipping our underclass to Mexico, the Mexican government would not like it very much, I reckon.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
12AX7
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Before you people drag this too far off topic (Sauron, you should know by now that any argument with Rosco is a futile attempt at education), I shall fill in the missing information:

I was raking leaves the other day. Earlier that morning, the mailman had come by and emptied the mailbox across the street. He found a bullet lodged in the unit, and came back later with some police to investigate it. After they finished, an officer went around to ask the neighborhood questions: being nearby, raking outside, I was the perfect place to start. He mentioned the bullet appears to have come from the street, as if a drive-by shooting had occurred. I hadn't heard anything that night, not much help.

Since I was outside by coincidence, not questioned at my home, I would be inclined to answer the general question as "no". That 66% of voters have chosen "yes" implies to me that this forum contains a number of paranoid (or if "they ARE out to get me", merely cautious) members.

Tim

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Sauron
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As you were not the only person questioned, just one of several neighbors, there is no reason at all to regard yourself as a suspect. You were just a potential witness.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
urbs
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I have been reading this thread with quite some interest (not that many other threads are not interesting) since I am an attorney who has been in practice for some 20 years, and a good portion of my week is spent in criminal defense. I also spent about 2 years as a prosecutor so I have worked both sides of the fence.
From my perspective, Sauron is right on the mark. In criminal prosecution, the burden born by the state is not to be trivialized. The state must prove each element to a very high degree of certainty, and a reasonable doubt is not that hard to create if there is a bit of room to wiggle.
As far as whether criminals deserve prison or not, it has been my experience that prison (as opposed to county jail) is generally a last resort, having exhausted probation, intensive probation, drug courts, or other means, and is usually for serious offenses or repeat offenders. Of course, these remarks should be considered in the context of a state prosecution rather than a federal prosecution where formerly the federal sentencing guidelines applied. Those guidelines were ruled unconstitutional in about 50 federal district courts before a case finally made it to the Supreme Court who agreed.
Generally I feel that "criminals" fit into about 4 different broad catagories:
1. good normal people that do something stupid.
2. Stupid people that act in accordance with their nature.
3. people who by virtue of drug addiction or another disability, do something out of step with the rest of society.
4. sick bastards who are truly evil and see the rest of us as their playthings.
Out of the four possibilities, only the last category deserves to rot in prison suffering rape and sodomy.
Sauron
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Or inflicint rape and sodomy.

Thanks, urbs, for the kind words.

Sic gorgeamus a los subjectatus nunc.
Phosphor-ing
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I do not think you are a suspect, unless the path of the bullet is inline with your house. If it is not, there is no reason you should consider yourself anything more than just a potential witness as Sauron stated earlier in the thread.
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Legal and Societal Issues » Police Questions Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum