“Only guilty people say they do not consent”

12 May 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in police | 11 Comments »

An anarchist friend who prefers to be anonymous with respect to this story called me last night, but I couldn’t answer the phone. I sent him an SMS back asking what was up, and he gave a very short reply. I tried calling him back, but his phone was dying.

He’s on something of a wanderjahr through Greater Cascadia, northern Aztlan and nearby regions, hitchhiking and walking. Tonight I asked him, again through SMS, was had happened. Here is his story, with minimal editing, straight off my phone:

2009.05.11 03:02Didn’t know you had texting. Just realized cops had my ID.
2009.05.11 06:16Basically: illegally searched and ID stolen. And cuffed and nearly tazed.
2009.05.11 06:17Battery low
2009.05.11 06:19Almost tazed…
2009.05.11 06:20Battery is too low for me to talk…tomorrow maybe
2009.05.11 23:23Yeah. I’m in Dallas now bumming around for several hours until a friend can pick me up after watching the Mavs. Trying to make my way to where JFK was shot. Cops deny having my ID, as usual.
2009.05.11 23:27I got dropped off on interstate. I can’t be there. I was tired and it was hot so I took a nap about 20 feet from road. Some people reported me thinking I was dead. Rapides Parish deputy J. Little (dispatch 124) asked for my ID. I gave it thinking they’d check for warrants and get me off interstate like usual. Meanwhile, sheriff K. Hall drove up and asked to search me. I unemotionally said that I do not consent to be searched.
2009.05.11 23:30He said he didn’t need my consent, but I repeated myself in a flat voice. I didn’t touch either officer as they put their hands down my pocket. I asked what their cause was and they would say they either didn’t need it or would find it afterward. They tried to remove my backpack but I didn’t adjust my arms to let them. They said I was being too aggressive and pulled it off me forcefully.
2009.05.11 23:32I continued to state that I did not consent or asked what their cause was in an unemotional voice (which was not easy by this point). The sheriff pulled a taser on me as he simultaneously insisted *I* was being aggressive. He put it directly on my heart, then shoved me to the hood where he put it to my head and then to my back.
2009.05.11 23:35Eventually he cuffed me and still wouldn’t answer my questions about cause. Told me to sit on hood and got pissed when I did and told me to sit on ground with legs crossed. Searched my bag some. Put me in back of car as detainment. Kept searching. Found nothing which was ironic because earlier they said only guilty people say they do not consent. Also mentioned that they were good people and could do what they want. Released me and shoved both my pocket’s contents into one pocket with the wallet on top.
2009.05.11 23:38Later that day, I realized my passport/ID wasn’t in my pocket. It couldn’t have fallen out since wallet was on top and would have fallen out first. They asked me to search my bag even though they said they put it in my pocket, wasting my time. It wasn’t in my backpack. So now I’m IDless and fucked for future cop encounters. A former cop friend said they probably tossed it to avoid paperwork.

They were good people and could do what they want.

I’m sure the foot soldiers of the Khmer Rouge thought the same thing.

And people ask me why I left America… Ha!

  1. 11 Responses to ““Only guilty people say they do not consent””

  2. By Patrick Britton on 12 May 2009

    This is quite frightening. It’s no surprise that these officers treated him this way. It’s frightening to me because we are all becoming targets of this police state. They are looking for people unwilling to submit and will forcefully take away their rights. This is not the America I grew up hearing praises about.

  3. By Mike Gogulski on 12 May 2009

    It’s beyond frightening, really. By adding my “Gangsters in Blue” tag to this story, it’s going up on the gangstersinblue aggregator site, which of late is largely populated by pieces done by Radley Balko.

    I love what Balko does. After reading his blog and Reason articles continuously for over a year, though, I simply had to stop. I can only take so much horror. Eyes still open, but…

    Thanks for dropping by.

  4. By Royce Christian on 12 May 2009

    Actually, this reminds me of something I heard the other day. I had been talking to a kid from Victoria who had just gotten a phone call. Apparently there was some skatepark where a bunch of kids tried to organise a party. The cops showed up to disperse the gathering and picked on a group that they new to hold regular such gatherings. Apparently the cops had threatened a couple of this kids friends that they’ll ‘kill’ them and arrested them for public disturbance and being drunk in public. I also realise there’s a chance the kid could be exaggerating, but in Australia exaggerations in this context aren’t the norm.

    What’s amazing is that usually you do not hear of such stories from Australian police in Australia. Either Journalists believe that if they report such tales, they’ll loose the cooperation of the local police department for other stories. Every time such allegations emerge, such as a story a year ago about an indigenous boy who impaled himself on a fence when he ran from police, the story itself is sympathetic. It will always contain the stock standard quotes from senior officers about how the officers in question acted in accordance with their training.

  5. By liv on 12 May 2009

    Had something similar happen to me and my partner up in Utah. We were driving and got boxed in by 6 patrol units, pulled over, separated and searched. Why? Because we had California plates and they thought we were drug dealers. Of course I didn’t know I could tell them no to the search, but I also had nothing to hide… we were just on our way to Yellowstone for a vacation.

  6. By Mike Gogulski on 12 May 2009

    @Liv: Ugh! May any future wake-up call you receive be far less threatening!

  7. By Mr.Furious on 13 May 2009

    That’s a bloody disgrace.

  8. By Anonymous on 15 May 2009

    Stop whining.

  9. By Ronin on 9 March 2011

    In the small, quiet Northwest town where I once lived, two actually nice cops were shot and killed during “routine ” traffic stops. This was in the early 90’s. With the prevalence of drug/gang insanity in the US, it’s no wonder the cops are overly aggressive, not that it’s acceptable. But they also want to go home without getting shot. It sucks. My cousin, who was a nice cop in San Diego, was gunned down by gang-bangers from Compton while he was assisting a stranded motorist. Today’s world sucks in many ways. Don’t draw attention to yourself and you have less trouble. Live long and prosper, my friends.

  10. By Anarchist on 27 February 2012

    Well that guy didn’t follow up with how he should have. He’s just a normal defeatist American. But his dumb ass don’t know what he is supposed to say. Consenting is agreeing voluntarily to let them do whatever corporate law enforcement contract they tricked you into. Verbal contracts are valid. The thing is look up sovereignty on you fucking tube. Common law and you’ll learn. Look up NDAA. you’ll learn! Martial law!

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  3. 13 May 2009: Some More Bad Cops « Caldari Warrior

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