Law Forum : Police Experiences

twashing

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Dec 17, 2004
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I was interested, recently, to read this recent New York Times article about being young, black and frisked by the police.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and a very similar article and subject matter was printed in the Toronto Star. What was frightening and revealing to me, was the level of soft racism and dubious assumptions in the article's comments section. Now, I am a black male, and had a similar experience one night. I had rented and was driving a nice BMW (thinking of buying one). I was stopped twice by the police that evening, "just to check" against their suspicions. I was stunned the first time, and the second time had my blood boiling. I really had to bite my tongue.

Now, I feel naive. I'm a professional who's lived in other cities (including NYC) and downtown Toronto, for over 10 years (no time for a car, settling down, etc). And I had assumed that society was more or less racially equalized, enlightened, etc. - part of the human experience, being how one looks at and regards their fellow man on the street, and whatnot. So a bigoted police force is one thing. But a population (here in Toronto), that accepts and encourages this type of system, was what I found really disturbing. So I feel naive for having assumed that I was mostly regarded as a real person. Obviously not. Sad that we have to keep fighting these battles for all these centuries now. But I thought this would be helpful towards a perspective that the struggle is very much international.
 

Asomfwaa

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Thanks, the struggle is international and long-lived. White folk never liked us since they kicked us out of Europe over ten-thousand years ago.

HTP
 

Shikamaru

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I was interested, recently, to read this recent New York Times article about being young, black and frisked by the police

Here in the States, if you are stopped (detained) by law enforcement this is a Terry stop so named from the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio (1968). The procedure is known as stop and frisk.

Being detained by law enforcement, here in the States, is a Fourth Amendment issue as well as the beginning of civil arrest.

twashing" said:
I live in Toronto, Canada, and a very similar article and subject matter was printed in the Toronto Star. What was frightening and revealing to me, was the level of soft racism and dubious assumptions in the article's comments section. Now, I am a black male, and had a similar experience one night. I had rented and was driving a nice BMW (thinking of buying one). I was stopped twice by the police that evening, "just to check" against their suspicions. I was stunned the first time, and the second time had my blood boiling. I really had to bite my tongue.

Now, I feel naive. I'm a professional who's lived in other cities (including NYC) and downtown Toronto, for over 10 years (no time for a car, settling down, etc). And I had assumed that society was more or less racially equalized, enlightened, etc. - part of the human experience, being how one looks at and regards their fellow man on the street, and whatnot. So a bigoted police force is one thing. But a population (here in Toronto), that accepts and encourages this type of system, was what I found really disturbing. So I feel naive for having assumed that I was mostly regarded as a real person. Obviously not. Sad that we have to keep fighting these battles for all these centuries now. But I thought this would be helpful towards a perspective that the struggle is very much international.

Four stories I wish to share. All occured in my teenage years. Three involve law enforcement. One involves courts.

1) My little brother and I were stopped by the same group of police officers, approximately two hours apart on the same day. We intended to play basketball out in some suburb. Law enforcement asked to search my car and my brother's. We allowed it (idiots!!!). They found nothing, but it would have been a great exercise in exercising one's rights.

2) I've had law enforcement drive their vehicle onto a basketball court (in a middle of a fast break) and run myself and friends out of the township.

3) Law enforcement broke up the party my friends and I were attending out in another suburb. A police officer asked us if we had any drugs. We told him we had none. He threatened us that he was getting the dog. If the dog found any drugs on us, we were going down. My friend told him to go and get his **** dog.

No dog was ever obtained.

4) Upon receiving a speeding ticket, appeared in traffic court. There was a magistrate, but no prosecutor. The magistrate (slick bastard that he was) says he intends to make it easy on us by saying we can come up, plead guilty or no contest, and he'll fine us $25. Afterwards, we could go on our way.

Several problems here. a) THERE WAS NO PROSECUTOR PRESENT. It is the prosecutor who brings the charge before the court, not the magistrate. b) Everyone coming up to plead is dumb as stones (self included at that time) with regard to law and procedure.

WRONG WAY: Being young; dumb; and ignorant of the law, myself and others came up to plead like ignorant sheep. Was fined $25. Went on my way.

RIGHT WAY: When asked by the magistrate how do you plead, you motion the court to dismiss the case. When asked on what grounds, you say either lack of subject matter jurisdiction or no complaining party present.

No prosecutor = No case.
No competent witness = No case.

Instruments with defects provide another avenue in which to have a case tossed.

THIS is why I stress so highly for African-Americans to obtain some type of legal education as well as mastering the rules of engagement with respect to law enforcement. If you consistently show you are a pain in the *** during encounters and in court, you'll be left alone.

It is easier to go after sheep, than someone who knows what is rights are and how to seek redress for their trespass.
African-Americans, particularly young males, are easy prey for law enforcement in which to seize for free stays at the graybar hotel as well as to make money off of them.

Law enforcement violates your rights? Great!! There is good money to be made there.
With one or two good can kickings that result in money lost for them, what do you think they'll do from then on?

You don't act a fool at roadside court although; you will be sure to maintain your rights and waive none; you act a fool in judicial/administrative court.

This is the next step in the civil rights battle in my opinion.
I'm not really a fan of civil rights as I am of unalienable rights. Yes, there is a marked difference between the two.
 

Shikamaru

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Since African-American males are favorite targets .... err .... customers of law enforcement, it is REALLY IMPORTANT to know the rules of engagement, what your rights are, and how to exercise them.

More important than all the above is how to defend your rights.
 

Destee

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I was interested, recently, to read this recent New York Times article about being young, black and frisked by the police.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and a very similar article and subject matter was printed in the Toronto Star. What was frightening and revealing to me, was the level of soft racism and dubious assumptions in the article's comments section. Now, I am a black male, and had a similar experience one night. I had rented and was driving a nice BMW (thinking of buying one). I was stopped twice by the police that evening, "just to check" against their suspicions. I was stunned the first time, and the second time had my blood boiling. I really had to bite my tongue.

Now, I feel naive. I'm a professional who's lived in other cities (including NYC) and downtown Toronto, for over 10 years (no time for a car, settling down, etc). And I had assumed that society was more or less racially equalized, enlightened, etc. - part of the human experience, being how one looks at and regards their fellow man on the street, and whatnot. So a bigoted police force is one thing. But a population (here in Toronto), that accepts and encourages this type of system, was what I found really disturbing. So I feel naive for having assumed that I was mostly regarded as a real person. Obviously not. Sad that we have to keep fighting these battles for all these centuries now. But I thought this would be helpful towards a perspective that the struggle is very much international.


Brother TWashing ... i almost missed this ... thanks for sharing.

My heart goes out to Brothers, and all of us ... cause to do it to Black Men ... it's simultaneously being done to Black Women.

I hate it ... but was so aware of it raising my Son ... always cautioning him to do everything to avoid engaging those people.

It's a shame ... we almost have to live dual existences ... one just for life ... and one avoiding the traps they've set for us.

I gave this book as a gift to our Birthday Celebration Winners this year ... Twelve Angry Men ... telling like stories ...

Also Brother TWashing ... we now have a Black Law Forum and i'm moving this thread there, since it speaks to that topic.

Thanks for sharing.

Love You!

:heart:

Destee
 

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