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Harlem Traffic Stop: headscratcher


Effervescent

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Effervescent

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Got stopped by a NYPD Highway Patrol officer in Harlem yesterday on the yellow 1100S (with Givi and systemcase, and passenger). Both of us ATGATT. As I saw slowly pulling up to a red light. Right past the 'weed spot' (as it once described to me by a teenager I worked with) on 2nd Ave and 124th.

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He asked me to pull over, I walked the bike over. Turned it off. Told my passenger to dismount and explained my wallet/paperwork was in her Vanson jacket. Replaying the last minute in my head I was 90%+ sure I had done nothing wrong.

 

My passenger friend (a human rights researcher) started to get all "this isn't legal" to me (not him). I look her dead in the eyes and said, "That's a wonderful conversation. That we will have after we leave here without any tickets".

 

She goes, "I guess we are just different people". I return with, "Yes. We are. That's why I will be doing all the talking."

 

I continue (with the LEO) with my 'pleases' and 'thanks you' and a courtesy badge viewing.

 

My paperwork is all straight; licensed, inspected, registered, etc...plus I have it all handy. In my head, I'm thinking, maybe they are checking to see paperwork.

 

He took my license, asked who I knew who was on the job, came back with another LEO who started writing down my 'stuff'. But not in a ticket book. On a clip board. I'm starting to think there will be a ticket involved. No one has mention anything wrong I "did". 1st LEO is telling me it's a nice bike, asking me what kinda bike is it, that he's never seen one like that before. It's a bit weird but heading in a direction I like. 2nd LEO is 'bad cop'.

 

2nd LEO cracks a smile when he is writing down my plate number. It's a customized plate that is a non-disrespectful phrase that is often used by inner-city youth. He asks where I got it? Confused (I am thinking he thinks it's not real) I tell him I order on DMV's website 6 month ago.

 

Finally, they ask for my registration, write down my VIN on the clipboard and tell me I can go. I'm officially confused. I read the upside down text on the clipboard and it reads, "NYPD blah blah blah tracking log". I'm thinking 9/11 stuff. I can't resist and say, "Oh, you're just doing 'tracking'?" (as if I knew what that even meant). grin.gif 1st LEO says, "We're stopping all bike to check for stolen motorcycles". Now, it all makes more sense.

 

I noticed that my hands (and knees a little) were shaking the entire time. Which surprised me. As I would have said I was calm as a pickle for the most part. The brain is an interesting thing.

 

I left glad to not have a ticket and with the similar feeling I have when I approach a DWI checkpoint. Which is, I'm glad they do such things.

 

We went on to talk for 20 minutes about how she once got screened (bags searched, asked a few question on line) in London Heathrow, because she's Asian. That that was not legal in her opinion, that she thinks this wasn't either and that she really resented this stop.

 

Me: feeling good about LEO

Her: feeling violated

 

Mind you...I am not knocking her for her feelings..just noting that it was...same motorcycle ride, two different worlds.

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-Eff

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Effervescent

I was probably pretty close. But she's like 5 ft nothing and probably 98 delicious pounds. lol

 

-Eff

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A "Registration-Check" can be done by just running your license plate, not stopping you. Things are different in various areas of the country but what was their "Probable-Cause" for the traffic stop?

Dan

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Effervescent
...but what was their "Probable-Cause" for the traffic stop? Dan

 

Like I said, a headscratcher.

 

-Eff

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Effervescent
A "Registration-Check" can be done by just running your license plate, Dan

 

They were stationed, on foot, at the intersection. Two other bikes (sportsbikes) were up on the nearby sidewalk with rather unhappy looking motorcyclists.

 

-Eff

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/21/nyregion/21scooter.html

 

The Paris-ization of New York continues. Motorcycles not welcome.

 

interesting, I'm not in NY area so obviously I don't know what the atmosphere towards bikes is out there but do you really think motorcycles are not welcome?

 

If I just take that article at face value it seems like they're doing a pretty good thing, if you're on a motorcycle you should have a motorcycle license.. plus not charging impound fee's seems like a reasonable yet effective way to get the point across...

 

I feel very fortunate living in the area I do, I've been pulled over by Colorado state patrol a few times obviously speeding and after a nice conversation been let go with only warnings..

 

One time I got nailed doing 90 in a 75 on the interstate.. explained to him that I was speeding but just trying to get around a semi in a timely manner because they make me nervous.. he laughed and said next time do it in a slightly less timely manner and let me off. tongue.gif

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Pretty much a follow on to what I posted several weeks ago about someone stopping me. Kind if makes you shaky and leaves you scratching your head. I think it is illegal what the NYPD is doing. It is profiling. Pure and simple. They are cracking down on motorcycles? Heck, while they are at it, they should crack down on <insert your group here>. Do they do check points to see if car drivers have their licenses and registrations? A DUI checkpoint is different in that they are not targetting anyone but drivers. But, how about a check point where we check only yellow and red cars because we know that only unsafe drivers drive in those.

 

The loss of liberty in the name of 911. A police state's dream.

 

...and probably 98 delicious pounds...

Delicious indeed, and a thousand pounds of ... nevermind.

 

Here's your problem from yesterday:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/21/nyregion/21scooter.html

 

The Paris-ization of New York continues. Motorcycles not welcome.

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Effervescent
Mind doing a cut and paste of that article?

I'd paste it but they'll wind up cutting it. Bugmenot has a couple of valid logins that'll work for you.

 

Done. Thanks! Those scooter guys on that site are on top of this! They have been pulled over with officers saying their visors weren't all the way down! eek.gif

 

-Eff

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Pretty much a follow on to what I posted several weeks ago about someone stopping me. Kind if makes you shaky and leaves you scratching your head. I think it is illegal what the NYPD is doing. It is profiling. Pure and simple. They are cracking down on motorcycles? Heck, while they are at it, they should crack down on <insert your group here>. Do they do check points to see if car drivers have their licenses and registrations? A DUI checkpoint is different in that they are not targetting anyone but drivers. But, how about a check point where we check only yellow and red cars because we know that only unsafe drivers drive in those.

 

The loss of liberty in the name of 911. A police state's dream.

 

don't they also target truckers to verify they are obeying their specific rules/regulations? i see random checkpoints set up on a few backroads I often take to work all the time, is that profiling too?

 

I don't know, if riding without a proper license is a serious problem then in general I don't have a real issue with a crackdown to fix it. I know I know this starts the whole "slippery slope" discussion but sometimes, you just deal with it.

 

DUI checkpoints check all motorists but not bicyclists, why not? grin.gif hell while i'm on this tangent, i'd love it if the police cracked down on bicyclists and forced them to obey the rules of the road if they're going to ride their bikes ON the road.

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I'm not a big fan of checkpoints, but until the Supreme Court rules the other way, they're a fact of life. I'm sympathetic to Eff and others who are legal but had to deal with the hassle. I'm not real sympathetic to the unlicensed riders nor owners of unregistered vehicles that were towed. Heck, I wish the cops would expand the no-charge towing to automobile drivers without licenses, no registration, no insurance...

 

DUI checkpoints check all motorists but not bicyclists, why not? grin.gif hell while i'm on this tangent, i'd love it if the police cracked down on bicyclists and forced them to obey the rules of the road if they're going to ride their bikes ON the road.

Amen. I hear so many bicyclists say they want the same rights and respect from motorists, but I see so few that follow the traffic laws. I have to wonder if maybe -- just maybe -- there might be a connection. wink.gif

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Effervescent

Here in NYC there's a BIG TIME crackdown on bicyclists going on. Courts have been involved.

 

-Eff

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This type of check used to be common in the UK. A police officer can stop you for moving traffic offences, or to check that you are displaying the vehicle excise licence. UK police are also allowed to carry out random 'stop and search' checks as long as they are random. They have to fill in paperwork with the age/sex/ethnicity/nationality of the searchee to ensure no bias creeps in. The officer at Heathrow may have needed an American Asian to collect the full set tongue.gif, whatever the reason it was legal - US laws and UK laws are very different, with many of ours being the result of living with terrorism for well over 30 years.

 

Andy thumbsup.gif

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...same motorcycle ride, two different worlds.

the_solar_system.jpg

 

Well as they say......

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus tongue.gif

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This type of check used to be common in the UK.

 

Many, many years ago, we left in rickety, scurvy-ridden boats to get away from this sort of thing. wave.gif

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Mind doing a cut and paste of that article?

I'd paste it but they'll wind up cutting it. Bugmenot has a couple of valid logins that'll work for you.

 

 

 

I don't have any insights into the traffic stop.

 

 

I just wanted to remind folks that we can't support "cut & paste" type reproductions of copyrighted materials on the discussion board, or we'd get MORE than a friendly "roadside interview" - that sort of thing on the internet is garnering a LOT of attention, and we don't want to have this DB shut down. So - thanks for the bugmenot aspect! thumbsup.gif

 

 

I'd also like to say thanks for keeping politics out of this thread, even tho we are discussing civil liberties. I'm thankful we don't have a stricter (more strict?) legal system - ala Singapore or such. With my disdain for authority, I'd have real problems living someplace like that.

 

I now return you to your regular discussion.... wave.gif

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interesting, I'm not in NY area so obviously I don't know what the atmosphere towards bikes is out there but do you really think motorcycles are not welcome?

Yes.

 

First of all, in the late 1980's, the city started disallowing bikes to park in places where they previously could, the unused segments of space located where Broadway crosses the Avenues; also beneath viaducts and other out-of-the-way places. Except, of course, in a lot of instances they came and towed bikes rather than issue warnings or signage.

 

Secondly, in the late 1990's, commercial parking garages in Midtown, which charge up to $60 for 8 hours of parking during the right (wrong) time, started disallowing motorcycles from paying for parking on their premises.

 

So one could conclude, perhaps, that if you can't park on the street and you can't park off the street ... that you can't park at all and are, therefore, not welcome.

 

Add in the wasted time of the NYPD doing "spot checks" ... why the eff did Eff need to wait a half an hour in the shadow of the Triborough only to be told "sorry, buddy, doing our jobs" ... glad this wasn't going on in 1987 when I regularly rode around Manhattan without a license. Back then, paperwork wasn't as much of a problem, but the world was no less safe a place.

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Effervescent
interesting, I'm not in NY area so obviously I don't know what the atmosphere towards bikes is out there but do you really think motorcycles are not welcome?

Yes.

 

First of all, in the late 1980's, the city started disallowing bikes to park in places where they previously could, the unused segments of space located where Broadway crosses the Avenues; also beneath viaducts and other out-of-the-way places. Except, of course, in a lot of instances they came and towed bikes rather than issue warnings or signage.

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Oh man, remember the great motorcycle-only parking around Colombus Circle. That was a blast. It was like a bike show. A few hundred bikes IIRC were always parked there. It's been redone and never a bike shall be allowed to return!

 

-Eff

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Personally I am happy for this type of stop to happen just in case I'm not the one riding my bike/driving my car. Proaction is always better than reaction thumbsup.gif

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Wow, I musta sleepin, I wasn't aware of all of this goin on. I haven't been riding my city bike much lately, so I've missed out on all the fun. Thanks for posting bncry.gif ....

------------------

Chris (aka Tender Vittles )

Little '77 KZ400 in the Big Apple

Black '99 RT for Everywhere Else, such as ...

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Francois_Dumas
with many of ours being the result of living with terrorism for well over 30 years.

 

Andy thumbsup.gif

 

.... aahmmm... you mean 2000 years I think !? When was it again that Hadrianus terrorized the country ? tongue.gif

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Francois_Dumas

'Funny' country indeed. Actually, the only times I would be so apprehensive/anxious being stopped while being a perfectly legal and law-obiding citizen, was in the Cold War days behind the iron curtain....

 

NEVER in Western Europe, and even (former) Eastern Europe has now changed much. WE pay the police and they are there to service regular citizens, NOT terrorize them. Might not always be pleasant, but nothing to be worried about..... unless you've done something wrong.

 

And even if you've done something wrong but honestly without realizing you did, there still isn't much reason to be nervous about..... except when you're broke of course <grin>.

 

What I DO worry about is being 'mistaken' for somebody else, or being set up somehow. It certainly is NOT nice being treated like a criminal (I've been in that weird position once) and THEN you really feel like a scared rabbit with nobody to protect or defend you.... eek.gif

 

I'd probably give your LEO's a very wrong impression when they would stop ME over there...... NOT being worried and totally cool grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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I'd probably give your LEO's a very wrong impression when they would stop ME over there...... NOT being worried and totally cool grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

 

Nahh, We actually like 'em that way! The "twitchier" you are, the more uncomfortable I get. You just stay cool. Like you said, if you haven't done anything wrong, you got nothing to worry about.

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Nahh, We actually like 'em that way! The "twitchier" you are, the more uncomfortable I get. You just stay cool. Like you said, if you haven't done anything wrong, you got nothing to worry about.

 

If that had always been the case, the current controls on police conduct wouldn't have been necessary.

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If that had always been the case, the current controls on police conduct wouldn't have been necessary.

 

 

Sorry my friend, I don't know what "controls" are in place in California, but I can tell you this; for every bad cop you hear about, there are thousands of good ones you don't hear about. So please, don't judge us all based on a couple of bad ones.

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Effervescent

Let's not forget LEOs are human and do make mistakes. Would you suggest the same rate of 'thousands to one' for bad tickets? eek.gif

 

-Eff, with a healthy fear of 'separation of money'

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Sorry my friend, I don't know what "controls" are in place in California, but I can tell you this; for every bad cop you hear about, there are thousands of good ones you don't hear about. So please, don't judge us all based on a couple of bad ones.

 

I wasn't judging anyone. That said, quoting the district attorney from Dirty Harry: "Where have you been? Does Escobedo ring a bell? Miranda?"

 

While Mapp and Massiah may have addressed the actions of a few officers, Escobedo, and Miranda addressed systemic police conduct. And they weren't decided based on innocent people having nothing to fear from random police stops.

 

By all means, we shouldn't judge all cops by some of the actions of the few. But we also shouldn't look the other way in the face of obvious Fourth Amendment violations, which I'm not arguing was the case here, but had he had a license plate, may have been an issue in Michael's situation.

 

Anyone who suggests we should just look the other way in response to unconstitutional police stops should probably study a little history.

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A "Registration-Check" can be done by just running your license plate, not stopping you. Things are different in various areas of the country but what was their "Probable-Cause" for the traffic stop?

Dan

 

That would be my question...however, in NYC they don't need PC.......just ask them! grin.gif

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I wasn't judging anyone. That said, quoting the district attorney from Dirty Harry: "Where have you been? Does Escobedo ring a bell? Miranda?"

 

Anyone who suggests we should just look the other way in response to unconstitutional police stops should probably study a little history.

 

Point taken, however, the case law you are quoting is not applicable here. Miranda deals with a persons right to an attorney. That famous case was brought about because back in the '60's, LEO's weren't trained to let someone know they had to give the warnings. This case did not put a "control" on the police. Aslo in regards to Miranda, prior to 2000, a case has been working it's way up to the USC to reverse Miranda. The premise is that with "Cops" and other shows, the general public now knows abot the 5th amendment and thus the right to counsel. Again, we don't know what the PC or resonable suspicion came into play here in this case.

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DavidEBSmith

This case did not put a "control" on the police. Aslo in regards to Miranda, prior to 2000, a case has been working it's way up to the USC to reverse Miranda.

 

This is getting way off topic, but Miranda absolutely did change police procedure, as one of the rules coming out of the case is that the police must stop interrogating a suspect in custody if the suspect invokes his or her right to an attorney. As far as Miranda getting reversed because everybody watches Law and Order and already knows their rights, dream on.

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This is getting way off topic...

No, not at all. I only wish this amount of free legal advice was available during all those conversations with the NYPD.

 

I mean, can you imagine what the response from one of the Finest might be if, during an "unwarranted" traffic stop, I mentioned that "a lawyer I know on the internet says that this is unconstitutional" ... yes, it would be something along the lines of "Ha. Ha." but with better, more colorful language.

 

Generally, you'll get further with the cops playing dumb rather than trying to outsmart them -- which behavior tends to irritate them into manufacturing charges which they're really good at making stick (like seat belts and helmet violations, for example).

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Generally, you'll get further with the cops playing dumb rather than trying to outsmart them -- which behavior tends to irritate them into manufacturing charges which they're really good at making stick (like seat belts and helmet violations, for example).

 

The idea isn't that one should go around confronting the cops with the law. They likely either don't know it or don't care whether they're violating it. However, it's just as asinine for people to sit around and say we should just take it and not complain, that the cops are just doing their jobs, and that we've got nothing to fear from cops acting illegally if we've done nothing illegal ourselves.

 

The latter has been proven false time and again.

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The idea isn't that one should go around confronting the cops with the law. They likely either don't know it or don't care whether they're violating it. However, it's just as asinine for people to sit around and say we should just take it and not complain, that the cops are just doing their jobs, and that we've got nothing to fear from cops acting illegally if we've done nothing illegal ourselves.

 

The latter has been proven false time and again.

 

Greg, I was one, and I'm with you on this.

 

It is human nature to push the limits in an attempt to expand the scope of authority granted, especially if that authority is granted by default by not objecting to limits being stretched.

 

And authority held is always subject to abuse. I doubt that any officer present here does not know another officer who has used his authority to abuse those he is sworn to protect and defend. That is not an indictment of the group, but of individuals who will always show up in a group - we simply do not have the social inclination to select personnel so stringently that we weed them out aforehand.

 

So we protect ourselves by drawing "do not cross" lines that circumscribe their authority. One of those lines has been that, absent predicating cause, an officer does not mess with the public. Does it make an officer's job harder? Yes, of course. It makes them think, and that's the hardest thing there is. "Why am I about to do this?" is a tough question, and if you can't come up with an answer, you probably ought to think it over further.

 

The old Border Patrol had some of the broadest authority to stop and question and detain that any agency in the U.S. has ever had. ". . . shall have the authority to stop and question any alien, or person believed to be an alien . . ." as the statute read, more or less. And to stop and question the occupants of any vehicle within 100 miles of the border or the functional equivalent of the border. And to enter on private lands without warrant within 25 miles of the border. The authority was granted in good faith, and it was mostly exercised in good faith, but once in a while things went astray. Sometimes it was in error, and other times on purpose, but nevertheless, it resulted in a great deal of that authority being circumscribed - as was proper.

 

I am dead set against stops of this nature. If an officer doesn't have "reasonable, articulable suspicion" (as the law regarding immigration stops reads) that an offense has been committed by the person stopped, then get the hell out of my way.

 

Pilgrim

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