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  #1  
Old 11-06-2003, 04:58 PM
Kylepavao2
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Question on legal rights

I just ordered myself a knife.

A few months ago, while walking with my girlfriend at night, an African American police officer walks up to me and starts to frisk me without my consent. I interrupt him and say I have a pocket knife on me, and he confiscates it. I later get it back. However

Is it lawful for a police officer to frisk me without any sort of suspicion or warrant or without my consent?

Thank you,

-Kyle
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2003, 05:10 PM
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Was the African American Policeman driving a Mercedes Diesel ?
Or did you post this to the wrong forum ?
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2003, 05:16 PM
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I don't think it's legal for them to search you for no reason if you're just walking in a public area. If there had been a crime in the area and you fit the description of a suspect or they thought that the suspect was in the area still then yes it's probably legal. He didn't have any right to take a pocket knife however as long as it was a legal knife. Did he give it back as soon as he was done searching you or did you have to go to the station or something to get it? Understandable to take it while searching you (for whatever reason he had)... safety.


Might want to post this in the Open Discussion instead of the Diesel area next time
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2003, 05:41 PM
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Did the knife keep opening and closing when the key was turned to off? Or, did it leak on your feet when it rained?

Did you use the forum's search feature first?
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:15 PM
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I'm no lawyer, but I'm under the impression that in a free society, police need 'probable cause' to stop you.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2003, 08:16 PM
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Kerry, What is your impression of which forum this question should be posted on ?
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2003, 08:33 PM
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I assume it was posted to this forum because Kyle thought the brightest people frequented this one but it seems that it should be on the open discussion.
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Old 11-06-2003, 09:30 PM
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I'm no PhD but I have a duhgree with BS on it...and two diesels.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2003, 09:36 PM
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Well that must have sucked.

Is what happened to you right? No. Does it happen all the time? Absolutely.

Dude, you're lucky to come from a nice background and just be at an age where stuff like that happens. Trust me, you're fortunate in many ways. The fact this the officer's conduct concerns you proves how lucky you are. There are tons of folks in this country who get that kind of unfair treatment all the time. While you may feel strongly about the officer's race or ethnicity, I urge you to leave that alone.

Is it within Rhode Island and U.S. law for a police officer to detain/search you without probable cause? Yes, but only under extreme circumstances such as a checkpoint where everyone is being "searched." In your case, assuming the officer had no probable cause, the officer broke the very law he is sworn to uphold. Keep in mind that the fact that he was wrong does not give you any standing to be an ass, though.

Personally, I'd politely file an official complaint. Be prepared, though, to face the wrath of the police officers around your town in general and that officer in particular. This is a gross generalization, but the officer will lie saying "he was stumbling, I saw the a weapon on his person, he reeked of illegal smoking material" etc. Sucks but, hey, life's a bear.

Now back to reality. It's statistically dumb to carry a weapon on your person. My humblest opinion is keep it locked up at home (especially away from younger kids). You're really asking for trouble carrying it around all the time. The most powerful weapon in your arsenal is your mind. Be smart about your surroundings, how you carry yourself, warding off trouble before it happens, and how to evade any danger that pops up.

Now say, for whatever reason, you're worried about police officers harassing you. In place of your knife, carry one of those miniature tape recorders. When an officer gets near you, note his badge number, date, and location. Be sure to let him know you're recording the conversation. Trust me, it works like a charm.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2003, 02:09 AM
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A little bit off-topic, but how big was the knife?

IMHO it's actually sensible to carry a small pocketknife around with you, for utility purposes more than anything else. I know that I always have my pocketknife right next to my car keys.

However, my knife, even open all the way, is only about 6 inches long...
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2003, 02:29 AM
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the biggest knife you can legally carry around is a 4 inch blade, not including the handle. i carry a knife everywhere i go, used to carry it on airplanes before sept 11, it was perfectly legal. i carry it mostly out of habit but its always handy to have one around.

mike kerley is right about cops though, you cant just assume that theyll tell the truth in court or on a report. i got a ticket for cutting through a gas station when really i drove in to see if they did state inspections. i thought they might because they had a garage with a lift, but they didnt so i drove out. in court i asked the cop if the station had a garage in it and he said no, that it was just a food store. should have brought pictures.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2003, 05:20 AM
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What ever hasppened to the "Right to keep and bear arms?

P E H
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2003, 07:33 AM
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i would have gotten arrested for cussing at the cop and refusing his search on the grounds he was profiling with no apparent reason. i am like that sometimes

FWITW my windshield leaks when it rains and water pools undermy floor mat. I'm waiting for a rock to hit it.


how was that for a segue?
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2003, 08:24 AM
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For Kyle it was the right to BARE arms....
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2003, 08:35 AM
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This is a Knife



Texas Utility Knife
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