Police roundup

  • “Twenty-five years of developments in both the law and social science show that a police command to ‘stop’ is more than a mere request for information.” Courts should handle accordingly [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus brief in Cisse v. New York, New York Court of Appeals]
  • Procedures must be followed: “Murder suspect tries to turn himself in at New Orleans jail, but deputies demand proper ID” [Matt Sledge, The Advocate]
  • New project aims to educate public on how to navigate oft-complex police complaint process [Cato Daily Podcast with Steve Silverman and Caleb Brown]
  • “Are We About to See a Wave of Police Using ‘Victim’s Rights’ Laws to Keep Conduct Secret?” [Scott Shackford, earlier]
  • “Militarization Fails to Enhance Police Safety or Reduce Crime but May Harm Police Reputation” [Jonathan Mummolo, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy, earlier]
  • In letter to Google, NYPD threatens legal action if Waze app fails to remove feature allowing users to post locations of police checkpoints [Amanda Robert, ABA Journal]


  • “…but deputies demand proper ID”

    Mendip: “I have come to be hanged, do you hear?”
    Tyson: “Have you filled in the necessary forms?”

    (Christopher Fry, The Lady’s Not For Burning, Act I)

    • Another Episode of Great Moments in Cajun Justice: It really was a lot easier in the old days. The NOPD cops would just take you to the interrogation room and leave you. Then the guy in the Pink Bunny Costume would come in and beat a confession out of you. No one worried about having a proper ID, by the perps or the cops, in those days.

  • Well that actually seems appropriate. Suppose a friend will give you a few days’ head start on the run by turning himself in as you? Checking ID is just good practice.

  • I thought the rule was that you were under arrest when not free to leave—“Stop” does that. What’s the issue?

    • The problem is that the police in Cisse’s case were acting as though “Stop” was an arrest, while not meeting the standards which would allow them to perform the arrest. From the Cato article:

      “(1) a “common-law inquiry” of individuals, which must be supported by a “founded suspicion that criminality is afoot,” (2) a forcible stop of an individual that must be supported by reasonable suspicion that person was involved in a crime, and (3) an arrest of an individual, which must be supported by probable cause.”

      If “Stop” constitutes an arrest, well, police must have some level of articulable suspicion. In the case of Mr. Cisse, they didn’t. So if they lacked that founded suspicion, and yet he wasn’t free to go, that was legal arrest, which meant that the evidence found from it should not be admissible.

      • Gotcha—thanks for the knowledge

    • Will depend on state law. In Kentucky the law reads: KRS 431.025 Notice of intention to arrest — Act of arrest — Force.

      (1) The person making an arrest shall inform the person about to be arrested of the intention to arrest him, and of the offense for which he is being arrested.

      (2) An arrest is made by placing the person being arrested in restraint, or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. The submission shall be in the actual presence of the arrester.

      (3) No unnecessary force or violence shall be used in making an arrest.

      “Stop” might be the start of a voluntary encounter or a detainment. All three have different rules.

  • When a Cop Says “Stop!” – If I’m following the argument correctly, there is no more level one encounter. That every encounter must be due to the police to having a basic level of suspicion before they issue a command to stop. This seems to put the police in a no-win situation. From all appearances, they “seized the firearm and other evidence, which placed Mr. Cisse near the scene of a robbery”. On the surface this seems like a good thing. What am I missing being a non-lawyer?

    • NAL, however;

      I am not seeing how the argument puts the police in a no-win situation. It just concludes that the police acted inappropriately in that case. The argument has three parts:

      1: Police must have reasonable suspicion before escalating past a level one encounter.
      2: An officer saying “Stop” (or some variant thereof) is not a level one encounter.
      3: At the time of encounter, the officer did not have reasonable suspicion.

      Conclusion: Officer acted inappropriately as the encounter started off escalated past level one without reasonable suspicion.

      The probability of Cisse’s guilt regarding any matter isn’t relevant, because at the start of the encounter the officer didn’t have any indication. To consider that is to try to use the ends to justify the means. The protection from being randomly hassled by police has to apply to everybody, even if they later turn out to have been guilty, else it doesn’t really exist.

  • In Los Angeles, the LA Times prints the location of all the police checkpoints in the weekend news section of the paper.