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Alpha_ProgDes

Put down the sparkling water or we'll shoot!

38 posts in this topic

Yeah, you know what... clearly this thread is nothing more than a 'police are bad and do things for bad reasons' jerk off so I'm out...

I'm never moving to the USA, you guys have SERIOUS social issues over there that I don't want to touch with someone elses 80ft barge poll...
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Yeah, you know what... clearly this thread is nothing more than a 'police are bad and do things for bad reasons' jerk off so I'm out...

I'm never moving to the USA, you guys have SERIOUS social issues over there that I don't want to touch with someone elses 80ft barge poll...

 

This isn't really the case. We have LEO agencies that do the right thing in the vast majority of cases, but nobody gives two shits for cops that do the right thing so it never gets reported. And we have a segment of society that can be summed up by the NWA lyrics of the song "Fuck The Police." In this age of media sensationalism, that leads to pretty much one thing: threads like this. The vast majority of people aren't that polarized.

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Yeah, you know what... clearly this thread is nothing more than a 'police are bad and do things for bad reasons' jerk off so I'm out...

 

Seriously now? It was you who complained about lack of critical thinking, remember. So I've presented you with something that's in my opinion "critical enough" insofar as critical thinking is exactly what demonstrably lacked with the police in this case.

 

Given the laws of the state they live in (which you may assume the police should know!) they had no base to assume that what the woman was doing was wrong or against the law in any way. In a state which pretends being a constitutional state, people are innocent until there is proof (or at least a stong appearance) of guilt.

To the best of their knowledge and to all appearances, without any evidence or appearance of a felony, all this woman did was arguably and plausibly in perfect conformance with the law (coming out of a shop an going to her car).

 

Approaching and stopping the woman was therefore indiscriminate harrassment.

 

So now that I've given you a good argument that the "police screwed up" opinion is not at all unfounded, you just turn around and say "I'm out".

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I have a hard time blaming either side. Jumpy girls panic when approached by an unusual number of police officers, police officers take unexpected panic as a sign that something is more wrong than they thought, and since in their line of work they're used to dealing with evasive and violent people, they act appropriately for those people. 

 

But who knows, maybe the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control (it's not the ATF, per the articles) is institutionally messed up.

 


I'm never moving to the USA, you guys have SERIOUS social issues over there that I don't want to touch with someone elses 80ft barge poll...

 

Imagine the ire if you were an American saying that about literally any other place ever. It's a big, complicated place all up in here, just like everywhere else.

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Yeah, you know what... clearly this thread is nothing more than a 'police are bad and do things for bad reasons' jerk off so I'm out...

I'm never moving to the USA, you guys have SERIOUS social issues over there that I don't want to touch with someone elses 80ft barge poll...

 

Every place has it's own set of issues. These things make the news, but the vast majority of people who never have serious interactions with the police are clearly not newsworthy. Considering the size and population of the US, of course it's going to look like everything is fucked up from a news perspective. 

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Well, if you want more details you can throw "Elizabeth Daly" into your favorite search engine for news sites. From this article it seems that the first person to approach was actually the woman. This article contains the interesting detail that the women were on edge after having just attended a "Take Back the Night" vigil where they listened to the stories of several sexual assault victims before hand.

 

Interesting. I've seen the video linked before, but I didn't realize is was the same ABC idiots as in this story.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pbzUH90Sm0E

 

Something tells me his charges won't be dropped...

 

 

WTF did I just watch? Jesus.

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So Phantom is right. We don't know what happened and he's brought some very good points. I haven't come across an article that laid out a clear timeline. But it seems that the AG in the case agreed that the girl's recount of what happened was factually correct. So, hopefully more facts are laid out.

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The victim of the assault may very well not have seen the woman.

Actually, if you read other sources such as the first one I posted earlier, the woman seems to be the one to approach Daly first.

Another interesting point I saw is in a blog entry that someone posted (that I can't find again) that states that all the publicly available details indicate that Daly followed the exact procedure that law enforcement personnel recommend when a woman is confronted by a stranger in order to avoid assault.
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The victim of the assault may very well not have seen the woman.

Actually, if you read other sources such as the first one I posted earlier, the woman seems to be the one to approach Daly first.

Another interesting point I saw is in a blog entry that someone posted (that I can't find again) that states that all the publicly available details indicate that Daly followed the exact procedure that law enforcement personnel recommend when a woman is confronted by a stranger in order to avoid assault.

 

 

The second point very strongly suggests that she felt being about to be assaulted, do you not think so? Why would she apply anti-assault techniques otherwise? Surely you're not doing this if you are in your comfort zone.

 

I read that other source, but it's irrelevant who approached the young woman first. Not only is it conceivable (rare, unlikely, but conceivable) that a woman assists a man in a violent crime or even commits one herself. Although upwards of 90% of violent crimes are done by men, this still leaves a large enough share in which women are the felons, and in not few of these cases, women assist their spouse. A woman approaching and talking to you (distracting the target?) while from the corner of your eyes, 3 or 4 men are moving in the dark surely doesn't help making the situation more relaxed.

 

But more importantly, the entire act of approaching the young woman was not justified as I've pointed out earlier. Since she may legally buy and possess alcohol given instructions by her parents even as a minor (and this is something the police cannot know without having asked the parents, and they obviously cannot have asked when pressing hard a "random" young woman in the street of whom they do not even know the name), there is no base for suspecting a felony in the first place.

 

It is thus equally irrelevant whether the woman was below 21 years of age, and even assuming she had bought alcohol (which was very evidently not the case, unless police is entirely dyslectic or so blind they can't decipher the 5'' tall name of a well-known water brand), there is no indication of a felony, no proof of guilt, and not even an appearance.

 

If you're caught with bloody hands and a knife in your hands bent over a dead body, this does not prove that you murdered that person. However, there is undeniably a strong appearance which comes close to circumstantial evidence, so this would warrant an arrest (including drawing and pointing a gun), but it would as such not justify shooting the person, nor would (should) it lead to a conviction per se.

 

On the other hand, if your only "verdict" is coming out of a shop with a few bottles of water under your arm, this is an entirely different situation. Even if they're bottles of beer (which they weren't). Maybe you're a bit young, you could be 20 or 22. OK, but so what, there's the delivery-for-parants law in Virginia, and whoever thinks you might be too young really doesn't know (also, if you bought alcohol, it is reasonable to expect that the shopkeeper verified your ID). All in all, this doesn't warrant anything. The appearance and circumstantial evidence is "normal".

 

You are thus by definition innocent, and you have the right to be treated as such. And that is really all that matters.

 

You have the right to go where you want, the right to remain undisturbed. Nobody shall stop you, or even point a gun at you.

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But more importantly, the entire act of approaching the young woman was not justified as I've pointed out earlier.

Police are allowed to approach people and ask them questions. You are likewise allowed to not answer them. If you flee from a police officer who is trying to ask you questions you can be charged with obstruction.

It was just a shitty situation where everybody saw every action in it's worst possible light and made the legal decisions that happened to escalate the situation the most from what I've read.
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Samoth...

 

http://www.virginiarules.org/virginia-rules/alcohol-tobacco

 

So... I don't know where you read about the parental puchase thing, but the government of Virginia seems to disagree.

 

http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you

 

The police can stop people and ask questions, there's nothing at all unusual about that (and she would have the right to refuse to answer them). Reasonable suspicion is a pretty well-documented idea. Age is difficult to tell, so if they just gave everyone who looked around 20-ish a pass, they wouldn't be enforcing the law, which is the raison d'etre for law enforcement. If police didn't stop possible crimes in progress just because there was some nominal chance that they weren't actually crimes they wouldn't really be doing their jobs. "I guess he knows the owner, who I guess wanted his stereo ripped from his car dashboard at 3am". 

 

If they just arrested her the second they saw her, that would be a problem, but they didn't. It was dark and she was probably rushing, or it could have been in a bag or any number of million reasons they couldn't tell it was just water. I sure can't recognize the brand, and it looks like it could be wine coolers or some other alcohol (but not really beer). Plus, since she was jumpy from all the sexual assault information she got, she might have been acting suspiciously (ie, rushing to her car faster than normal for a regular grocery stop, looking around a lot.)

 


It was just a shitty situation where everybody saw every action in it's worst possible light and made the legal decisions that happened to escalate the situation the most from what I've read.

 

Exactly.

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I read that other source, but it's irrelevant who approached the young woman first.

a) It's hard to take your arguments seriously if you admit to saying things you know not to be true as the basis for those arguments. Lying to present a point often has the effect of making your side look desperate and irrational. b) It's actually possible to do things like have an open mind, withhold judgement or consider both sides of an argument. Just because someone makes a post in a thread doesn't mean that they've automatically taken sides on an issue. Just because someone identifies something you've said as incorrect doesn't mean that everything they've said is meant as a disagreement. Critical thinking skills, remember? You seem to think that I meant following anti-assault guidelines as an argument against your point of view when I was merely pointing out an interesting thing that someone else said somewhere else. You'd come across as much more reasonable and rational if you didn't have this knee jerk reaction to lash out.
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Police are allowed to approach people and ask them questions. You are likewise allowed to not answer them. If you flee from a police officer who is trying to ask you questions you can be charged with obstruction.

Yes, but you are also perfectly allowed to flee from or resist "police" that isn't recognizable as such and who tries to "stop" you (rob you) under a false premise. If three guys who look like gang members knock at your door and shout "Police! Open!", do you open the door, or do you get your shotgun out of the closet? If a hobo in the subway who "works for the NSA" wants to confiscate your laptop because you are an alleged spy, do you give him your laptop?

 

Complying with "police" presumes plausibility. If someone who doesn't look like police comes at you in a dark street for an alleged crime that you know you didn't commit, they probably are not police, and it's probably a good idea to either flee or tazer them.
 

So... I don't know where you read about the parental puchase thing, but the government of Virginia seems to disagree.

The NIH says so: ""making a delivery of alcoholic beverages by order of his parent". To me this reads like you're allowed to carry alcohol in Virginia if your parents told you to go and get some, no matter how old you are.

Now, that girl might have bought alcohol without her parents' knowlegde, or she might have been carrying a written permit that she had shown to the shopkeeper, or the shopkeeper might just sell her alcohol because she comes twice per week on her parents' order.

 

We cannot know this, and neither could the police that evening (well, we do know now, because charges were dropped, so she demonstrably had nothing illegal, including alcohol, on her).

 


Reasonable suspicion is a pretty well-documented idea.

That's exactly what I was saying earlier. But "reasonable" is the important detail.

If gunshots and cries are being heard and you leave a bank wearing a black mask a moment later, it is reasonable to suspect that you're committing a crime. In this situation, it is even justified to point a gun at you. Most people coming out of banks do not wear black masks, and usually there are no gunshots and cries.

If a group of teenagers or "youngish people" is sitting at the beach with no "obviously adult" people around and they're being loud, uninhibited, and drinking alcohol, it is reasonable to suspect that they might be under age and might not have their parents' permission, so it's justifiable to ask for an ID to verify their age.

 

If you're a mean looking guy with a beard and wearing dark sunglasses, and the child next to you is crying "Help me, help me", it is reasonable to stop your car under the assumption of kidnapping (but it's not justifiable to shoot you down, the child might be doing a prank).

If the same child is just sitting next to you or maybe asking "Daddy, can we have some icecream?" it is not reasonable to stop your car, even if you have a beard and wear sunglasses, or if you look like Denny Trejo.

 

If you come out of a shop, the reasonable assumption is that whatever you bought in that shop is legitimate. Millions of people come out of shops every day, and most of them bought legal things legitimately.

 

And it is not only reasonable, the presumption of innocence is the base of the entire legal system. If you turn the presumption of innocence into a presumption of guilt, the legal system becomes a mockery.

 

Police like to see themselves as "the law" (or above the law) and so often ignore this petty detail. Alas, they are not "the law" and they do not make "the law", they are to serve it. If you come out of a shop and there's nothing else to it (no gunshots, no blood, no broken glass, no alarm, no people running for their lives), it's nobody's fucking business who you are, how old you are, or what you're carrying. The assumption is first and foremost that you're innocent.

 


they wouldn't be enforcing the law, which is the raison d'etre for law enforcement

If your law enforcement has "SS" tattooed on their arms in Arian runes, yes. Otherwise no. Most people, police included, forget what the police is about and what their duty is. Their duty is to serve and protect the citizens (US police even have this written on their badges). Yes, this includes making sure that people follow the law. After all, the law, too, is to serve the people.

However, their duty is not to harrass and oppress people, nor to suspect and "criminalize" people when according to the situation, it is a perfectly reasonable assumption that they're not doing anything wrong.

 


It's hard to take your arguments seriously if you admit to saying things you know not to be true as the basis for those arguments. Lying to present a point often has the effect of making your side look desperate and irrational

How is it lying or admitting to know points are not true if I say I've read that other article? The article states that the police spokesman (Carol Whateverhername) said the female officer was the first to approach the girl. Where is a truth in this? This is the spokeman's (spokewoman's -- does that exist in English?) story, and of course according to her the police did everything right, what else. You certainly don't expect the police spokesmen to make a press statement like "Yeah, sorry, our guys were a bit rough when they gangbanged her".

The female officer might as well not have been the first to approach the girl, and the girl might not have seen her at all, but only men rushing at her. She may have been pressed into staying quiet on the details on the premise that otherwise some cocaine was "found" in her car, but charges would be dropped if she played along. We simply don't know.

All we know is that the girl was arrested and released with charges dropped, which is a strong indication that she was entirely innocent and the cops couldn't charge her with anything even after trying hard to find something (questioning and searching her, and presumably searching the car too).

 

But my point is that it's irrelevant what Carol the Spokesman said or even what actually happened during this manueuver, since the entire manueuver was unjustified from the beginning.

 

You seem to think that I meant following anti-assault guidelines as an argument against your point of view when I was merely pointing out an interesting thing that someone else said somewhere else.

Not at all, I interpreted this as something you stated, which indeed showed rather agreement from your sie than disagreement. Why on earth would you use something that is obviously an argument for the girl feeling ambushed/assaulted if your opinion was the opposite?

I may come over as a bit "excentric" sometimes, but hey, please don't take me for a complete fool smile.png

Edited by samoth
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Yes, but you are also perfectly allowed to flee from or resist "police" that isn't recognizable as such and who tries to "stop" you (rob you) under a false premise. If three guys who look like gang members knock at your door and shout "Police! Open!", do you open the door, or do you get your shotgun out of the closet? If a hobo in the subway who "works for the NSA" wants to confiscate your laptop because you are an alleged spy, do you give him your laptop?

 

 

You are making a lot of assumptions about the situation here. Your two fictional situations aren't even remotely the same as an officer showing their badge and detaining you for questioning, which police officers are allowed to do.

 

IANAL, but I would strongly advise anybody reading this not to take this advice. If a police officer identifies themselves and asks you to stop, if you flee you are breaking the law.

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If a police officer identifies themselves and asks you to stop, if you flee you are breaking the law.

 

I don't know dude, if someone walked up to my car and started breaking the windows and pulling out their handgun, I think I'd get the hell away even if they could produce a badge. Screw the law, I'd rather stay alive and defend my case rather than end up a statistic shot down by an overzealous cop (let's face it - it does happen).

 

If the situation really happened as described it was an unacceptable show of force and I don't blame the girl for getting the hell away. I mean, six people, in civilian clothing, with handheld guns and other weapons, walking towards you, at night? For all you know they are out there to steal your car and mug you, or worse. At least the first thought to my mind would not be "hey, those are police officers. I'm going to wait till they get here and greet them warmly". Even the most well-meaning person will not respond well to being threatened or put in an ambiguous situation where they feel there is a chance they may be in danger.

 

Again, as said by someone in this thread (did not read it all), the police exists to protect citizens against danger and enforce order on some level. It is not there to terrorize people and beat them into submission. I wouldn't be surprised if a few policemen found their line of work just so they could fulfill their perverted fantasies of domination by abusing the power society has entrusted to them.

 

I think the question here, is what are we arguing about? It's obvious the official report is going to be partly distorted and manipulated. All news is. But somehow I don't think this would have made the headlines if those police officers actually walked over to that girl, identified themselves in a civilized manner and asked to see her purchase. That is perfectly routine and I don't think anyone would fundamentally object to complying unless the cop was being very suspicious. It's clear something much different happened this time, and given that charges were dropped I'm inclined to think the college students didn't actually do anything illegal. But without any further information to go on this is purely speculation.

 

It's all about what really happened, anyway. It's difficult to predict how a given individual will react to such and such behavior, it's very subtle and you really have to know both sides of the story to accurately make up an informed opinion. I would expect people to make the right choice on average, though. There are ways to approach people for information without freaking them out, the one depicted in the report wasn't one of them, period.

 

As for the "iced tea" video, well, even if the so-called officer was being unreasonably obnoxious with his apparent need to perform an extensive molecular analysis of the liquid in question, I think the other guy was being rather dumb showing him the can's label multiple times, obviously that's not what the cop wanted. How hard was it to hand him the can, let him check and embarass himself? That said I've never lived in the USA so I don't know how this is handled over there, do people routinely steal soda cans by pretending to be policemen? Or maybe it's a principle thing, I don't know.. just kind of weird how the two interacted. Feels kind of scripted and fake in fact.

Edited by Bacterius
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I don't know dude, if someone walked up to my car and started breaking the windows and pulling out their handgun, I think I'd get the hell away even if they could produce a badge. Screw the law, I'd rather stay alive and defend my case rather than end up a statistic shot down by an overzealous cop (let's face it - it does happen).

 

The odds of getting shot by a cop go up drastically if you try to run. If you didn't think they were cops it makes more sense, but if you think they are cops and try to run you are breaking the law. This isn't an, "I don't know...," situation. That's the law. The best you can hope for in that situation is that they understand why you did it and either don' charge you or drop the charges, which they did.

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I don't know dude, if someone walked up to my car and started breaking the windows and pulling out their handgun, I think I'd get the hell away even if they could produce a badge. Screw the law, I'd rather stay alive and defend my case rather than end up a statistic shot down by an overzealous cop (let's face it - it does happen).

 

The odds of getting shot by a cop go up drastically if you try to run. If you didn't think they were cops it makes more sense, but if you think they are cops and try to run you are breaking the law. This isn't an, "I don't know...," situation. That's the law. The best you can hope for in that situation is that they understand why you did it and either don' charge you or drop the charges, which they did.

 

 

Of course. Here I mean that it is highly ambiguous whether they are cops or not. If they are and are clearly marked as such then, yes, fleeing is retarded because no law-abiding person runs away from someone he knows is a cop, I think that is quite obvious. But if you are not sure of their intentions and legimitately feel you are in danger, you have every right to subtract yourself from the situation, regardless of the law. Self-defense takes precedence over anything and can be argued in court once order has been restored (rather than staying put "hoping for the best" and getting damaged/killed in the process).

 

There is no time for rational thinking or "giving people a chance" in these situations, you have to act quickly and a basic risk analysis of the scenario as described clearly indicates fleeing was the optimal course of action leading to the highest chance of survival. It's really that simple. It's the cop's damn fault for inducing a fight-or-flight response from the car driver and they should not be surprised they almost got run over. This is exactly the same reason you do not scare a cat or a dog even for fun unless you want to get mauled. What else did you expect?

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Or maybe it's a principle thing, I don't know.. just kind of weird how the two interacted. Feels kind of scripted and fake in fact

 

More like scripted, but real. I bet both of those guys knew how it was going to end.

 

It's a good example of why a lot of people assume the cop is in the wrong when stories like the girls w/water come around.

 

Quite a bit of racism in the mix too, which I point out in case foreigners/Idaho folks don't pick up on such things when they are put in stark relief under a spotlight for all of the world to see. 

 

Honestly, I don't usually watch things like that 'iced tea' video, because I've seen it in real life too many times, a whiff of the vidcap smells me what's coming, and I'll spend half of the day in rage mode.

 

Just to put it out there again for those pondering the details of suspicious behavior -- these alcohol control people target and investigate stores, not people. Probably heard the store sold to minors and they were trying to catch them in the act. Wishful thinking maybe -- if the girls were underage w/ alcohol, the officers could make arrests, issue citations, go home.

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The police provide jobs and applies some level of control to the lower orders of society

Can you imagine how they would behave if they were left uncontrolled?

They would be violent criminals

 

And who better to keep order but a bunch of brainless bullies?

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Can you imagine how they would behave if they were left uncontrolled?

They would be violent criminals

Whenever I see a story like 33-year-old man died “begging for his life” or Female Police Officer Beats Man Lying On Ground To Death With 10 Baton Strikes, which you hear about on the average once per week, I can imagine how they (the police) are behaving, being uncontrolled and unchallenged.

 

Even if you assume that those stories are 200% over-dramatized and pulled out of context, they're still bad enough.

Edited by samoth
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As for the "iced tea" video, well, even if the so-called officer was being unreasonably obnoxious with his apparent need to perform an extensive molecular analysis of the liquid in question, I think the other guy was being rather dumb showing him the can's label multiple times, obviously that's not what the cop wanted. How hard was it to hand him the can, let him check and embarass himself? That said I've never lived in the USA so I don't know how this is handled over there, do people routinely steal soda cans by pretending to be policemen? Or maybe it's a principle thing, I don't know.. just kind of weird how the two interacted. Feels kind of scripted and fake in fact.

 
Would you really drink out of that can if someone took and started sniffing around it? Here's a counter to your question: Do police officers (where you live) routinely ask to sniff your canned ice tea? Do they also do this when you're standing in front of the store where you bought it from?** Also, even if he did have alcohol in his drink, that's, in and of itself, not illegal. Obviously the officer couldn't smell it on the guy's breath. It was just a bad arrest and that's putting it nicely.


**Actually, he bought the iced tea from another store and was waiting for some friends to purchase actual alcohol from the ABC liquor store. Edited by Alpha_ProgDes
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So... I don't know where you read about the parental puchase thing, but the government of Virginia seems to disagree.

 

The NIH says so: ""making a delivery of alcoholic beverages by order of his parent". To me this reads like you're allowed to carry alcohol in Virginia if your parents told you to go and get some, no matter how old you are.

 
Possession, not purchase. Purchase is specifically prohibited, also in your NIH link. The parents would have to purchase it for them (or obtain it somehow), and then send them on their merry way. I assume it's for "take this wine to Grandma's"-esque situations. Since the agents were waiting around for whatever reason, it was pretty obvious to them parent/guardian wasn't there to give it to her. Since the water looked like alcohol to the agents and she looked like she was likely underage (and from the other article, might seem overly jumpy and alert), they wanted to ask her about it. That's completely within their purview. There is very little suspicion required to question somebody without detaining them.
 

 

they wouldn't be enforcing the law, which is the raison d'etre for law enforcement

If your law enforcement has "SS" tattooed on their arms in Arian runes, yes. Otherwise no. Most people, police included, forget what the police is about and what their duty is. Their duty is to serve and protect the citizens (US police even have this written on their badges). Yes, this includes making sure that people follow the law. After all, the law, too, is to serve the people.
However, their duty is not to harrass and oppress people, nor to suspect and "criminalize" people when according to the situation, it is a perfectly reasonable assumption that they're not doing anything wrong.

 

A) Godwin's Law
B) Law Enforcement
C) Walking up and asking a question isn't oppression or harassment, and their job is to investigate probable crimes (so they can stop them if they are) insofar as it doesn't violate your rights. More about that. Again, you have the right to not answer any questions and leave in a non-suspicious way (ie, not running and/or look like you're destroying contraband or grabbing a weapon, etc.). 

 

The key issue in this encounter is that the girl responded in a suspicious way (though she did so for entirely understandable reasons), and the agents reacted to that, which only freaked her out more, and so on.

 

The thing I'm not sure about it is why she started her car, my car lets you turn on the AC/powered windows without actually starting the engine. She might have just been jumpy, though.

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Yay! The world is coming to an end!
 
More corrupt, self-righteous people.
Revolts in Egypt and Turkey
Never-ending conflicts in Africa and Middle East.
US-EU relationship in jeopardy, thanks to NSA (are you reading this NSA????)


And don't forget the unhandled exceptions!
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