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Welcome to the land of the free

Old Jul 30th 2004, 3:26 pm
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Default Welcome to the land of the free

Subway rider arrested for eating candy



In 2000, a police officer handcuffed a 12-year-old girl for eating a French fry on a subway platform.
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Old Jul 30th 2004, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Welcome to the land of the free

Originally posted by rincewind
Subway rider arrested for eating candy

Yeah I read this on another thread - big debate going on about it. This is a bit scary and even Americans would admit its ridiculous. :scared: :scared:
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Old Jul 30th 2004, 6:29 pm
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The no-eating policy is enforced by the Washington Area Transit
Authority and as a result the subway system does not have a rat
infestation problem unlike the NY subway system. Seniors can travel
without having to worry about rats on the tracks near their feet or
scurrying around trash bins on or near the platform.

There are plenty
of warning signs in the DC subway stations that state it is illegal to
eat food. Eating or smoking is subject to a write-up (citation).
Usually the transit cop will request a person eating to stop eating but
could issue a citation (this involves asking the person for their
details); the transit cop may ask the person for their name and write
them up (issue a citation). If the person refused to cooperate and/or
is rude to the transit cop the person may be handcuffed and arrested,
but it is not a felony.


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Old Jul 30th 2004, 6:31 pm
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The no-eating policy is enforced by the Washington Area Transit Authority and as a result the subway system does not have a rat infestation problem unlike the NY subway system. Seniors can travel without having to worry about rats on the tracks near their feet or scurrying around trash bins on or near the platform.
 
Old Jul 30th 2004, 6:43 pm
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I think the main issue is how the law is enforced.

Was being detained for three hours really necessary?

What does handcuffing a 12 year old accomplish?

I agree, the law is there for a reason (although I used to like rat spotting on the London Underground) but sometimes thing can be taken a little too far.
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Old Jul 30th 2004, 6:44 pm
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...and in Nazi Germany the trains ran on time as well!!
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Old Jul 30th 2004, 6:59 pm
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Originally posted by rincewind
I think the main issue is how the law is enforced.

Was being detained for three hours really necessary?

What does handcuffing a 12 year old accomplish?

I agree, the law is there for a reason (although I used to like rat spotting on the London Underground) but sometimes thing can be taken a little too far.
Absolutely ...

Usually the transit cop will request a person eating to stop eating but could issue a citation (this involves asking the person for their details); if the person ignores the verbal request the cop will probably ask the person for their name and write them up (issue a citation). Refuse to cooperate at that point and/or be rude to the Transit cop and the person may be handcuffed and arrested, but it is not a felony.

I don't know the facts about the 12-year-old girl that was allegedly arrested. But for sure a transit cop is subject to rules and regulations and if he/she steps outside of those rules can be subject to discipline and dismissal.

But there are rules about eating on the DC metro area subway system, the rules can be changed if the public want them changed. So far the public seem to prefer a rat free and very clean DC subway system and are prepared to put up with these no-eating rules. Same goes for smoking, smoke on the subway system here and that can lead to a citation, ignore or be rude to the transit cop and that can lead to an arrest. The transit authority enforce the rules, not big government.
 
Old Jul 30th 2004, 7:03 pm
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What really got her into trouble was not that she was eating, but because she mouthed off to the cop, refused to present her ID, and tried to walk away. The lady was stupid.
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Old Jul 31st 2004, 4:43 pm
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Originally posted by Oggie Oi!
What really got her into trouble was not that she was eating, but because she mouthed off to the cop, refused to present her ID, and tried to walk away. The lady was stupid.
But even that's debatable. Yes she did mouth off, but this was after the cop had told her to get rid of the food, which she did, she ate the last bit of candy and threw the wrapper away. But when the cop continued to follow her she said, "Don't you have other crimes to take care of?" Perhaps it was mouthing off, however I would feel intimidated if a cop was following me for no reason. Maybe not to the point of saying something, in my opinion she is to be admired. Too many cops have a brutish mentality, they are the law and should not be held accountable nor questioned. Its scary.
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Old Jul 31st 2004, 5:06 pm
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I agree with Lisa.
This is clearly an abuse of authority. I really do like the idea of zero tolerence, I think it lowers crime big time and we should adopt it over the pond, but come on there has to be some amount of sensibility involved too.
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Old Jul 31st 2004, 8:41 pm
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There seems to be two key issues: (1) was the arrest lawful; and (2) was
the period of post-arrest detainment unreasonable. As to the period of
detainment; processing the arrested person should be done in a
reasonable time; as a matter of law, 3 hours is not an unreasonable
amount of time; in any event, the defendant may have not cooperated and
extended the period of detainment, but again, three hours is not per se
unreasonable following the arrest. So the case (if it becomes a case)
boils down to this single issue: did the transit cop ask the defendant
for her ID and if so did the defendant cooperate by giving up their ID.


What might have happened is that the person simply finished the last
mouthful, put the wrapper in the trash bin and walked on, the cop walked
in the same direction behind the person (thus the cop may or may not
have been following the person) and the person said something like:
"Don't you have other crimes to take care of?" At that point the cop
could have given a verbal warning to the person for their rudeness and
asked for ID and given the person a ticket for eating on the subway (the
fact that the person stopped eating is in fact irrelevant, once you are
eating you are strictly liable to a ticket for eating, the time spent
eating is irrelevant). If this was in fact what happened then I have my
doubts if the transit cop asked for ID, if the transit cop did not ask
for ID then he/she probably performed an unlawful arrest and violated
the defendant's rights. But if the transit cop asked for ID and the
person refused to give it, then the transit cop performed a lawful
arrest and the defendant is blowing smoke.

But the scenario (actual
fact pattern) may be different: for example, the officer may have asked
for ID and the person walked away. The act of walking away after being
asked for ID would render the arrest lawful. The voluntary act of
walking away from the transit cop turned the transit cop from a
potential ticket giver into a lawful arresting cop. It is not disputed
that the defendant was eating and walked away from the cop. The only
issue, once again, revolves around the question: did the cop ask the
defendant for her ID? If he did and the person walked away, the
subsequent arrest was lawful. If the cop did not ask for the
defendant's ID, the arrest was unlawful and the defendant's civil rights
were violated.

It will be interesting to see if the arrested woman
challengers her arrest in court. We will then likely find out if the
transit cop did in fact ask the defendant for her ID and whether the
arrested woman offered her ID or was not given a reasonable chance to
provide her ID.


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Old Jul 31st 2004, 8:50 pm
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There seems to be two key issues: (1) was the arrest lawful; and (2) was the period of post-arrest detainment unreasonable. As to the period of detainment; processing the arrested person should be done in a reasonable time; as a matter of law, 3 hours is not an unreasonable amount of time; in any event, the defendant may have not cooperated and extended the period of detainment, but again, three hours is not per se unreasonable following the arrest. So the post-arrest detainment is only an issue if the arrest was unlawful. So the case (if it becomes a court case) boils down whether the arrest was lawful and to this particular issue: did the transit cop ask for ID and if so did the defendant cooperate by giving up their ID.

What might have happened is that the person simply finished the last mouthful, put the wrapper in the trash bin and walked on, the cop walked in the same direction behind the person (thus the cop may or may not have been following the person) and the person said something like: "Don't you have other crimes to take care of?" At that point the cop could have given a verbal warning to the person for their rudeness and asked for ID and given the person a ticket for eating on the subway (the fact that the person stopped eating is in fact irrelevant, once you are eating you are strictly liable to a ticket for eating, the time spent eating is irrelevant). If this was in fact what happened then I have my doubts if the transit cop asked for ID, if the transit cop did not ask for ID then he/she probably performed an unlawful arrest and violated the defendant's rights. But if the transit cop asked for ID and the person refused to give it, then the transit cop performed a lawful arrest and the defendant is blowing smoke.

But the scenario (actual fact pattern) may be different: for example, the officer may have asked for ID and the person walked away. The act of walking away after being asked for ID would render the arrest lawful. The voluntary act of walking away after the transit cop asked for ID turned the transit cop from a potential ticket giver into a lawful arresting cop. It is not disputed that the defendant was eating and walked away from the cop. The only issue, once again, revolves around the question: did the cop ask the defendant for her ID? If he did and the person walked away, the subsequent arrest was lawful. If the cop did not ask for the defendant's ID, the arrest was unlawful and the defendant's civil rights were violated.

It will be interesting to see if the arrested woman challengers her arrest in court. We will then likely find out if the transit cop did in fact ask the defendant for her ID and whether the arrested woman offered her ID or was not given a reasonable chance to provide her ID.
 
Old Jul 31st 2004, 11:13 pm
  #13  
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Default Re: Welcome to the land of the free

Originally posted by Patent Attorney

<SNIP>

It will be interesting to see if the arrested woman challengers her arrest in court. We will then likely find out if the transit cop did in fact ask the defendant for her ID and whether the arrested woman offered her ID or was not given a reasonable chance to provide her ID.
Where is it written that if a transit cop asks for your ID and you don't show them it, that you are in fact breaking the law?

There is a possibility that this link http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news...9alCU&refer=us has a bit of the answer (headline "Suspects Can Be Forced to Give Names, U.S. Court Says").

Is a transit cop the same as a policeman with all due authority etc etc?

Sam.
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Old Jul 31st 2004, 11:54 pm
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It seems the person was asked by the transit cop for ID. She walked away. The transit cop could then arrest her for purposes of finding out her ID to issue her with a citation. Had she stopped and given her ID she would have only got a citation and that would have been that, but soon as she refused to give her ID the cop was free to arrest her. This is unusual for sure, most people who are cited for eating on the subway would cooperate and receive a citation and that would be that, in fact most wouldn't even get a citation, just a warning.
 
Old Aug 1st 2004, 12:08 am
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Default Re: Welcome to the land of the free

pm's are indeed pm's therefore private

Last edited by manc1976; Aug 2nd 2004 at 1:10 am.
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