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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default N.J. troopers arrest woman for remaining silent during traffic stop

    Not to get all Motherload on you guys with another thread, but...

    The officer pulls the woman over and asks for her license and insurance. He then asks, "Do you know why I pulled you over," which is the way cops get you to incriminate yourself--which you have a 5th amendment right not to do. The woman says she provided the documents, but did not answer the officer's question. The officer eventually said if she didn't answer, she would be arrested. She then stated she is an attorney and does not have to answer his questions (which is true).

    Once arrested, she asked if she was being arrested for staying silent. The officers replied yes, for obstruction by not speaking. And in the greatest of ironies, at that point, the officers Mirandized her, which includes the statement, "You have the right to remain silent." Of course, after being taken to the station and put in a holding cell where she was handcuffed to a bench, the police realized there were no grounds for her arrest and let her go.

    WATCH: N.J. troopers arrest woman for remaining silent during traffic stop

    State Police arrest woman for refusing to answer questions

    By S.P. Sullivan on May 05, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated May 05, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    TRENTON — Two New Jersey state troopers cuffed a woman along a Warren County roadway and hauled her in on an obstruction charge because she refused to answer questions during a routine traffic stop, according to dashboard camera footage obtained by NJ Advance Media.

    The Oct. 16 incident, which happened near the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border on Route 519, is now the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the woman, Rebecca Musarra, an attorney from Philadelphia.

    Musarra claims in the suit the troopers violated basic rules familiar to anybody who's ever watched a police show on TV, including the right to remain silent.

    She claims at least three troopers insisted during the ordeal that her refusal to answer questions was a criminal act.

    Spokesmen for the State Police and the Attorney General's Office, which is representing the troopers in the lawsuit, declined to comment on the allegations.

    But, State Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Jones said in an e-mail, "in every instance where misconduct is alleged against a trooper or troopers, as is the case here, (the division's internal affairs office) will review the allegations and investigate the facts.

    "In the event that problems are identified, training and/or disciplinary measures are implemented where appropriate."

    Attorneys for the state have sought in federal filings to have the civil case dismissed, claiming the troopers "acted in good faith and without fraud or malice." They have not yet addressed the specific charges in court papers.

    . . .
    The problem with this, however, is that the police do not need to have pulled you over for a legitimate reason if they find something else. In Heien v. North Carolina (2014), a driver was pulled over for a busted brake light, and when the vehicle was searched, they found illegal drugs. Problem was that the light that was busted wasn't actually against the law. In siding with police, Justice Roberts wrote, "Because the officer’s mistake about the brake-light law was reasonable, the stop in this case was lawful under the Fourth Amendment.”

    In other words, a stop that has no legal basis for occurring can be probable cause for a search that does not violate the 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. That's a pretty good deal for local law enforcement in fighting the drug war.

  2. #2
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