Ambiguity of LEO requests / questions. Are orders followed by "please"?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by F14Scott, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    In another GNG Lounge thread about an inland border patrol checkpoint, there was a video of an agent questioned a motorist who was obviously ready to defend his rights. (Some debate existed on whether those rights applied, in this case.)

    What bothered me about the encounter was the ambiguous nature of the questions, requests, and orders given by the agents. Some were obviously questions (Q), some were rhetorical questions (RQ), some were ambiguous orders (AO), and some were unenforced orders (UO). Here are examples:

    BP Agent 1:“How's it going?” -Q
    BP Agent 1:“Ok, this your car?” -Q
    BP Agent 1:“Do you mind if I take a look in your trunk?” -Q
    BP Agent 1:“Can I have you pull into secondary?” -AO
    BP Agent 1:“No, I was just wondering if you would mind...” -AO
    BP Agent 2:“Don't take my picture man” -UO
    BP Agent 2:“Put that down, put that down” -UO
    BP Agent 2:“Put that down dude” -UO
    BP Agent 2:“What's wrong with you?” -RQ
    BP Agent 2:“Why you take my picture?” -RQ
    BP Agent 2:“No no no, I'm not taking your camera...”
    BP Agent 2:“Ok. Do you have anything in the trunk?” -Q
    BP Agent 2:“Do you mind if I look?” -Q

    Similarly, in my own life, I’ve been “requested” by LEOs to do things that I don’t think were optional. Some examples:

    “Sir, would you mind stepping out of the car, please?”
    “Sir, can you step over here, please?”
    “Sir, can you empty your pockets, please.”
    “May I see your license and registration, please?”

    Perhaps it's my military background, but questions and optional requests are in the form of a question, and may include “please.” Orders should not be in the form of a question, and should not include “please.” In my mind, if anything has "please" attached to it, one of the possible rejoinders is, "no, thank you." So, the proper phrasing of my LEOs’ “requests” should have been:

    “Sir, step out of the car.”
    “Sir, step over here.”
    “Sir, empty your pockets.”
    “Sir, hand me your license and registration.”

    Certainly, a simple direct order leaves no question about what needs to happen. If a cop tells me to get out of the car, I’ll get out. If he asks me if I would mind getting out, I might be inclined to decline, or perhaps question him, which has the potential to escalate a situation. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that the TSA people in airports are very exact in their phrasing of their desires. They say, “Sir, I’m going to further inspect your bag. You may stand over here. Do not reach into the bag.” The TSA guys leave no room for a question; perhaps the high volume of people they handle hones their language skills.

    Anyone have insight into the ambiguity of many LEO requests? A part of me wonders if the ambiguity is deliberate, to blend the line between orders and requests, such that the populous will get used to treating all requests and orders as orders. There’s not much difference between, “Step out of the car, please” and, “May I look in your trunk, please.”

    But, that’s probably just the conspiracy theorist in me…
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  2. volsbear

    volsbear IWannaBeSedated Lifetime Member

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    Police officers in many areas are trained to (1) ask, (2) tell, and (3) make. "Polite and courteous" means asking I suppose.

    But these aren't my rules.
     

  3. 9jeeps

    9jeeps

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    There are quite a few cop haters on GT.... Just wait and you'll surely get their expert opinions.:upeyes:
     
  4. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

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    Scott;

    I was always polite as possible in every encounter until the subject caused me to be otherwise. Saying please and sir were just pleasantries when I used them with no hidden agenda or motive. You will either comply and be cooperative or you won't. My goal was to not start the encounter negatively because there is always room to move onto the hardass level during the encounter.
     
  5. Gunny USMC

    Gunny USMC #kingnothing

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    Its a request.. until it is not..
     
  6. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    Ask
    Tell
    Make

    has always been how it's been explained to me.
     
  7. boby

    boby

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    If you're "asked" to get out of the car and decide to do it without realizing it wasn't really a request (it was an order) youll feel better. If the officer just came right up and said hey get out of the car, someone might get their panties in a wad.

    Its easier to just let people think they have a choice.

    That's my theory.
     
  8. APD

    APD Trunk Monkey

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    Here? No way. Apparently many know the law better than ANY LEO, just ask them.

    I concur.

    Your theory is correct. We are required to be polite or somebody will get their panties in a wad and complain because I did not hug them or kiss their butt when I issues them a citation.
    If I had my wasy I would speak my mind on a traffic stop but those days are long behind me.

    "Hey hottie, step out of the car"

    "Sir shut your piehole and let me finish what I was telling you before you interrupted me"

    "You were speeding, if you want to argue then you have your right to in court. Bring a better bullchit excuse than the one you just gave me, dipchit"

    "Hey lady if you cannot raise your own kids then give them up to child services and save us years of stupid calls coming to your house"

    "Ms/Sir, your kid is a real turd and I wish I could beat him for breaking the law so blatantly then beat you for not beating him years ago when he needed it most"



    Those are the things I would like to share with the community but I use "sir" and "please" to keep folks from getting sand in their va jay jay.

    Welcome to the BS politically correct society of today when a man with a gun and a badge, while arresting you for molesting a 6 month old baby, has to call you "sir" and not be rude to you when he really wants to end your life.
    :shocked:
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  9. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    It’s interesting that this thread question is posed in the context of internal checkpoints. I think questionable and ineffective law enforcement techniques like internal checkpoints have led to confusion and ambiguity for both motorists and law enforcement.

    I believe there was a time when you could more easily answer the thread question because law enforcement interaction was more with criminals and genuine suspects. Techniques like internal checkpoints lead to a much higher percentage contact with the completely law-abiding. The questions of the border patrol agent (in the thread referenced by the OP) are unskilled and ineffective. It should be obvious that a motorist with a camera is someone concerned about inappropriate law enforcement conduct. He is simply seeking to protect himself in the wake of this confusion and ambiguity, and also recent, unnecessary confrontations with other law-abiding citizens.

    The OP’s question is further muddled by activist judges who longer use the rule of law to guide their decisions. You would expect to be questioned and ordered by border patrol if you were at a border crossing returning from Mexico. You should not expect to be questioned and ordered if you never left the country. You should never even expect to encounter border patrol 100 miles inside the border! Activist judges however, have muddied the waters with phrases such as, “functioning as an actual border.”

    The only response to such questions is to become informed and ask your own questions, such as, “Is that a lawful order or are you simply asking me?” That question however, is no guarantee because law enforcement itself is often unaware of what is lawful and what is not lawful. There have been totally different outcomes to the same question at internal border checkpoints.

    I believe one answer for the OP’s question is clarification with legislation. That legislation would prohibit law enforcement techniques (i.e., internal checkpoints) that are dubious and ineffective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  10. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    One thing I loved is the more upset/mad a person got the more polite I got. (up to a point) For some reason I enjoyed them blowing thier stack when everyone heard me being POLITE. A area I never got in trouble for. :)
     
  11. cop414

    cop414

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyHMbHHtArE

    Really not totally on the subject but shows the "politeness" of a Maine State Trooper on a traffic stop. (Even though he gets pretty sarcastic-spelling Nazi's please correct spelling)

    This Trooper get my respect... watch the video. Watch and listen right around the 2:10 point where he hears what the fine is and the guy's reaction. I would have called for back up on this one, the guy's a loose cannon with a very, very short fuse.

    WARNING- AUDIO DOES CONTAIN SOME FOUL LANGUAGE

    Sgt Tim
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  12. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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  13. NorthCarolinaLiberty

    NorthCarolinaLiberty MentalDefective

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    The video in the link is a good example of what I reference regarding ambiguity and ineffectiveness. This was a local checkpoint where law enforcement enters your car and inspects for proper installation of a child car seat.

    Take a look at the video on the right in the link. The officer tells the motorist, “You have to go [to the car seat inspection area]. I’m not here to argue about it.” The motorist declines to comply and is eventually freed.


    https://www.checkpointusa.org/Checkpoints/SafetySeat/BoulderCity/BoulderCityCheckpoints.htm#articles
     
  14. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

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    You probably shouldn't be in ANY public service job if that is the way you really think. Next thing you know you will proning people out with an AR and posting it on facebook.
     
  15. Glock.23

    Glock.23

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    Originally Posted by APD [​IMG]
    Here? No way. Apparently many know the law better than ANY LEO, just ask them.



    I concur.



    Your theory is correct. We are required to be polite or somebody will get their panties in a wad and complain because I did not hug them or kiss their butt when I issues them a citation.
    If I had my wasy I would speak my mind on a traffic stop but those days are long behind me.

    "Hey hottie, step out of the car"

    "Sir shut your piehole and let me finish what I was telling you before you interrupted me"

    "You were speeding, if you want to argue then you have your right to in court. Bring a better bullchit excuse than the one you just gave me, dipchit"

    "Hey lady if you cannot raise your own kids then give them up to child services and save us years of stupid calls coming to your house"

    "Ms/Sir, your kid is a real turd and I wish I could beat him for breaking the law so blatantly then beat you for not beating him years ago when he needed it most"



    Those are the things I would like to share with the community but I use "sir" and "please" to keep folks from getting sand in their va jay jay.

    Welcome to the BS politically correct society of today when a man with a gun and a badge, while arresting you for molesting a 6 month old baby, has to call you "sir" and not be rude to you when he really wants to end your life.
    :shocked:


    I totally agree, if your in a LAW ENFORCEMENT capacity, you should be able to perform your task unbiasedly, hence why your a cop and some of us aren't your "SUPPOSE" to be a outstanding human being who cares nothing more than to enforce the law, you weren't sworn in to inflict your opinion on people regardless of the crime they commited. Just my .02$ cents
     
  16. elsolo

    elsolo

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    I don't like commands phrased as questions, especially from LEO's.
    There is already the requirement to comply with their commands, but it can be hard to tell between a command, and a deniable request to surrender your rights.

    "Do you mind stepping out of the car?" That is a command, no choice on your part

    "Do you mind if I search your vehicle?" You should say no, it is a choice

    I try to be as polite as possible, refer to them as Sir or Ma'am, use thank you and please if appropriate. I also ask "Am I required to" to most of their requests.
    That does irritate some cops, usually the same ones that keep trying to get you to consent to a vehicle search after you initially declined consent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  17. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    Just so you know, and your get the most out of your two cents, sometimes an Officers opinion is required. That is how a great many things work in criminal and even in some cases civil court, as well as on the street.


    It may very well be my opinion that you need to go to Jail for not wearing a seatbelt. I dont have to take you to Jail for not wearing a seatbelt, I dont even have to issue you a citation but I can very well take you to Jail for it, and there are situations where the exercise of such an opinion is very justifiable.
     
  18. Glock.23

    Glock.23

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    IDK if you read APD's post but talking of "ending a persons life", is a little too strong for my taste. To me in my "opinion" its sounds quite the contrary of a man representing the law in which state he is employed... He makes a few rather STRONGLY opinion based statements as to how much he doesnt like the way society is.. I'd think maybe he should move to another job where he isnt issued a badge and trusted with enforcing the law..
     
  19. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    You are now moderating your postion. You have gone from you weren't sworn in to inflict your opinion on people regardless of the crime they commited to justification based on degree.

    You cant have it both ways. I understand what you are getting at, however, I am pointing out the irony of the fact that you used a "strong opinion" and now after learning a little something about the subject have been forced to moderate your postion.
     
  20. Glock.23

    Glock.23

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    What are you getting at? You've informed me of nothing more than the fact you blindly defend those with a badge.. And your damn right i used a strong opinion I'm no Local LEO... My interpretation of what you first posted was your defending some guys opinion when you clearly didnt see what he wrote.. I'm not moderating anything "COPS ARENT PAID TO MAKE BIAS DECISIONS" if that was the case every a-hole with a inclination to be overly opinionated would have a gun and badge backed by some state,city, providence or county. It don't work like that it's called "Due Process" :whistling: