Here’s a nice little tale

Here’s a nice little tale
go 4th

Police in Aurora, Colo., searching for suspected bank robbers stopped every car at an intersection, handcuffed all the adults and searched the cars, one of which they believed was carrying the suspect.

“Warrant”? What is this warrant you speak of?

Police said they had received what they called a “reliable” tip that the culprit in an armed robbery at a Wells Fargo bank committed earlier was stopped at the red light.

“We didn’t have a description, didn’t know race or gender or anything, so a split-second decision was made to stop all the cars at that intersection, and search for the armed robber,” Aurora police Officer Frank Fania told ABC News.

Officers barricaded the area, halting 19 cars.

“Most of the adults were handcuffed, then were told what was going on and were asked for permission to search the car,” Fania said. “They all granted permission, and once nothing was found in their cars, they were un-handcuffed.

The search lasted between an hour and a half and two hours, and it wasn’t until the final car was searched that police apprehended the suspect.

…The other people who had been held at the intersection were allowed to leave once the suspect was apprehended.

Isn’t that always the way — what you’re looking for is always in the last place ya look. ha. ha.

The way I read that is
– the cops had no idea who they were chasing;
– they felt free to stop 19 cars and — at gunpoint — handcuff the occupants who were suspected for no other reason than being in a particular place at a particular time;
– having been cuffed and searched, “with permission,” the regular citizens were still held for “between an hour and a half and two hours” until the “suspect” was apprehended.

I cannot decide whether I am more appalled at the “split-second decision” of the cops or that 19 random folks would go along with this, giving permission for a search. Not much you can do about being handcuffed at gunpoint. At the time…

Here are some of the “willing” Aurora citizens. “Look, Ma! I gots my picture in the paper!!”

Here’s the “official” response:

Police Chief Daniel Oates on Monday apologized to the innocent bystanders that got caught up in the search for the suspect. Oates also said the ends justify the means since the suspect was caught.

That old trope…

Oates would not discuss the tracking technology used, but called it a “virtual certainty” that the suspect was among the 40 people stopped and handcuffed.

…[The suspect] had one previous arrest — Oates called him extraordinarily dangerous. [which was completely unknown to the police at the time of the "split-second decision]

…Oates called the stops lawful and necessary.

While the article did state that evidence specific to the robbery was found in the suspect’s vehicle, it does not address why those handcuffed and searched were not allowed to go on their way once evidence was Not found in their cars.

This creeps me out. Just Me™?

Here’s your final tidbit:

Oats said the police department has received about five complaints regarding the methods used, but none of them came from any of the 40 people who were detained.

Another Nudge Balloon?


  1. Paul
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

    Sue ‘em.

    In Houston years ago they arrested EVERYBODY in a shopping mall parking lot for vagrancy. Famlies, kids, adults going to the stores. And yes they had their pants sued off of ‘em.

    If they tried that stunt here I’d refuse the search (for several reasons, a) you may have something illegal in the car you didn’t even know was illegal, b) things can be planted in there, c) IT’S YOUR CAR, NOT THEIRS!!

    So no, it’s my policy to say ‘NO’ and if they want to wait hours for a drug sniffing dog, that’s fine with me.

    They can tell me I’m to blame if the bad guy gets away. They can tell me if anything is found illegal they will ignore it (police can LIE all the want according to the law in an investigation.)

    But no.. no search.

    And ‘the ends justify the means’???? Hell, HITLER said that kind of thing. Mao said that kind of thing. Pol Pot said that kind of thing. No, the ends do NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.

  2. Caged Insanity
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

    2nd amendment was needed a loooooong time ago folks.

    The country is not “on the edge” of destruction. It is over the cliff and more than half way down. Most people just won’t accept that fact.

    Our future is sealed. It is not freedom, it is not prosperity, it is starvation, torture, disease, and death.

  3. kirsten
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    honestly most folks having been handcuffed at gun point are to scared to say “why no.. person who is clearly willing to shoot me, i do NOT give permission…”

  4. Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    Nope, Ya’ll get a Warrant and make an arrest first, so that it makes my Lawyer’s job easier when I sue you to your shorts.

  5. Alan outback bacon czar
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

    You have two questions to ask. 1. Am I under arrest? 2. Am I free to go?. If they spout off about a law, “Terry vs Ohio”, ask what they suspect the “Criminal activity afoot” is.

  6. Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    “May we search your car”?

    Am I obligated by law to let you?”


    “You may not search my car”.

  7. Henri Claude
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    ..I do not cooperate with police….the Supreme Court has ruled that police have no obligation or duty to protect citizens from crime or criminals…..police carry weapons for their own self-protection, not to protect citizens…..and police have no obligation to tell the truth about anything either…..

    ….the article does not speculate on what would have been the outcome had “the people” refused to be taken into custody and refused to allow an illegal search……I would have refused both……what was the bank robber thinking, he was in the very last car to be searched, while he was sitting there observing all of this going on in front of him?…..hmmm???

    ….would you enjoy being handcuffed and helpless while a gunbattle broke out around you between a bank robber and trigger happy cops?…..could’ve easily happened yannow…..

  8. mech
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm |

    Trying to decide how to put this doormat on my truck.

    Isn’t Aurora a hippie hive? Or is that boulder?

  9. JoeBandMember®
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

    Coming soon to your neighborhood, regardless of which party we “think” is in power.

    Years of conditioning are paying off.

    But not for the law abiding.

  10. Ironic in Denver
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

    The people I know in Denver today are:
    a) Wondering WTF happened to the bill of rights.
    b) Remarking that they stay out of Aurora as much as possible already (for many reasons, none savory).
    c) Thinking that some civil liberties lawyer(s) are about to have a heyday.

    The thing that troubles me is that this many ordinary citizens tolerated this abuse without protest.

    What I’m wondering, actually, is whether, in the legal sense, there is any probable cause at all, and if not whether the DA is actually going to succeed in trying the guy they caught. As some have already pointed out, this is not Nazi-Fucking-Germany…. at least not yet.

    Also: what JoeBandMember (9) said.

  11. Ironic in Denver
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm |

    One lady I know said, “Any apology that has a “but” * in the middle of it isn’t an apology at all, so fuck you very much.”

    * As in “I’m sorry we trampled your rights, but… “

  12. Ironic in Denver
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm |

    Mech (8):

    Boy I like that mat.

    Boulder is a bizarre yuppie-meets-hippie-meets-whacky-leftist-overentitled-1%ers. It is a very weird place. And by the way, the so-called hippies there are not peaceful, or even passive aggressive. They are snobby, mean-spirited, aggressive, loudmouthed, over-educated and under-reality-checked cretins.

    Aurora, while there are some nice folks in it, is described by a friend who grew up there as “The Denver Metro Area’s very own ghetto.” Which is amazing, since, if I recall correctly, it has about the same population as the City of Denver proper, does a better job of clearing its streets of snow for much less money, and has a nice looking city hall. It is also a low-life place. The atmosphere and everything else goes straight down hill as soon as you cross the border from Denver (which is not exactly a vibrant center of urban enlightenment itself). Aurora also used to be referred to by nasty names which referenced its over population of arabs, and what not. Might still be.

    I can’t stand the place. I’d guess the percentage of drug babies is higher there than Denver, impossible though this might seem, and if you hear there’s been a shooting at an area mall, you kind of assume, until you get the facts, that it is probably one in Aurora. Who knows? Maybe they’ve cleaned it up some in the last decade since I started avoiding the place completely, but I doubt it. The only thing it hasn’t got much of is hippies, which I would take over the arabs any day. They had a case about an Saudi dirtbag & his wife keeping a foreign national sex-slave out there a few years back. I think they wound up pretty much getting away with it because of being fucking Saudis.

    err…. a little heat here. Maybe I hate my fellow man tonight. I’m going to climb back in my coffin now and take a nice long nap.

  13. MikeG
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm |

    Oh HELL no! People just sat there like sheep? Are you FUCKING kidding me?

  14. Freddie Sykes
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

    Never give permission to a search… never waive your right to remain silent.

    Dont Talk to Police

  15. Paladin
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 8:27 am |

    A few things I’ve found out when working with cops in Idaho. They like it when criminals give them permission to search their stuff. I’ve heard it expressed as, “The dumbass didn’t even make me get a warrant.”

    When I’ve asked, it’s been unanimous that they would never give permission to a search. “Not without a warrant.”

    That’s just smart. And if the cop is fair, he or she won’t get bent out of shape if you decline the search.

    The cops deal with a lot of the dregs of society. Usually if you’re respectful, they appreciate it and reciprocate.

    Of course that’s Idaho: Probably the most libertarian state next to Alaska.

  16. Ironic in Denver
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |

    ^ Interesting perspective, Paladin.

  17. Posted June 6, 2012 at 9:08 am |

    You don’t detain without an RAS.

    Everyone of those folks sitting on the ground in that picture can get a lawyer, and claim they feigned consent because they were held at gunpoint.

  18. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 11:29 am |

    A line of *hardned criminals* if I ever saw one!

  19. ZZMike
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    I see a few lawyers getting big grins on their faces.

    Now does anybody see how close we are to a police state?

    The weird thing is, there’s a fine line between society and chaos (=anarchy), and that fine line is a blue one. There’s another fine line between society and a police state, and that fine line is a blue one.

    Delicate balance, that,

  20. Merovign
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    In the alternate universe I come from, the Soviets *lost* the Cold War.

    I think I want to go back.

  21. jazz
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 4:24 am |

    What I want to know is, where can I steal that avatar?