So I watch some cop shows. Police Women of Broward County is my favorite, and I actually record it. If I’m up and browsing channels, though, I’ll stop at the show about Alaska State Troopers, and there’s apparently a new one on about wildlife officers in Minnesota or Washington or somewhere.
And I enjoy them. Especially Police Women of Broward County. But I’m increasingly disturbed by the FLAGRANT display of police tromping all over people’s rights.
1. Police Women of Broward County. They sometimes pull people over because of suspicious behavior when it turns out that there is a logical, noncriminal explanation. But in FL, I guess, people are required to disclose if they have a weapon in the car. Invariably, if there is a weapon in the car, then the police want to search the car to see what else is in there. Legally, they can’t do it without either permission or a warrant, so they ask permission and if the driver refuses, they pull the “the only reason you’d refuse is if you had something to hide” crap. Seriously? If it is legal to carry a weapon in your car with a permit, then you have not broken the law and you do NOT have to allow law enforcement to search your vehicle.
2. Same show. One of the officers stops a guy on a bike for driving recklessly and weaving in and out of traffic. She suspects he’s intoxicated. He’s not. She asks to search him anyway. He’s flirting like crazy with her and allows her to search him. She finds nothing. She lets him go. WHY search him?
3. This wildlife officer one. They’re using a robodeer to try to catch poachers. Shortly after getting robodeer set up, a suspicious car slows down, then stops and backs up. The officers RUN out to nab the poacher. Oh, wait. It’s just an overweight dude and his wife. They have no weapons, they just saw a deer standing close to the road and wanted to watch it. There is NO CRIME IN THAT. Officers search the car anyway and find… nothing. Then he shoos the couple away by telling them that the real issue is that they stopped near state property. What? Is that a crime? To stop in public lands? Lands which they, the taxpayers, own as a group? Really? Hm. Later on, they busted another couple for shining their headlights on the deer. OOOOooooo. Yes, well, you gotta watch out for those dangerous Headlight Shiners. They also didn’t have weapons and were merely watching the deer. Frankly, if I saw a deer close to the road who didn’t run away, I’d be watching him, too.
I mean, I guess, in reality, the officers are all within their rights. They asked permission and in each case, the law abiding citizen gave it. So perhaps my ire might more properly be directed at the people in these scenarios. Why are you allowing officers to search your person or your property when you’ve done nothing wrong and they don’t even have probable cause??