I'm sure it varies by state, but I've seen many, many examples of police asking random citizens to identify themselves. If the person refuses, they're detained until the cop determines who they are.
Of course that happens. But it is illegal.
You're telling me that the cops on "COPS" routinely
break the law, even though there is a TV camera literally standing right next to them? You're telling me that these illegal acts by the police are broadcast on TV, on a weekly basis, and yet the Attorney General has not gotten involved, even after literally 2 decades of "COPS" on TV?
DoingHomework, with all due respect, I find that very, very hard to believe. If trusted officers of the law are frequently shown violating fundamental constitutional rights on public television week after week, I'm confident they would have been called on it by now. What you're saying just doesn't make sense. It's like saying police regularly plant evidence, on camera, and nobody has ever called "foul" over it.
I've literally seen this happen multiple times, on camera. So, were these officers blatantly and repeatedly breaking the law, on camera?
Most of the idiots you see on Cops don't know that or are doing something illegal that the cop witnesses.
Fair enough, and I've certainly seen episodes which fit what you describe. But I've also seen several cases where the person literally did nothing wrong. One in particular I'm thinking of was a case where police responded to a domestic disturbance at an apartment building. They were investigating, and a crowd formed outside in the parking lot. One of the people in the crowd was yelling at the cops, "Leave her alone! She ain't done nuthin' wrong! Go back to the donut shop!" One officer walked over and confronted the man. She demanded to see his ID. "I ain't got no ID." She asked him his name. "Lucky." She asked for his real name. "I ain't gotta tell you nuthin'. I'm done talking to you."
You can guess what happened next. She cuffed him and stuffed him in the back of her car. Turns out he had 2 outstanding warrants.
But how was she legally able to learn that, if he hadn't done anything illegal at all? Sure, he was rude and belligerent, but neither of those things are illegal. Did the cop break the law? Will the man go free on a technicality? Will the cop be reprimanded? Suspended? Fired? Violating constitutional rights is a serious transgression for an officer of the law, isn't it? And with the TV crew surrounding her, she would have had to have been collossally stupid to do that, knowing it would be broadcast all over the country.
Or is what she did legal? Does she actually know
what she can legally demand, and she used that to put a wanted criminal behind bars?
If you pay close attention to Law and Order (also required reading on the American Law 101 syllabus) you will note that when they bring someone in that person is always free to leave unless the cops actually witnessed a crime being committed.
Right.But they do have to reveal their identity.
The cops won't just let them walk until they know who that person is (and, more relevantly, if they have any outstanding warrants). The cops will not let them leave until they can verify their identity.
Absent a police witness there must either be probable cause that the police can defend at an arraignment hearing within a few hours or there must be an arrest warrent issued by a judge based on PC.
That's accurate, once the police know who someone is
. You're absolutely right, they can't hold someone without laying charges. But they can
hold someone until they know whether or not that person is currently wanted, and they can't know that unless they know the person's identity. Thus, they can hold someone for as long as it takes to verify that person's identity. I've literally seen it happen on TV!
DoingHomework, all these times I've seen it happen on "COPS", it's not like it was the same cop doing it in every episode. The segments were filmed in different cities, with different cops, all over the country. And yet they're all doing it. So are cops systematically trained to routinely violate consistutional rights? Or is what they're doing actually legal?
Can you see why I'm so skeptical of what you're saying? It seems so much more far-fetched than what appears to be the more obvious answer (that it's legal).
I think you fail to understand the freedoms that the US was founded upon and how those are being trampled on by this law.
DoingHomework, I think you'll agree that this is far from the first law to trample on one of the principles on which your country was founded. Since 9/11, it's been open season on constitutional freedoms. Try this: Take a camera (a nice, big SLR, not a little point-and-shoot), walk up to any federal building (I recommend an IRS building, they've been particularly touchy since that plane crash), stand on the sidewalk (totally public property), and just start taking pictures. See how long it takes for a guard to come over and order you to stop. Ask him if he wants you to delete the photos, and when he says "yes," say "too bad." See if you're "free" to refuse to identify yourself. See if you're "free" to just walk away.
What do you think
will happen in that situation? Do you think the guards will act within the law? Do you think maybe you'll find that they have a bunch of laws on their side that you didn't even know had been passed, and that have stripped you of many of the rights you think you have?