LEO's out of Control!

Imperial Sand Dune Recreation Area • Including Buttercup & Gordon's Well

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RocketScientist
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LEO's out of Control!

Post by RocketScientist »

Can't camp over at Gordon's Well without getting harassed by the LEO's. Other places are not as bad, but I've still had issues with law harassment. We got LEO's circling our camp without their lights on. If I rode around without lights at night, it's a $100 fine. Whenever we come back from a night ride, we get LEO's rolling into our camp checking everyone without any probable cause. We also have LEO's making up rules on the spot and threatening us with a fine if we don't comply. Of course, we can't spend a holiday weekend at the dunes without the LEO's inspecting our equipment several times over. Oh yeah, why do we have drug dogs sniffing our trailers?

Seriously, why can’t they just leave us alone? Can someone start a petition for us to sign to fight the harassment? Can we get signs made and T-shirts?

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Glamisbound »

Hum, I didn't get "harassed" once. Had a few Rangers and Deputies wave to me actually. I saw them tend to several downed riders over a five day period during seperate incidents. I saw them stopped several people at the drags that deserved to be stopped. And I saw them giving up their holiday with their family to provide protection and medical services to thousands and thousands of duners.

As an experieced LEO, I can tell you I wouldn't waste my time keeping close tabs on a camp site that didn't peek my interest for some reason.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

For the record, RocketScientist was in our camp (more like we were in his camp) over Thanksgiving and is talking in large part about the experience we had which I shared immediately following that.

Even the off duty officer in camp had big problems with the behavior of the BLM and ICSO that weekend. And it was the reason why most of our group decided to call of any other holiday weekends (like this past one) in the dunes.

And why the UDG will probably have to find a new group to help with the cleanup at Buttercup after this year (Since the cleanup is a holiday weekend that for some reason always seems to have the most over the top LEO presence of the year.)

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Glamisbound »

Then why post it again and make the implication that it was a different incident??

I trust what you have to say Jason b/c I've known you on these boards for years and you seam like a very smart person who tells it like it is. Of all the LEO bashing I've seen, I felt like yours was probably the most acruate and/or believable I had read in quite a while.

With that said...I also think like a cop since I've been one so long...and there has to be a reason they were drawn to your camp in the first place?? Based on your side of the story I will say it was handled poorly...but there is still another side of the story we haven't heard.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by RocketScientist »

In the past years, I've had to ask the LEO's name and supervisor because of their behavior. I've never followed up by calling their supervisor. I usually find that they are quite apologetic after I start asking for their supervisor name and phone number. There is no grey line between “protect and serve” and harass. From now on, I won't hesitate to give their supervisor as much hell as their people are giving me.

You see the law enforcement works for the people to protect and serve the people. It is not a police state. The law enforcement agencies are sanctioned by the congress which is elected by the people.

I don’t want their presence to go away. I appreciate that when someone gets hurt, they are there to help, but while no-one is hurt, they are doing nothing more than generating revenue and bullying the duners. When I get stopped for “not having a permit” when the permit is clearly displayed in the proper location, the LEO’s are stepping out of their boundaries. They only use that as an excuse to look through your vehicle.

By the way, I’ve been going to the dunes since before there was a permit required. The only ticket I’ve ever gotten is when I drove to Glamis from Gordon’s and back many years ago. A fellow duner kept getting stuck and it got dark before our group could get back. I got a ticket for no head lights. That was my fault, and other than that, I have been squeaky clean. There is no reason for the harassment and it needs to stop.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by GlamisSandDuner »

If any LEO's that are out in glamis are reading this then please start harassing all of the a holes that are flying down the wash road. Radar enforcement would be great and also start ticketing OHV's that are driving on the road illegally. Thanks for your help :wink:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Woodglue »

[-X No, no, let that road get whooped out. :wink:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by ChuckZilla »

I camped Monday 12/30 to Sat 1/2 at Gordon's and got one visit from a Ranger because one of my camp mates forgot to re-hang his pass after returning from a trip to town. Ranger was very friendly, didn't cite, and didn't inspect our camp other than a casual look across camp, we chatted, shook hands, and that was it. Great week. Did 5 days over T-day, bigger camp, zero visits. Not discounting anyone else's experiences, just relaying my own.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

RocketScientist wrote:We got LEO's circling our camp without their lights on. If I rode around without lights at night, it's a $100 fine.
GB can verify this, but if you can prove they weren't performing their duty and were just "stalking" you, photograph it, video it, get witnesses to it and file a complaint. Probably not much is going to come of it. Also, shine a bright light at them. Every time they do it. It's your right to know who is circling your camp without lights on. It's also your right to record it. Just don't be a dick about it.
Whenever we come back from a night ride, we get LEO's rolling into our camp checking everyone without any probable cause.
Define "checking out". If they were checking your vehicles for proper licensing, I don't think they need a reason. If they were asking you for id, searching you or otherwise harassing you, again, record it and report it. Don't be a dick about it.
We also have LEO's making up rules on the spot and threatening us with a fine if we don't comply.
IF they did this, tell us what, exactly, they made up. IF they did this, it's up to you to know the rules and call them on their shenanigans. As always, record it, have witnesses. Just don't be a dick about any of it... That will get you no-where except more attention.

Oh, and while I'm not a LEO, I know a ton of them and camp with them all the time, and I also stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, so I can tell you fairly certainly that they probably weren't giving you a bunch of attention for no reason. I'm willing to be someone in your camp was seen doing something questionable. You don't have to be breaking the law to be bringing attention to yourselves. Just sayin'.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by RocketScientist »

I'm not making this up. I go to the dunes very regularly and have seen the LEO's go from a positive presence to one of a revenue generator. They are not there to help. It's a cash cow for them and we are easy prey. One of the people camped next to us last week witnessed an accident. The first LEO on the scene did not help the injured person. Instead, his first course of action was to go around to the people and ask if anyone had seen the injured person drinking. Apparently the guy had not been drinking, but regardless if he had, the LEO's first course of action should have been to provide assistance to the injured person and worry about writing tickets later.

As far as the LEO's harassing me, my friend gave me a good idea. This goes along with what Rekd posted. We are going to make a huge sign stating that "Harassment by LEO's will be video taped and posted on You Tube".

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by LoBuck »

From the January 2010 "What's New in the ASA":
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND YOU!
ASA’s new Executive Director Nicole Nicholas Gilles attended a recent meeting hosted by American Motorcycle Association’s District 38 at the El Centro Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss law enforcement contacts in the Superstition and Ocotillo Wells riding areas. Over nine different racing groups and several OHV enthusiasts expressed concern about what they perceived as inappropriate law enforcement contacts with users.

The ASA has received several similar inquiries by visitors in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. In an effort to gather useful information, ASA members are encouraged to complete a brief questionnaire with the pertinent details regarding your citation or dealings whether they be positive or negative with local law enforcement. To view and submit the form, please click this link: http://www.asasand.com/leoform/form.html

Please understand that this must be first hand information, not hearsay or third party recollections. The ASA will not advocate on behalf of anyone’s position regarding a citation. We cannot and will not be involved in “fighting” your ticket. The intent of gathering this information is to provide an accurate database upon which ASA can carry out effective discussion with law enforcement managers.

Education of our membership and effective communication with the agencies will lead to enhanced relations with the agencies.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Woodglue »

:roll: To quote someone I know (named Dick), "It used to be a good name".
How much would it suck to wake up one day and your name is someone's cuss word for a male appendage? :roll:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Glamisbound »

Woodglue wrote::roll: To quote someone I know (named Dick), "It used to be a good name".
How much would it suck to wake up one day and your name is someone's cuss word for a male appendage? :roll:
You OK :|
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Woodglue »

of course. :wink:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by gelwell »

Glamisbound wrote:
Woodglue wrote::roll: To quote someone I know (named Dick), "It used to be a good name".
How much would it suck to wake up one day and your name is someone's cuss word for a male appendage? :roll:
You OK :|
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

Rekd wrote:
RocketScientist wrote: We also have LEO's making up rules on the spot and threatening us with a fine if we don't comply.
IF they did this, tell us what, exactly, they made up.
:crickets:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

Oh, and Mike, I meant the OP shouldn't go around trying to investigate those things. Not sure where you got the idea you did... :lol:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

Rekd wrote:
Rekd wrote:
RocketScientist wrote: We also have LEO's making up rules on the spot and threatening us with a fine if we don't comply.
IF they did this, tell us what, exactly, they made up.
:crickets:
I wish I could answer. Unfortunately I wasn't willing to put the rest of our camps necks on the line to find out. Most of the camp was RocketScientists co-workers and their families, other rocket scientists to be honest (and I mean that seriously not jokingly.) I was one of the latecomers that weekend and to be honest there were one or two "camps" within our camp that I never even got to meet that weekend.

I still don't know what we did wrong initially because simply asking what we were doing wrong was the second thing we did wrong and the one that made the office want to start escalating the contact.

When simply asking in a polite voice and non-threatening manner (not to mention stone cold sober) "What are we doing wrong?" results in an officer daring you to "open your mouth just one more time" or he'd start writing you "so many cites you'll never forget what you're doing wrong!" the problem isn't with the camp it's with the officers who are not acting reasonably, responsibly, or within the limits of the laws they're meant to be enforcing.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by LoBuck »

Woodglue wrote::roll: To quote someone I know (named Dick), "It used to be a good name".
How much would it suck to wake up one day and your name is someone's cuss word for a male appendage? :roll:
Rekd was cautioning not to be a private eye/detective.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Woodglue »

Rekd wrote:Oh, and Mike, I meant the OP shouldn't go around trying to investigate those things. Not sure where you got the idea you did... :lol:
Riiiight. :wink:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by L&L Corvairs »

Jason,

Did you or anyone get this LEO's name and badge number? If not, why, and if so, did you report it?
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Brian_A »

I spent 4 days in the dunes over new years. Never even spoke to a LEO during that time. As a matter of fact
I discovered when I was leaving that I forgot to post my 1 week pass on the mirror for the entire stay. Since I bought it a few weeks earlier I had shoved it in the glove box and forgot to put in on mirror in my haste to unload.
I was pretty surprised that no LEO had said anything about it during those 4 days.

Although... in past trips I have had a few run ins with some officers who were less than professional.... even when treated respectfully. Like every other profession in the world.... their are good ones and their are bad ones...

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

L&L Corvairs wrote:Jason,

Did you or anyone get this LEO's name and badge number? If not, why, and if so, did you report it?
As I explained in the original post. Before I was able to ask for a name or badge number I was told "Open your mouth one more time and you'll all get so many cites you'll never forget what you were doing wrong!"

Since I was more or less the guest in that camp (there being more people I didn't know than did know at that time, most of them having been there for nearly a week and me just having arrived a few hours ago) I was in a position where requesting that information stood a very high chance of putting the people I was camped with in a position I had no business putting them in.

Even the off duty officer in camp afterwards commented that he was convinced that even a legitimate request (like name and badge number) would have resulted in the officer who came into our camp escalating the situation based on his behavior.

If it had been just me, or a smaller camp of just my friends I probably would have pushed for a name and badge number. After all I live close enough that I could go to court for any unjustified citations - or accept my lumps if there was something we were honestly doing that was against the rules. But in a camp of people I barely knew, most of whom lived too far away to come back to socal to fight a groundless citation I had to do what I felt was better for the rest of my camp than what I felt was the "right" thing to do.

I have filled out the ASA's form and have gotten a call back from Nicole - hopefully next week our schedules will mesh so I can share the full details with her directly.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by RocketScientist »

Check this out... I went to Google and typed this in "law enforcement dunes". Guess what was the very first hit that showed up. Check it out for yourself. This link is what came up from the Google serch from a blog last year http://imperialsanddunesatv.blogspot.co ... dunes.html

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Woodglue »

Over the past two holidays, we camped a total of 13 nights in Wash 24 with a large group. During this time, we saw LEO's and WEP Permit Staff check out vehilces for Permits several times.
On one occasion, long time BLM Ranger "Merl" came into our camp and greeted the kids, handed out 'badges' and Trading Cards.
In our area, the only time I've seen LEO's hassle anyone was when (in my opionin) they deserved it.

I share this, my expereince, only to illustrate that the 'out of control' issues are not happeing in all of the ISDRA.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

RocketScientist wrote:Check this out...
Check THIS out... you still haven't told us what "rules" the LEO's "made up". Are you just making THAT up? :roll:

And Jason, unless you were doing something wrong, I'm really disappointed that you let the LEOs push you around like that.

I'm a skinny, long haired white boy that who attracts attention just for existing, and I have never let any LEO push me around like that. Ever. And they have certainly tried: I've had guns drawn on me, had them get uppity in my face, been handcuffed, and so on. Never been taken in OR ticketed for knowing the law and letting them know I knew.

Even so: Let 'em write me up for everything they can. If they can. I'll see them in court and in their supervisor's office. Especially if I'm in a camp full of people (witnesses).
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

Rekd wrote:
RocketScientist wrote:Check this out...
Check THIS out... you still haven't told us what "rules" the LEO's "made up". Are you just making THAT up?
How can we when they never told us? They came into camp with lights out and demanded that the guy putting wood on the fire drop that log and not put any more wood on because the fire was "too big." Mind you it was smaller than many other fires out there that night and the fire the had the next night - and far smaller than our normal campfire.

That was why I asked what we were doing wrong. I wanted to know what the rule was about the size of a campfire. Which was when the officer chose to try and escalate the situation. Instead of giving us information and educating us he tried to goad us into giving him any excuse (which he made clear included me opening my mouth for ANYTHING) to escalate the contact.
And Jason, unless you were doing something wrong, I'm really disappointed that you let the LEOs push you around like that.
For all I know there may be a new rule about the size of campfires. I haven't heard anything about one and I tend to be on top of that kind of thing...but I keep an open mind and that's why I asked what we were doing wrong.

If it had just been my own neck on the line, yes I would have pushed the matter to find out what we may be doing wrong and what the officers name/badge # were. But again - I had to weight the situation and with the attitude this officer was displaying there was no way I was going to subject the rest of camp and instead chose to do what he should have done and tried to prevent the situation from escalating.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

RocketScientist wrote: We also have LEO's making up rules on the spot and threatening us with a fine if we don't comply.
jhitesma wrote:How can we when they never told us?
So were they making things up or weren't they? Just trying to get clarity, Jason. Sounded to me like he was being over-dramatic because he refuses to answer my question as to what rules they were making up.

You say they said the fire was too big? That sounds like something they made up. That also sound like something you should have stood your ground on if it wasn't too big.

You had a whole camp full of people there as witnesses.

Why didn't you just call 911 and say there were LEOs there threatening you with rules that didn't exist?

Why didn't you ask the LEOs that were harassing you to either ticket you or go away?

Why didn't you respectfully ask for a badge number, name, and supervisor's name?

Would they ticket you for that, too? Fine! Let them. Take your 5 or 10 or 20 camp-mates to the supervisor and make your case. File a complaint against the LEOs. The next guy it happens to might do the same thing. His boss will get the hint I'm sure.

Sounds to me like they walked all over you because you let them. If you know you're not breaking any laws why would you let this go as far as you did?

They're only going to do it again because they know people are afraid of them...

:edit: I re-read this reply and it kind of sounds out of line. Don't mean to be baggin' on you. Sorry.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

I can only repeat my explanations so many times before I have to just assume people aren't even reading them.

If you still don't get it. Go back and read my other thread about this and the rest of my posts about it above and on Glamis Dunes.com. If you don't get it after that...all I can assume is you're not getting it by choice. The questions have been answered multiple times and apparently me answering them again doesn't make any difference to your understanding.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

jhitesma wrote:I can only repeat my explanations so many times before I have to just assume people aren't even reading them.

If you still don't get it. Go back and read my other thread about this and the rest of my posts about it above and on Glamis Dunes.com. If you don't get it after that...all I can assume is you're not getting it by choice. The questions have been answered multiple times and apparently me answering them again doesn't make any difference to your understanding.
Wow. Take a deep breath, Jason. In through the nose, out through the mouth. There, don't you feel better? :shock:

I haven't read the "other" thread. If you want to provide a link, by all means.... but I'm not going to go through what could be hundreds of threads looking for the one you're talking about, so don't get your panties in a wad because I didn't read something that's not here in this thread that we're talking about, mkthx. [-X

Nobody answered my question until your last post before this one. i.e. the fire was too big. If you answered it in another thread, like I said, provide a link.

Sheesh. :roll:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

Rekd wrote: If you answered it in another thread, like I said, provide a link.
Could have sworn I had included the link in my original reply to this thread:
http://www.americansandassociation.org/ ... =8&t=25975

The link to the Glamis Dunes discussion is in that thread as well.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

Thanks for the link(s). I'll read them and get back to you later.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

Interesting. I haven't read the whole thread, but I read your recollection of the incident. As for the OP, there was no "making up" of rules. The LEO actually admitted it was only "common sense" not to let the fire get that big, whether it was safe or not. (I'm sure it was more than safe).

As for the situation, I think in a case like that I would have slipped away and called 911 to report an intoxicated officer harassing duners for no reason. Sounds like he was hyped up on something besides his badge, if you know what I mean. I've seen plenty of LEOs with a God complex from their badges. Sounds like there was something else at work here.

Sounds like you don't want to talk about it any more. That's up to you. Hope you don't mind if I do talk about it though. That might just fit in nicely for my next installment of "What Grinds Your Gears".
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by L&L Corvairs »

Jason,

FWIW…You made a judgment call. You did what you felt was best for all concerned at the time. I wasn’t there and am in no place to second guess your decision.

One has to keep in mind that standing up for your ‘rights’ with the LEO in the field may result in a journey to jail and a nasty interruption to ones vacation. One must consider if it's really worth it.

I’ve had no recent interactions with law enforcement in the dunes, so I don’t know what will happen to me in a similar situation. I know that without getting the LEO’s info, nothing will change.

This has been an ongoing issue since I joined the BBS in ’02. As always, I considered the source, just as I do now. But the increasingly negative incidents that I hear about from what I consider to be highly reputable people (like Jason) concerns me deeply.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

L&L Corvairs wrote: One has to keep in mind that standing up for your ‘rights’ with the LEO in the field may result in a journey to jail and a nasty interruption to ones vacation. One must consider if it's really worth it.

I’ve had no recent interactions with law enforcement in the dunes, so I don’t know what will happen to me in a similar situation. I know that without getting the LEO’s info, nothing will change.
The problem is in the eyes of the kind of LEO's that are causing the problem trying to get their info so you can follow up properly is exactly the kind of thing they're looking for to escalate the situation.

This officer made it VERY clear that if I opened my mouth again it didn't matter what came out - he was breaking out the cite book and the fine toothed comb. That's the point that quite a few Monday morning quarterbacks seem to be missing. It was a perfectly reasonable and polite question "What are we doing wrong?" that set off this officer. If you can't even ask a question that simple and relevant to the situation (if he can't answer it he has no business coming into a camp and laying down threats in the first place) without the officer becoming literally enraged and combative there's no way you can inquire about his name and badge number without inflating the situation.

Quite simply it was obvious that the officer in question was looking for a fight and trying to antagonize one. I know (and I'm sure he knew as well) that it was entirely within my rights to ask for a supervisor and/or get his information. But he also made it very clear that he was in a mind to consider ANY question as an attack on his authority and an excuse to escalate his contact. I have a rule about giving bullies the excuse they're looking for. And it doesn't matter if they're a punk kid or an officer with an attitude. I don't lower myself to their level and give them what they want.

I don't hold it against anyone for questioning the veracity of my account. Until it happened to us I simply didn't believe it could happen and that the stories from other were embellished or fabricated. And I still believe that a good number of reports are just that. But until you witness first hand the kind of treatment we were subjected to you really can't say how you'll react or how it will affect you. Most of those in our camp are still embarrassed to even talk about the contact because it made them feel like criminals for doing nothing more than sitting around a campfire with their family. It doesn't matter that no cite was written - the message was clear "You're not wanted here" and it was not a message anyone in that camp was prepared to hear from the very people who are supposed to be making it safe for us to be there in the first place.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by RocketScientist »

Let’s put everything aside for a second and consider this…

When you get into an accident on a highway, you might get one or two police vehicles and an ambulance. On a busy weekend in the dunes, if you get into an accident, there are 10 to 15 LEO vehicles around the scene. Seriously, it’s like swatting a fly with a 15 pound sledgehammer. At some point it becomes ridicules to add more people to a situation. RIDICULES. (This is called waste) It is just pointless to have that many LEO’s out there. I can understand that times are tough and cops need work and the government doesn’t have any money, but this turnip is running dry. It’s time to say enough. Everyone knows that if there wasn’t money to be made in the dunes, the LEO’s wouldn’t be there. There is no city to warrant their existence in the dunes. The LEO’s working at the dunes owe their existence to dunes pass sales, government funding, and writing tickets. It’s obvious when you visit on an off-weekend at Gordon’s Well and there aren’t any LEO’s to be found. This is because there isn’t any money to be made.

How about this…. Send the LEO’s to some place that will do some good. Imagine what would happen if we sent all those LEO’s to a place that would do some good like the inner cities where gang bangers live. Oh wait a minute… there isn’t money to be made there and they may get shot…

I don't mind all those LEO's there, but when they start harassing, it's time for them to go.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

jhitesma wrote: That's the point that quite a few Monday morning quarterbacks seem to be missing.
If you're referring to me, the point was taken from the first time you said it. When threatened with "say another word and the ticket book comes out" has never stopped me from stating my point, and it probably never will. ESPECIALLY when I haven't done ANYTHING wrong. I'm just like that. Maybe to a fault.

Quietly noting his name/badge number would have been an absolute minimum. Or at least the tag number on his vehicle. And if it's really as bad as you say, a discreet call to 911 to report an intoxicated LEO would be the next course of action.

Just sayin'. :wink:
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by r erfert »

Rekd
Jason is fairly Mellow on Vacation

If your ever put in a simular situation,we would expect a name and badge number...
Probably not on your first call from the police station :mrgreen: but you know :)

I'd probably end up there as well asking these simple stupid questions of the peace officer.
Name?
Badge number?
Can I use my own key on these cuffs?

FWIW We go out to have a good dune experience not fight.
I was out of town and didn't miss the drama this trip at all.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Washroad »

Back in my younger days I had a leo tell me basically the same thing; shut up or get arrested.

I got arrested.

I was searched, cuffed and placed in a squad car, I was released in about 1 hour and was never booked for anything.

It can happen and no matter how much you think you know, how right you think you are, what questions you wish to ask, you can get arrested. Maybe not right, but it happens. So, unless you're willing to really push the issue, the best thing to do in that situation is stfu. Hopefully the situation will be over shortly.

I know Jason and I consider him to be a friend. He would have no reason whatsoever to tell falsehoods or embellish the situation to his favor. What happened to him should not have happened. Period. It was wrong.

Now, what do you think the leo was doing that was hanging in the shadows? He was waiting for the situation to escalate.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by L&L Corvairs »

Washroad wrote: I know Jason and I consider him to be a friend. He would have no reason whatsoever to tell falsehoods or embellish the situation to his favor.

I'll have to second that.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Rekd »

Washroad wrote:unless you're willing to really push the issue, the best thing to do in that situation is stfu. Hopefully the situation will be over shortly.
If a LEO is doing things he's not supposed to be doing, perhaps STFU is the right thing to do while you're taking steps to try to make sure he doesn't do it any more... i.e. getting badge/license number, calling 911 to report the intoxicated LEO, starting a discrete (or not so discrete) recording device, calling over more witnesses and openly stating why you want the witnesses, etc. There's lots of ways to react either confrontationally or not.

But to simply STFU and not do anything about it is simply condoning the action. That's my point, which has basically been lost here.
I know Jason and I consider him to be a friend. He would have no reason whatsoever to tell falsehoods or embellish the situation to his favor. What happened to him should not have happened. Period. It was wrong.
I don't know anyone on here. But I have been here long enough to know he probably wasn't lying. Rocketscientist, on the other hand, does not have my trust and I would question him alone telling the story, which I have done.

Now, I don't doubt this happened because Jason said it did, and my focus has shifted to why someone who is so adamant about the dunes would let something like this go without a challenge, but that's just different strokes for different folks.

Personally, I wouldn't just let it go. I'd do something to let that turd LEO know he can't push everyone around, whether it's to let him cite me up one side and down the other, or throw me in the back of the car, or call the cops on him, or visit his supervisor with a few friends and some video tape.

Something. Anything.

It sucks that it happened. It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have been let go either, and now it will happen again I'm sure. At least until it happens to someone who has the moral fortitude to do something about it and not let it go unchallenged when they know they've done nothing wrong. (Nothing personal, we are all different when it comes to how we handle uncomfortable situations.)
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Washroad »

Rocket Scientist was there when it all happened.

I agree, I wouldn't let it go, to a point.

Another story of why I let it go once.....the police stopped my mother at about 10:30pm while she was driving home. Reason for stop? Expired registration. My mother was about 83 years old at the time. The leo made her walk home, never offered a 5ft tall old lady a ride of about 10 blocks. The moofer made her walk. She had no cell phone to call anyone. When I found out about this a day or two later, I was on my way to the local pd department to complain. I was stopped by a family member that was a retired leo from this city (my mother, this family member and I all live in the same city) and told not to do it as it would just cause "the brotherhood" to come down on me for everything and anything I did. My mother was "OK" so I did as the retired leo said it would, actually would, be hard on me to complain.

Jason's situation.....I'd raise hell.

On the other hand, being surprised as they all were, getting a recording device, making a phone call to complain, etc., yeah, it all comes to mind....AFTER.

I'm agreeing with Jason in that when "certain" leos come into your camp, they have the mindset of "us against them" and it shouldn't be so. To a point, they have almost unlimited authority over us, and can and will enforce their authority, especially when it's challenged.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

Who said I've let it go?

Just because I didn't push the incident in the direction the out of control LEO wanted it to go doesn't mean I let it go.

It's a matter of knowing when and where to pick the fight. In camp that night I was holding no cards against someone with a stacked deck and a gun. That's not the time to push the issue.

I'm still following up on this through the ASA but it's taking some time just because trying to schedule myself and the right person to be on the phone at the same time is tricky due to our schedules.

But I'm not about to let my friends and family be pushed out of the dunes by the very people who are supposed to be making the dunes more welcoming. I'm sad to say that most of my friends have taken the naive view of simply ignoring the problem and going elsewhere. I enjoy the dunes too much for that to be an option, but even if I didn't it's still not the right reaction. All the other places they've run to are also BLM land. If we as recreationalists don't draw the line in the sand somewhere the problems will just get worse and spread to other areas. It's what I believe the BLM wants and why they ignore more serious problems and focus on easier citations. They're after numbers. Numbers in their log books to show they're "cracking down" and numbers of visitors going down so they don't have to deal with them. Once they achieve it in one place they move on to the next.

They chased trouble off the river and it popped up in the dunes. They chased it out of comp and into olds. They chased it out of olds and into camps at Glamis. They chased it out of camps at Glamis and now believe they've pushed it to Gordon's and that's where their big focus on assigning their best "enforcers" is now happening.

It's been plainly visible that this is their plan for a long time and I've been warning about it for years. When the BLM first got the ICSO involved in the dunes I warned that it was a bad move, that the ICSO was an undisciplined agency that plays fast and loose with the law and that it would create more tension between the BLM and visitors. Even this summer when I met the new chief ranger it seemed apparent that he may talk a good talk about wanting to improve relations...but his actions and goals were at odds with his talk. I saw this coming and shouldn't have been surprised - yet I was when it finally did happen to us.

The shock and disbelief experienced is unexplainable. It literally left our camp speechless even after the officers were gone. Even though we were never told what rule we were breaking we were left feeling like unwanted criminals.

The BLM is now loosing volunteers thanks to this kind of thing. Like I said earlier this is the last year our group is running the Buttercup signup table for the cleanup. We aren't even going to be camping this year since it's another holiday weekend and we expect the same kind of behavior from the BLM/ICSO. Our usual camp of 15-20 people is down to basically 2 and to be honest I'm not even sure how we'll pull off running the table this year. But we made our commitment and are sticking to it even though we really don't want to be out there this weekend.

But while too many of my friends may be "dropping it" and trying to pretend it never happened and just giving up on going to the dunes I'm not about to drop it because I do believe in doing what's right.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by gelwell »

good for you Jason =D> I think it should be addressed. Further there should be a liason with both ICSO and BLM to report such behavior. I am convinced we need some kind of advocate to explain this sort of behavior. These people need and believe most are professional. But you get these wanna be cops who couldn't get on a decent police force and finding job in places less diserable just because they are breathing is the real issue.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Sandcock »

Solution Here:

The real egalitarians are not the people who want to redistribute wealth to the poor, but those who want to extend to the poor the ability to create their own wealth, to lift themselves up, instead of trying to tear others down. Earning respect, including self-respect, is better than being a parasite. Thomas Sowell

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

For those suggesting we film things...just remember. When dealing with renegade officers doing what's right can still land you in jail and being treated like a hardened criminal:

http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/82574547.html

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Glamisbound »

jhitesma wrote:For those suggesting we film things...just remember. When dealing with renegade officers doing what's right can still land you in jail and being treated like a hardened criminal:

http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/82574547.html
Little over dramatic don't you think? Renegade officer. Treated like a hardened criminal. I don't think any actions capture in that videotape realistically reflects the adjectives used here.

First, it's not uncommon to seize video footage of crimes...it's perfectly legal. And most legit citizens don't have a problem with it.

Who knows what this person caught on tape...it's obviously not a complete version of the events. Maybe there is actually elements of a crime captured on there...did that cross your mind?

And the officer(s) seemed to be pretty patient with the owner of the camera if you ask me. They never disrespected her one time. In fact, she was more disrespectful to them.

In today's law enforcement world, officers are quite aware that there is a good possibility that just about everything they do is being video tapped.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by L&L Corvairs »

Under some circumstances, police can seize a citizen's video as evidence. However, because Watkins was merely a witness and not a suspect, police should first seek a search warrant to confiscate the camera, said University of Akron law professor Dean Carro.

''The general rule is if a police officer has probable cause to believe the item was used in a crime or is the fruit of a crime, he can seize the item,'' Carro said. ''In this situation, it doesn't appear that either circumstance is met. So therefore, my inclination is that the officer would need a search warrant in order to obtain it.''
Respectfully, GB, the above is what I thought was the appropriate LEO responce. I would not surrender my video tape of an incident out in the dunes to law enforcement without a warrent. Especially since it appears ICSO and BLM are reluctant to completely resistant to properly investigating chargres of officer misconduct.
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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by jhitesma »

Glamisbound wrote: Little over dramatic don't you think? Renegade officer. Treated like a hardened criminal. I don't think any actions capture in that videotape realistically reflects the adjectives used here.
Didn't actually read the article did you? It was what happened after the video that was outrageous. The part where after being told by his supervisor to drop it the officer then filed a felony warrant against the woman - making a huge issue out of nothing and directly ignoring orders from his superiors.

As a result the woman ends up arrested at her house and tossed into jail. All because an officer refused to follow a direct order from his supervisor.
First, it's not uncommon to seize video footage of crimes...it's perfectly legal. And most legit citizens don't have a problem with it.
Yet if you had read the article you'd know it wasn't footage of a crime, it was footage of the arrest after the crime had been committed. Even the law professors consulted in the article agreed that the officer was not acting within the bounds of the law.
And the officer(s) seemed to be pretty patient with the owner of the camera if you ask me. They never disrespected her one time. In fact, she was more disrespectful to them.
Again, read the article don't just watch the video. It was what he did after the video where the respect got dropped and he disobeyed repeated orders to continue to harass the woman.
In today's law enforcement world, officers are quite aware that there is a good possibility that just about everything they do is being video tapped.
And apparently some of them don't like it enough to file felony warrants against the people who do it and misdemeanor warrants against their friends and family who happen to be present as well - after being told by their commanding officers to drop it.


Yes, there may be something more on that tape. And based on the officers insubordination and actions afterwards I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that it's something he doesn't want anyone to see. But jumping to that kind of conclusion would be just as wrong as the officers own assumptions about what may or may not be on the tape. Much like the ICSO's apparently assumption that just because someone is driving after dark at Gordon's they're probably doing something illegal, they are in the projects^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h dunes after all and we all know what kind of people hang out there.

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Re: LEO's out of Control!

Post by Glamisbound »

Lloyd, notice the use of the word "should", not "required", in the quote? There is a general rule in law enforcement that a warrant should be secured when possible. The likelihood that video tape evidence could easily be destroyed, which the professor does not address, between the time of the crime and the time a search warrant is secured, creates a need to seize that evidence immediately so that it is not destroyed.

With that said, one of the things that should be taken into consideration before seizing it without a warrant, is the type of crime. For example, if Homeboy 1 is standing on a corner videotaping Homeboy2 shoot and kill someone, do you really think a warrant would be necessary to seize that videotape? Would/Should an officer allow Homeboy1 to walk away from the scene without securing the videotape??? No, it wouldn't, because Homeboy 1 could easily destroy that evidence, and likely would, between when the crime was committed and a warrant was secured.

People should always keep in mind home dynamic law enforcement is. There are no set rules for how each encountered should be handled. The law is very gray and open to interpitation…even all the way to the Supreme Court, who is frequently split on how the laws applied to any given case.

Jason, you’re right, I didn’t read the article and I should have before commenting. But the bottom line for me is that news articles mean very little to me, including this one, because they are often one sided, biased (especially against law enforcement), and out of context, which appears to be in the case in this one too. Again, if the officer felt the videotape had some evidentiary value, then he was justified in collecting it. I’m not making a statement that he was justified, just that me may have been. I want to be very clear here…If an officer has a legally justified reason to confiscate evidence of a crime, and the person refuses, then that person is breaking the law…and there are consequences to those actions, which are in place to protect citizens as a whole.

I seldom get wrapped up in these LEO bashing threads because they go nowhere. And my point is not really to defend any particular officer, but to provide some insight to what it’s like being on the other side. I’ll never say cops don’t make mistakes. They do. But there are always two sides to every story.

When I’m at the dunes, I don’t wear a badge or a uniform. I don’t drive a market vehicle. I don’t ride around making myself known to all the Leo’s working the dunes. To them, I’m just another visitor. My experiences with Leo’s there have all been positive…. that’s the other side of the story from my perspective…and to keep posting over sensationalized articles like this does nothing to better our duning community.
GLAMISBOUND
Walking the gap...All give some, some give all!!

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