all 135 comments

[–]vtalii 387 points388 points  (19 children)

He said the deputies were frustrated that he was “over-obeying” by moving slowly, explaining what he was doing as he did it and keeping his hands raised — to try to protect himself and the deputies.


“When you think you’re going to die, we have to be calm and they don’t,” James said.


This hit me the most. The truth that the responsibility of safety of a person's life is on them, and not the police. That a lay person is expected to respond more professionally in a stressful situation, than the people that are paid and trained to do that.

[–]SovereignSoul76 51 points52 points  (9 children)

Agreed. Not saying all cops are bad people, just that the training and procedures they're taught are truly horrendous. Escalate, escalate, escalate pop pop.....'feared for my life'.

[–]doogles 17 points18 points  (1 child)

When did Magnitude become a police officer?

[–]portablemustard 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Now I'm imagining a noir styled 50s detective murder mystery with magnitude as the detective. Maybe have him narrate everything but it just always be pop pop.

[–]psychosocial-- 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Not all cops are bad people, but the job does tend to attract people who are undereducated, former military, former bullying victims, and/or morality zealots who think their job is to “clean up the streets” by whatever personal ideal fits their liking.

It’s not that hard to get into the police academy. It’s not like future scientists and philosophers with 4.0 GPAs from Harvard are lining up for the world’s most underpaid job.

I think the requirements should probably be brought up a bit. Maybe a thorough psychological evaluation? I mean I’m sure they do that, but apparently not thoroughly enough.

Not to mention there needs to be, you know, actual punishment for acting like all civilians are guilty until proven innocent.

[–]Cetun 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Worlds most underpaid job is is teacher, if you think about it they literally produce every single productive citizens in the US. The police do a lot of good, but they do a lot of bad, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, police brutality, it evens out their usefulness.

[–]MechanicalEngineEar -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

I think teachers should be paid more, but they should also be held to a higher performance standards. I know far too many teachers who have tenure and are basically glorified babysitters who do the bare minimum because there is no incentive to do any better. Sure, nearly person is affected by teachers growing up but that doesn’t mean they all are contributing. Nearly everyone has their trash picked up by garbage men and it would be disgusting if that didn’t happen but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t easily be replaced.

[–]Cetun 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Ever think they aren't motivated because they have a shitty thankless jobs with low pay and they get shit on every day by everyone's crappy kids? You know they can't do anything to control the kids anymore, they litterally can't raise their voice at them. They are demoralized by the way they are treated. Just look at that teacher that was arrested for speaking up at a school board meeting. Oh yea btw that's why they have tenure, if they didn't they would litterally be fired left and right for speaking up or joining unions. If they didn't have tenure every decent teacher that spoke out would be fired and the teacher that keep their heads down and say and do nothing would be safe. The administration notoriously doesn't like "squeaky wheels"

[–]MechanicalEngineEar 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I agree the system is messed up. In a normal job you can prove your value and get merit increases or promotions to justify your value to the company. With teachers the only way to make any good money is to get promoted out of being a teacher to something like a principal, which isn’t what people who want to be teachers want to do.

Find a better way to measure teacher performance and pay better teacher better. Then people will be okay with more money going to schools.

[–]Cetun 0 points1 point  (1 child)

As of not the pay system is usually contractually obligated pay raises every year, it isn’t much but it adds up, again not to very much though. Oh yea if the school system is having hard times financially guess what they do? They ask the teachers to skip their raises for that year so some years they don’t get a raise. If times are really bad they raid their pensions.

The problem with finding a “good” teacher and “bad” teacher is highly subjective. It’s not like you are judging the straitness of a pipe or the sturdiness of a stool someone built. You are judging the effects they had on humans. All of them came to that teachers at different levels with different issues and they are all going to leave that teacher with different levels and issues. Do you just have a test? We all kinda know that just leads to teaching for the test. Do we judge based on long term outcomes? That’s slow, we would be giving teachers raises every 10 years that’s too long to modify performance and learn from it. Do you have case worker work with every single kid and write up detailed reports on their progress? That would expensive.

Also they don’t really let the teachers teach. They literally go to school for 4 and 6 years, you’d be surprised how many have a masters degree, and administration comes into their classroom, some of who don’t have a teaching degree or never taught a class or at least haven’t been in a classroom for 20 years and they tell teachers how to teach, they buy into all these plans and programs from book sellers that rarely get used. I’d say just give teachers a discretionary budget and let them fill their room every year with the teaching supplies they need to do their job. The administration buys teachers tens of thousands of dollars worth of teaching aids every year per classroom and half of it goes unused. Let teachers teach the was they where taught to teach, they literally interact with the kids every day, they know what’s best for them more so than some accountant in the district offices or some administrator that has never taught in his life or at least hasn’t been in a classroom in 20 years.

[–]MechanicalEngineEar 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There are plenty of jobs that determining the skill of the worker isn’t straight forward, and those industries figure it out.

[–]Aeshura 6 points7 points  (0 children)

So basocally what happened was the man was afraid for his life during an encounter with some hooligans, and they made his life difficult because they were offended...

The god damn irony.

[–]Cetun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

“Trained” ie told everyone’s out to kill them and they should do whatever it takes to get home safe.

[–]raccoontrashfire -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Sadly your comment is grossly under-upvoted

Edit: Eh? I was agreeing with him. I think he made a well spoken and thoughtful point and when I saw it, it had the least karma and deserved more.

[–]dadtaxi 58 points59 points  (3 children)

James said he likely will have spent $8,000 to $10,000 because of the arrest and charges.

and this is a huge underlying problem with the justice system as it stands. There is zero incentive for the cops and prosecution to take a proper and objective assessment of the case. Especially where there is elected officials . . . . or where there their jobs are assessed only on arrests or convictions, not on 'not guilty' verdicts

James’ defense attorney had the state’s blood sample forwarded for testing. The prosecution dropped the case four weeks later in December after the results were filed with a motion to dismiss

What was the defence attorney doing this for? this should be the prosecution's job. They should have been the ones getting evidence and dropping charges, not the defence having to make a motion. But again, where's the incentive to do that job?

Its just laziness to just say "whatever - let the court sort it out".

And this is literally the reason for overcharging and the plea deal system. The costs are borne by the defendant, whatever the ridiculousness of the case. Why even bother doing your job properly when you can force the defendant to either plea ( and get a conviction) or pay thousands - (even if found not guilty let alone to have the charges dropped anyway)

If the justice system was made to pay for the defence if charges dropped or found not guilty, there would at least be some balance to the prosecutions assessments of the likelihood of convictions, and at least some counter incentive to drop poor cases at the earliest possible opportunity.

Other countries do it. Why not America?

[–]antigravitytapes 9 points10 points  (0 children)

fucking hopeless

[–]cherrypowdah 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Wtf, do you mean that this man, wrongfully accused and detained, has to pay 8-10k usd? How fucked up is your country, man, imagine this happened to someone on minimum wage, gl getting your life together after owing 50% of your yearly income and losing your job due being detained for a month, just because few police officers were having a bad day

[–]Cetun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ain’t America great?

[–]kikkai 151 points152 points  (13 children)

The article is sad. Lists a real estate guy that was so scared of getting shot that his nervousness ended up appearing suspicious to the arresting officer.

Plus, the arresting officer had his wife (?!) In the car with him, so he may have really been trying to show off.

[–]mathcoffeecats 118 points119 points  (1 child)

This. The article says the police were getting frustrated he was moving slowly and “over obeying orders.” Getting shot in a police encounter, especially one where the officer is escalating things, is a serious concern for every American. Very understandable response from the guy.

[–]myrddyna 10 points11 points  (0 children)

police expect everyone to act like a fratboy, unless they are fucked up, then they are given DUI's. Fratboys are confident and cocksure.

But they never carry weapons, and they certainly aren't darker than 2.1 on the shade scale of 1-10 (10 being Latino, 15 being black, and 5 being Irish, cause they drink a lot).

[–]half_breed_muslin 51 points52 points  (5 children)

"Watch this, babe. I'ma whack this guy"

[–]kikkai 15 points16 points  (4 children)

Damn. Well, I thought that the officer thought it would be cool to disrupt a guy's life. Not necessarily kill him. Pretty sure he would be less likely to kill with his wife there. At least I hope so.

[–]AdClemson 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Maybe that is how she gets off.

[–]half_breed_muslin 17 points18 points  (0 children)

All jokes aside, you may be right that he was trying to show off in front of the lil lady. "Look how tough I am while I have all the advantage and lock this guy in a cage"

“It left me feeling not an equal,” James said. “That I was not a citizen. That I don’t matter.”

Where's your badge at? Don't have one, you say? Well then you ain't equal.

[–]pnopnopno 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I like that the deputy had special training, but when the results are negative it means he lacked training. Too lazy to quote, but check out that circuit of bullshit

[–]Geicosellscrap 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We have small governments that protect themselves. We don't have a strong federal system that protects the civilian from The local police. If the local guys screw up and shoot someone, they cover for each other. If our government wasn't small enough to choke in a bathtub 🛀.... maybe the Feds wouldn't let the local police murder people.

[–]doomgiver45 34 points35 points  (15 children)

In my state, you can refuse the roadside test and go straight to the breathalyzer. The reason the roadside test is even administered is to give the cops more evidence, not to prove you innocent. If you live in a state that allows it, never agree to a roadside test.

[–]Powdershuttle 37 points38 points  (8 children)

Yup I have argued this. I tell them that 40% of sober people still fail the road side test. He asked “ how do you know that”

Because I looked it up after somehow failing these things 3 times yet being sober and never being arrested. I want to go straight to the breathalyzer and go home.

[–]thisismybirthday 7 points8 points  (7 children)

lol, I know this one dude... totally not talking about myself... but anyways this dude has passed 2 roadside sobriety tests conducted by officers specially trained as "drug recognition experts," while being completely stoned both times!

[–]Toytles 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've passed it pretty buzzed on two occasions in high school/college. Fortunately I've become more mature and don't do that shit anymore.

[–]themisfit610 0 points1 point  (0 children)

... you can always refuse it but in a lot of states like California that means you immediately lose your license. Absolutely no recourse. Doesn’t matter if you were stone cold sober

Your best bet when dealing with cops is to always be polite, compliant, and respectful. Always.

[–]Saviorofthe_Universe -1 points0 points  (1 child)

You can refuse it in Kansas. You can refuse the breathalyzer and tell them you want a blood test done too. Buy yourself some time.

[–]Camelotterduck 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In Georgia you can refuse the roadside but that automatically means that you are arrested because the breathalyzers are in the jail. You get released if you pass of course but it makes for quite the hassle.

[–]Geicosellscrap -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

Never blow. Those meters are bullshit and give false readings based on how hard you blow. It's fraud.

[–]ReggieStocker 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So what do you recommend? Just going to the station in the back of a cop car every time? Bc if you refuse that's what's going to happen.

[–]Geicosellscrap -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Yea. If we all don't blow than we fill the prisons with sober people and everyone would eventually vote these asshats out of power.

[–]noncongruent 82 points83 points  (11 children)

Isn't Tulsa where the fake cop working with the real cops shot and killed an unarmed man? Why yes, it is: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tulsa-reserve-deputy-robert-bates-gets-4-years-unarmed-man-n583511

[–]jackishungryforpizza 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This "fishing trip" style policing is why I left the South. Cops in Alaska leave you alone unless you're being an asshole.

[–]GeishaB 7 points8 points  (0 children)

The bail bond system is definitely a way to oppress poor people. Most defendants spend years in jail waiting for their trial. They haven't even been convicted of anything.

[–]ph33randloathing 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Surely the officer's dash cam will show him swerving and we can - oops! That footage was accidentally lost!

[–]AdClemson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It'll surface when the cops are cleared of all charges and there is nothing anyone could do about it.

[–]Sepof 46 points47 points  (32 children)

Police in most states are promoted and rewarded for higher arrest rates, etc.

I know so many people who have received DUI charges under the most absurd of circumstances. I was personally charged with a DUI in OK after I failed two of six roadside sobriety tests in 6 degree temperatures. I blew a .082 which was within the margin of error of .005 and eventually thrown out. It was also shown that the machine I blew on hadn't been properly maintained and essentially anyone who challenged their breathalyzer was overturned. It was a small, rural county with a police force entirely funded off tickets, DUIs, and possessions as it was just outside a large city.

I absolutely despise police after this shit. I've also been detained in Chicago for a suspected hit and run. Only issue was that the "dent" the officers claimed was the evidence had rust on it already.

For the record, I'm a white babyfaced college grad in his mid 20s. In both of these experiences I had my African-American girlfriend with me. In both cases they suspected she was either a prostitute or drug dealer/middleman leading me to the deal.

Edit: Since people aren't really getting it. I blew a .02 at the station less than an hour later. The roadside tests were administered improperly (try walking in a straight line in the wind without a jacket in zero degree weather). The first breathalyzer wasn't maintained properly. I wasn't drunk driving by literally any standard.

[–]mference123 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Giving DUIs out is how my local police department makes it's budget. They don't care if you're innocent or not. They make money, the jail makes money, the lawyers make money, the probation dept makes money. Policing for profit is everywhere.

[–]Sepof 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Most police departments only promote based on numbers like this as well. If you want a prominent policing career, best get to busting the little guys.

[–]Geicosellscrap 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Our system is outdated. We need to update the system. Civil forfeiture isn't a disease, it's a symptom of a corrupted police system.

[–]Sepof 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Our system is based on punishing infractions with imprisonment and fines, as opposed to deterring and rehabilitating criminals.

There's a reason that outside observers compare the US criminal justice system with that of China, North Korea, etc.

[–]fuckusnowman 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Genuine question - was the breathalizer completely broken? Or had you been drinking before you drove?

I ask because I see a lot of this.

damn police pulled me over to test me, fucking police state!

I'd only had four beers!!

[–]Sepof 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had just left dinner and had taken a shot of jack before I left.

The reason I was pulled over initially was for speeding, but the officer never actually clocked my speed. Everything about the stop was wrong, but it was only caught because I hired a real lawyer. A public defender or out-of-state driver would've likely just been fucked and paid the price.

When I blew at the station on a better/properly calibrated machine I blew .02 -- this was 30 minutes to an hour after the initial roadside test. Lets put it this was, I was charged with a DUI and my BAC was 0, allowing me to be released, less than two and a half hours later. That's not physically possible at the rate BAC lowers (.015/hr) if I was drunk driving.

[–]the_adriator 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Fun fact: the tests they do at the neurologist to track the process of your neurological disease are very similar to a field sobriety test.

My husband has MS and is scared that he’ll be pulled over for something and that this will happen to him. He drops things and is uncoordinated on a good day. When he’s nervous or stressed, he often slurs his speech. He will never be able to pass a field sobriety test. Luckily he can just opt for the breathalyzer, but any cop who pulls him over will probably be super suspicious...

[–]Ireallydontlikereddi 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'm surprised he can drive with MS.

[–]the_adriator 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He can for now. He’s good with the steering wheel (his hands are bad at tiny movements, but moving a steering wheel is more gross motor than fine motor).

Where I notice it is in his right foot. His left foot is fine, and he can work the clutch without stalling, but his right side is the limpy side when he walks, so he doesn’t accelerate or brake with as much finesse as he used to. He’s still a better driver than most people! And the handicap placard is the best for city parking.

[–]NotObviouslyARobot 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The only other assay they could run is a mass-spec. The DA is probably not ordering it ran, for fear of embarassment

[–]Thoughtcolt5994 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I love how the cops defense is that the dude may have been on drugs that weren’t tested for, or maybe he’s mentally ill, who knows? They probably think they’re fucking geniuses for using this type of rhetoric too.

[–]ournamesdontmeanshit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well one officer had specialized field sobriety test training so it can't be that they were wrong, it has to be the blood test that's wrong! /s

[–]Brendanj22 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Always refuse the field sobriety test.

[–]themisfit610 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In California if you refuse a field chemical test you immediately lose your license with the DMV. Nothing the cops can do about it.

Generally just don’t be an asshole.

[–]midianite_rambler 6 points7 points  (1 child)

You can beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride.

[–]Selfdestructseq0001 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If you make it there still alive

[–]RobertAndi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is why you respectfully decline to so the roadside gymnastics. You aren't required (in California) to perform these tests, and the only thing you can do is incriminate yourself. You cannot prove sobriety via these tests.

[–]Brendanj22 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ok I'll clarify...always refuse if they ask you to take roadside coordination tests.

[–]Sam2734 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m gonna argue the police perspective. It seems like the gentleman is grasping for any sort of argument that would stick.

“The officer is racist.” “Actually we reviewed his history, he shows no patterns of arresting/stopping minorities disproportionately” “Oh then he did the test wrong” “Actually, he’s much higher trained than the average officer when it comes to DUI and Field Sobriety Tests” “Oh, then he was just trying to show off cause he had his wife in the car”

Maybe he just legitimately failed the test? As the article states, you don’t have to be intoxicated to fail a field sobriety test. The tests he failed only have like an 82% accuracy rate or something like that. I don’t remember the numbers for certain, but that means that there’s like an 18% chance that he’s innocent. And as far as the law is concerned, thats enough “Probable Cause” for arrest. You don’t have to be 100% certain that someone is guilty, that’s what court is for. A lot of other factors can effect whether someone passes a test, and yes one of those factors can be nervousness. Head injuries, mental issues, and just plain inability to follow directions can all cause a false positive in the test as well. And although nervousness can be argued in court, an officer can’t just ignore the failing of a test simply because someone claimed that they’re nervous.

I’ll concede about the officers claiming that he was too cooperative though. Saying someone is too cooperative is a horrible reason to justify an arrest