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Jamie123

Police Powers: UK vs. US

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Having dissed it so often in the past, I think it's time I made some defence of the British system of policing and justice, and made a case that it is not quite so inferior to the US system as some people (naming no names) have suggested. To be specific, it seems to me that in the US, a lot of the powers which in the UK are reserved for the judiciary are actually given to police - making them a LOT more powerful than their UK counterparts. (You can begin to see perhaps why Judge Dredd - though American in the story - was a British creation: an extreme parody of an American cop.)

(By the way, when I say "British" I mean "appertaining to The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". I do not mean Europe. If you want to know how things are done in Europe, you will need to ask some Europeans.)

US: Police can take away your drivers license, if they say you were driving drunk.

UK: Police cannot take away your license. They can arrest you, perform breath/blood/urine tests on you, hold you at the police station until sober, and later present evidence to a court that your license should be revoked. (Usually with the test results it's an open-and-shut case, but all the same - the authority to revoke is with the court, not the police.)

US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.

UK: Police have no power to give you a criminal record. They can only present evidence to a court that you should be convicted of a crime. If the prosecution case is successful, you will get a criminal record. Otherwise you will not. (Some people will argue that an arrest creates a PNC record. It does indeed - but a PNC record is not a criminal record. Neither is it made public. Furthermore, people get PNC records for all sorts of things, including being reported missing.)

US: Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use. If you want it back, you must hire lawyers to fight your case. This often costs more than the seized property was worth.

UK: Police can do no such thing. To deprive you permanently of your property, a case would need to be made before a court of law.

US: Police can commit violence upon your person and damage/destroy your property, and so long as no judge ever ruled that exact set of actions to be “unconstitutional”, they cannot be sued.

UK: Police can be sued, exactly the same as anyone else. Admittedly courts might consider the “split second decision” needed by an officer in an emergency situation when deciding whether to hold them liable, but there is no blanket immunity, “qualified” or otherwise.

Now this is all likely a rather biased and oversimplified analysis (based partly on stuff my American wife has told me). If you think I'm wrong, please put me right...just so long as I am wrong, and not just presenting things with a different spin from what you would prefer to hear.

Edited by Jamie123

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1 hour ago, Jamie123 said:

(By the way, when I say "British" I mean "appertaining to The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". I do not mean Europe. If you want to know how things are done in Europe, you will need to ask some Europeans.)

I KNEW IT!!! UK is actually part of North America.  So, they're AMERICANS after all.  HAH!

All those who thought UK was part of Europe, you'all failed your geography check!

1 hour ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your drivers license, if they say you were driving drunk.

UK: Police cannot take away your license. They can arrest you, perform breath/blood/urine tests on you, hold you at the police station until sober, and later present evidence to a court that your license should be revoked. (Usually with the test results it's an open-and-shut case, but all the same - the authority to revoke is with the court, not the police.)

Yes and no. At least in Texas...

Quote

At the time of your arrest for DWI, a police officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary permit to drive. This permit, called a Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit (Form DIC-25) outlines the procedure for requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.

This hearing, a civil proceeding overseen by an administrative law judge, will determine the disposition of your license. You must request your ALR hearing within 15 days of you arrest. If you fail to do so, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will suspend your license 40 days after your arrest.

So, while the license is confiscated, you are still allowed to drive.  This HAS to be different due to the prevalence of drivers in US vs UK.  Getting a DL in US is a rather simple process.  Virtually everyone has one.  My understanding is that it is not nearly as common for people to have a DL in the UK, and the process for getting one is more onerous.

1 hour ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.

UK: Police have no power to give you a criminal record. They can only present evidence to a court that you should be convicted of a crime. If the prosecution case is successful, you will get a criminal record. Otherwise you will not. (Some people will argue that an arrest creates a PNC record. It does indeed - but a PNC record is not a criminal record. Neither is it made public. Furthermore, people get PNC records for all sorts of things, including being reported missing.)

I may be wrong about this, but...  There is a difference between an "arrest record" and a "criminal record."  Exactly what that does per se is beyond my area of expertise.

1 hour ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use. If you want it back, you must hire lawyers to fight your case. This often costs more than the seized property was worth.

UK: Police can do no such thing. To deprive you permanently of your property, a case would need to be made before a court of law.

Civil Asset forfeiture is one of the biggest travesties of our police/justice system.  It has only come under scrutiny over the past 5 to 10 years.  And many states are working to get rid of it.  It is absolutely unconstitutional.  I don't know any common citizen who believes this is a good thing.

1 hour ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can commit violence upon your person and damage/destroy your property, and so long as no judge ever ruled that exact set of actions to be “unconstitutional”, they cannot be sued.

UK: Police can be sued, exactly the same as anyone else. Admittedly courts might consider the “split second decision” needed by an officer in an emergency situation when deciding whether to hold them liable, but there is no blanket immunity, “qualified” or otherwise.

Not quite.  While there are some protections, it is not so far reaching as you seem to imply here.  Take a look at the police being thrown in jail recently.

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2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your drivers license, if they say you were driving drunk.

UK: Police cannot take away your license. They can arrest you, perform breath/blood/urine tests on you, hold you at the police station until sober, and later present evidence to a court that your license should be revoked. (Usually with the test results it's an open-and-shut case, but all the same - the authority to revoke is with the court, not the police.)  

One thing you have to remember when making these comparisons:  USA is composed of 50 independent States under a Federal Government.  "Police" can be a City/County Police, State Police, or Federal Police (FBI).  Traffic violations are usually handled by City/County Police.  But, I don't know of any State who has constitutional protections to "The Right To Operate A Motor Vehicle".  There SURELY is no such protections in the US Constitution.  States, therefore, codify their own laws when it comes to Licensing and Operating a Motor Vehicle which includes License Plate and Driver's License Issuance all the way to Seatbelt Mandate as a Privilege not a Right.  Each State has different laws governing their State Driver's Licenses.  There are no Federal Driver's Licenses, not even commercial.  Therefore, when you compare Cops in the USA to Cops in Britain, more than likely, you are only describing Cops in certain States and not all American cops.

In any case, I've lived in many States.  I have not heard of cops taking driver's licenses for simply "suspicion".  In Florida, for example, you have to have tested above 0.08% blood-alcohol level for the cop to take your license (Florida DMV authorizes City/County/State Police Departments to suspend the privilege of people arrested for DUI).  BUT - if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI and you REFUSE the alcohol test, the cop can suspend your license for refusing the test (not suspicion of DUI).  Now, the Police Department will have to file the arrest order and the suspended license to the DMV for the suspension to activate.  At the same time, the person have 10 days to challenge the arrest and nullify the suspension.  In Florida, your Driver's License is a Privilege granted by the State to its residents.  If you move out of Florida, your Florida Driver's License is automatically suspended.

 

2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.

UK: Police have no power to give you a criminal record. They can only present evidence to a court that you should be convicted of a crime. If the prosecution case is successful, you will get a criminal record. Otherwise you will not. (Some people will argue that an arrest creates a PNC record. It does indeed - but a PNC record is not a criminal record. Neither is it made public. Furthermore, people get PNC records for all sorts of things, including being reported missing.)  

I have never heard of any US Police in any State, not even the FBI that can give you a criminal record on an arrest.  The US Constitution protects an individual's right to face his accusers with the presumption of innocence.

 

2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use. If you want it back, you must hire lawyers to fight your case. This often costs more than the seized property was worth.

UK: Police can do no such thing. To deprive you permanently of your property, a case would need to be made before a court of law.  

 

Some States allows Civil Forfeiture without a Crime Conviction.  Some States don't.  This is a big beef and party platform of Libertarians.

 

2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can commit violence upon your person and damage/destroy your property, and so long as no judge ever ruled that exact set of actions to be “unconstitutional”, they cannot be sued.

UK: Police can be sued, exactly the same as anyone else. Admittedly courts might consider the “split second decision” needed by an officer in an emergency situation when deciding whether to hold them liable, but there is no blanket immunity, “qualified” or otherwise.  

That's what BLM wants you to think.  But this is not true.  Police authority HAS TO BE within the bounds of law.  If they are exercising authority beyond those bounds, they are performing illegal actions and can be sued.  Tons of cops get sued.  In Florida, for example, everytime a cop discharges his firearm on duty (justifiably or not) he has to go to court and account for each bullet fired. 

Now, here is the problem in some States - Police are unionized... the Union protects bad cops.  But that doesn't mean they have ceased to be illegal, it simply means the Union make it harder for people to get rid of bad cops.

 

2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Now this is all likely a rather biased and oversimplified analysis (based partly on stuff my American wife has told me). If you think I'm wrong, please put me right...just so long as I am wrong, and not just presenting things with a different spin from what you would prefer to hear.

 

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2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

The US Constitution protects an individual's right to face his accusers with the presumption of innocence.

"Presumption of innocence" can mean many things. Here are two extreme interpretations:

A. "You must believe Mr. XYZ to be innocent unless a court finds him guilty, even if you saw him commit the crime with your own eyes." This is ridiculous of course - it is impossible to legislate what people can and cannot think.

B. "The presumption of innocence applies only to the jury, and only the matter of verdict-selection. An acquittal simply means that the state is not allowed to impose an official punishment. In that matter - and in that matter only - is a defendant presumed innocent."

A more moderate position would be:

C. "Unless Mr. XYZ is found guilty by a court, he retains the rights and privileges of an innocent person - including the right not to have an official record of his supposed crimes accessible to all and sundry, for the rest of his life, for any purpose or none. (I stress "official record" here - I'm not talking about idle gossip, or the press. Those things are a law unto themselves.)

Interpretation B is sometimes used by defence lawyers, to emphasize to potential jurors that by acquitting a person they are not necessarily finding them innocent. Defence lawyers only care about getting as many acquittals as possible. They don't care what an acquittal actually means, or what happens to an acquitted person after they leave the court. Sometimes they will use A as a kind of strawman substitute for C, dismiss it as ridiculous, before presenting B as the "correct" version.

Edited by Jamie123

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6 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Having dissed it so often in the past, I think it's time I made some defence of the British system of policing and justice, and made a case that it is not quite so inferior to the US system as some people (naming no names) have suggested. To be specific, it seems to me that in the US, a lot of the powers which in the UK are reserved for the judiciary are actually given to police - making them a LOT more powerful than their UK counterparts. (You can begin to see perhaps why Judge Dredd - though American in the story - was a British creation: an extreme parody of an American cop.)

(By the way, when I say "British" I mean "appertaining to The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". I do not mean Europe. If you want to know how things are done in Europe, you will need to ask some Europeans.)

US: Police can take away your drivers license, if they say you were driving drunk.

This would vary on a State by State basis.  Here in CA, this is not true.

UK: Police cannot take away your license. They can arrest you, perform breath/blood/urine tests on you, hold you at the police station until sober, and later present evidence to a court that your license should be revoked. (Usually with the test results it's an open-and-shut case, but all the same - the authority to revoke is with the court, not the police.)

US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.

No.

 

6 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

UK: Police have no power to give you a criminal record. They can only present evidence to a court that you should be convicted of a crime. If the prosecution case is successful, you will get a criminal record. Otherwise you will not. (Some people will argue that an arrest creates a PNC record. It does indeed - but a PNC record is not a criminal record. Neither is it made public. Furthermore, people get PNC records for all sorts of things, including being reported missing.)

US: Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use. If you want it back, you must hire lawyers to fight your case. This often costs more than the seized property was worth.

Sadly, this is mostly true.  But it is being modified, hopefully.

UK: Police can do no such thing. To deprive you permanently of your property, a case would need to be made before a court of law.

US: Police can commit violence upon your person and damage/destroy your property, and so long as no judge ever ruled that exact set of actions to be “unconstitutional”, they cannot be sued.

Not true.  Jurisdictions can be held accountable for the actions of police.

UK: Police can be sued, exactly the same as anyone else. Admittedly courts might consider the “split second decision” needed by an officer in an emergency situation when deciding whether to hold them liable, but there is no blanket immunity, “qualified” or otherwise.

Police as individuals have some immunity.  But the jurisdictions they work for can be held accountable.

Now this is all likely a rather biased and oversimplified analysis (based partly on stuff my American wife has told me). If you think I'm wrong, please put me right...just so long as I am wrong, and not just presenting things with a different spin from what you would prefer to hear.

 

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32 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

"Presumption of innocence" can mean many things. Here are two extreme interpretations:

A. "You must believe Mr. XYZ to be innocent unless a court finds him guilty, even if you saw him commit the crime with your own eyes." This is ridiculous of course - it is impossible to legislate what people can and cannot think.

B. "The presumption of innocence applies only to the jury, and only the matter of verdict-selection. An acquittal simply means that the state is not allowed to impose an official punishment. In that matter - and in that matter only - is a defendant presumed innocent."

A more moderate position would be:

C. "Unless Mr. XYZ is found guilty by a court, he retains the rights and privileges of an innocent person - including the right not to have an official record of his supposed crimes accessible to all and sundry, for the rest of his life, for any purpose or none. (I stress "official record" here - I'm not talking about idle gossip, or the press. Those things are a law unto themselves.)

Interpretation B is sometimes used by defence lawyers, to emphasize to potential jurors that by acquitting a person they are not necessarily finding them innocent. Defence lawyers only care about getting as many acquittals as possible. They don't care what an acquittal actually means, or what happens to an acquitted person after they leave the court. Sometimes they will use A as a kind of strawman substitute for C, dismiss it as ridiculous, before presenting B as the "correct" version.

All of this is irrelevant.  Your claim is that "US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.".  They cannot do such a thing due to the Constitutional provision of presumption of innocence.  You can think all you want that somebody is guilty.  You can even claim such in the "court" of public opinion.  A politician can even grandstand and say somebody is guilty... none of those will cause the court to write up a criminal record UNTIL the case is judged by the court and ruled guilty. 

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56 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

"Unless Mr. XYZ is found guilty by a court, he retains the rights and privileges of an innocent person - including the right not to have an official record of his supposed crimes accessible to all and sundry, for the rest of his life, for any purpose or none. (I stress "official record" here - I'm not talking about idle gossip, or the press. Those things are a law unto themselves.)

I can’t speak for all states; but in Utah, one’s “arrest record” is not available to “all and sundry”.  It’s maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Identification.  I work in my state AG’s office, and of the fifty or sixty people in my division, only two or three of them have access to that database (I am not one of them).

Now, the court dockets are public record, and that will record if you were charged and acquitted.  But, if you’re acquitted you can move to have the court record expunged.  (It’s not automatic, which many folks feel it should be.  But Utah has been taking steps to make expungement easier lately.)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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57 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

"Presumption of innocence" can mean many things.

In the US, it simply means that in a court of law, the onus is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as opposed to the accused trying to prove he is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Edited by Carborendum

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Another difference: I got to go shooting with my local small town cops, and shoot their machine guns!

1277972995_MonumentPoliceGunRangeAR-15S6300143.thumb.JPG.dc16efd14b0954fa05888040d7f334a7.JPG

Fun stuff.  They also had full-auto MP5 machine pistols.  

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

In the US, it simply means that in a court of law, the onus is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as opposed to the accused trying to prove he is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

For sure. But that says nothing about how far that presumption extends beyond the immediate question of whether to send a person to prison. Does the government have to respect that person's innocence, or can it label him/her a "probable criminal" and advise potential lenders and employers of that person's untrustworthyness? (Some of that does happen in the UK for sure, but only in extreme matters like when deciding whether to trust suspected pedophiles with children. But that's an unfortunate necessity and an exception to the general rule.)

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Disclaimer: I am no lawyer, nor do I even play one on the internet. So my statements could be wrong. Consider them as the non-legally binding understanding of a reasonably informed but non-lawyer American citizen.

8 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your drivers license, if they say you were driving drunk.

False. I don't know whether the police can confiscate your license or not in some states—for example, if they determine you are driving drunk—but they certainly cannot void your license. Only the courts (and possibly the DMV) can do that.

8 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can give you a criminal record simply by arresting you.

Blatantly untrue. A criminal record is created when you admit to or are found guilty of criminal conduct. You may possibly be confusing a criminal record with an arrest record. Sure, if the cops arrest you, they produce an arrest record. Any free society will have this basic step. I can't imagine that it's any different in the UK. Maybe in China they don't bother with arrest records.

8 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use. If you want it back, you must hire lawyers to fight your case. This often costs more than the seized property was worth.

This is sort of true, as I understand things. Police can seize your vehicle, for example, as part of a criminal investigation, and that investigation can seem interminable. Such laws can obviously be abused, which is often cited as an example of police corruption. (For the record, I doubt the many, or perhaps any, Americans deny the existence of such corruption.)

8 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

US: Police can commit violence upon your person and damage/destroy your property, and so long as no judge ever ruled that exact set of actions to be “unconstitutional”, they cannot be sued.

I am not sure what you're saying. I doubt there is much substantial difference between American police and UK police on this point. A policeman is empowered to act within the constraints of the law and the confines of his duties. If he acts outside those bounds, he can be subject to discipline, and in some cases to court action. The fact that he is a cop can protect him from individual prosecution as long as he was "following the rules", but if he stepped outside those boundaries, he is as subject to individual prosecution or other personal court action as any other public servant who criminally abuses his authority.

8 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Now this is all likely a rather biased and oversimplified analysis (based partly on stuff my American wife has told me). If you think I'm wrong, please put me right...just so long as I am wrong, and not just presenting things with a different spin from what you would prefer to hear.

Keep in mind that people like me and your wife aren't cops and aren't lawyers. If your wife has chosen to live in the UK rather than the US, it seems pretty likely that there's a reason for that. Maybe that reason is you, or maybe you're only part of the reason. If your wife is predisposed to look with narrowed eyes on American policy or practice, then my suspicion is that you're getting a biased report.

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15 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

For sure. But that says nothing about how far that presumption extends beyond the immediate question of whether to send a person to prison.

Depending on your definitions of words here, I could answer, well, duh-uh.  That's all that matters.  All the other stuff has nothing to do with police or the legal system.  The "labels" you talk about are only what is recorded in official records.  And if you're acquitted, you have no label.

I guess I still don't see what you're getting at here.

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9 minutes ago, Vort said:

This is sort of true, as I understand things. Police can seize your vehicle, for example, as part of a criminal investigation, and that investigation can seem interminable. 

I'm pretty sure there is more to it than this. Try Googling "civil asset forfeiture".

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54 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Fun stuff.  They also had full-auto MP5 machine pistols.  

I just remembered - the MP5 machine pistols were one of the "Police can take away your property on the pretext that it was obtained illegally, and keep the proceeds for their own use" things.    Seized off the streets in what they originally thought was drug bust.  Turned out drugs weren't the only things being smuggled into the country - boxes of full-auto weapons were coming in too.   My local small town cops were able to outfit an entire rapid-response team with stuff either seized from the streets, or from military surplus.   Very cool. 

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7 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Depending on your definitions of words here, I could answer, well, duh-uh.  That's all that matters.  All the other stuff has nothing to do with police or the legal system.  The "labels" you talk about are only what is recorded in official records.  And if you're acquitted, you have no label.

I guess I still don't see what you're getting at here.

Not quite true. If the records are open you have the label of "we think he's a criminal but we weren't quite able to prove it - well at least not to the super duper high standards that the courts require". And you were given that label by...well partially by police.

Edited by Jamie123

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2 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:

Not quite true. If the records are open you have the label of "we think he's a criminal but we weren't quite able to prove it". And you were given that label by...well partially by police.

As noted before, if acquitted, you can have that expunged so it no longer remains on the record.  And, yes, the fact that it doesn't happen automatically is not right.  But we're working on that.

ITMT, remember that such label is only visible for people with proper clearance.

Edited by Carborendum

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1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

As noted before, if acquitted, you can have that expunged so it no longer remains on the record.  And, yes, the fact that it doesn't happen automatically is not right.  But we're working on that.

Well I guess that's good news :)

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16 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

I'm pretty sure there is more to it than this. Try Googling "civil asset forfeiture".

Meh.  There are LAWS behind Civil Forfeiture which is different from State to State which "googling civil asset forfeiture" is gonna just be a "don't believe anything you see on the internet". 

Cops can't just take your stuff without just cause, otherwise it's an abuse of power and you can sue them.  But, as I mentioned above, some States codified forfeiture of an asset deemed harmful without a criminal conviction.  For example, in Jackson County, Missouri, the County Police Department can take your meth lab complete with all the cash you made out of it stashed in the lab closet without the need for a Criminal Conviction.  The only requirement for seizure is that... they provide proof that the property is a meth lab.  This goes hand-in-hand with the Jackson County law wherein meth addicts are not criminally convicted and sent to jail, rather, they are given the opportunity to enroll in government-mandated rehab instead.  So, a meth addict who owns a meth lab will have that meth lab seized even if the meth addict did not get a criminal conviction.

There are other ways the government can take your assets without a Criminal Conviction - the most common is Eminent Domain.

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25 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Cops can't just take your stuff without just cause, otherwise it's an abuse of power and you can sue them

Very true. You can sue them. *If* you have the money.

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24 minutes ago, Jamie123 said:
49 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Cops can't just take your stuff without just cause, otherwise it's an abuse of power and you can sue them

Very true. You can sue them. *If* you have the money.

You seem to think that you're scoring some sort of point against US law enforcement that doesn't apply to UK law enforcement...

https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c85kp6ene44t/police-corruption

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-shocking-truth-about-police-corruption-in-britain

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/22/metropolitan-police-anti-corruption-unit-faces-investigation

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/cjm/article/great-british-summer-corruption

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229007/9780108510991.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cases_of_police_brutality_in_the_United_Kingdom

https://novaramedia.com/2020/06/01/the-uk-is-not-innocent-police-brutality-has-a-long-and-violent-history-here/

 

You do know, that you're not scoring any sort of point against US LEO vs UK LEO, right?

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8 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

You seem to think that you're scoring some sort of point against US law enforcement that doesn't apply to UK law enforcement...

I just thought I'd say something nice about my own country for a change! (I'm usually the biggest moaner in the world when it comes to British justice and law enforcement.)

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Well, for the record, I'm a fan of UK law enforcement.  Good blokes.  The UK is far more easier to police than the US - an advantage of a largely unarmed citizenry.

That said, you're doing a crapton more than saying nice things about your own country.  Do you really not see all the smack you're talking on US law enforcement?  I mean, I'm guessing your mamma taught you that it's ok to brag without putting down anyone else...

Edited by NeuroTypical

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2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Not quite true. If the records are open you have the label of "we think he's a criminal but we weren't quite able to prove it - well at least not to the super duper high standards that the courts require". And you were given that label by...well partially by police.

I would clarify something by personal experience.  While I was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my companion and I stumbled into an FBI stakeout under very suspicious circumstance.  We were arrested (finger printed) as the prime suspects in an FBI investigation of a multiple murder and bank robbery.   We were interrogated and released but tailed for 3 days and then debriefed  and finally cleared - I know this because of the debriefing.   About 6 years later, after completing my mission and finishing college I applied for "special" security clearance to do classified military contract work for the US government.   My particular security clearance required a deep background check and if there was any suspicion of criminal activity I would not have been cleared.  I am not sure where you obtain your information that arrest records by themselves are a problem - especially concerning employment.

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, Traveler said:

I am not sure where you obtain your information that arrest records by themselves are a problem - especially concerning employment.

Well...to be perfectly honest I'm basing this largely on a mish-mash of articles I've read over the years, none of which I have a reference for. But I have acquired a general impression that arrests, charges dismissed and acquittals do (in general) have worse collateral consequences in the US than they do in the UK. Maybe I'm wrong...or at least partly wrong...but I did qualify my original post to that effect.

Oh yes - and the idea that police could revoke your license came from my wife. Though having read people's responses to that, I think she may be innocently mistaken.

Edited by Jamie123

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