Reasonable Suspicion

This post is about a video of a police interaction in Virginia, which is included below. Let me say that the cops really need to stop being total dumbasses, because I really don’t want this blog to become an anti-cop blog. It just seems like they can’t help themselves. They are just hiring tyrannical dumbasses to be cops.

Here is the basis of the video that follows:

Police received at least one call complaining about shots fired in a rural area. The vehicle involved was reported to be a red pickup truck.

A deputy sees a vehicle matching that description and initiates a traffic stop. By the deputy’s own admission, he is not aware if the shots were fired in the vicinity of houses or a road, meaning that he has no idea whether or not a crime has been committed. In other words, there is no reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver of the red truck has committed a crime, because you can’t even point to a crime that you would suspect him of, thus making the traffic stop illegal. Note that Virginia law is plain on this:

Any law enforcement officer may detain any person whom the officer encounters under circumstances creating a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime, and require the person to identify himself. Any person so detained shall identify himself by giving his full legal name, but may not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of any law enforcement officer.

Here is what happened next:

Note that the deputy claims “You can’t shoot within so many feet of a home,” but by his own admission, he has no idea how far away any homes are from the location where the shooting was talking place.

I believe the cop is wrong about what the law says. For starters, the law in Virginia says that you can’t discharge a firearm on public land, AT a building, across or from a road, from a vehicle, or in a reckless manner. None of which has been alleged here. Watch this second, longer video of the traffic stop, and the second cop says that merely operating a vehicle on the roadways of Virginia constitutes reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop and demand to see the ID of the driver.

He says that “Evidence of a crime isn’t reasonable suspicion. You need to get a better lawyer.” The cop is clearly wrong. The law says:

A police officer may have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed if based on all of the facts and circumstances of the situation, a reasonable police officer would have the same suspicion

The cop is not being reasonable, which is the standard here. He can’t even articulate which law, if any, he believes is being broken. How can a police officer believe that this man is committing a crime, when he can’t even point to a crime that he reasonably believes is being committed? The statement that merely driving down the road constitutes reasonable suspicion is extremely incorrect.

He says that I don’t have to point to a crime to initiate a traffic stop. This fucking dumbass of a cop then proves beyond a doubt that he doesn’t know what he is talking about when he admits that this isn’t a Terry stop. A Terry stop gets its name from the Supreme Court case, Terry v. Ohio. In a Terry stop, if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that an individual is armed, engaged, or about to be engaged, in criminal conduct, the officer may briefly stop and detain an individual for a pat-down search of outer clothing. Since, under this cop’s own admission, this isn’t a Terry stop, then he has no reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed.

So instead, the cops go to the man’s property and arrest the father on a trumped up charge to teach the property owner (the son in the red pickup) a lesson. The cops went to the man’s property and arrested the man’s father because, in the cop’s own words, “He ain’t gonna curse me out.” This is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of the father.

NOTE: A look at Sussex county court records shows that the father, Robert Steven Huffman, has been charged with a violation of 18.2-416, abusive language to another, a 3rd degree misdemeanor. His next hearing is December 18.

The Supreme Court of Virginia has limited the sweep of § 18.2-416 to abusive language that has “a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person to whom, individually, [the language is] addressed.” Mercer v. Winston, 214 Va. 281, 199 S.E.2d 724, 726

So is the police officer alleging that the man saying “Leave, get the hell off of my property” is language that would tend to cause him to commit acts of violence? No, this officer is a tyrannical asshole.

Again, remember that no crime has been alleged to cause the police to even be on the property in the first place. It isn’t a crime to shoot guns on private property. The cop keeps saying “We have complaints in the area of shots fired, and this is an open investigation,” but as we have pointed out already, there is no investigation, because there has been no crime alleged. In my opinion, the cops made the arrest to lure the property owner (the son in the red pickup) to an ambush.

The man in the pickup arrives on his property, and the cop arrests him because he won’t provide ID to prove that he is the owner of the property. Refer back to the law, above. The man doesn’t have to show that he owns his own land, which would mean that he has to prove his innocence. That’s not how this works.

This is a bad cop. The second cop who stood there and told him to “just comply” is also a bad cop. Why? Because he saw this illegal behavior and did nothing. He is also a dumbass that doesn’t understand the laws that he is supposed to be enforcing.

I hope they get a good lawyer, and I hope that they sue the Sheriff’s department of Sussex County. I also would like to reiterate that qualified immunity needs to go away. In the meantime:

Road Rage

My wife was on the way to work this morning when a pickup travelling at a high rate of speed came up on her from behind. She says that she was going 5 over the speed limit, and he was on her bumper flashing his high beams and honking his horn at her. When he finally passed her, he cut in front of her and then slammed on his brakes in a brake check in an attempt to cause an accident. This is illegal in Florida and is considered to be an act of road rage.

He then took off at a high rate of speed, then did the same thing to one of my wife’s coworkers a mile or so up the road. EDITED TO ADD: I just had lunch with them. The friend said that he was in such a big hurry that he almost ran her off the road when he passed her. She saw him pull into a McDonald’s a mile or so down the road. END EDIT

I have the incident recorded on her dashcam and have both a video of the incident and his plate number. I want to report it, but my wife has pointed out that the cops won’t do anything. After all, she says, I had a guy impersonating a cop that tried to arrest me, causing me to draw on him, and the cops did nothing.

What do my readers think?

Misusing Involuntary Commitment

Every state has a law allowing individuals to be involuntarily committed in the event that they are in such a mental state that they are an imminent danger to themselves or others. In Florida, it’s called a Baker Act, and it allows a doctor or law enforcement officer to hold a person for up to 72 hours for the purposes of medical and psychological evaluation, if that professional reasonably believes that they are a threat to themselves or others.

My last day at work, I placed a woman under a Baker Act after she told me that she had ingested several handfuls of pills in an attempt to commit suicide. If you do this, your documentation had better be able to stand up in court. Because if you misuse this power, you will and should get your ass sued. It’s one of the reasons why I carry a million dollars worth of malpractice insurance, and why that policy includes coverage of my legal bills.

But what happens if you are a cop with qualified immunity? What if you decide to misuse this power by lying in order to place an ex-girlfriend on an involuntary hold, then use force to enforce it? That’s exactly what Pennsylvania State Trooper Ronald Davis did. One of her friends got it all on video:

As I was watching this, I was thinking to myself, “What if this was my sister, or a close friend? Would I stand by and allow this, while just filming? Or would I use force to protect her from this felony domestic battery?”
If I *did* intervene, would I go to jail? Would other cops automatically take this cop’s side, and either arrest or ventilate me? I think we know the answer to both of those questions. If you are a cop and are reading this- This is what you should be asking yourself:

This cop is obviously a bad cop. Would I arrest someone for intervening in this situation? What if that person was holding the cop at gunpoint? Would I shoot them for pointing a gun at a cop? Even if it was being done to stop the officer’s felonious battery of an innocent woman? If so, can you still call yourself a good cop?

Something needs to be done. For starters, I think that qualified immunity should be eliminated. Let cops get personally sued into oblivion for stuff like this. They can go out and get malpractice insurance, just like medical professionals do.

Second, I think that cops should have *every* use of force judged by a panel of at least 7 people, and that panel should consist of: A judge, two current or retired police officers, and 4 citizens who are not convicted felons. That panel would have the power to fine police officers or refer them to the Grand Jury and suspend their LEO certification pending completion of the Grand Jury’s deliberations. The judge is there to advise the others on the meaning of the law, and only gets a vote in the event of a tie.

What other things might work?


It turns out that country star Zach Bryan is an entitled douche. He gets arrested, and threatens the cop by saying he is a star, knows the Sheriff, then threatens to call the mayor and governor.

We get it- you’re rich and famous. That doesn’t make you better than the rest of us. Douche.

Not Hate

There are those who say that I “hate cops” because I disagree with their actions when they screw up. Well, here is a time when I think that the police were completely justified in their use of force:

I don’t care that she is a girl. I don’t care that she is, at 16 years of age, still legally a child. She entered into a fight with a police officer and attacked him in an attempt to disarm him and acquire possession of his weapon. The police must presume that, should she gain control of this weapon, it will be used against them.

For that reason, the officer was entirely within the bounds of being reasonable when he threw her to the ground. This is a clear case of self defense.

Blogs I Still Miss

Saysuncle used to be a daily read for me. He began blogging shortly after he got married in 2002. He was a prolific poster, often posting a dozen or more times a day. Sadly, his wife passed away in March of 2020. The frequency of his blogging fell off shortly after, and he eventually stopped posting. A year after his wife died, his house burned to the ground and was a total loss. That’s a tough run of bad times, there. I hope things have improved for him.

Tam over at Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks was also a daily read. Then she went and got herself a job as a professional writer, and her blog quality fell sharply. AFAIK, she still posts, but I stopped reading her stuff a couple of years ago. I do miss her snark.

There are many others: The Ambulance Driver, Munchkin Wrangler, and a few others. I just can’t think of them all at this point.

This blog is now 16 years old, and I began blogging because of them. I walk in the footsteps of giants.

Second Place, Again

Gaige Grosskreutz was one of the three men justifiably shot by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha in 2020 was struck down in the middle of the street in a hit and run. The driver has been arrested, and it turns out that he wasn’t targeting Grosskreutz. The hit and run was due to the fact that the driver had a suspended license.

Second Place in the quick draw competition.

Second Place in the Frogger Live Action competition.

He is a violent convicted felon who admitted lying during the Rittenhouse trial, and who has now moaned about ‘right wing media’ outlets who exposed his planned subterfuge.