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Q: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO ( No Answer,   11 Comments )
Subject: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: russianspy-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 05 Oct 2006 10:13 PDT
Expires: 04 Nov 2006 09:13 PST
Question ID: 771024
I need some legal help.
I was just arrested after 2 officers stopped me 1/2 a block from my appartment. 

Because this has happened several times (last time just a month ago),
I felt harassed and wanted to talk to someone to prevent this
situation from continuing to repeat itself. This is what I told the

I told them I want to talk to their supervisor. The officers agreed,
and called him. I didn't answer any questions until the supervisor

Uppon arrival, the supervisor talked to the officers in a distance,
then came to me a few minutes later. He had to interest to hear my
complaint and instead asked me for my name. I gave him my first name,
then hesitated before giving him my last name. Imediatly after the
hesitation, he raised his voice and said "arrest him".

I was handcuffed and put into a police car. They took my backpack and
searched it for several minutes.

I was taken to a holding cell. They told me upon release, they would
not drive me back home and I was not allowed to walk home.

I was booked, photographed and fingerprinted. I now have a court
summons, and the charge is "Interference". There are no fines.

QUESTION: What do I say in court ?
What would I need to have a case ?

GOAL: I want the charge expunged. ( they told me that because of this
charge, next time it happens they'll post a $100 bond ). I DON'T want
this history.

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 05 Oct 2006 10:36 PDT
Hello russianspy-ga,

You gave us the capsule version. I have a hunch that there is more of
a context to your story. Why do you think the police are repeatedly
taking seemingly arbitrary actions against you? Thanks.

~ czh ~
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: pinkfreud-ga on 05 Oct 2006 10:21 PDT
It certainly sounds as if you need an attorney. If all the
circumstances are as you've described them, you might be able to
interest the ACLU.
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: research_help-ga on 05 Oct 2006 13:01 PDT
There HAS to be more to the story than what you have described in your
question, unless the officers are insane and corrupt.  Two officers
stopped you for absolutely no reason? And then the supervising officer
had you arrested because you paused during saying your full name? And
then you were put in a holding cell for no reason?
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: elids-ga on 05 Oct 2006 13:16 PDT
I am so glad to see this!

The EXACT same thing happened to me last Friday. Actually it happened
twice before the first time on September of last year, before I go to
bed I usually go for a walk anywhere from six blocks to two miles
depending on my energy level, if I don?t it take a long time for me to
fall asleep. Anyways last September as I was walking away from home
two blocks from here I was stopped by a police officer who turned on
his lights asked me for my name, address, social security number, and
what was I doing where was I going (he did not ask for a drivers
licence), not thinking anything of it at the time I gave him all the
information he asked for. After he left and I continued my walk
thought he was simply a jerk abusing his power/authority since he
never gave me any reason for the arrest.

In June of this year again walking back home around midnight  one
block from here a police officer again stopped his car (no flashing
lights this time) asked for my name, address and drivers licence, he
asked to see my ID, told him I hadn?t brought my wallet as I had been
on my usual walk along the bike path. He accepted that and left, again
didn?t give me a reason. By the time this occurred I had forgotten
about the first incident think that officer was a jerk, not that it
was an institutional thing. Walking back I got more and more upset, by
the time I got home I was really pissed off. Why was I arrested? Can?t
walk on the streets anymore?!? Eventually I cooled down and got to
thinking about it and came to the realization that it was his right to
ask for anything but then again it was my right to refuse to
cooperate, and so I made a plan in case this ever happened to me
again. I decided that if I was arrested again for no apparent reason I
would ask three questions 1- Is there a curfew in effect? 2- Are you
investigating a crime committed within an 8 block radius in the last
10-20 minutes? 3- Have the civil liberties been suspended as in the
case of the aftermath of a natural disaster? A Katrina-like event. If
the answer was yes to any of those questions I was compelled to
oblige, otherwise it was an illegal arrest and I should not and would
not cooperate.

Last Friday after watching the Leno monologue I went for my nocturnal
walk, three blocks away from here one block past were I was arrested
for the first time two patrol cars went by in opposite directions, one
went around the block and the second made a U turn at the end of the
block. They both converged on me and again with the questions, What?s
your name? What?s your Social Security number? I did give them my name
and address, that I thought they are entitled to. Then told them you
can search with that, if there is a warrant for my arrest take me in,
otherwise please answer these questions, and I asked the questions.
Since the answers were no, no, no, I told them ?this is therefor an
illegal arrest, you are violating one of my most basic rights, the
right to walk live without fear of prosecution, I will not give you
any more information? then told them about the two prior arrests. If
you want to get any more personal information you?ll have to take me
in, then I?ll be able to file a lawsuit against the town for the
arrest, this is not the first time this is the third time, in less
than a year! In reality it was a little over a year, maybe a week or

We talk about this and how we are losing our civil rights one by one
and that ?we? the citizens need to start fighting for our rights, the
right to walk on a well lit sidewalk without being arrested three
blocks away from home. Eventually they gave up, although never agreed
and we said good bye in an amicable way. I did not give them any more
info. I was under the impression that I had done the right thing and
that they had too. Reading this makes me wonder if these are more than
an isolated incidents.

Now, when I asked why am I being arrested for the third time, they
said that it was a directive they had to investigate everybody in the
area because of vandalism about two months ago. Also I should point
out that I am a very well built individual and my body stands out, to
minimize this effect I wear untuck t-shirts, this ?hides? my physique
somewhat. However I recognize that most thugs dress in the same
manner, so it is possible that at night seeing my build and the way I
dress makes them want to be proactive. So I no longer do that, and I
now stay at home past 8 PM. So it is in effect a curfew imposed on me
by the fear of prosecution, that and the fact that spending 20k or
more in a lawsuit is not something I have budgeted for.

I?m really looking forwards to hear the outcome of your case because,
you situation could very well had been mine just five days ago.

I do have a question for anybody that knows this, do they have the
right to arrest us like that? Who was out of line here? And on
Russianspy?s case. I had thought about posting this as a question
here, but instead I chose to just abide by 'my curfew'.
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: sonoritygenius-ga on 05 Oct 2006 14:49 PDT
Omg!! I had the same thing - well almost - happen to me! 

I work late till about 8pm - the bus drops me right in front of my
street around 8 40 -or if I am lucky, 8 30- and I live a HALF block
size away from where I am dropped off  @.

The police have stopped me EVERY time they are on the block. I see a
car, I keep my purse and walk more towards house.. the car reverses,
flashes, and asks me for Id and SS#...WHY? --routine check ---- Why
SS? ---protocol ma'am --
after 3-5 times of this, I refused. They didnt handcuff me just told
me to get in the car, I asked why am I under arrest - he said no, I
said why am I forced to go with you, he said please ask Questions

Holding cell... half hour waiting, some dude walks in says your free
to go, I ask what had I done, why was I stopped........ we cannot
provide classified info.. ok so can you drop a lady home - 20blocks or
more - -no, you are responsible for your own transportation ---

So if I got raped on the way back walking (no bus services 9pm that area) ?? 

Ugh.. more, happend AGAIN this time I just gave every id and # I had
and said if you want to strip me go ahead cause I rather not walk home
by myself 20 blocks @ 9pm again!!!

Where is this country going towards... Big Brother Country!
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: kemlo-ga on 05 Oct 2006 14:56 PDT
I don't think stopping you and talking to you constitutes an arrest.

But refusing to answer their questions is obstruction.

It might come down to what colour/race you are.

Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: pinkfreud-ga on 05 Oct 2006 15:10 PDT
Being stopped and questioned isn't something you can control. Your
attitude and demeanor are well within your control, however. Although
police officers should not act differently toward polite, cooperative
individuals than they do toward hostile, defiant individuals, it's
inevitable that some officers will be sufficiently annoyed by a "bad
attitude" to take things to a higher level. It baffles me that several
of my friends and acquaintainces over the years seem not to have
learned that snarking off to the police isn't a good idea.

A while back, a friend of mine walked in front of a parked police car
at a convenience store while he was eating a banana. He dropped the
banana peel on the pavement and kept walking. One of the policemen in
the car leaned out the window and said "You just dropped some trash.
Would you pick it up and put it in the waste can over there?" My
friend just smirked at the officers and flipped them the bird (a rude
finger gesture).

Sure enough, he was promptly cited for littering, and had to pay a
hefty fine. If he'd done as he was bidden, everything would have been
cool. But no, he had to show his defiance, and sure enough, he got in
trouble. Now my friend (who is a member of a minority group) tells
this story as evidence that the police are bigots.
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: elids-ga on 06 Oct 2006 07:41 PDT
Littering plus Curse and Abuse. How is that the same?

The common thread is stopped for no reason at all. I?ve been arrested
for speeding, unauthorized U turn, expired inspection, clearly in
those cases there was a reason, I wouldn?t put them in the same
category as arrested with no reason.
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: cynthia-ga on 06 Oct 2006 08:45 PDT
I agree, being detained is different than being arrested.  I agree
with Pink, the ACLU has addressed this issue and they may be

This ACLU page has has been helpful in the past:

Know Your Rights: What to Do If You're Stopped by the Police

Don't miss this ACLU PDF file:

Know Your Rights: Bustcard

And to disbelievers, I too have been detained for absolutely NO
reason. The only reason I can think of as to why I was detained and
asked questions was the area of the city. I am a white female, age 49,
so it's not age, race, or clothing. This happened several times, until
the 'cops on the beat' came to recognize me, at that point I would
smile and wave. This happened in a 2 block area when I used to walk
home from a bartending position at closing time.

The first thing to ask the police when you are being questioned is this:


YES: Walk away (quickly--before they change their mind).
NO: This means you are being "detained" --the first step of an arrest.
At that point it's good to ask: Why am I being detained?
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: kriswrite-ga on 06 Oct 2006 09:03 PDT
Walking around at night could constitute suspicious behavior,
especially if there have been recent crimes at night in your area. It
is perfectly legal for a police officer to stop and ask what you're up
to. And if you cooperate, and have nothing to hide, you won't be
arrested. However, not cooperating makes the police officer think you
have something to hide.

It's a matter of common sense here, folks. The police officers are
just trying to keep/make the neighborhood safe.

Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: jordanstclaire-ga on 20 Oct 2006 05:54 PDT
To arrest someone, courts have held the officer has to have "probable"
cause. If you were belligerent, they could arrest you for obstruction
of justice. If you resist, then you get busted for resisting arrest.

Carrying a backpack late at night might be have been the cue of drugs
or such. If you are in a crime area that is probably why they are
patrolling anyway. In any event, I?m sure the officers covered
themselves with probable cause.

When confronted by the Cops:

1.	Be Polite.
2.	Yes or No Sir (or Ma?am).
3.	Give them your driver?s license.
4.	You do have the right to remain silent and you can request an
attorney: ?If I am going to be arrested, I request an attorney.?

The original poster got busted once before so probably shouldn?t be
walking around in that area after being warned before.

All in all, get a GOOD lawyer.
Subject: Re: Arrested for walking home at night with a backpack in Broomfield, CO
From: elids-ga on 20 Oct 2006 07:46 PDT
?Walking around at night could constitute suspicious behavior?

Goodness gracious! I remember reading statements of the sort about
Stalin?s Soviet Union. People had to carry their internal passports
(you can read about them )
failure to carry it with them could easily mean a couple of months
stint in the slammer or worse if manpower was needed in Siberia. From
this pdf
in the States everything is now ?suspicious behavior?. 

I?ve got to say, not for one minute have I ever been afraid of Sadam
Hussein or Bin Laden, however, I am now afraid of going out at night
and have not gone out since my last post here, not from fear of being
mugged, but from fear of being arrested, getting upset and end up in
prison with a record that will follow me for life. The terrorists have
already won, this nation is not what it used to be. Habeas Corpus was
eliminated,  now the president has despotic powers not afforded to any
man on this land since King George, how long will it be before the
same powers are given to Governors? Whom else will get them

Looks like the US won the cold war, and we lost our Freedom. Kinda
makes one yearn for the days of the Soviet Union, when we would strive
to NOT BE like them.

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