I saw a crime and reported it!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #1
    Under the descriptions of the Model Penal Code, I witnessed Assault, Battery, and False Imprisonment at a place of business and I reported it via telephone to the Police Department. They took interest in the case until they found out I was a law student, but not only a student, but an appointee of a position as a State Attorney. When they found out I was one of "those" in "that" occupation, they became very hostile and hung up.

    When I physically walked into the department, they were very polite knowing I was an officer of the court.

    Does it seem right that the Police treat me differently if they think I am on the "other" side? I never told them I was or planned to be a criminal defense attorney.

    It certainly does not give me any better of a view of cops.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #2
    Maybe because you were a law student, they thought you were being over zealous in your report.

    Kuddos for reporting the crime.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #3
    That's possible, but the other police department I consulted told me that the first police department was full of ****. Unfortunately, the shopping mall sits right between the two cities and neither department has jurisdiction over it, but all law enforcement is covered by a private company.

    That being said, penal codes and statues still apply in my state. I double checked that one.

    Many jokes have been made between cops hating lawyers and vice versa, but I never paid much attention to that, but now I am starting to take sides even though I refused to. :)

    Who hates cops more than criminals? Lawyers, of course.
     
  4. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #4
    Did you try the sheriff? They're usually responsible for things between the city and the county lines, at least they are here.
     
  5. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #5
    I would have hung up here as well.
     
  6. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #6
    Hey andy, was that you holding up the place? :)

    High school holdups.

    I remember how some of the kids on the school bus, we called them stoners then, liked to refuse to sit down at every stop. Those kids knew that the bus driver could not move an inch until everybody sat down. We would often end up at school late for 1st period, but all 40 of us had an excuse. And yes, we all thought we were funny having a "legit" excuse for crawling into the parking lot on a late school bus.
     
  7. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #7
    They could have beat you or tased you. They like doing that.
     
  8. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #8
    You mean "tazed". Or did you mean "teased" or "tasted"? :)
     
  9. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

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    #9

    Im sure they can care less about you being a wanna be officer of the court...When they went home that night, they didnt give you a second thought...
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #10
    You obviously know nothing about the law and the definition of an officer of the court. Are you a wanna be human being?

    Actually, besides judges and counsel, lowly law clerks are officers of the court, as is the bailiff and court stenographer, and least in my state. Titles differ in different states, including the actual names of the lower courts themselves which can range from municipal court to superior court to supreme court to circuit court, and all those can be under the level of a court of appeals.
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    Based on your past posts about the justice and legal system, it seems as though you're most interested in confrontation. Would you care to explain why?
     
  12. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

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    #12

    Did you not say you are a Law Student..?? An appointee of the State Attorneys Office DOES NOT make you an officer of the court...It makes you a clerk...Sorry...


    Taken to emails !!
     
  13. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #13
    I sent you a PM with all the information. I worked for State Bar of California and there are very different rules in our state which constitute and officer, and also how the law, the MPC (Model Penal Code), is represented. 2nd restatement is another matter, altogether. :)
     
  14. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    I have to blame it on Macrumors. :)

    As for my crusty demeanor, that can be evidenced in all my wars with Desertrat and "other" conservatives. I was jefhatfield back then and now I am 63dot. The original mods were first not happy about a Mac site gong political, but then finally started a separate section from the community section with a few disclaimers.

    I started these threads in 2001 back when we only had "community" discussions. I guess I am overly political and maybe accusations that I am a bleeding heart liberal are true...always wanting to change and improve things...always being a rabble rouser.

    Anyway, I was hired by my employer (State of California) to do pro-bono work and most in my field are politically very liberal. I am actually, believe it or not, considered one of the more moderate ones. I don't plan to work litigation though, even though some California law schools are underway actually getting in contract with county court systems to have municipal and superior courts handle smaller cases on law school campuses so many of us will actually have to do a considerable amount of small litigation before we graduate. It's a new pilot program for California and we are one of the first states to have such a program. It's akin to teaching hospitals where medical and nursing students get to do rounds with real patients. The local hospital I worked at in the 90s first became a teaching hospital for the first time and while it was good for the students, some mistakes were made. We had some UCSF second or third year med students attend to patients at our hospital and man, some of them were so green it hurt. :)

    I hope to God that I won't make the same types of mistakes but some law schools are way into Moot courts, and soon, real court. Other law schools don't have such an emphasis. My original job title was that of clerk, first with lawyers, then with judges when I finish school. I certainly never want to be a litigator...just here on macrumors.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

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    #15
    In other words, someone held someone else forcefully and punched them?

    If that's how you reported the crime to the police department, I can see why they might have become hostile. Whether fair or not, people hate it when a non-expert tries to talk like an expert.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning your diligence as a law student, and I'm sure your report was accurate. What I'm saying is that using legal jargon in a situation where one doesn't expect it can make you seem pretentious. When you then tell them you're a law student, it only makes their perception of you more negative.

    Too add to that, police officers hate legal jargon. They'd much rather write things out in common language. Plus, if you reported the crime as your OP suggests, you might have in all possibility forgotten something important that would change the legal classification of the crime. That's why cops would prefer you to describe what you saw and then let them do the leg work.

    Good job reporting the crime though. :)
     
  16. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #16
    The first cop I talked to was my error, but I only tried to use common language but did use the term "false imprisonment" from the MPC and 2nd restatements, and that may have turned him off. So my bad.

    The second cop I talked to was appalled at the unprofessional behavior of the first cop. Whether one comes in and says, "he was violent and blocked the exits" or "he was violent and may have falsely imprisoned innocent bystanders" should not matter. If I say the dude had a gun vs. the dude brandished a deadly weapon, the police officer should not toss out the second statement because it sounds too legal for his ears.

    I have to say a few semesters of law school has changed my vocabulary. In a tort, I use the term liable but never culpable/guilty. But in criminal law, I use both terms as they are interchanged. In law school, using wrong terms are not tolerated but hopefully it is in the practice of law. Also different regions and time periods have used different terms.
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #17
    Since you're acting as a witness, it isn't up to you to determine what crimes were being committed. Your only task is to recount the events as they transpired. The judgement of whether or not the person "may have falsely imprisoned" is up to the officer and the DA, not the witness who reports the crime.

    I'm sure it's frustrating when you know something about the law, but you should let people do their jobs. Would you appreciate it if a client came in and said, "I think he's violating CA Code XXXX" instead of just saying what the problem is directly?
    Well now you've changed the game. A gun is not the only type of deadly weapon, and when you brandish one, it's automatically assault with a deadly weapon. If you were still learning about the criminal code, you might forget such details, but the experienced cop would not. That's why they just want you to follow KISS. ;)
     
  18. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #18
    Turns out the first cop, a new one, didn't know that there was such a crime and tort of false imprisonment. The second cop knew right away and will correct him. It is the job of a witness to say they thought they saw something like I told the cop. It is his job to write it down. A trier of fact determines if the person committed a crime or tort. The witness is never the jury.

    I never said he "did" that and that he should pay or be sentenced, but that he may have done that. One person was African American and I described he looked to be African American as opposed to just assuming it. I know the difference between giving intake info and being a trier of fact. It would have been something else if I said those two perps were guilty. You should know that from your law school classes. Heck, you're at Boalt and I am at a no name regional law school. :)

    If anything, I now do feel bad that the second cop made a report as to the first cop. I figured those stripes on her uniform meant something.
     
  19. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #19
    Was it really necessary to reveal yourself as a law student? I still don't understand why you couldn't have called and reported the crime normally.
     
  20. CalBoy macrumors 604

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    #20
    This is the point I'm trying to get at as well.

    It seems that things turned sour after that tidbit was mentioned, and I wonder why it was relevant at the time. Add to that the jargon-filled report, it comes off as unnecessarily pretentious (even if that's not how it was intended, and I don't think you meant it that way 63dot).
    Then you likely made him feel inadequate and when you status-dropped the fact that you are in law school, it made him upset that an L1 was telling him how to do his job.

    Again, this isn't my opinion, merely how I'm guessing the officer reacted.

    Go back to my analogy about a potential client. If it was your first day on the job, how would it make you feel?
    Yes, but a witness doesn't need to get overly legalistic or mention what they do for a living when describing the events.

    When was the last time a witness said, "He trespassed, burglarized, and arsonned the house, and I know this because I go to blah blah Law School" instead of "He broke in and set fire to the house?"
    I meant judgement in terms of what to charge the defendant with, not in formal trial terms.

    I'm not in law school yet.
     
  21. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #21
    Where are you getting your information, Law and Order, or My Cousin Vinny? :)

    Your answers almost make sense and reflect what we call in law school "TV law". When making a report, they ask you your name and your occupation. It's a part of Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure when you learn about Police and the reading of Miranda rights or Police intake policy when they take a report, etc...

    They just don't say, "Gee thanks for the tip."

    They like to take a name and occupation, and often an address and location." My employer, the State of California, sends me to law school and that is the job I get paid for. Some civil servants get sent to MBA school while others spend a shorter time studying overseas or in another state. Troy State, University of Phoenix (online), and Naval War College are among the member institutions who offer certifications and degrees to civil servants everywhere. My current activity is as a student but it is work related and I get paid for it so my employer is who I state as my boss. If I could leave out who I am and what I do, fine, but any report to a Police station usually involves who you are and what you do and where you live. Many county court employees, mostly law clerks, also take time off of their work and go to law school. And every now and then, we have a cop who gets their JD, but mostly as job advancement and not usually to switch to being an attorney.

    When casually asked on the street, I just say civil servant, pushing paper work, and leave it at that. You will learn very early on at cocktail parties that you don't want to say you are a law student. People have very strange ideas and horrible misconceptions about law school and law students.

    Anyway, it's a strange world, law school, and nothing is what you think it will be. For most, it's a big letdown, but if you come in with a humble attitude and don't assume you know the law, you will do well. Whatever you think is the law, in black and white, and you state in class, a professor will cut you down to size. The answer to every legal question is law school is "it depends".

    Anyway one of the first things I didn't like was the contention between attorneys and law enforcement and I went to some police officer forums and heard their points of view regarding lawyers, which made a lot of sense. In the end, cops, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law clerks, and judges all work in the same system, but sometimes from the day to day on the job, you would never suspect that. :)
     
  22. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #22
    False; at least in Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ. I have reported a crime, and they asked me my name and phone number only. The occupation of the person reporting the crime would have absolutely no relevance to the crime you are reporting.
     
  23. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #23
    Well I am not in Maricopa County, and not even in Arizona for that matter. But when your county annexes all of California, I will either move or have to listen to your dictates. :)

    I would suggest you go to Borders and buy a map. We live in a nation called the United States of America. We have federal laws, laws in states, and laws in counties, to name a few.

    Guess what, maybe there are differences. But that's just a hunch.

    I would never assume all state policies of my state, or city or county policies of the regions within California relate to your state.
     
  24. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #24
    I wasn't saying the laws of my county are the same as in any county your state. I was saying how strange it is that they would ask your occupation when reporting a crime, and shared my experience in reporting a crime.

    It wouldn't surprise me if you used the same condescending tone on the first officer though. It would explain why he hung up. Perhaps you need to step off of your high horse, law student.
     
  25. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #25
    It just wasn't the time or place to be wearing the attorney's hat. You witnessed a crime and were reporting it. Everything else was just unnecessary and understandably got their backs up.
     

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