Bodycam footage contradicts Sheriff's statement on DSU Women's Lacrosse team harassment

Originally published at: Bodycam footage contradicts Sheriff's statement on DSU Women's Lacrosse team harassment | Boing Boing


“Apology” incoming:

“I am sorry that what I said didn’t represent the truth of what these brave officers were living, and for anyone who might have been offended. We’re gonna claim that our dog, who thankfully can’t testify, gave us a “secret signal” and we followed their lead. I mean, what are ya gonna do?”


Lying policemen?



Bruce Lee Racism GIF

Did you expect a different outcome?


How does a “left lane violation” lead to search? Oh right, racism.



My favorite part of what I saw on TV was the Sherriff at the beginning telling the busload of students “if you have anything illegal in your bag, tell us now or it will get difficult.” Right. Pretty sure the charges are going to be exactly the same regardless of how they find out there’s contraband.


“Everything was legal, that is why I didn’t have to tell the truth”.

Thankful no one had a joint on them, racist cops would have ruined a young woman’s scholarships and education, saddled her with possibly unpayable debt, and destroyed early career opportunities and development.


If no racism is involved, surely they have examples on bodycam of busloads of white collegiate athletes who were similarly detained and searched.


I watched the body cam footage. Not all of it, but enough to see what happened. When the officer pulled the bus over, after asking for the driver’s license and explaining why he pulled him over, he invited the driver to stand next to his vehicle and talk to him while he ran the license, etc. and then after a few minutes, he says to another officer “These are a bunch of college girls. They probably got weed. This driver’s a little too talkative.” And that’s the setup for “reasonable suspicion.” The driver was too talkative. Don’t talk to the police. Even if you think they’re just being friendly and having conversation. They aren’t. They’re trying to get you to say anything they can use. And they will. And it sucks, but that body camera footage will probably be enough to legally provide “reasonable suspicion.” Don’t talk to the police. Ever.


“Liberty” County


Except they could have said the same thing if the driver didn’t talk enough. Nothing the driver said gave any indication of any illegal activity. As you know, refusing to talk to police has been ruled to not be probable cause…and as you also know, that gets ignored by cops regularly. This is just another excuse for an illegal search. And an obviously biased one, at that.


You’re right, but staying silent has a better chance of a better outcome later. The other thing the driver did was admit that he did the thing they pulled him over for, driving in the left lane. And that admission, combined with telling the deputy that he’d been a bus driver for 20 years, was another item the deputy could hang his “reasonable suspicion” hat on. If he was a bus driver for 20 years, he should have known he couldn’t drive in that lane, so that’s suspicious…as far as cops are concerned. Would staying silent have made any difference here? Probably not, but the driver unintentionally made things a lot easier for the deputies to justify a search. Luckily here, no one had anything and none of these deputies apparently felt like planting anything.


Reasonable suspicion of what, though? Pulling someone over for a traffic violation and having them admit to that traffic violation isn’t an invitation to search a vehicle. It’s still an illegal search.


Unfortunately, ever since Terry v. Ohio, courts have given the police a lot of room here. It’s not that his admission was suspicious, it’s that him saying he didn’t know he couldn’t drive in the left lane was suspicious for being someone who said they had 20 years of experience driving buses. Legally, that makes it reasonable for an officer to think, “Something isn’t right here. Something isn’t adding up. This guy is trying to hide something.” Is that bullshit? Hell yes, it’s bullshit. But it’s been enough for judges ever since Terry.


Would that cover searching the passengers’ belongings, though? I get that this wasn’t a public conveyance, but the driver’s belongings and the passengers’ were clearly demarked. Seems a stretch to add them to the suspicion.


The whole thing is a stretch, and we all know that. Could a really good defense attorney get the search tossed if the deputies had found something? Maybe. Would the University have provided one of these women with a really good attorney if that had happened, or would they have left them on their own, where they would have probably been forced to accept an overworked, underpaid local public defender? I don’t know, but I’m glad we won’t have to find out, this time.


Passengers are then told the reason for the stop, the deputy saying, “This is what we do.” He then describes how their job is to stop commercial vehicles because drugs, “large amounts of money” and children being trafficked may be on board.

ahh… civil forfeiture. since they’re never even slapped on the wrist, it’s in their benefit to always up the ante and do as many illegal searches as they can. enough cash and they’ll probably get a promotion. it’s all upside for them.

( and “children being trafficked” – dear god. how many bus loads of trafficked children have they found exactly? i mean everybody knows there’s just hundreds – no thousands – of buses roaming the nation filled with missing children. /s )


This is so enraging, and the thing is, those cops, like most, are so stupid and ignorant that they probably don’t even know what they’re doing isn’t legal. They’ve completely normalized doing the wrong thing, they’ve probably been trained by the previous generation to do it that way. They’re not just awful, they’re clueless.

I keep thinking about the people who say, “Just do what the cops tell you,” which presumes police acting both legally and in good faith, which you shouldn’t ever do. Mostly they don’t really care if anyone is innocent or guilty, they just want to keep their arrest stats up, and entrap as needed. It becomes vitally necessary to know your rights when cops are going to make demands, where they’re not going to distinguish between those which you’re legally required to comply with and others that you don’t (and which might incriminate you by doing so), not to mention that they’ll go ahead and do things they don’t have a right to do. Of course, asserting your rights means you’ll likely anger them, and their illegal retaliation might put at risk your life and liberty, but that’s true either way.

I don’t know what’s worse - if he knew that was a lie and said it anyways, or someone below him lied to him, despite there being evidence to the contrary that was bound to come up. Either way, he lied, and I really hope someone holds his feet to the fire and calls him out on it, though.


Of course a “Terry search,” is supposed to be for weapons, not weed.