Monday, April 04, 2011

Creeping Totalitarianism: Identify yourself or go to jail

If this idea had been proposed in the 1950s, it would have been discarded as reminiscent of Soviet Communism. But state Sen. Dan Patrick has SB 843 up Tuesday in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that would expand the offense of "failure to identify" to require people to identify themselves whenever they're legally "detained" by police. Presently, you're only required to identify yourself upon arrest, which has been the law for many years. Here's the description of the legislation and its intent from the bill analysis:
Currently, it is a Class C misdemeanor offense for a person to intentionally refuse to identify himself or herself to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person.  It is a Class B misdemeanor offense for a person to intentionally give a false or fictitious name, residential address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person or lawfully detained the person.  Both offenses are enhanced if, at the time of the offense, the actor was a fugitive from justice.

It is not currently an offense for a person to refuse to identify himself or herself to a peace officer who has lawfully detained the person.  Police officers routinely investigate persons found in suspicious places and under suspicious circumstances.  The law allows officers to detain these individuals for purposes of an investigation if the officer reasonably believes that the person may be engaged in criminal activity.  These detentions are known as Terry stops, referring to the United States Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1.  Although it is well established that an officer may ask a suspect to identify himself during a Terry stop (see, e.g., United states v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 229), it has been an open question whether the suspect can be arrested and prosecuted for refusal to answer.  In 2004, the United States Supreme Court answered this question in the case of Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Humboldt County, et al.  The Hiibel court held that a state could prosecute a lawfully detained person who refused to identify himself or herself.

S.B. 843 would amend Section 38.02 (Failure to Identify), Penal Code, by creating an offense for a person who refused to identify himself or herself to a peace officer who lawfully detained them.
This is no small thing. In practice, the change amounts to a requirement to identify yourself whenever a cop demands it. That dramatically extends police power over the citizenry in day-to-day interactions where otherwise no arrest need ever result. (The Texas House in 2007 dramatically rejected similar legislation on third reading by a vote of 116 to 23, but the Senate gave approval to Patrick's bill in 2009. See the extraordinary 2007 House debate here beginning at the 1:53 mark; Rep. Senfronia Thompson was amazing that day.)

Arresting people for no other reason than refusing to give their name? So much for the right to remain silent. How can you tell the cop your name if you're silent, and if by law you must break silence any time a cop detains you, how can one be reasonably said to have a "right" to it? Where are the "limited government" conservatives when you need them?

Though there's no explicit amendment in the Constitution authorizing it (except the utterly disregarded 9th), what about the right to be left alone if you're not doing anything wrong? Must I really answer questions from police, subject myself to background checks, etc., just because a cop chooses to detain me without cause? Why can't one simply say, like Bartleby the Scrivener, "I would prefer not to," and go on one's way unmolested? "None of your business" should still be a valid response when the state pokes its nose into your affairs without justification. Until now in Texas, you had the right to tell the cops to "buzz off" and if they don't have cause to arrest you, there's no requirement you tell them your name or any other damn thing. This bill would make people who merely refuse to identify themselves subject to arrest. (Even though it's a Class C misdemeanor, there's little doubt the detainees would be arrested because they wouldn't have a name to put on the ticket.)

The reference to Terry v. Ohio is particularly significant. So called "Terry stops" are Fourth Amendment exceptions that the Supreme Court created to justify detention of individuals when law enforcement specifically does not have probable cause to arrest. ("Terry frisks" are pat downs allowed without probable cause, ostensibly for the officers' safety.) But this bill changes the dynamic of such stops significantly. Before, officers could stop you but you didn't have to cooperate. If SB 843 passes, mere noncooperation would subject you to arrest. (As though crowded jails in the larger counties have anywhere to put such petty offenders.) Indeed, the bill analysis focuses on situations where officers have reasonable suspicion, and testimony in 2009 in favor of the same bill gave examples like people taking pictures of nuclear power plants. But the legislation is really much broader than that. Officers are also allowed to "lawfully detain" people merely to check on their safety - so-called "welfare checks." So under this bill, an officer could legally detain me to check on my "welfare," ask my name, and if I don't give it she could arrest me. That dynamic gives the concept of a welfare check a decidedly Orwellian flair.

This is creeping totalitarianism, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it's being promoted by one of the most ardent small-government advocates in all of Texas politics. Heaping more power on government agents in routine encounters with citizens is not my idea of "limited government."

MORE: From Big Jolly Politics.


Don said...

Seems to me that the "small government" conservatives advocate freedoms mostly for corporate causes. Social conservatives want their moral values codified. Warren Chisum, for instance, has changed what he says in public since 1993's Great Sodomy Debate on the House floor, but it's doubtful he's internalized the change. He just got better at politics. Actually, I think if you accused most conservatives of being "small government" you'd have a hard time finding enough evidence to convict them. This bill is a prime example.

Prison Doc said...

Silly me...I had been hoping that "failure to identify" would be repealed, not expanded! I guess I am becoming more Libertarian than conservative in my old age.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives favor small government for big business and big government for the little guy...

Texas Maverick said...

SECTION 1. Amends Section 38.02(a), Penal Code, as follows: .....
Makes nonsubstantive changes.

How can the analysis say this is a Non-substantive change. Sounds like 1984 and Logan's Run to me. I guess the costs to defend at the Supreme Court will not add to the budget.

All this from a talk show host.

Anonymous said...

Without regard to the merits of your argument concerning government intrusiveness, there is no right to remain "silent" per se in the Constitution. There is a privilge against self-incrimination which comes into play when one is suspected of being involved in criminal activity. This frequently comes into play in custodial interrogations, not having to testify in court at your own trial, etc.. There are any number of instances where the law can compel someone to speak and punish them for refusing to. The issuance of a subpoena is one way to compel testimony from uncooperative witnesses so long as they're not incriminating themselves. They can be held in contempt for remaining "silent" over a court order. Being required to give one's name is not an admission of criminal liability. It may cause one to be arrested if there's an outstanding warrant, but it's not self-incriminating. It just allows an officer to identify you.

Texpat said...


I am an adamant smaller, limited government advocate. I know Dan and I publically opposed this law when he first proposed it in the last session. I posted my opposition as a contributor on Lone Star Times, a website originally owned and conceived as by Dan Patrick himself.

Several of my conservative colleagues and many of our readers agreed with me and continue to do so now.

I resent the incremental erosion of our rights in all versions and forms. It's a bad law and should be rejected out of hand.

Charlie O said...

So Texas, how's that "smaller, lesser" government Republican party working out for you?

Anonymous said...

If you are legally detained and refuse to give your name you just gave the officer legal justification to extend your detention until your identity can be determined (assuming the reason for your detention/Terry stop remains valid).

Anonymous said...

Grits.........I will identify myself if stopped. Beyond that I won't say anything or answer any questions if stopped which I believe is my right. Is it or is it not?

Anonymous said...

Now is the time for all reasonably minded Americans to wear a few sticks of dynamite strapped to themselves at all times. As soon as they are illegally detained, you guessed it. Those monks in 'Nam who set themselves on fire had the right idea. We Americans are cowards.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people in Texas have criminal records based solely on pissing police off -- resisting arrest, failure to identify, etc.

Anonymous said...

I drive my sons car (he is incarcerated). Last week a dps trooper driving through a rest area stopped behind the car and ran the plates. I walked back to the car from the restroom and as I got to the car he turned his lights on and motioned for me to come to him. He asked me who the car was registered to, who was in the front seat, (my husband was in the passenger seat). He asked me my name, where we were going, where we were coming from. I inquired if I had done anything illegal, he told me no I had not. He said he was doing his job, looking for stolen cars. He knew my son was incarcerated from his running the plates. I was very angry and upset at the questioning. My husband says he was doing his job, I said he was harassing me because our son is in prison. Maybe I am wrong. My husband says I am. I still felt harassed.

Johnny Exchange said...

I don't buy into the posts that claim conservatives want freedom only for corporations and the wealthy and no the little guy. Any conservative that would back a law like this is seriously misguided and is not a true conservative. We can never have a limited government with laws like the one proposed.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea for the police to be able to identify someone on sight. However, this law is not the way to go about it. It would be a better idea for the cop to just whip out a cell phone, snap a picture, and upload the picture to the DPS database where it can be scanned for a match. In a matter of moments, you will know who Mr. Doe is, whether he wants to tell you or not. To go even further, if someone in the area is later victimized by crime, the police can just pull his phone back out, and show the picture to the victim for a possible ID.

Anonymous said...

So if it's a Class C misdemeanor (an offense punishable by fine only) to fail to identify one's self to the LEO, how does it work? is one arrested and jailed? given a citation? have the shit beaten out of them? other??

Sean said...

07:40:00 PM,

The thing is, you're both right. His job is to harass anyone he thinks might be even merely associated with criminal activity regardless of how wrong his gut may be. I doubt it was personal, but that doesn't make it any less bothersome.

In a perfect world he wouldn't have bothered you at all since I'm assuming your car didn't come up as stolen when he ran your plates (otherwise your story would be drastically different). In a slightly less than perfect world you would be able to tell him to fuck right off when he started asking irrelevant questions. But we live in a world where a badge and a gun demand respect even when it isn't due.

Back on topic, bills like this are why I sometimes have such a hard time believing the slippery slope fallacy is actually a fallacy. I would love to believe this bill is an isolated example and just misguided but well intentioned. And that it won't push precedent in a direction that further erodes our civil liberties. But I just can't.

I am not a lawyer, nor am I a historian of law, so I realize I might be horribly wrong when I say that laws like this are seldom if ever repealed. Only enhanced and bolstered. If anyone wants to correct me, please do, it might restore some of my faith in our legal system. We may not be on a slippery slope in the traditional sense of the argument. But we sure as hell are on some kind of downward slope with no clear way back up.

Sean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean said...

10:34:00 PM,

My guess is that it is entirely up to your attitude and the kind of day the officer is having. That's my probably biggest problem with this or any other law that essentially demands you behave in a certain way when interacting with police. They create this whole subjective dynamic between regular citizens and LEOs that only fosters us vs. them attitudes on both sides. And it gives people entrusted with a great deal of power even more of an ability to wield it in potentially irresponsible ways if they're having a rough day or don't like the way you talk to them.

The Homeless Cowboy said...

As far back as 1970 in Dallas you could be arrested if a police officer stopped you and you could not produce ID to his satisfaction. Back then anyone who looked vaguely like a hippie was arrested for whatever they felt like arresting you for. Dallas has never spent a lot of time worrying about if what they do is legal , which is still evidenced today by the recent behavior of the Mayor. Louis Armstrong was right " What a Wonderful World"

Anonymous said...

It would appear that Grits (Scott) has been listening to local Austin radio host Alex Jones ( a tad too much. Scott all of these new measures are only designed to keep you safe from home grown terrorist and other assorted criminals. Scott I very concerned about your level of paranoia concerning the erosion of your civil liberties in order to keep you and your loved ones safe. Don't think of yourself, remember it is for the children. Don't you want the children to be safe? Only the state can keep you safe as most people are totally incapable of caring for themselves.

Margret Singer was ahead of her time when she brought forward the idea of eugenics to create a pure race of contributing human beings. Sterilizing the insane, criminals, and other non-productive lower class people would ease the burden of the tax payers greatly. Welfare, mental health costs, and prison cost would fall dramatically over the next two generations. As Mr. Rockefeller noted in his book, the world is grossly over populated. He felt over 80% of the population should be done away with. Scott you must admit there are millions of useless feeders in the world today. (Useless feeders a term coined by Ted Turner) To the enlightened elite much of the world population is little more than cattle. Only a few should be retained to serve the elite.

Scott you should become one with the state! Resistance is futile! You should give up your conspiracy theories and stop your fear mongering. Just what have you got to hide Scott? A good citizen would be proud to show his papers.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

7:21 writes, "Scott you must admit there are millions of useless feeders in the world today."

Indeed, I just read a comment from one of them. :)

Also, fwiw, to my knowledge I've never heard an Alex Jones broadcast in my life.

To 9:35, outside of television shows, facial recognition software doesn't work remotely well enough yet to do what you're talking about.

ckikerintulia said...

I hope anon 4/05 7:21 is being facetious. I fear (s)he is not. Alan Bean in "Taking Out the Trash" makes a good argument that the Tulia Drug Sting was about getting rid of unproductive people (cattle?). Rev. Charles in tulia

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the State of Texas please feel free to leave at any time.

I don't think that the Police are going to set up at intersections and ask everyone they see for thier I.D.

Come on now, let's have a little bit of sense.

ole Chicken Little Grits wants everyone to think that they Police are getting ready to go door to door asking for I.D.

What is the problem with identifying yourself if asked to do so?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:04,

Actually they already do set up at intersections and ask anyone they want to produce ID. In Harris County they have what are called "blitzes" where they stop anyone they want on pretextual stops in a given area over a period of 1 to 3 nights. A while back they managed, if I remember correctly, 900 citations in 3 days which gives you an idea of the number of stops completed - and that's not counting the "warnings" and "Be careful next time, your free to go" catch-and-release stops.

In answer to your question, I have another. What is the problem with allowing an officer to "look" through your house, bedroom, medicine cabinet, etc. if you are asked to do so? Same difference. Don't think so? I had an associate who would do just that to foreign nationals who weren't aware of their rights.

As for leaving the state of Texas, I suggest that you have presented a corollary to Gowin's Law and like it, your argument immediately lost any credibility when presented.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Dan Patrick that successfully screwed his creditors by declaring bankruptcy twice, calls for military action in the Mideast but never served due to a "bum leg", and wants to remove class size limits in elementary schools so one teacher can "teach" 25 plus students at one time?

Anonymous said...

In Dallas, back in the 1970s, the police arrested anyone who looked even vaguely like a hippie. If you got busy and went a week past your regular hair cut date, you got arrested. On any given day back then in Dallas they had about 100,000 of us in jail--just for looking vaguely like a hippie. I remember those days well.

Anonymous said...

11:27 says: "I will identify myself if stopped. Beyond that I won't say anything or answer any questions if stopped which I believe is my right. Is it or is it not?"
Maybe for now.

7:40 says: "But we live in a world where a badge and a gun demand respect even when it isn't due."

Ours rights are being eroded, and it is a right-wing agenda. There will be people who back the repression and it will be dark times if people cannot resist this agenda.

Anonymous said...

Not creeping toward it...leaping like a gazelle.

What truly puzzling is the seemingly blithe, docile citizens in general, lawyers as a group and, most particularly, Supreme Court justices...of crap like this. "Terry stops" indeed.

When conservatives speak of freedom they typically mean one thing: taxes...and the freedom to not have to pay them.

Alan said...

I don't tilt conspiratorial, but can't help wondering if one outcome Sen. Patrick desires is lots of exchanges like this:
Officer: What is your name?
Man: No hablo ingles.
Officer: Tell me your name.
Man: Lo siento. No entiendo.
Officer: You're under arrest for failure to identify. Now show me your proof of legal status. And let's stop by your home on the way to jail, and check the legal status of everyone there, too.

Anonymous said...

Dan Patrick is indicative of the current Republican Party in Texas. He is not atypical. A blow hard of the first magnitude, a right wing warrior who avoided military service on a pretext (Cheney, Phil Gramm, etc.), avoided paying his debts, and now wants to give the police a power they will abuse from the moment it is passed. What makes these idiots worship corporate dominance over our lives? Yes sir, let's all get behind license plate scanners, surveillance cameras, retina identification, directional microphones where Republican judges grant cops the right to ease drop on conversations from blocks away, and more money to monitor "surges" in your electric bill to see if you are growing hydroponic plants in your residence.

Anonymous said...

10:16, First they came for the illegal immigrant... then they came for me.

Anonymous said...

Do political parties exist to support the corporation? An example--the lusty tango of the democrat party and GE. The democrat party and . . . you fill in the name of the bank. Dancing with the stars. The recent bribes to the fat cats--how many trillions were given away by this administration? Unexcelled in history, they say.

Anonymous said...

Everyday Texas is turning into a police state, I'm at the point I'm ready to die for my rights and beliefs and take a few with me.

The majority of Americans are cowards!

Anonymous said...

I guess all of you feel that you should be able to do what you want when you want....correct?

Some of you make it sound like the Police are going to start kicking in your door at any time, which I think is utterly ridiculous!

If you make every effort to OBEY the laws set forth by persons elected then I don't believe you will have difficult time when encountered by Law Enforcement.

It is pretty simple

Anonymous said...

Some of you boobs should listen to youselves...

The Police are watching me and my family, and waiting for the chance to stop us when we leave our home....LOL

Do you really think that you are that important to your local law enforcement officers?

If so, then you should seek help.

Get up from your computer, wipe off the cheetos crumbs, take a bath, go outside and join the rest of the world in real life....not just on a computer.

Anonymous said...

To anon 11:36

All you have to do is make the call, I'm sure that someone would be willing to oblige you in your quest

Anonymous said...

I recommend leaving the law alone. It's been okay for me for the last 20 years in LE. Why screw up something that isn't broke?

On another note, there are some very disturbing posts here. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Surely YOU HAVE ALL FIGURED THIS OUT BY NOW - it is an effort to put more money in the coffers. It is all about money - Salaries for all employees throughout the judicial system; fines; bails bondsmen; attorney's fees and of course those thoughtful tow truck drivers (whose location is always 50 miles from anyone's home). Another law seems unnecessary - considering this law could cost an innocent person a day or more of pay through lost work; plus all the other expenses enumerated as well as a blight on their character. (all non-refundable).

Anonymous said...

Grits said:
"To 9:35, outside of television shows, facial recognition software doesn't work remotely well enough yet to do what you're talking about."

I'll tell you what. Even the free stuff from Google is pretty impressive. You should play with it. For the more serious facial recognition software, look at

Anonymous said...

11;51 & 11:55,

Guess neither of you ever heard of CONINTELPRO.

Anonymous said...

It is naive to think that you are safe from police abuses if you are not doing anything wrong. If I have not done anything wrong a police officer should not have the right to get information from me. People who trust the state with their freedoms are fools.

Anonymous said...

If we did away with the so-called 80% who would serve in the Military so people like him can continue to dodge the draft that might come again one day or do the other dirty work? Maybe slavery will be the next item on their agenda?

Anonymous said...

Scott your Homeland Security file indicates you have had lunch with Alex Jones on several occasions. The unnamed source who gave the Fusion Center the report on your activities is rated as extremely reliable. Face Recognition Software and License Plate Readers place you in close proximity to Mr. Jones' Studio on several occasions. I am sure it is just a coincidence. You are on the red list unfortunately due to your anti-government activities.

Scott I am not a useless feeder. I am one of the people who will take every right you think you have. As I type this millions of dollars are flowing from the dumb animals (sheep) into our off shore accounts. Once we have sucked the last nickel out of your pocket you will be of no use to us. We will have our New World Order with our paramilitary police to protect us from the masses as they starve.

Most of you are so ignorant we can tell you we are screwing you and you will not believe us. I think the more in your face we get the more the sheep like it. We control the politicians and the money, need I say more? We have used the U.S. taxpayers to pay for our wars that made us even richer. We control the various stock markets and exchanges to take your money, we never take the hit, the sheep do. We are so good at getting the sheep to fight among themselves while we rape them.

Let me give you an example Scott, the unrest in the Middle East have made us millions in higher oil prices. We own the CIA and MI6 who are managing the protestors. I was aware several months in advance of the current situation in the Middle East would unfold. If we can destabilize the Saudis as we have the other oil producing states we will have $200 to $300 per barrel oil. Our profit margins will be over whelming. This should crash the U.S. economy and we will buy up anything we desire for pennies on the dollar just as our former generations did after the crash of 1929. I know you will think this is some crazy rant but you will remember this when oil tops $200 per barrel and know I am very real.

P.S. Our ethanol from corn has starved millions in third world countries while the tree huggers in the U.S. feel so green! See how easy it is for us to kill off millions and look good doing it.


Anonymous said...

To Sean:

I am 7:40 pm. I am a mother and a grandmother. The car was not stolen. My husband (retired cop) keeps tellling me it was not personal, that he was truly doing his job. Nonetheless, I was truly bothered by the questioning and the intrusion. I told my husband that if the car would have just been registered to my son without the word incarcerated, there would not have been any issue. He agreed. I guess it was because I was doing nothing wrong that the questioning really upset me and made me angry.

Anonymous said...

Sieg heil! Let me see your papers.

Reading these posts make me feel like I'm listening to a discussion in 1930's Germany.

What's next?

Anonymous said...

Grits.... What is your definition of Totalitarianism?

Is the United Kingdom a Totalitarian state? They have a stop and identify law. So does most of the rest of the democratized world.

24 states and the District of Columbia have stop and identify laws.

Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the power of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.[2] Totalitarianism is usually characterized by the coincidence of authoritarianism (where ordinary citizens have less significant share in state decision-making) and ideology (a pervasive scheme of values promulgated by institutional means to direct most if not all aspects of public and private life).[3]

Grits... Quit using the term Totalitarianism.... You have readers that are talking about blowing themselves up over this rhetoric. Those are some names that need taking lol.

I am for the stop and identify law due to the fact that it is a minimal government intrusion for a great benefit. It is not a "stop and arrest for no reason law." You can still be a douche bag to public servants for the hell of it.... 'Cause this IS a free country. You just have to give you name when your called upon. After reading about some of your interactions with police... You do kinda' behave like a douche sometimes....

By the way, I was conducting some research for college a few years ago and came across a VERNON'S CIVIL STATUTES law book written in the late 1930's. Texas actually had a "stop and identify law" then.... A person was required to give their name, date of birth and address to a peace officer when stopped during a temporary detention.

If you disagree with the law. That's fine. This slippery slope stuff just doesn't hold water when you actually look outside the borders of the United States and in 24 U.S. states.

Totalitarianism... Horse hockey. You darn near PROVE Godwin's law... Only on the Orwellian scale....

Matthew Vincent Blackstock

Gritsforbreakfast said...

My definition of totalitarianism, Matthew? You came pretty close: A system that "recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible." How does that not apply here? Seems to me like exactly what's happening.

BTW, good for your for at least using your name to disagree. Often those who come on this blog pushing to maximize police powers won't attach their names to their opinions.

Anonymous said...

So, I'm arrested on a public right-of-way through a military base, supposedly for protesting (I wasn't) and refusing to show ID (I was specifically told I wasn't being detained, and I didn't show ID because they said I wasn't detained). I'm not prosecuted. Over a year later, I'm barred from the base (except vehicle travel on the public road) for refusing to show my ID that one time. So, I decide to go out again on the public roadway and hold a sign. If I give my name, I will be arrested for trespassing on the public right-of-way. Is my very name, in an of itself, thus incriminating?

Charlie O said...

Anon 8:04.

Two things.

1. I left Texas in my rear view mirror. Best decision of my life. Got tired of living around religious zealots and ignorant rednecks. Don't miss any of you one bit.

2. You are fucking idiot.

Anonymous said...

We will have to agree to disagree on the Totalitarian issue.

I just think that this law is internationally recognized and has not caused Totalitarianism in any nation where it has been enacted.

I believe that an investigative stop is often necessary in law enforcement even when a crime has not been committed. At least the person will be identified if further details are needed later.

I really don't see what fundamental right this takes away from a free people.

I understand right to privacy; but I do think that there is a hard governmental interest here in the vicinities of murders, robberies, kidnappings and sexual assaults... None of the people in the area may be suspected of a crime but at least the police can take their details just in case evidence implicates a person in the area. Heck, I would even explore a modification of this law only to apply to certain types of criminal investigations....

If this law is used properly, by a well trained police force.... I think this law could be great for solving crimes.

I suppose we can agree to disagree on the fail to ID issue.

I am not really for "maximizing" police power. I just don't see how providing you identification to a police officer is going to severely impact your life. People are still free to travel, move, congregate, speak out without fear of persecution. That, by definition is a free society.

Police Officers have defined roles in our state and they have (and should always have) limits on their authority. I just think, in this case, this particular law could assist in the solving of some vicious crimes.

As long as you can speak out on your views on this blog. You are free.

I must also say, although I disagree with some of your views/actions your blog is informative, intelligently written and enjoyable.

Matthew Vincent Blackstock

Anonymous said...

Charlie O

Happy that you left, but did you really?

If you left Texas then why are you so concerned?

Further, it's not you are idiot, it's you are an idiot.

I may not have the same beliefs as you, but at least I can spell....

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlie O

Let's try to watch the language, no need for you to be so hostile.

It is common for the illiterate to reduce themselves to using vulgar language at times when they cannot come up with a catchy retort, that means response in case you were wondering.

My oh my it is hard to believe that a REDNECK could be so versed in the English language.....

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Matthew writes, "I do think that there is a hard governmental interest here in the vicinities of murders, robberies, kidnappings and sexual assaults."

Except that's not what we're talking about. We're discussing situations in which police do not have probable cause to believe a crime was committed at all, which is why this is a slippery slope and at best a "soft" govenment interest. Sure, in those types of cases getting names might be justified, but this bill is not about investigating violent crime, it's about stops without probable cause.

I'd also dispute your claim that such laws have "not caused Totalitarianism in any nation where it has been enacted." (Such laws don't "cause" totalitarianism, of couse, they're just a symptom.) I can recall when the sarcastic comment, "Can I see your papers, Comrade," was routinely used to criticize the lack of freedoms in Communist Russia, China, Cuba, etc.. But now that the Communist threat has vanished, too many Americans are willing to embrace authoritarian values we used to criticize.

Finally, you edorse the law "If ... used properly, by a well trained police force." But one shouldn't set such policies based on the best case but the worst. What happens if it's used IM-properly by a poorly trained police force? The answer to that question is how you tell whether this is a good idea or not.

Anonymous said...

Matthew says, "People are still free to travel, move, congregate, speak out without fear of persecution."

But if this bill passes, they lose the freedom to remain SILENT "without fear of persecution." It chips away at the right to be left alone.

Anonymous said...


Wow, I no two cents to add, I just like the discussion and debate. Except for the F word lets do this more often.


Anonymous said...

I don't see what the problem is giving your name or id to police officer when detained legally. Whether it be a traffic stop, or being in a suspicious place. We want the police to protect us and catch fugitives and criminals. Whats wrong with giving them another tool to do their jobs better. I have no problem giving my name to an officer, but then again I am a law abiding citizen except for the occasional speeding ticket. Which I pay or take defensive driving so it won't become a warrant.

Anonymous said...

There right to remain silent is basically speaking about the right against self incrimination.

Providing your name is not incriminating yourself in a crime. You may already be incriminated in regards to warrants however providing your name is not used against you when you have a warrant. It simply speeds up your apprehension and gets you your "speedy trial" lol.

grussell903 said...

.. like CASE Law in STOP & ID LAWS in Which the Tyler PD Chief Gary Swindle is Grossly Incompetent DEFECTIVE LEADERSHIP, INCOMPETENT SUPERVISION CORRUPTION and REPEATED MISTAKES, SURREAL MISTAKES, WHICH ARE KEY-WORDS at my grussell_ms3 Picasa Web Albums and grussell903 Delicious Tag Feeds and I Out-know them here in their own Bread & Butter OF Rank & File Law-Enforcement..(STOP and ID LAWS) –Wikipedia and Police Chief Magazine-Chief’s Counsel- STOP and ID LAWS Beverly Ginn Chief Legal Counsel to the Tuscon, AZ PD

Gary Swindle IS A LOOSE INCOMPETENT CANON ON DECK and his Rank and File as Well with The Inability to LEARN FROM their OWN Mistakes which is OPEN to High-Tech Surveillance now with Pictures online at my Picasa Web Albums grussellms3 Memorial Day 2009 See RED BOOK of TEXAS PENAL CODES in HAND of Officer Berend a FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTED AREA !!

See Texas vs Brown US Supreme Court 1979 Texas Penal Code 38.02 Failure To ID. And Police Chief Magazine- The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement Article 2004 Stop & ID Laws as Prepared by the Chief Legal Counsel to the Tuscon, AZ PD Beverly Ginn which Mentions Hibel 2004 Type Stops vs Terry vs Ohio- 1968. Hibel is a Modified Terry STOP !!!! . One cannot be ARRESTED for FAILURE To ID in Traditional Terry States inc Texas during Detention !!! only after being Arrested for a Different Infraction and Texas Hwy Patrol Ofc Phillips cannot Strong-arm the ID by Snatching It From myself in front of Walgreen’s Pharmacy (IN FRONT OF EYEWITNESSES !!) NO DOUBT !! trying to SAVE SNO KITTY- Lisa Spooner CBS-19 am News Anchor and Handcuffing Me when shown the Wikipedia-Stop and Identify Statues & Police Chief Magazine- Chief's Counsel Stop & ID Articles while in Handcuffs No charges were EVER made OR FILLED or an Apology and Complaints were made to Tyler PD Sgt Bledsoe whom refused to document the complaint in writing . “Are you trying to tell me how to do my Job..?” [Bledsoe] Sgt Bundy was the Supervising Sgt of Texas Hwy Patrol whom was not contacted. . The Tyler Police Dept General Order 12.601- 12.612 Expressly states “ All Complaints must be Converted to Writing----