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Cops harassing guy for washing his car?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by The Big Ragu, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    This one has gotten a bit of attention the last few days.

    Guy on Long Island is about to wash his car in his driveway, and a cop pulls up and tells him he is going to get a ticket if he does it. Apparently the neighbor hates the guy and called the police.

    They were recording the whole thing. The whole exchange is the height of stupidity.

    According to a Newsday story, the two guys with the car have been trouble before -- arrests for graffiti when they were younger. But the cop kind of rubs me the wrong way with the, "You don't want to get me mad," kind of threat.

    Here is the Newsday story: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/youtube-video-of-garden-city-cop-threatening-to-ticket-man-for-washing-car-in-driveway-goes-viral-1.6647351?firstfree=yes

    As it turns out, the two guys were correct. The village ordinance is that you can't wash a car on a public street, highway or public place, but your private driveway is not subject to that kind of ordinance.

    The cop should have known that and told the neighbor to stop calling the police over petty BS. Instead, he threatened two people who, at least in this case, were minding their own business and doing nothing wrong.

    Situations like that suck. A cop with judgment like that shouldn't be a cop. But since he is, if you stand up for yourself, you end up in handcuffs in the back of a cruiser.
  2. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    That all-black uniform really doesn't help matters. What, did he stop in on his way to invading Poland?
  3. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    In the officer's defense, he was very polite and told them his lieutenant radioed him to stop by. I'm sure the entire department has received a few clarifications about the ordinance.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yeah but perhaps he should have boned up on the law before stopping. Garden City
    is a pretty stuffy town so I can see it happening there.
  5. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    Liked how the cop tried to bullshit new law after the guy correctly pointed out they were in a private area. "Umm, well... you're in public view."

    Sorry, buddy, not how it works. Cops don't get to reinterpret the law as they go along.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I know the part of Garden City you are talking about. But not all of Garden City is WASPY and stuffy. Most of it is kind of middle class to lower middle class, though -- the area bordering Mineola. I assumed that was where this took place.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    they are not supposed to but they do it all the time. There's a lot of power and discretion with cops, especially and most local cops are not that intelligent or well educated
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Ms. Ragu and I were discussing it. ... I kind of said pretty much what everyone on here has. I'd want to stand up to the cop, but I wouldn't because you never win those confrontations. Even if you win the war, you are going to lose the battle. Which means cuffed in the back of a cruiser and 24 hours in a jail while they take their sweet ass time booking you. So even when you eventually win, what did you get for it? It's good that the guy recorded the whole thing. The police will take some hell now because of all the negative publicity. Plus, if he wanted to pursue it with whoever the police report to, he had a pretty strong video.

    My one question. ... I just don't know the law well enough. But your driveway is your private property, obviously. If you give people notice that they are not allowed on your property, they are trespassing. The cop has no right to be on the property, unless he has probable cause to search because there is reason to believe there is a crime going on, or he has a warrant. In this case, the cop pulled up and they weren't actually washing the car yet. So there was no probable cause -- even using his dumbass interpretation of the statute. And the cop had no other probable cause to be on the property. So I was wondering. ... if you are a Philadelphia lawyer. ... if you told the cop he was trespassing and asked him to get off your property, whether legally you would be within your rights.

    Again, it's a formula for ending up cuffed and fingerprinted on a "pissing off a cop" charge. But I was just wondering. At the least if you want to push it and risk getting arrested, could you be within your rights to tell him he has to be a dick to you from the sidewalk, while you stand on your driveway?
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    You're right; as much as you'd like to give the cop a piece of your mind, the possible consequences aren't worth the effort. I wanted to tell a border crossing agent with the intelligence of a second-grader to quit with the BS, just give me my passport and let me get the hell out of here, but you realize that might get you detained for who knows how long.

    If I really wanted to tick off my neighbors, I might try to skirt the edge on this. I'm not washing my car, I'm just cleaning the windows. I'm not washing my car, I'm just putting brushing some of this stuff on my tires. I'm not washing my car, I'm just vacuuming up this mess on the floor . . .
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I was thinking that the neighbor who dropped the dime thinks their still
    living in Garden City of 20 -30 years ago when it was considered bad form to
    wash your car in your own driveway.
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    This wouldn't be an issue if he lived in a HOA with strict rules.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    The community volunteer watch group would have taken care of the problem
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