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Old 09-03-2006, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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juvenile search and prob cause.

I live in a small town. Three of our six cops are also our football coaches at the local high school, including the chief of police. My son who is 16 and four of his friends, ages 16 and 17 are also on the football team. During school hours and during the games there are no problems. However, here is why the parents are upset:

Our sons all have drivers licenses. they drive the parental vehicles around our town that consists of basically 15 streets. At night, before curfew, the boys line their cars up in public parking places and sit in them and talk. They talk about the game, they listen to music. Sometimes too loud although that has stopped now. some of the boys chew tobacco- mine does not. None of the boys smoke drink or do drugs. There are boys that do do drugs and deal as well on the team, but they are not with our kids and are pretty much ignored.
For the past three months, two of the cops, both not on the football team, have been approaching our kids three or four times a week while they are parked in their cars. Sometimes it is only two kids there in one car, or two kids in two cars, or maybe all four or five will be together in two or three cars. The boys, none who have any type of juvenile delinquency issues, sit and watch the girls go by, drink powerade and talk. Mostly about cars. They share magazines on lift kits and hot rims etc.
The cops come up to the car, ask the kids what they are doing, shine the lights in their eyes and claim the kids look like they have been smoking pot or drinking. They say the kids have red eyes, or have glassy eyes. An example last night: My kid is parked with one friend in a public parking lot. They have been there twenty minutes. Unknown to him, his two friends are parked in another lot on the other side of town. This municipal lot is in front of the police station. Two cops in one car drive up to these kids, say what are you doing, gets the answer, tells the kid he looks red eyed and what is he smoking? Then asks the kid to tell him the truth- he's waiting for his dealer- he's going to buy pot. The kid says no way, and even if I was, I wouldn't buy pot in front of the police station. The cop tells him to get out of the car and go to the back of the vehicle. The other cop tells the kid in the passenger seat to get out also and stay in front of the car. While one cop watches, the other cop does a complete search of the interior of the car. In the glove box, under floor mats, etc. The entire car. Then they let the kid get back in the car and go home. This is the third time they have searched this kid's vehicle this week.
Right after the kids leave, the two cops bust up into two different cars. The first cop drives to the parking lot my son is in, orders my son out fo the car, and does a quick search of the car, not complete physically, just with a flashlight, then begins questioning my kid about pot, and whether he is waiting to meet his dealer. Satisfied, he lets the kids get back in the car as long as they agree to go home. Stupidly, the kids start driving home. Understand they are no where near curfew and there is no reason for them to go home. But nevertheless, they begin driving home. While on the way, the other cop picks them with his car and follows them all the way home with his car right on my kid's bumper. If my kid even tried to put the brake on, he would have been rear ended. While they are driving this way, the cop keeps turning his spotlight on the back of our car. He leaves when my kid pulls into the driveway. This is happening over and over and over.
Wome of the other parents and I went down and complained to the police chief. He said he would look into it. I gues he did, because it is getting worse every day. What I am told by the cops is they do not need to have probable cause to search the car or to approach the vehicle or tell the kids to get out because they are juveniles. One of them still has a provisional license. They insist they can approach any vehicle full of juveniles without any evidence of criminal or suspicious behavior. However, kids sitting in the car in publc parking lots for twenty minutes they say can constitute suspicious enough behavior to warrant a search. I need help with this. It cannot continue. Our kids are getting pulled out of their cars and the cars searched and sent home too many times a week. And I am told by the cops that the kids legally cannot refuse to get out of the car and cannot refuse the car search. Also they do not have to be allowed to call a parent first either. I have also been told by others that cops are not supposed to broadcast the names of juveniles on the radio and yet they commonly radio in our kid's names and tell the dispatcher that they are searching Mr. XXXXX car.
Where do our kids right kick in? We are told by the cops that basically the kids have no rights in this. I think they must have a right to something somewhere.
Don't suggest the kids do something else. There is absolutely nothing for kids to do in our town and we are in the middle of the boonies. this is what they do for fun. There is nothing else.
Should I get an attorney? Should I go to the DA? What to do?
Thank you.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think you should get or need a lawyer. I think it would be pointless. It doesn't sound like anyone is doing anything wrong. Kids have hung out forever (some are up to no good and some are just hanging out) and law enforcement has always kept an eye on those that hang out or cruise. If you live in a small town, then the cops probably know the kids. Maybe there one or two "questionable" kids in the bunch. If some of the town cops coach on the football team, then maybe they have told their buddies who to look out for. I'm not saying that your child is one of them, just that he may hang out with a person of interest to the cops. There probably aren't many choices for friends in a small town. And if your child isn't doing anything wrong, then there should be no worries. He can go about his business and laugh at the cops wasting their time. Maybe next time joke with the cops, offer them a bottle of gatorade and ask them if they'll see them the same time, same place tomorrow....lol. I would say it is best not to be an overbearing father bear in this situation. Yelling at the cops and threatening a lawyer for watching out for kids (albeit over-zealously) will most likely piss them off to a point that they may target you. If your child is doing nothing wrong, there is no need to worry. Now, if there is a stash of something green in the trunk, then you might want to worry. Chances are more likely that your child isn't telling you everything, or is telling you only the parts of his story that are convenient enough to get you on his side. I might make a visit or two to the hangout myself. LOL. Kids will be kids, and cops will be cops.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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