All 34 year old Larnie Thomas was doing was walking by the side of the road. What transpired is a clear demonstration of abuse of police power.
Fortunately a woman, Nancy Rowes, who happens to work as a mediator, made a video of the entire episode with plainclothes police officer Lt. T.F. Olson.
Thomas was later cited for disorderly conduct and pedestrian failure to obey a traffic signal, and was released. ( www.startribune.com/… _)
She told the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
she stopped to watch and film because she “was watching something that I didn’t think was very fair.”
Rowles said Thomas wasn’t upset with the officer at first but grew more agitated during the incident.
“I don’t fault him for being agitated,” she said. “I’m a mediator, and I see people all the time be upset in ways that aren’t very pretty. We’re human. It’s the job of the police to deal with it in a good manner, not the [one] who is being falsely accused.” www.startribune.com/...
The 34 yr. Thomas was arrested by a second police officer who arrived, lights flashing and siren blaring, in an ummarked black SUV. He immediately got out of his vehicle and told Thomas he was under arrest even though Lt Olson hadn’t said one word to him about doing this.
Clearly this could have escalated and we can only wonder what would have happened if the bystander wasn’t recording the incident.
There’s a detailed story about the incident in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
What YOU is help make the video go REALLY viral. Just click Share on the police Facebook page. So far 180,000 shares, let’s make it a million.
This is from the local paper:
"I witnessed and videoed this earlier today," reads the description in Rowles' video.
"I passed by a man who was walking on the white line of the shoulder of the street. There was construction and it was obvious that the sidewalk was not available right there so he was hugging the right side as far as he could go. I went around him and noticed in my rearview mirror that an unmarked SUV turned on police lights. The officer pulled in front of the pedestrian to cut him off and proceeded to accuse him of walking in the middle of the street."
"I’m not against the police,” Rowles told the Star Tribune. “I was against what he was doing.” patch.com/…
The woman, later identified by the local paper as Janet Rowles, making the video was asked by the police to identify herself. She complied. However this brings up the question as to whether, not being suspected of any crime, she had to or not. I looked it up:
The relevant Supreme Court cases are Terry v. Ohio and Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada. In Terry, the court said that law enforcement can stop a person and conduct a frisk if the officer has a reasonable suspicion (which is less than probable cause) that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person “may be armed and presently dangerous.” This may extend to asking you to identify yourself as it is a kind of investigation.
In Hiibel, the police were investigating a report of a possible crime. They approached Hiibel, who was parked in a car. Hiibel repeatedly refused to give his name, and was subsequently arrested. Nevada had a stop and identify law, which was used to convict him. The Supreme Court determined that these laws are constitutional, so long as they require officers to have reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal involvement. However, if the person believes that providing their name would be incriminating, it’s possible that fifth amendment protections might still apply. But if police are not investigating and have no reasonable suspicion, then you do not have to give your name. Read more
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