Obstruction Is Such a General Term But Police Use It More and More

July 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM 6 comments

Obstruction Is Such a General Term But Police Use It More and More

Recently, England Defence League member Tommy Robinson and an associate were arrested because they were walking through obstructing policethe city of London on their way to the site where Drummer Lee Rigby was slashed to death and nearly beheaded by two Muslims. As the pair walked toward the Woolwich section of London, they were informed that they may not enter the area that is said to be a “Muslim Only” area of the city. If they went past a certain point, they could be arrested.

As they arrived to the point where they were told they could go no further, Robinson’s associate Kevin Carroll was assaulted by a man who had been walking next to him. While police tried to sort that out, Robinson and Carroll continued walking and were promptly arrested. The charge? “Obstructing a police officer.”

Also not long ago, 14-year-old Jared Marcum was suspended from school and then arrested for wearing a T-shirt that essentially promoted the 2nd Amendment. What was Marcum charged with that could have meant a $500 fine and up to a year in jail? “Obstruction.” (Charges were eventually completely dropped.)

What does that even mean? Obstruction. It literally means keeping something from happening, or getting in the way of something so that something cannot happen. Of course, the root word is “obstruct” and Merriam-Webster defines it as “to hinder from passage, action, or operation : impede.” Essentially then, both Tommy Robinson and Jared Marcum were being charged with obstruction, which means that they were hindering something from occurring. In reality, in both cases, the police were the ones obstructing. In Marcum’s case, they were keeping him from exercising his rights under the U.S. Constitution. In Robinson’s case, the police were keeping him from being able to walk freely in any part of the city in which he lives. As Robinson pointed out to police, no such obstruction was applied to Anjem Choudary, who thoroughly enjoys talking the talk when it comes to Muslims threatening to kill infidels.

Generally speaking, when a person is charged with obstruction, it is supposed to be due to the fact that the person allegedly interfered with police, or in some way kept them from doing their job. If a person physically stands in the way of a police officer while they are trying to get around them, may be considered obstructing. If a person deliberately lies to law enforcement to keep them from obtaining the truth, may be considered obstructing.

Wearing a T-shirt that supports the 2nd Amendment is not obstruction. Walking wherever you like in a city where you live is not obstruction. If a police officer told you to jump down and turn around and you didn’t do it, could he arrest you for “obstruction”? Seems so.

A few months ago in Augusta, GA, a man was arrested and charged with obstruction because though the window of his car was rolled down about halfway, the officer ordered the man to lower it all the way and he refused. The officer told the man that he was obstructing his investigation.

Police will tell you that you have to cooperate with them when you are pulled over. Okay, but it’s not as if the man hadn’t rolled down his window at all. Why did the officer need the window down all the way? There wasn’t enough room in the open space to speak to the man he had just pulled over?

Another police officer comments on the situation. “I think in this instance the guy didn’t want to let the window down, didn’t want to talk to the officer and didn’t want to give him the information. So when you don’t give the information you can be charged with obstruction on a traffic stop.” Now we don’t have a right to remain silent? We don’t have a right to refuse to answer questions?

Talk about assuming! This officer – in an effort to protect the other officer assumes a great deal. He assumes the man “didn’t want to let the window down,” but it was already halfway down. The officer then assumes that the man didn’t want to talk to the officer and further assumes that the man pulled over didn’t want to give him the information. What information? We haven’t even gotten that far yet when the officer decided that the man he had just pulled over was “obstructing.” How?

When a person is arrested for “obstruction,” that does not properly define what law was actually broken. It is way too general. In the case of the man who refused to lower his window all the way, how was he obstructing anyone? I’m sure he wasn’t happy being pulled over, but it didn’t appear that he was trying to completely ignore the officer either.

Attorney Keith J. Bruno notes, “Resisting, obstructing, or delaying a police officer is often times the most unfair charge the government levels against its citizens.” The reason? It’s because “for some officers, this charge becomes a ‘blank check’ to write against people the officer feels have ‘a bad attitude’.”

If a police officer is having a bad day – and I’m sure it happens – what is to say that if part of that day is spent trolling for traffic law breakers, they can’t wait to make sure that they take out some of their pent-up frustration on you? Maybe they’re itching for an argument and if your attitude is sullen, they may simply use it to escalate a situation. It’s happened many times.

Bruno notes that the “blank check” of being charged with obstruction can wind up creating all sorts of problems for the person charged. The tragedy is that it makes the charge often sound worse than what actually happened. “This blank check is a very expensive one. It comes in the form of a criminal charge against someone all because they may have disagreed with the officer, ‘disrespected’ the officer, engaged in a little constitutionally protected back talk, or did not respond to the officers’ commands quickly enough.”

I watched one video where people outside a meeting run by SEIU were constantly being told to not talk, to be quiet, by the police that were present. One woman – also from SEIU – said that people were supposed to obey the police. In this case, they were telling people essentially to shut up and not discuss the topic that was being discussed inside the meeting – Obamacare. The police do not have the right to tell people to be quiet if they are simply standing around discussing something. It’s absurd. Would someone have been arrested and charged with “obstruction” if they ignored the police? Possibly.

The generality of “obstruction” reminds me of a police state. It is such a generalized charge that it can be used for just about anything. In the process, our rights are denied all because some police officer wants to go vigilante on someone. It won’t get any better. Over time, it will become worse. The Police State is arriving at our doorstep. It’s here.

Entry filed under: Agenda 21, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics. Tags: , , , , .

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6 Comments

  • 1. Sherry  |  July 6, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Another bogus obstruction charge to an innocent citizen (and abuse of an animal) with the violation of the 3rd Amendment to boot!
    http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/05/nevada-family-says-police-occupation-vio

    • 2. modres  |  July 6, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      It gets better and better, doesn’t it?

  • 3. Lester  |  July 3, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Russia sneers at us now, as we become the USSA! It would seem that 400,000 Americans died in vain to put down fascism! I know what it’s like to be stopped by a cop that just got cussed out by an irate woman speeder that was doing 50 in a 25! I was maybe 10 over on this back road in the mountains. I talked with the officer for about ten minutes and he seemed calmer.Still got a local charge ticket and a point on the license. My other experience is much more unbelievable.
    I was stopped for some idiotic reason at 8:45 in the morning near Phoenix,AZ. I have an older Chevy van with NM plates and I guess he thought I was a coyote. It was the day before the 4th and on my way to visit family. I never had a road test for DUI in my life! I flunked it royally. I had about 3 cups of coffee to battle the heavy traffic on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. The officer did not like my eyes! Bright sun 100 degrees and did I mention HOT! I was handcuffed, put in the back of a DPS car no seat like a dog house. My van was searched and I was taken to a local station tested with 000 results and asked to give blood and urine. I complied having nothing to hide.
    You are kept in a small cage as they do most of this.I was than taken about 20 miles to a county jail and locked up for a whole day. Orange uniform and all! fingerprinted and photographed and not released until a judge came in at 3pm. I had no record no warrants and one ticket in 20 years noted above. Then released from the jail at 5pm. Family had to get me and I had to pay $200 to get my van out of the tow yard. 3 years later I went to renew my license in NM and low and behold there was a hold on the license from AZ. I had to get a drug screening for $65 and now send in $50 to get the hold off! This is very hard at 66 years old and 63 when it happened. Is this America?????
    I’m a white guy, so it was not ethnic profiling.

    • 4. modres  |  July 3, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      That is scary! You did nothing wrong yet you were jailed and had to pay. That’s absurd.

    • 5. Sherry  |  July 3, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Easy money from an out-of-stater…My husband, a former trucker, won’t drive in Wisconsin to this day because they used to ticket anyone who had a plate from out of state years ago. They loved to hide near the weigh stations.

      • 6. modres  |  July 3, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Sad, isn’t it? With hard economic times, cities and counties need money and one way to “tax” citizens is through traffic “violations.” Gotta love it 🙂


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