When asked if vehicle can be searched - when no crime has taken place - you say NO and the officerSubmitted by reginatotheb on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 07:22
starts shining flashlight in vehicle, folds down driver's seat and see's my purse and ask to go through it and I say, "No, that is my private property". I had already given the officer my driver's license while we were both standing at the bumper of my nice 2001 Chevy stepside, bright yellow truck with 22" chrome rims. I was on private property and after cleaning my sheds out in my back yard went on the look for some cardboard boxes to put stuff I was going to donate to the needy in Mexico. I drove into the parking lot of "Walgreens" and parked my truck, turned off engine and got out and walked to area that contains their discards - I opened the enclosed gate and saw there was a bar across the top of their bin so, I closed gate and was walking back to my vehicle. Half way to my truck a vehicle approached with lights off. I stopped and turned to see a police car had pulled in about 3 car lengths away from where my truck was parked. I gave a friendly wave and approached the cop car and then greeted the officer with, "hi, officer - how are you doing tonight? I guess you want ID - It is in my truck, I will get it for you" He said, "okay". I went to my truck - got my DL and returned and by this time he was out of his vehicle and half way between his car and where my truck was parked. I handed him my DL and we began talking. He asked what I was doing and I explained I stopped to see if I could find some boxes to pack things I was donating to the needy in Mexico. I explained to him that I help my Dad, who owns property in Rocky Point, Mexico (4 hrs. from Phx.) hand out donated items to the poor people on a regular basis. I told him my dad had been doing this for close to 40 years now and that we also feed sometimes close to 4,000 hungry people down there and also feed the dogs that are starving. I am sitting on my bumper at this point. I told him that I saw there was a bar across where any boxes would be - so, I was going to go look at the recycle bin across the street. He ran my DL and then asked if I had any outstanding warrants, unpaid fines, or any thing else against my license. I told him, "no" ----- everything is fine with my license. He then asked, "Do you have any weapons and is anyone else in your truck?" I said, "no, I only live a few blocks from here - was getting boxes and returning home". He then walks to the driver's door which was open as I follow him, I ask, "I forgot to give you my registration and proof of Insurance - do you need that too? He said, "No" and started shining his light all around my truck's interior. I then said, "so, I can go now?" He then says, "you mind if I search your truck?" and I said, "for what reason, I haven't done anything?" - mind you - he keeps shining his light under seats and then says - "you've been stopped before" - I said, "yes for a light out on my license plate and as far as searching my vehicle - no, there is no reason - I pose no threat " - Then he starts asking, "why you so nervous?" I said, "nervous, I'm not nervous" He said, "you seem nervous now and that makes me suspicious" I said, "If I seem nervous now it is because you are trying to make up reasons to give you a reason to search my property after I told you no - and yes, that does make me nervous that you are respecting my right to say no" Next thing he does is radio's another officer to bring in the 'dog'. I said why are you doing that - I haven't done anything. Before the dog arrives he says wait in front of his police car and I sat on the bumper. He goes to my truck and comes back with a broken piece of glass and says is there anything else in your truck? I said I don't even know what that is. Then, says I will test it - I said you are going to have to, then we will both know. The officer with the dog arrives and ask me, "before I put the dog on your vehicle is there anything else you would like to tell me you have in there, because if there are large sums of money or drugs in your truck - he will find it and then we can take your truck". I again told both officers, "there is nothing in my truck". The officer gives me a threatening look and takes the dog all over my truck 2 or 3 times, puts dog in car and comes back and says, "do you have drugs on the inside panel of the driver's door - I got a hit (or some word he used implying the dog was excited over what was in the door). I told him, "there is nothing in my door or in my truck". He said, " I'll rip that whole door panel off if I have too". I said, "why do you want to tear up my truck, it is all I have to get to work and please don't destroy it - there is nothing in there". He sighed and went and got tools out of his car and headed to my truck. I said, "please be gentle with taking it off and would you please put it back on when you are done, because I don't know how to put it back together if you take it apart". He finishes (he was inside my truck for appx 1 hour and finds nothing. He goes over to the other officer who has been inside the drivers side of his car watching me through his window as the dog and officer destroy my car and whispers for about 5 minutes to him. I asked the officer if he was kind enough to put my door panel back on and he said, "yes, but there were two cracks at the bottom part of it to begin with" - There were no cracks on my door panels before all this happened. He leaves and I wait for another 30 or 40 min. I finally asked the officer, "is this going to be much longer - I am tired, I have to work early tomorrow and I just want to go home so I can get some sleep before work" . He then tells me he is issuing a citation to me. I asked, "for what?" He then tells me to sign the citation for possession of drug paraphernalia and that if I don't show up for court as shown that a warrant for my arrest will be issued. I said, "you are giving me a ticket for that broken thing you brought over before the dog got here?" I said, " I have to sign this?" he said, "yes" and then he hand me another thing to sign that said, " fingerprint notice" and told me that I had to show up one week before my court date and if I didn't I would be charged with failure to obey and interfering with a police officer per Town of Gilbert Municipal Order 42-179. I looked up that code online and it says it is unlawful to hinder, obstruct or delay any police officer in the line of performing his duties as provided in section 2-314. I look up section 2-314 and find that code had been repealed. Is it legal to have to submit to fingerprints before going to court to find the charges against me. Isn't that implying guilt before even going before the court. I also wonder if the officer why they searched my truck? If he had probable cause or was in danger why didn't he search me and why before I said no to the search and was talking to him casually at the back of my truck did he not tell me he thought I was nervous. Why was I not arrested or read my Miranda rights when they were asking questions and why when I said, "no" did he keep on searching without a warrant? Can I file a demurrer because I felt coheres and under duress having to sign these. I could use some help in where to start to have my rights protected and have this act of police government that is threatening my rights and freedom taken from me if I don't do something to stand up for this inconsideration of our protection by the constitution. The Arizona constitution even says they can't do these things but, I am afraid if I point out these injustices - I will end up in prison or made to pay for what was wronged by them. Please help, anyone.