Originally Posted by mrvandermey
Harassment by the police, regardless of the age of the victim/suspect, is illegal. If the police actually had something on the young driver, then they should have pulled him over immediately. Showing up on the door step to tell the driver that you are looking to give him a ticket is simply harassment and is uncalled for. The police can not arrest someone at their home without a warrant, therfore, here the best the officer could do is a warning. However, there is no legitimate prupose in waiting a significant amount of time before approaching the driver. I grant in California the definiton of exhibition of speed (Vehicle Code 23109) is vague and subjective. But if the officer witnessed the quick acceleration and phycially noticed the sound of the car, he was obligated to make that inquiry immediately. Based on the facts here, the officer either did not witness the event himself, so his information is second hand, or he did not have enough for a legitime traffic stop. In either case, the officer was completely out of line coming to the driver's house later to say I am watching you based on this event. Remember, there is no crime for a guilty mind. The facts given do not support a valid ticket for exhibition of speed. Assuming for a moment that it does rise to that level, the officer waived the infraction by not acting promptly. Using intimidation, especially on a minor, would be grounds for a review and may even be grounds for removal from his position (depending on the facts and circumstances).
I agree talking to the officer rone-on-one is a bad idea. But making a formal complaint may not be a bad idea. If the officer gets upset and wants to pull the driver over for every little infraction, he will have an up hill battle showing that minor infractions are valid and not a reprisal issue.
Mr. V, I cannot argue with you, as I am not an expert on the law. And I am sure what you wrote is all true. However, I am a male, a father, and once a teenager. Regardless of what you wrote, we all know how young males, hell, old males too, can get pretty frisky with our wheels, especially with a car like the Mustang.
Like you, I was not there to know what the young man did or didn't do. But if he is like most normal American teenagers, well, you and I both know how it is.
If I were his father, I would thank the cop for giving my son a harmless warning, a heads up so to speak. It was just one time, and you know as well as I do that it takes two points to make a line, a trend. I'm not saying that the cop did not harrass the boy, but after the first time, I will keep more of an open mind.
No offense Mr. V, but lets face it, many lawyers are out looking for "victims" and it seems in this era everyone is a "victim". The fact that his parents help him get such a car suggest that they might not be very wise parents (maybe), and the fact that they are siding with him, well, what message are they giving him? Do they have to go to the local morgue and see dead young males, killed from street racing or other fooking around with cars?
20 or more years ago, a parent in such a situation would have added their own admonishments to their son after the police did what they did. To often parents idealize their children, and what that does is ruin the kid, not help the kid.
Now if this policeaman shows a pattern of messing with the boy, then maybe there is harrassment going on, but after just one episode, I would just let it drop.
I'm 47 and I have dealt with attorneys most of my life, I know how it works, I know the motivation....I have no reason to think that you are not a great attorney....perhaps you are a great one, and a great father too, but lets not forget human nature, how it is to be 17, male, and 300 hourse power under our hoods.
I have two teenagers and I have the resources to provide them both Shelby Mustangs, but I think it would be stupid of me to give them or help them get even a lowly GT...they're my kids, and I love them, but I am not one of these parents that idealize my children, that will back them up even if they're guilty as is the case too often in our society.
My mother teaches 2nd graders....after trying to deal with an unruly student she is force to call home....these days she gets accussed of "picking on" the son/daughter, or having an axe to grind with him/her by the parents. Often my mother will describe the problems she has with the child, and then the parents will call her a liar...it's really sad that parents these days blindly back their "angelic" children and in the end they wonder why the kids go bad.
If the boy takes to heart the message the cop might have been trying to send, it could be possible that that message might have saved his life.