Do we stand a chance in court?
New Years Eve were were out partying. We called for a cab to take us home and were waiting for that cab at 3am. While we(my girlfriend, a friend, his wife and I) were standing on the corner a police car ran through a stop sign and it was close enough to cause me alarm because it had almost hit us. I yelled out "hey you just blew a stop sign you think you can do whatever you want" (It was a local university police vehicle and upon further investigation we were apparently in their jurisdiction even though we were standing in front of a tavern).
The police officer, a female, gets out of her car and states "matter of fact I can do whatever I want who the hell are you to question me?" I state no one really but I work for the state as a corrections officer and just because you're in a position of power doesnt mean you can do whatever you like. We begin to argue she states that I should be on her side because of where I work. I tell her that I would be if she was doing the right thing. She demands our IDs and we tell her we dont have to show her **** as we were not driving and didnt do anything wrong. We tell her that she is a worthless campus police officer and she begins to swear at us. I tell her that all im saying is that it would be in the best interest of everyone and I would not have had a problem I she had had her lights or siren on to warn people.
All of a sudden we are interupted by her partner. He gets out of his police car not dressed in a uniform so much as khakis and a polo wielding a can of pepper spray. He screams at my friend 3 times "ID,ID, ID!" My friend tell this officer that we have already told his partner that we do not have to show them ****. At this point he grabs my friends shirt and pulls him towards him and again yells ID! my friend pushes his arm off of him and yells "dont touch me" At this point what started out as good intentioned on my part had gone to far. I grabbed my girlfriend and said lets get out of here. She followed me and as we walked away both her and I were pepper sprayed. I was blinded but could hear her scream to my friends wife to call 911(whice she did and she stated that the campus police were assualting people), later i could hear her complain that the police officer was hurting her.
Eventually the city police showed up and took us to the "drunk tank". My girlfriends face was severly scraped up and the city police told her that she should file a complaint for excessive force in the morning against the campus police(which she did that day). We were released and charged with summary offenses(D/Cs). A week later while i was consulting a lawyer i recieved a call from my girlfriend stating that we had received letters in the mail which stated that the day after my girlfriend filed an excessive force complaint that the police officer she complained about had charged her with Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, and Aggrivated Assault stating that my girlfriend had choked her and scratched the other officer and that was the reason for the "substantial necessary amount of force used". I was charged with Disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public drunkenness. There was supposedly an internal investigation done by the campus police in which the Sgt. in charge of it told us that if we had witnesses that it would greatly benefit us. I gave up the name and phone number of my friend and his wife who called 911. Even though, in the second set of charges which were made on the 2nd of January, the female officer claimed that once my girlfriend and I started walking away that my friend and his wife left the scene, He was charged almost a month later with aggrivated assault for allegedly punching the male cop, thus negating him and his wife as witnesses. Is this an injustice and do we have a case or should I just bite the bullet and save my money?
- LaceyLv 59 years agoFavorite Answer
Unless I was ****faced drunk and therefore MIGHT be remembering the events a little bit differently than the way they went down, I'd be letting this one go all the way to court just on principle. Yes, you're probably going to get hit with at least a minimal fine because it is the law that you present ID when an officer of the law asks for it, and you were within their jurisdiction. But the fact that three out of the four of you had charges added after the night in question, and were filed after having filed their own complaints and being called as witnesses, should weigh rather heavily in their favor.
I'd make sure to point out that you do regret the way you behaved in the matter, but be clear that the incident began after you observed the female officer running a stop sign and escalated in part due to the heavy handedness of both officers.
Make sure you have copies of the 911 call and each report that was filed. You may get lucky and get to watch while the judge tells the campus cops what idiots they behaved like. It's not uncommon for even members of law enforcement to have the same view of campus cops that a lot of the general public holds.