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Old 11-06-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
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Police procedure question

Hey guys, I'm trying to find some answers about police procedure in a hypothetical scenario (for a law class), to find out if any of the officers procedures were out of line/against a code of conduct, and if there are any (even slight) procedural discrepancies. Here is the scenario:

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One night, while cruising down Granville Street in his marked police cruiser, and in full uniform, Sgt. Abe Able, a twenty-five year veteran of the Vancouver City Police, received a call from his dispatcher asking him to investigate a theft at the Pizza Patio on Hornby Street, two blocks to the west.
Upon arrival Able saw that eight or ten persons were seated in the restaurant and that two persons were standing near the cash register talking to a person who appeared to be the cook. One of these two persons was Sly Furtive, a young male dressed in dirty jeans, expensive runners, and a "hoody" that was much too large for him. The other person was Chris Crackhead, a man Able knew had a criminal record for dealing drugs.
As Able entered the restaurant, Furtive looked around, saw Able, and immediately began walking at a fast pace down a hallway which led to the rear exit of the restaurant.
Able had enjoyed pizza in the restaurant before, and he knew that the hallway led to the exit. He also knew that it led to the men's washroom.
Able followed Furtive down the hallway and told him to stop as he wished to speak to him regarding "a theft". Furtive did not respond. He kept walking in the direction of the rear door. He later asserted that he did not hear Able, due to the loud music the restaurant had playing throughout the premises. Before Furtive could exit the building Able ran up and forcibly prevented him from doing so.
Furtive resisted Able's attempt to subdue him. He also shouted obscenities at Able. It was only with great difficulty that Able cuffed Furtive and forced him into a chair, in full view of the other restaurant patrons. Able then spoke to the cook. It was only then that the cook informed Able that the "theft" had been a dine and dash, and that the thief had long since disappeared into the night. Able then released Furtive, and told him to be on his way. Furtive shouted that Able would hear from his lawyer.
Furtive suffered only minor injuries, but decided to sue Able. The trial judge dismissed Furtive's lawsuit. Furtive appeals.
Thanks in advance for any assistance that can be provided.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:25 AM   #2
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Well there is probably some information missing here...

What other information was the Sgt. provided with about the call?

Did the Sgt. detain or arrest Furtive?


-If I was only told that a theft occured, and when I arrived a guy took one look at me and headed for the rear door, I'd probably detain the guy as well. If I had more information, such as a suspect description and the time of the theft, I'd arrest that guy if he matched the description provided.
In either case, if he turned out to be an unrelated person, I would have no problem explaining the situation to the guy.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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I guess the whole idea of furtive purposely avoiding the officer even being asked to cooperate would be enough reasoning to cuff him
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:36 PM   #4
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I guess the whole idea of furtive purposely avoiding the officer even being asked to cooperate would be enough reasoning to cuff him
IIRC .. Furtive would not be required to answer any of the officers questions. He could simply say "I do not wish to answer any of your questions" with his back turned to the officer.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ninjatune View Post
Well there is probably some information missing here...

What other information was the Sgt. provided with about the call?

Did the Sgt. detain or arrest Furtive?


-If I was only told that a theft occured, and when I arrived a guy took one look at me and headed for the rear door, I'd probably detain the guy as well. If I had more information, such as a suspect description and the time of the theft, I'd arrest that guy if he matched the description provided.
In either case, if he turned out to be an unrelated person, I would have no problem explaining the situation to the guy.
Sadly, this is all the information given. Personally I think it's pretty weak, as (to my understanding) the dispatcher would provide a lot more information to the officer, so this is a crummily made scenario.

If any of the officers on here could provide some insight, as well as their reasoning, that would be fantastic.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:17 AM   #6
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"Sadly, this is all the information given. Personally I think it's pretty weak, as (to my understanding) the dispatcher would provide a lot more information to the officer, so this is a crummily made scenario.":

Not in the real world. The amount of info provided by the dispatcher is often lacking...and for many different reasons. Often the callers are under stress and leave out lots of important stuff, witnesses are mistaken in what they saw, some witnesses lie to obstruct the Police and sometime you have dispatchers who just want to move on to the next call they are getting. You go with what you got, knowing all these things probably happened in your call. That is why you may get stopped if you or your car etc. don't match the exact description (whatever it may be) given to dispatch. This is also why, in court cases and in the media specially, Police get slammed for harassing "innocent" and innocent people.

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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The scenario is pretty weak in it's detail..

1. If you're running from police, common-law has established police have the duty to investigate and powers to apprehend you. (While watching COPS you know those guys who see the police and run for no reason?, yeah the police can chase you down for doing that.. whereas if you just stood there they probably wouldn't have grounds to be searching you for drugs etc.. only for officer safety)

2. the scenario doesn't say how the officer tries to stop the guy, rather it just goes into a bloody fight (ie.. put hand on shoulder and tell him to stop)

Since the scenario just says he went up and then the crackhead resisted his attempts to subdue him, that is a big hole in the story.. that area would be the area of complaint if any..

Everything else was reasonable as it was a unfolding situation, ie.. he just lets crackhead walk off and the officer speaks to the manager to get more information.. now the bad guy is scott free.. police are allowed to detain people and stop things to slow down a fluid situation to figure out whats going on.

It comes down to

If you were going to investigate a theft and someone makes a b-line to an exit, it would be reasonable for police to stop that person briefly to determine whats going on. If that person fights, police can use whatever force is reasonable to stop the aggression and neutralize the threat he poses.

Now the last part, I would not handcuff someone then sit them on a chair.. because guess what.. now they have a chair to clobber you with... even when handcuffed you can do a lot of damage.

In real life.. it'd be like this..

Go to call... see shady people..they start walking away... ask staff loudly.. these the guys?.. yes you arrest.. no you continue talking to staff for more info.. no need for a paragraph of what ifs that are stupid. Better to just let the bad guys go then getting a lawsuit anyways, since no one will ever back the police.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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Thanks gents, from the looks of it there's no way to win this from Furtive's side of things.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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Seriously... someone who goes around with the name Furtive is just BEGGING for unwanted attention from the cops
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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I remember that old "Far Side" cartoon of one deer talking to another deer with the bullseye design on his back..."What a bummer Hal"..
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