‘Warrant? You Don’t Need To See No Stinkin’ Warrant. Cuff Her!’

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The police department in a small Texas town is backpedaling on the actions of two officers who arrested a local woman simply because she asked to see an arrest warrant before they attempted to apprehend her juvenile son for an undisclosed alleged crime.

On May 29, in Slaton, Texas, a small town just southeast of Lubbock, a woman knew police would probably come to talk to her about an undisclosed criminal complaint against her 11-year-old. She was also pretty sure that they would try to arrest him.

The woman told MyFOX Lubbock she didn’t have a problem with any of that. She just wanted to see the warrant for her son’s arrest before the police attempted to apprehend him at their home. So when they showed up, she asked.

That must have rankled the police, according to the woman’s account of events.

I told him, “I will release my son to you upon viewing those orders.” Those were exactly my words…He [the officer] said, “This is how you want to play?” He took two steps back, turned around to the officer and said, “Take her.” They turned me around, handcuffed me and took me in.

So the mom spent the night in jail. The son stayed at home. The mother arranged for another adult to stay overnight at the house with her son, figuring that police would get a warrant and return to apprehend him. But they never came back.

He told me it was their duty to come pick up my son…Yet, I had someone stay the night at my house. They never came back that evening, they never came to pick up my son, or do what they told me they were there to do in the beginning.

After her release the next day (presumably because the cops had no reason to charge her with a crime in the first place), the police department offered the family an apology — on the condition they’d agreed not to sue the Slaton Police Department.

Family attorney Dwight said that’s an absurd proposition for obvious reasons.

“This occurred on May 29 when they went out to apprehend this young man,” he said. “The directive to apprehend was not signed until May 30, which is another indication that they didn’t have the authority to go out and arrest him or apprehend this young man… If she [the mother] moves out of Slaton and tries to find a job elsewhere, you can Google her name, and at that point, the arrest, my guess is, is going to show up.”

The mother added: “I’ve never been in trouble, in 32 years of my life, from anything, and to get thrown in jail because I asked a question is not right.”

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Article has been edited from original. –BL

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Harold Olsen

    I think she should sue the city and the police department for false arrest. And, since they illegally detatined her, I think she could also make a case for assault and kidnapping against the two badge-toting scumbags. The cops should also be kicked off the force for abusing their authority.

    • rivahmitch

      The problem is that government at all levels is insufficiently afraid of the people and that leads to tyranny. Officials violating laws and peoples Constitutional rights must be made to pay PERSONALLY. Punishing taxpayers (the people) for government employees’ violations of peoples rights will never fix the problem.

      • Karolyn

        And people are too afraid to assert their rights. They just let it go, which allows it to continue. Unfortunately, sometimes it means hiring legal assistance, which costs money. However, I would think that in many cases, the ACLU could help. I would also think that there are attorneys who would love the publicity and work on a commission basis.

      • Walt

        Excellent point about making officials (cops or others) pay PERSONALLY! Cops (for example) know that even if a citizen’s rights are violated, the county or city and their union will have their back, providing legal support and pay for any damages that may be awarded by the court. As you point out, this only transfers the financial liability either to the taxpayer or in some cases, an insurance company.
        The worst the cop will suffer personally will be to be fired or put on a desk doing admin. work for a while until the dust settles; or they will forced to seek employment with another police force, after being given an outstanding reference letter from their current department head.
        Citizens should demand that a waiver be part their hiring contract, so that cops know that they will be held personally liable if they do something stupid like the example shown in this article. Perhaps then they will act with more restraint knowing they could be ruined financially for acting like criminal thugs instead of “serving and protecting”.

    • Janson Smithers

      The particular police officers here should be fired. I don’t think, I know they should be fired. Leave it up to the lady who got arrested whether they should EVER be police officers again (or security guards)

      As for the police department for which they worked, they are in NO POSITION to be saying “we’ll apologize if you don’t sue.”

      1.) They should be sued. Look at what happened!

      2.) They should apologize. Again, look at what happened!

      All of the people working for that police department should be properly trained and educated about the rights of the citizens. They should be told “if you abuse your powers as police officers, you will be told to apologize and you WILL be sued!”

      • MichaelLust

        They probably won’t be fired, or even suspended. At worst, they might be reprimanded. They are immune to personal liability, so any lawsuit can only hope to collect damages from the city, and even that is a long shot.

  • Darral

    We don’t call it the CRIMINAL,,, justice system for nothing, and yes even in Texas we are have become victims of a tyrant police state, instituted and supported by the Democratic party.

    • MichaelLust

      “Even” in Texas? Texas is the national epicenter of this kind of misconduct and abuse. And I’m a Republican, but its a little silly to blame the Democrats for what Texas authorities do. Really, Darral… claims like that just can’t be taken seriously.

  • steve

    most of these cops were bullies in school so this attitude is normal for them. and in small towns it’s worse. so sue and then the town council will see some light.

  • FreedomFighter

    Another sign of the police state, and the growing STASI attitudes of Law Enforcement

    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • skippy

    “offered the family an apology — on the condition they’d agreed not to sure the Slaton Police Department.”
    Ben, did you mean “SUE THE SLATON PD….”???
    If so….may I apply for the position of your NEW editor/proofreader???!!
    Great article, thanks. Hmmmm…have to wonder what would have happened if she had answered the door with her firearm on her person??!!

  • agbjr

    The Fourth Amendment … no further discussion necessary. Take the entire local government to court and at the same time file a personal suit against the two police officers. File suit as well against the chief, the commissioner, the mayor, and all council members for they are ultimately responsible for the actions of municipal employees.

    • MichaelLust

      The officers (including the Chief of Police) are immune from personal liability, by law. The best a lawsuit can accomplish, even if it succeeds, is to collect damages from the city taxpayers.

      • Protonius

        You’re probably right in saying that “The officers (including the Chief of Police) are immune from personal liability, by law”.

        However, I wonder if it could be argued — validly — that because the “arresting” officers (a) FAILED TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS not only of ethics and “common sense” as to how a “law enforcement” officer MUST act, but also (b) FAILED TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS of codified departmental regulations and Texas legal codes; and that these officers (AND the police chief, due to his apparently having sanctioned the illegal incarceration of the mother and then threatening her upon her release) have thus, BY THEIR OWN CHOICE OF ACTIONS in this case, automatically and of their own volition GIVEN UP any semblance of “immunity” from being prosecuted on a personal level.

        I suppose that, in a fair and just world, (a) this situation should never have happened, and that (b) if the mother would sue, there would be no “negative consequences” accruing to her as a result of her bringing this case to court, and that (c) even in the current actual case, the officers and the police chief would voluntarily — and in public and in writing — “own up” to their mistakes in this case and issue an honest, heartfelt, in-writing, on-the-record, apology to this woman, AND expunge her arrest & detention (etcetera) from the record (or at least explain it away, on-the-record, as being totally an error by the police department, clarifying that the woman was completely acting within her rights and that the arresting officers & department were acting totally in violation of their regulations and legal codes in what they erroneously did to this woman).

        Tough pill for the department to swallow, perhaps — but, I think , it would be the honorable thing to do.

        For that matter, wouldn’t it be grand — and actually also something of a proud moment as well for the police department — if a local TELEVISION TALK-SHOW were to have these police officers and the woman (and maybe her boy) as guests in a TELEVISED ROUNDTABLE to explore this whole issue, with all involved seeking to discuss and explore how to generate BETTER RELATIONS between the police and the community? Wouldn’t such a roundtable go a long way toward “clearing the air” and toward, hopefully, making things better?

        Or, conversely, should the woman sue? Remember, this is the “real” world, where a variety of other considerations may also possibly be part of the mix.

        Tough situation.

        • MichaelLust

          While I agree with much of what you say, my years of experience (raised in a “law enforcement family”, working most of my adult life in the criminal courts) leads me to the firm conviction that nothing the officers did will suffice to constitute a waiver of their legal immunity. Further, the victim will not be able to prove significant damages… at most maybe a couple hundred bucks for her costs… and even when a jury awards punitive damages, these are usually based on whatever actual monetary damages she could show, so even a punitive award of 10x actual damages is unlikely to amount to more than $1,000 – $2,000… probably not even enough to get a lawyer to take the case.

          • Average_Joe56

            Not necessarily, I remembered this case from Tampa (1984) Where a motorist was illegally detained for 23 minutes for refusing to sign a citation. He sued the City of Tampa and won a $25,000 settlement. That works out to $1086.96 for every minute illegally detained….time is money…and since time can’t be replaced…it’s priceless.

            http://openjurist.org/741/f2d/336/trezevant-v-city-of-tampa-c-trezevant

            BTW, the verdict and award amount were upheld upon appeal.

          • MichaelLust

            It could happen, I suppose, but Florida isn’t Texas…and I wonder what the circumstances of the Florida case might have been, too… if he could show he lost money from the delay, its a whole different ball game. But GENERALLY an ordinary person can’t show significant monetary damages from a night in jail. Perhaps, 30 years ago, when that Florida case was decided, things were different, but in the 20 years I’ve been working in this field, I haven’t seen a single case like that. Still, good point, Joe.

          • Average_Joe56

            I believe that the particulars of the case are contained in the link that I posted (the appeal by the city). If that isn’t enough info, it’s simple enough to Google or Bing the case.
            James C. TREZEVANT, Plaintiff-Appellant,
            v.
            CITY OF TAMPA, a municipal corporation, et al.,
            Defendants-Appellees.

            Wonder no more….

          • MichaelLust

            I see, and thank you, Joe… “alert” researcher that I am, I am embarrassed that you had to suggest I actually look at the case! My bad. I see in the appellate opinion that “while he was being held in the holding cell, Mr. Trezevant (the man unlawfully arrested in that case) suffered
            severe back pain and his cries for medical assistance were completely
            ignored”. This factor is cited again when the Court of Appeals discusses the size of the award, and distinguishes the Florida case from the Texas incident. But your fundamental point is still valid… the Florida award was also based on factors present in the Texas case: “Mr. Trezevant is certainly entitled to compensation for the
            incarceration itself and for the mental anguish that he has suffered
            from the entire episode”… it IS sometimes possible to win a judgment in an unlawful arrest case. But it doesn’t happen very often.

  • TIME

    My Dear People,

    When a despotic Ruler starts to go bankrupt, they assert greater control over their “subjects / citizens.”

    Can anyone see why we had the special, fake staged event called Sandy Hook yet?

    How about the fake Staged Boston event?

    ** YOU still have guns, ** thus the Despot’s can’t take you down fully yet.

    {Thus again proving that no American is a FREE: nor have you been ever in your lifetime ~ { as in you’re no longer a sovereign as Americans were pre 1861}

    We are all “SLAVES” to the political class who have turned this nation upside down and inside out.

    When will you all get it? This is not rocket science. Again this all started in 1861.

    Thus we are doomed to fail if we keep replacing the motor rather than fixing the flat TIRE!

    Just the word “Citizen” alone should wake all of you, but oddly many of you are still unable to grasp the true meaning let alone the value of words used to ensalve you.

    Peace and Love,

  • BarrackHussein

    Seig Heil.
    Liberal gubmint unions are everywhere! All of those cops need to stop being cops… too unbalanced!

  • r

    GOD let an asteroid just freggin smash into earth please. Its time for the cockroaches to have a shot at controling the earth. We sure have screwed it up

  • Janson Smithers

    From the article:

    “the police department offered the family an apology — on the condition they’d agreed not to sue the Slaton Police Department.”

    1.) It wouldn’t have been a genuine apology.

    2.) After what their officers did, who the heck are they to issue such conditions for an apology??

    3.) There is something wrong not only with the officers who arrested the lady because she asked to see a warrant, there’s also something wrong with the police department for saying “We’ll apologize but only if you don’t sue us.”

    Though the apology wouldn’t be genuine, they still need to do it AND the lady should sue them!

    After what they did, they have NO ROOM to complain!

  • Ruttiger

    Whether or not the officers made a valid arrest is up to a court to decide. But just as a point of order; there are no “warrants” in the juvenile system. There are “Directives to Apprehend”, but those are not even needed if an officer has PC for an arrest of a Juvenile. To arrest an adult in Texas you must have two things; probable cause AND statutory authority (Ch 14 of the CCP). To arrest a juvenile in Texas you ONLY need PC (Ch 14 of the CCP does NOT apply to juveniles). If the officers had PC to hook Junior up, then there would not have been any papers to show momma. FYI

    • Karolyn

      Well, that’s really a moot point. All they had to do was tell her that rather than make her spend a night in jail. And then they didn’t even take the kid in, so that must have been bogus.

      • fullyalive

        Yes!!

    • fullyalive

      This all only shows how very convoluted and scary our system has really become!

  • Karolyn

    Well, good for her! Take it to the limit! I am so thankful that even though I live in a very rural area, the cops seem to be pretty fair-minded. I’ve had dealings with a couple where I used to work; and they have been good guys. Of course, there are always a couple of rotten apples.

    • fullyalive

      That’s why I keep saying: TSA, Police and really, any para-military, etc. – do a personality-test at least before hiring so the worst apples – aka “power-trippers” – are selected out if possible. Who wants to know at gunpoint that these people are really “talking to their alcoholic dad who beat them when they were little?”

      • Karolyn

        I just read where our new Sheriff has instituted stricter qualifications for deputies, including fitness testing and intelligence testing. A great many cops are alcoholic and wife abusers. Look at all the ones who use their badge for sexual favors.

  • rick0857

    That’s it!!! It’s high time that all citizens of this country demand that ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE UNIONS BE BANNED. These cops act this way because they know 1) they have a union to represent them and 2) based on DOJ directives the testing for police officers has now been so dumbed down to allow high school dropouts with a ghetto school education to be accepted into police training. We have a bunch of idiots running around the country with guns and badges and it needs to stop.

    Get voting in your local elections, start showing up at city council meetings, damn it do something or quit b itching about it!

    • Nancy Vail

      also love the profile picture for yourself…

      • rick0857

        Thank you Nancy, It’s too bad however that you can’t see the entire picture. The Eagle is perched on a small stump of a limb with it’s talons clasped one over the other and the words “Pray for America” beneath the Eagle. These stinking size limits actually ruin the entire effect of it, if I could I’d send it too you.

  • ONTIME

    Looks like the writ of habeus corpus is now in jeopardy as well as privacy, evidence and guilty before proven innocent is becoming common place….anyone beginnng to smell musket powder?

  • Michael Lloyd

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know and care to share why she thought the police would come for her son and why?

    • Robert

      Mr Lloyd, Constitutionally does it matter? Sounds to me that the child and mother have a good relationship due to communication, apparently he (her son) told his mother about an incident between him and another person or their property. So she was aware of the situation and under the circumstances this may lead to an investigation or at least an officer coming by to ask some questions. However we as American Citizens should not have to worry about being abducted by the very people we have placed in an authoritative position, who should and know to protect our Constitutional Rights… I believe that they still swear by oath to do just that.

      • Michael Lloyd

        “Sounds to me” and “apparently blah, blah, blah” don’t answer the question asked any more than the article does which is why the question was asked.

  • Robert

    Those cops and chief should be fired from the job.

  • manuel

    Hey folks, these guys are just being typical US cops – ignorant thugs in uniforms with badges and guns. Remember, they are part of the “criminal” justice (sic) system…..

  • Mo Hammed

    Takehome message here is: Don’t answer the door if its the cops. You have nothing to gain, and everything to lose. Ice Cube said it best…..

  • patriot156

    Just think of how many that don’t get national recognition though!!!!!!1