Originally Posted by gbaglo
In case there is a misunderstanding, the jerk I was referring to was me.
I understand completely!
I have (sorry to say) been kind of a jerk to law enforcement at least once -- and it surely didn't help. My point was that there are some (and I emphasize this is the exception and not the rule) in law enforcement who will violate a citizen's rights and not think a second thing of it.
I'll give you an example:
I was traveling a few years ago westbound on Hwy 90 from San Antonio toward Del Rio, when I came across an immigration "checkpoint". All the traffic was being stopped. When I approached the checkpoint, an immigration official asked me if I was an American citizen.
Call me crazy, call me stubborn, but I was alone, and I had a few minutes to kill, so I did not answer the question. This sort of thing upsets me. In America at least, any law enforcement official needs probable cause in order to detain or stop anyone -- and that includes on a public highway.
I simply asked, "Am I under arrest?", "Am I being detained?" and "Am I free to go?" until he gave up and waved me through -- without answering his question.
I know that many if not most who read this will think I was being a jerk, but again, standing up for your rights in what is a clear violation of the Constitution is not being a jerk at all. Now, if my wife or grandkids had been with me, it would have been a completely different story, because if on the odd chance they did arrest me or detain me for not answering their questions, I would not want to put my family through such an ordeal merely on principle.