Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Can't sue cops *personally* for requesting ID (Score 1) 143

On the other hand: Two weeks after a police station in Dallas is shot at, a guy is hiding in bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas. Cops approach to see what's going on. The guy is filming the police station (casing it?). Cops ask for ID. The guy asks to speak to a supervisor. The cops call their supervisor to come over, handcuffing the guy for five minutes until the supervisor arrives. Did they violate his Constitutional rights? Maybe. Does every reasonable officer *know* that what they did violates his civil rights? No, an officer might reasonably *think* it's okay to cuff the guy for five minutes. There's not *clearly established law* that in the situation described, they can't cuff him while awating the supervisor he requested. Therefore he can sue the city the cops work for, but can't sue the individual cops personally.

The second scenario above, in which a reasonable cop might mistakenly think cuffing him for a minute is okay, is patterned after the actual events in this case. In reality, he wasn't hiding in the bushes. I added that to make it a better example, an example of a scenario where a reasonable cop might be unsure of what they can and can't legally do.

Actually, I don't think that would be legal, and there is clearly established law that the cuffing is at least a detention requiring reasonable suspicion. It's been well established that they can pat the guy down for weapons legally, and that should be sufficient to assuage their concerns - cuffing someone simply because they refuse to give their ID would be unreasonable.
In this particular case, you'll note that the officers actually won the appeal (affirming qualified immunity) on the first amendment claim and the fourth amendment claim for unlawful detention, but lost on the fourth amendment claim for unlawful arrest. As the court noted, "an investigative detention must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop.” Specifically:

... the officers were not taking investigative steps to determine who he was (aside from repeatedly asking him for identification) or what threat he might have posed. Neither does anything in the amended complaint suggest that Turner had a weapon, was using his hands in a threatening way, or otherwise posed a threat that required such restraint. The officers’ handcuffing Turner and placing him in the patrol car, as alleged in the amended complaint, were not reasonable under the circumstances. We conclude that a reasonable person in Turner’s position would have understood the officers’ actions “to constitute a restraint on [Turner’s] freedom of movement of the degree which the law associates with formal arrest.”

In your hypothetical, the cops handcuff the guy while waiting for the supervisor that he asked for. They're not taking further investigative steps to determine who he is or what threat he might have posed, and he hasn't done anything to indicate he poses a threat. Just like in this case, handcuffing the guy would be unreasonable, and would likely be considered retaliation for 'being uppity' and 'contempt of cop' for daring to ask for a supervisor.

Comment Re:Not that expensive (Score 1) 232

Yes, I have seen every decent older movie I care to see. Every once in a while I am surprised by an old movie I missed, but it's quite rare. After a couple decades even great movies start to show their age anyway.

If you can say this with a straight face, then you are someone who:

  • ** has no respect for the history of film

** is too young to know what the fuck you want

** deserves to pay $50 for crap like "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension"

Comment Re:meta-stable? (Score 1) 270

Well it hung around for a long time in the singular state (metallic hydrogen and solid diamond in a regular crystal). That was the low entropy state log2(1/num_states) = 0. That was also the metastable state. It was sitting on the metaphorical knife edge ready to fall off at any point. It did and now its in the new higher entropy and more stable state of "Splattered all over the lab and floating as a gas". log2(1/billions_of_states) = a much bigger number.

However it seems it was pushed by a laser light. In metastability in circuits we normally deal with thermal noise doing the pushing, but the noise is part of the system. So deciding what is in the system and what is not determines whether or not it's metastable.

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 81

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1) 318

The same experiment has been done for 100 years, and consistently reproduces the same results. Take a sealed, transparent tank of air. Shine sunlight on it. Take the temperature. Increase the percentage of CO2 in the tank. Shine sunlight. Take the temperature. The CO2-richer air has a higher temperature.

Slashdot Top Deals

All constants are variables.