Chattanooga police department has a policy in its “Arrest procedures” manual requiring officers to read people their Miranda rights when arrested.
The departmental rule is based on a directive in the 1966 case Arizona vs Miranda that is a pro-government, pro-state rule, but one still that gives a benefit to members of the public.
By David Tulis / Noogaradio 92.7
It appears that the department is unwilling to discuss with members of the public its practices. A query sent to the spokesman, Rob Simmon,s has not been answered. The department routinely injures its prosecutorial efforts by refusing to Miranda rights to defendants.
Miranda is pro-government in that the justices allow abusive policing to continue, but require that citizens be given a warning about their right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present before responding to any officer’s questions. The right to remain silent is important.
By definition, law enforcement is a state act against members of its own population. Every arrest is an accusation by the state against a member of the citizenry. That’s why in Chattanooga every case is styled State of Tennessee v. John Doe. The word “versus” means the state is adversary, it is against, it is the accuser. The state is the belligerent against you, the ordinary citizen.
Fellowship of the finger
The police department of Chattanooga and the state district attorney in Hamilton County, Neal Pinkston, share in a fellowship of the finger.
That is the finger of accusation, against you, offender, violator, criminal, scofflaw, malefactor, party guilty of a malum in se (an evil or wrong in itself) or guilty of a mala prohibita offense (a wrong by definition or law, not inherently evil).
How Miranda aids policing
How do we get the police department to take the trouble to obey the Miranda rule that accommodates the police enterprise despite the people’s protections under the constitution? And why is that important to us?
I suggest that a concerned member of the public address the mayor’s office and the city council in light of Miranda’s program in perspective.
Here’s the argument that should fit in a 3 minute slot at the end of every council meeting on Tuesday night.
You in city government, if you plan to enforce statute within the city limits, should studiously obey the Miranda rule. Your agents should do so because it is more likely that you will guarantee convictions and give yourself some relief at the exclusionary hearing when the defense team asks the judge to throw out evidence against the accused.
In criminal cases defendants often try to exclude evidence based on the unlawful of its having been collected
A defendant who has not been properly mirandized can use Miranda and the failure to recite the warning as a reason to exclude something. If the officer follows the high court rule and Mirandizes the defendant, the state has a better prospect of winning its case.
Marceaux cases would stymie ‘police state’ enforcement in all TN cities
“Although these warnings must be given only before interrogation takes place, it is good practice to give them immediately after arrest, thereby making any offhand remarks or other voluntary comments by the offender admissible in court,” the policy manual says.
Don’t city hall and city council want more convictions rather than fewer (assuming, of course, that city police departments have authority to enforce state criminal law)?
The pro-government argument for 100 percent Miranda obedience to opinion and departmental rule is that if the city wants officers to not waste their own time nor that of courts, and it that if it wants prosecutor Mr. Pinkston to win, make sure cops read Miranda rights right off the bat.
To restate: If cops are to be successful in their mission of law enforcement, it is vital that Miranda be read instantly when an arrest occurs. That way nothing that the bad guy says can be excluded. Nothing can be contested. He was warned, and if he speaks or gives away any evidence such as a driver’s license proof of insurance or other data, he does so voluntarily. A properly Mirandized defendant who gives away the store, it should be argued, gives away the store voluntarily, after having been properly notified, pursuant to the Miranda public policy.
Mayor Andy Berke should order today that every defendant, the moment he is arrested, be mirandized according to his own rules as given ministerially by Mr. Fletcher, the former chief in his manual updates.
After all, aren’t we for a strong and true state — aren’t we for success in law enforcement? Are not we against frustrating the officer in court by having his arrest thrown out for lack of Miranda?
The bigger problem
The question is, when does an arrest take place?
Here is the wiggle room between the officer, the man with the finger, and the citizen, now a subject and a suspect. A line is drawn by the Miranda rule somewhere between these two parties. The question is is that line close to the defendant or far away from him? If it is far away from him, and nearer to the officer, then there’s a lot of conversation that can take place outside Miranda that can be used to impugn the citizen and give the officer reasonable suspicion or the tougher requirement of probable cause. If the line is near to the defendant, and he is warned instantly, he will be more on his guards and stand his ground.
Tennessee Supreme Court cases argue that the line should be right at the defendant’s toe. The moment he is arrested he should be mirandized. And arrest takes place the moment the blue lights come on, according to major decisions as cited in the legal encyclopedia, Tennessee jurisprudence, under the heading “Arrest.” The major cases are State of Tennessee v. Raspberry, State of Tennessee v. Garcia. The moment the blue lights come on, is the instant Miranda begins to apply.
That means for every stop, the Miranda warning should be the first thing the citizen hears the officer’s lips.
The first thing.
Rather than, “Hello, sir. Do you know why I stopped you?” the following: “Sir, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court.”
City council, speaking on behalf of the people, should inform the executive branch of city government that the people deserve their protections under Miranda. The city council should favor the innocent member of the public, as well as the guilty, by having that line be drawn close to the citizen, as opposed to far away from him.
First, outrage; then, relief
It is a political stunt for elected officials to put people who are their constituents under arrest and not tell them about it. Respect for Miranda as a policy the 500-officer Chattanooga police department officers would have the salubrious effect of reducing accusatory encounters — dismantling the ill effects of the fellowship of the finger. Strict adherence to Miranda would do so by first creating an outrage. The arrest of so many people — who now know they are under arrest — would create public outrage.
Miranda brings publicity to the arrest and citation machine, and would bring calls for its reduction, its scaling back. People are secretly arrested without them realizing it, and as long as they are ignorant of their Miranda and arrest situations, they won’t demand reform of the policing enterprise.
Ignoring Miranda is good PR for city incumbent government.
Voter backlash against the executive branch’s strict obedience to the Miranda regime could reduce these encounters by 75 percent to 95 percent.
Growing disenchantment with policing could also help other problems facing Hamilton County’s judicial-industrial complex, such as the dour fact that 25 percent of inmates in the county jail have mental problems that only worsen during their incarceration under the city’s cash bond system.
IS IT POSIBLE? Is it possible that this police brutality ( ignoring the MIRANDA WARNING) of not reading an detainee his right to remain silent has a simple solution?
Is it not possible for the state legislature too create a statute that says an detainee must be warned of his right to remain silent immediately upon being artested?
That is for violiation of a state criminal statute also for violation of a city (civil) ordinance (you know private law not public law) if the detained person would be faceing as little as one dollar fine and/or one minute in jail? Is it possible because a city policeman is nothing more than an employee of the city just the same as the street sweeper or garbage collector?
Is it possible because of this any arrest he would make would be considered a citizen arrest? JUST THINKING,JUST THINKING.
Folks, there is a lot more crazy stuff being pulled off by government than this. For instance, the state supreme said some time back that the violation of a city ordinance was IN THE NATURE OF LIQUIDATED DAMAGES.
Well what does that mean? It means that this is one of their god-awful LEGAL FICTIONS. Your favorite lawyer and their whole profession are the ones responsible for all this corruption being pulled over on us THE PEOPLE. They are ignorant of all this or they are more interested in lining their pockets with this stuff that is THE LOVE OF IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL at the expense of every one else.
I’ll give you a warning! Don’t remain silent. Learn your rights as a human being. Government could care less about any and all rights you have as a human being. Learn your rights, wise up, stand up and speak up for yourself. Your government has become your main everyday adversary. Just the opposite of what they are supposd to be.
An attorney on Facebook makes this comment: The Supreme Court has ruled that every stop is NOT an arrest. A stop is generally a seizure and requires supporting reasonable articulable suspicion, depending on the type of stop. The Tennessee Supreme Court has created a caretaker function for police which says that when the blue lights go on, in some instances, the officer is not making a seizure but just checking on the well-being of a citizen which is not an arrest. A consensual encounter is not an arrest.
An arrest must be supported by probable cause which is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion for a stop. If officers waited until they made an arrest, then Miranda would have no meaning.
Officers, generally, mistakes do occur, give Miranda warnings long before an arrest is made. If they waited until arrest, then the critical evidence collected would be inadmissible.
You appear to be making an argument that whenever there is a police-citizen encounter, then Miranda warnings should be given. That is not the state of the law. Miranda warnings are required when a citizen is subject to custodial interrogation. That could occur on the side of the road, that could be when the cuffs go on, that could be at their home or business. If an officer conducts a custodial interrogation, develops probable caused based upon their statements, makes an arrest, then reads the person their Miranda Rights, the case gets tossed if there is a halfway competent defense attorney. However, if an arrest is made prior to the officer developing probable cause, then the evidence collected thereafter is subject to supression which defeats your proposed purpose of sharpening the prosecutors blade/protection of citizens.
In reality, officers must walk a very fine balance in the collection of evidence, the arrest of citizens, and the protections afforded by 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. The state of the law now gives officers enormous power and the Courts (looking at you Tennessee Supreme Court) continue to erode the protections that citizens have traditionally enjoyed up to this point.
With all due respect, what you appear to be trying to do with Miranda warnings is create a political tool to inform citizens of their right to not cooperate with police as a means of controlling “aggressive police encounters”. It forces the police officer to work against himself which seems counterproductice for society as a whole. And, I have my doubts about that approaches effectiveness. I would argue that body cameras and dash cams (when they are used – looking at you 10th Judicial DTF), and high departmental standards do a better job of controlling police abuse.
This is just great. A lawyer willing to go on Facebook and learn us what really happens most time the blue lights invite you to the side of the road.
No need for the Miranda procedure. More than likely this was just your basic CONSENSUAL ENCOUNTER. He was using his blues to invite you to go with him for some Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee.
IT IS BEST THAT YOU GO WITH HIM. You might end up being charged with RESISTING A CONSENSUAL ENCOUNTER.
I’ve searched high and low for the statute that makes RESISTING A CONSUNSUAL ENCOUNTER a chargeable offense.
The closest thing I could come up with was a statute saying it is a crime to resist arrest. Now I’m more confused than ever. When you are stopped with the BLUE LIGHTS, you are probably not being arrested, but you are being invited to a doughnut and coffee party.
If you do not pull over and stop or if you take off after stopping you will be chased down and charged with RESISTING ARREST. I’m going to have to stop here. I’m getting more confused by the minute.If you were not under arrest and the MIRANDA warning did not apply in the first instance and you do not stop for the blue lights or drive off after stopping why are you resisting an arrest?
They say you are not under arrest, it is a consensual encounter. Folks, if and when the next time you encounter the blue lights and the cop refuses to read you your Miranda rights, more than likely he is going to invite you to have doughnuts and coffee with him.
Actually you probably waived your right to the doughnut and coffee and Miranda when you consented to make the application for the drivers license. Study the statutes.