Illegal Detainment and Search

Carl Mitchell shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

On the morning of December 21, 2013, between approximately 9:45 AM and 10:15 AM CST, I was stopped at the corner of West Florissant and McClaran by a man in a car, license CCHP-108. This man stalked me from the local Walgreens. He had been yelling at me, “Hey. Do you know me?” (He did not identify himself as a police officer and his car was unmarked. I was fearful that I was being stalked by an unknown thug.) The man – an African American male wearing black trousers and a dark sweater – eventually emerged from the vehicle and identified himself as a police officer. He ordered me to come to him and he asked me again if I knew him. I said no. I asked the officer if I was being detained or if I was I free to go. He informed me that I was being detained. He said that I had made an obscene gesture to him, which was impossible since I had an armful of groceries and was holding an umbrella as it was freezing rain that day in St. Louis.

He then handcuffed me and put me on the trunk of the car. The officer reached into my back pocket, removed my wallet and rifled through its contents despite my verbal objection to him doing so. While I waited in the freezing rain, he gave the wallet to another officer who had arrived on the scene. That other officer then ran a check of my ID while the first officer proceeded to ask me further questions. Two other officers had arrived by that time. Eventually, after determining that I had no criminal warrants, this officer un-cuffed me, demanded that I leave the area and threatened me by saying, “Watch what I do to you if I see you again.” I then asked the officer who stopped me what his name was. He identified himself as “Dowel.” I asked what department he was with and he refused to answer.

I am stating that this officer, on December 21, 2013 between approximately 9:45 AM and 10:15 AM CST, did:

· Unlawfully detain me without probable cause or reasonable suspicion to indicate that I had or was about to commit a crime.
· Unlawfully and without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, handcuff and search my person despite my verbal protest. Officer Dowel reached into my pocket, removed my wallet, and searched its contents in violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
· Made an implied threat towards me, thereby committing an assault upon me threatening public safety.

Further, these actions constitute abuse of authority, abuse of process, and conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement officer.

I am in the process of filing a complaint against this officer. Following this incident, I have been stopped and stalked by several police in the area. I should tell you that I am a middle-aged, African-American male with no criminal record. The area I live in is like a prison camp where such activity is quite common. Civil liberties have been suspended in North St. Louis county and we are essentially under martial law. The police are an occupying force whose sole intent is to menace and harass not, to serve and protect. I now fear retaliation by other police in the area for this complaint and record my actions with my cell camera.

Carl Mitchell

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