Kudo's to the Cardinal's Darnell Dockett

Local NFL star Darnell Dockett apparently got pulled over by the police today.  Dockett live-tweeted the encounter, including gems like this:

-I don't know why the police always messing w/me I'm never gonna let them search my car with out a search warrant! No matter what!

-Police sitting here waiting on back up cuz I told them YOU NOT SEARCHING MY CAR! PERIOD! & now I'm sitting here! Owell I aint got shit 2 do!

-There R 3police cars and they are talking! I don't see A search warrant they won't see inside this escalade! I got all day hope they don't!

-Police said "do you mind if we look around in your Vehicle?" I said I sure DO! He said "I'm gonna call back up" I said u wanna use my phone?

You go Darnell.  Everyone who stands up for his Constitutional rights makes it easier for the rest of us to do so.


  1. Chris Byrne:


    Too many just passively lay down, because it's easier.

  2. DHL:

    @Chris Byrne

    Agree completely. If we don't stand up for our own rights, who will?

    I used to be a law-and-order conservative. My default was to respect the police and assume that their intentions were in my and society's best interests.

    I have changed radically in the past ten years, and would rather go to jail than submit to any search or any behavior that is not strictly legal and above board. I have also decided that my cooperation with any official investigation of any kind will occur only after I am granted full and complete immunity.

  3. astonerii:

    Sweet, maybe it will get enough press to make more people understand their rights.

  4. Mary:

    I'm so grateful to have found this site, as well as Radley Balko's Agitator. While I may not always agree with the comments (newish poster but longer lurker), I really fear for society when I read those posted on the news aggregate sites. The follow-up to this on Yahoo Sports was filthy, racist, and at about a 4th grade level.

    Love the discourse here.

    As for out of control LEO - I was traveling in SoCal today and saw, separately, I kid you not, 3 cars being searched; trunks and all 4 doors open on the freeway. Also, a guy and his backpack down in the ditch a bit, away from the cars. And because someone will no doubt ask, the 2 guys I saw were whiter than white with crewcuts. Seriously, did they all just say "Sure, officer, knock yourself out"?

    I feel sick.

  5. el coronado:

    i'm a 50-year-old white guy whose politics are to the right if attila the hun. but over the last 3 decades, i've come to hate and fear the cops - any cop - more than bureaucrats and politicians and gangbangers. we live in a police state country, (if you disagree with that, casually pull out your pistol and - never once pointing it in a threatening manner - check the mag while in the presence of a cop. see what happens. have a lovely funeral.), and it's long past the point of "i can think of no situation in which the arrival of police didn't make things immediately worse."

    good job to dockett. for the rest of us, here's a quick guide to the latest round of copspeak/lies. if they want to search your car/house, they'll say "do you mind if i have a look around for my own protection?" say 'yes', and you just consented to a search. if you've been arrested, and have announced you'll answer no questions without a lawyer, they might say, "just for the record, i need your name and address." this AFTER you've been busted, and they've already got your ID. give them that info, "for the record", and you've just consented to a lawyer-free interrogation. ("interview", in copspeak.) if you drink from the cup of coffee or the glass of water they offer you, you've just given them your DNA, warrant-free. if you're in an interrogation room, and the door is cracked open a little bit, the supreme court says you're free to go. since you didn't ASK, and our friends the cops won't TELL you, if you stay, it's......*your* fault! naw, it ain't a police state, coronado. not *much*.

    find the video on youtube where the law school prof explains to his class why you should never EVER even *talk* to a cop, under ANY circumstances. ("don't talk to the police" - prof james duane) learn it. live it. teach it to your kids. dockett it.

  6. Mark:

    Unfortunately all the police have to do is find a minor violation on the vehicle, or arrest the person pulled over for being difficult. You can get arrested for traffic violations. The car will get towed, and the police will just have to open it up because they will need to inventory all the belongings to make sure nothing gets stolen (and maybe drop a few extra items in!)

  7. Rob:

    In 50 yrs a cop will say "Do you mind if I do a thought scan for our safety?" On a side note, I wonder if being forced to reveal the password to your laptop, cellphone, etc, will apply to revealing the password to your mind.

    Anyway, I applaud Darnell! We have to claim our rights now while we still have the chance!

  8. Dave Killion:

    Calling for back-up? How many cops does it take to not search a vehicle?

  9. Mary:

    Just for grins I Googled "legality of car searches" or something similar and landed on a forum run by LEO. "Be respectful, courteous, don't move quickly," etc. types of tips for when stopped. The dead giveaway is the line (paraphrased) that if cops have reasonable suspicion, they can search. Forget what the actual law might say, there are ways around it, THAT THEY ADMIT!

    More sad was the very first comment from a guy driving a hot car who gets routinely stopped for speeding and is admittedly a little sassy with LEO. The moderator banned him immediately for, you guessed it, disrespect to his profession.

  10. SB7:

    This is the first time I've applauded Dockett. We grew up in the same area, and though he was a couple of years older than me I played a football game against him in high school. He was best known at the time for being the guy who picked fist fights with referees.

  11. Dan:

    He must be guilty since he wouldn't let them search his car right? So many police are so very out of control these days. What is it about this job that attracts so many empty headed, angry, control freaks?

  12. Mark:


    Yeah, when they finally do get into the trunk of the car, the cops are likely to plant a few items amongst your stuff.

  13. Eric Hammer:

    I wonder how difficult it would be to set up a hidden camera in your trunk that could be turned on by a switch on your key fob. Might be amusing to tell cops that you are going to record the interaction as soon as they get to the window, but not where the cameras might be.

  14. Evil Red Scandi:

    @Eric - you don't even need a fancy switch - just make it motion sensitive, or link it to the light in your trunk (that automatically turns on when the trunk is open).

  15. Evil Red Scandi:

    Similar to what Eric suggested, I've considered "wiring" my car to record everything. Cameras and small computers are ridiculously cheap and don't take much space or power. If you use a laptop CPU you should be able to build one that works off passive cooling (no fan), and if you use a cheap SSD you have no moving parts. Just "loop" the storage, and it should be just about 100% maintenance-free.

  16. el coronado:

    not a computer geek, but this sort of thing has been discussed before. what you'll want is a system that uploads its feed straight to the web in real-time, rather than one the cops can find and...uh...."examine". the infamous incident here in vegas where our brave security forces gunned down the guy at the entrance to a costco - interesting fire discipline: the guy hadn't drawn his weapon, and multiple cops unloaded their mags at him *and all the nearby bystanders* - where the incident was caught by at least 4 cameras costco had covering that area.

    the cops took the cameras and their digital evidence into custody, for 'analysis', and 'safekeeping', where it turned out that...ALL the cameras were malfunctioning! at the same time! the exact time, where, as luck would have it, where the cops went all dodge city on the guy. y'all probably think i'm kidding about this. "NO PD could be THAT obviously corrupt and above the law as to destroy evidence in plain sight", you might think. but they did - they surely did.

    so if you're gonna record your interactions with our brave jackbooted trigger-happy security forces, make sure they can't get at the video. they have the *worst* luck with that stuff.....and then it's your word against theirs. guess who wins that one?

  17. DrTorch:

    Good for Dockett (I remember reading about him playing in HS here in MD).

    Not so good for residents of Louisiana

  18. Bram:

    If I were Darnell, I would be calling for back-up also - in the form of my lawyer. If possible, I would also be discretely voice recording every conversation with the police.

  19. Ted Rado:

    Back in my college days, we used to call members of the football team BDFP's - Big Dumb Football Players. This piece gives new meaning to the expression. I gather that English grammar was not his long suit.

  20. Dan:

    Agree with Ted. And is it my imagination, or do most pro sports players drive Escalades? What is the attraction to these tank-like vehicles? Seems to me most sports players want to show off their riches, and buy the most obnoxious car they can find. The Escalade (and it has to be a black one) fits the bill.

    I wonder why he was pulled over. Possibly because he was black and driving a fancy car. That's the old "DWB" offense (Driving While Black). This is police abuse of power and needs to stop.

    But considering the big egos and low intelligence of a lot of these athletes, I wouldn't be surprised if he was pulled over for doing 90 and then made an obnoxious or threatening comment to the cop, which would have resulted in further scrutiny. Best to be polite if you're pulled over and know you're in the wrong.

  21. marco73:

    Latest news I can find is that Darnell sat for 2 hours with the cops running a good cop/bad cop routine, while supposedly someone else was working up a search warrant. No search warrant was ever produced. Darnell apparently wanted to walk across the street to get something to drink while waiting for the cops to get their paperwork in order. He could not leave because the cops had his vehicle registration and drivers license in their possession.

    He was not arrested. He was not given a ticket for the supposed infraction of speeding, or for any traffic violation. His vehicle was never searched.

    This is absolutely, positively, par for the course for DWB or DWM (driving while minority.)

    I'm not a minority, but I have gotten to see the DWM experience first hand. My wife's family are Cuban immigrants, and live here in Florida. I was helping my father-in-law haul some tree limbs from one of the hurricanes we get occasionally. The trailer was pretty full, and branches probably obscured the license and tail lights. We were driving towards a local landfill when the sheriff pulled us over.

    The deputy was to the point, but certainly not very courteous. It wasn't "sir", it was "hey hombre" and "look here chief". My father-in-law has a slight accent, but dammit he is an American citizen. Well then the deputy's partner decides to speak to me, the passenger, and asks me to get out of the truck. Even with a straw hat and sunglasses, I will never pass for anything but a corn-fed, big, midwestern white guy. The partner sort of took a double take, and then I showed him my driver's license and military ID.

    Well it suddenly became "sir" to both of us. Yes, it looks like everything is in order "sir". Here's your id's back, "sir". Drive safely "sir". Have a nice day "sir".

    I guess if Darnell had bothered to bring along an average white dude, he'd have been on his way in minutes.

  22. perlhaqr:

    All things told, offering to let AZ cops use his phone might not have been the best plan: http://www.theagitator.com/2011/06/29/internal-documents-warn-arizona-cops-about-smart-phones/

  23. perlhaqr:

    For those discussing recording, 4G phones and the latest bluetooth standard both have enough bandwidth for full 1080p HD video with sound. Which means a video recording bt headset that uses your 4G phone to transmit the A/V feed to an offsite and online location is now technically possible.

  24. MikeinAppalachia:

    NFL linemen be they black, white, or whatever tend to drive large SUV's because those vehicles have lots of interior space and legroom from the driver's seat. They would probably prefer to demonstate their "riches" with an Italian sportscar or a German sedan as do the typical QB or wide receiver, but they would rather be comfortable.

  25. DaveC:

    I have come to observe that when people dislike something this vehemently, the focus of their thoughts and analysis of said vexing, becomes extremely narrow-minded. This laser of intellect conveniently removes any possibility of objective and pragmatic discourse; both from within the confines of personal thought to the tidal waters of interhuman interactions.

    NOBODY here has even attempted to suggest how ridiculous it is to assume, that everything conceivable regarding this topic has it's basis in how horrifying police are. Does every behavior police exhibit have at it's core some kind of inherent evil and is without any cause and effect to consider? Have you been paying attention to how people behave? You would quickly learn that the behavior you abhor in police would be your own in order to survive the brutality of what you would find outside your front door in their absence.

    Don't get me wrong, policing in America has a long way to go to be what the average citizen thinks it is supposed to be. Please consider the fact that your fellow "americans" abuse your rights every day, far more than anything any police officer has done or will ever do to you.

  26. model_1066:

    I have had some less than pleasant experiences with police/state troopers lately...of course, some people become cops so they can push others around with a badge and a gun. However, it behooves you to be polite and respectful; often even the biggest assholes in the foulest of moods won't find a reason to make your life hell if you swallow a bit of pride and comply. But I'm not saying that you should in any way forfeit your rights...just don't get angry or make any sarcastic remarks.

  27. John:

    your fellow “americans” abuse your rights every day,

    Sure they do. But the police, courts, and bureaucracy are the tools they use to do it. I think Occam's Razor applies when deciding whether these tools are being subtly used in the way intended or are merely malfunctioning.

    To put it another way, I don't believe for a minute that most of my neighbors are interested in violating my rights or playing the tyrant, the source of that is a system with bad incentives and individuals who either as a matter of character or in responding to those incentives forget the purpose of their jobs.

    far more than anything any police officer has done or will ever do to you.

    I can't make out what you mean by that. I'm not sure that, apart from the mechanisms of government (use of coercion), rights have much meaning. As a first approximation I define rights as things that the government is not allowed to do to me (yes, even if it is convenient!). The involvement of my fellow citizens is through the very indirect means of a representative form of government, but that's why the government is restricted (less and less) constitutionally and traditionally.

    These statements seem roughly analogous to "Please consider the fact that your kitchen hurts you every day, far more than anything spilling boiling water on your hand has done or ever will do to you."

  28. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    It is my own observation that cops are like vampires.


    If you don't invite them in, it's harder for them to hurt you.

    So the answer to, "May I come inside?" is "No, but I will step out here in the pouring rain if you think it's important."

    Similarly for that car thing: "May I look inside your vehicle?" "Actually, officer, respecting your capacity to demand access, and not because I have anything to hide but on general principle, No, I don't give permission. I will freely comply with your instructions, however." I might run into an asshole someday, but most cops respect the politeness and don't push it without an actual cause.

  29. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    >> If I were Darnell, I would be calling for back-up also – in the form of my lawyer. If possible, I would also be discretely voice recording every conversation with the police.

    Ya gotta watch that. The laws on that vary from state to state. Some are strict (Florida, I think), some are lenient (NY, I think), and some are in the middle, on the ability to record anything without someone's consent. I agree with some restrictions in regards to private citizens, but when it's anyone acting in an official government capacity, they should be on open mic all the time they are acting in a government capacity...

    I'll call attention once more to:

    The Transparent Society
    The cameras are coming. They're getting smaller and nothing will stop them. The only question is: who watches whom?
    By David Brin

    From back when Wired was really cutting edge and worth reading.

    > Dan- NFL linemen be they black, white, or whatever tend to drive large SUV’s because those vehicles have lots of interior space and legroom from the driver’s seat. They would probably prefer to demonstate their “riches” with an Italian sportscar or a German sedan as do the typical QB or wide receiver, but they would rather be comfortable.

    Indeed. The idea that anyone who plays modern pro ball is stupid is about as wrong as it gets. They may not be the most polished, but it's not because they're stupid. You don't learn (and earn!) your role in a modern exceptionally complex pro offense by eating cheese and crackers and watching 10 minutes of sports film.

    As the man says, most of these guys are chosen for size among other things. They probably feel a bit cramped when stuffed into a VW Beetle's back seat, and, when you're pulling in seven figures, you really don't have to worry about the expense of your car... so you go for roomy.

  30. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    >> Please consider the fact that your fellow “americans” abuse your rights every day, far more than anything any police officer has done or will ever do to you.

    Dave, the difference is, I can call the police on them.

    I believe cops operate for the most part on the three-type principle:
    That is, there are three types of people.
    (2) Cops.
    (3) Citizens.

    Class "3" ranks about a hair above class "1". Class "2" is never, ever wrong under any circumstance, however.

    And most cops, when they're being honest, will ack that's far more true than it has any business being.

    I recall some years back when a local cop went nuts and created an armed, hostage situation with his wife in their home. The local cops bent over backwards to get the guy out of the house without harming him, while I know for a fact that for a mere citizen they would have had snipers on him from the start, and taken him out at the first opportunity.

    Being a cop does not merit special privileges in the rest of your life. Even with other cops. You cross the line, you should be in "class '1'" as immediately as anyone else is.

  31. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    >>> John: "These statements seem roughly analogous to..."


    I'll also call attention to the concept of a Fully Informed Jury.

    Learn what it is, and do your best to take advantage of it where possible, and to promote awareness of it whenever you can. The courts and the AG/PA do their best to suppress knowledge -- it's up to everyone else to make it available.

  32. tomw:

    if they want to search your car/house, they’ll say el coronado:“do you mind if i have a look around for my own protection?” say ‘yes’, and you just consented to a search.

    Um. : "I mind if you have a look around for your own protection" is the equivalent of saying 'yes', no?

    I don't quite get what just happened to make that an acquiescence.

    If you ever watch COPS, you will see the actual boot, or knee, on the neck of face down perps, or even suspects... When the guy already has two guys working the cuffs... the 3rd shows up and kneels on his neck. Nice.
    God, I don't think I could stand cuffs nor being in the cage in the back seat. Toooo claustrophobic.

  33. tomw:

    the quote above got garbled. sorry. el coronado stated: " if they ask ... you just consented."
    I scrambled it.

  34. el coronado:

    no worries, tom. anyway, the correct answer to any cute or tricky or twisty question a cop asks about "looking around" or "checking out" is, "i do not consent to any search of my car/home/etc. without a warrant." while we're at it, *never* answer a question about you or your propertry or your recent activities directly, for that matter. if asked "where are you heading?/come from?", and you answer "(the bad part of town)", you just gave officer friendly.....probable cause. "suspect indicated he/she was traveling to/from a known high drug use/sale area".

    best just to watch the youtube vid, and encourage your family/friends/neighbors/strangers on the street to do the same. "don't talk to the police - prof. james duane."