portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions portland metro

animal rights | police / legal

Basic legal info for Sat fur demo PLDN

I sat down with a Lawyer from The NorthWest Constitutional Rights Center this afternoon and we reviewed tapes of a recent fur protest. I have asked the Attorney to inform people as to the law on a couple of issues using this post. He will post comments here and also take questions.
......

Fur protest statute information 18.Nov.2005 17:01

NWCRC

The NWCRC has reviewed the tapes and has these comments about the statutes invoked by the officers:

City of Portland Code, Section 14A.30.020 - Unlawful Operation of Sound Producing Equipment.
A. It is unlawful to operate or use or permit the use of any sound producing equipment:

1. Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. so as to be plainly audible within any dwelling unit which is not the source of the sound; or

2. While on public property so as to be plainly audible 100 feet or more from the device.

B. Sound producing equipment includes but is not limited to any radio, television set, musical instrument, phonograph, loud speaker, bell or chime.

---- This implicitly says that you may use a bullhorn or other sound amplification system if the sound is not plainly audible 100 feet from the speaker. It would be wise to have members of the crowd observe from slightly less than 100 feet away (measure it) to make sure the police do not have any grounds to cite people under this ordinance.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording Conversations with Police

Police officers have alleged that protesters and observers are not allowed to record conversations with police. This is false.

The statute in question:

Oregon Revised Statutes 165.540 - Obtaining contents of communications. (1) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 133.724 or 133.726 or subsections (2) to (7) of this section, a person may not:...

(c) Obtain or attempt to obtain the whole or any part of a conversation by means of any device, contrivance, machine or apparatus, whether electrical, mechanical, manual or otherwise, if not all participants in the conversation are specifically informed that their conversation is being obtained.
....
(6) The prohibitions in subsection (1)(c) of this section do not apply to persons who intercept or attempt to intercept with an unconcealed recording device the oral communications that are part of any of the following proceedings:

(a) Public or semipublic meetings such as hearings before governmental or quasi-governmental bodies, trials, press conferences, public speeches, rallies and sporting or other events;

---- This provision would appear to cover recording of all anti-fur events from beginning to end, as they would be considered "rallies". Additional protection may be given by informing all officers in an audible voice that they are being recorded when there are any conversations between participants and officers recorded by members of the crowd.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is not meant to be legal advice directed to a particular person, but an interpretation of current Oregon law. If you are arrested, cited, or attacked by the police, call the NWCRC at 503-295-6400 or an independent attorney.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks so much! 18.Nov.2005 17:21

a question

Thanks so much for the great info! I seem to recall that a law was passed recently, or a court confirmed, that citizens do have to give an officer their identity if asked. Can you confirm this?

I'm specifically referring to if an individual is not committing a crime but is perhaps receiving a warning, or for any reason.

know your rights 18.Nov.2005 17:41

catherine portland legal defense network

The average city block in Portland is 250 feet. I thought that this would be helpful in understanding what 100 feet would look like.

What about the situation where protesters get followed after a demo and threatened with a ticket (for something like J-walking) if they do not give their name? This has been happening lately. The officer will say something like "I saw you J-walking an hour ago and I gave you a warning, give me your name or I will give you a ticket." It seems like a tricky way to collect names. Is this legal?

Giving Names to Police 18.Nov.2005 17:51

NWCRC

There is no Oregon statute requiring anyone to give their names to a police officer when asked. The Supreme Court case validated a Nevada law requiring people to give their names to police when asked.

It is a judgment call - you are not legally required to give your name unless you are actually cited or arrested, however, police will use that as an excuse to arrest or cite you for "interfering with a police officer".

Turning The Tables 18.Nov.2005 18:53

Dex

Asking an officer for their business card is usually met with a smirk and "Sorry, I don't have any on me but my name is Officer Brotherhood of the Strong and my number is 666." Are cops required to carry cards and are they under any obligation to provide one when asked?

about giving your name 18.Nov.2005 19:15

catherine portland legal defense network

It seems like there is a game of intimidation going on about giving your name. It sounds like the cops are threatening folks with arrest if they do not give a name. I hear about this more and more. Can the Attorney from the NWCRC comment on the situation in the video we watched today? Was the cop out of line? What is the line?

Is it ok for them to give you a warning, demand your name and then tell you they are going to arrest you if you do not give your name? Is it true that you do not need to give your name if you are getting a warning? Whats up with them jacking up the charge if you don't tell them who you are?

More info and a suggestion 18.Nov.2005 20:02

NWCRC video producer

thanks to catherine for posting this message and to the nwcrc attorney for explaining the law.

i would like to add a further couple of comments:

first, this post is the result of a person from a recent fur protest calling the nwcrc to ask for help in dealing with a group of portland police officers who threatened to cite and arrest for failure to provide a name. a video camera was present and filmed much of this exchange, with the full awareness of the officers present. (the fact that these officers used the threat of arrest for 'unlawfully recording a communication with a police officer' proves that some will purposely lie to you to get an advantage. at the least, it proves that an officer does not know the law, which is also dangerous.)

all of this clarifies the importance of videotaping this type of encounter. many police officers will tell you all sorts of mistruths to get you to do what they want you to do. video provides the best evidence of the actual statements made by both parties to the discussion. the nwcrc encourages people to make videos of interactions with the police and to provide them to the nwcrc. especially at protests, you may not think that your video shows much, but it can be invaluable in connection with other videos from different cameras. such videos will be used for defense of criminal charges and/or for civil suits against the offending officers.

second, i am pleased to see a discussion of the law here. i sadly do not know as much as i should about the need to provide my name to a police officer. yet this is one of the most common questions i hear on the street. "do i have to give them my name if i haven't broken any laws?" this is not the type of question you want to give someone a wrong answer to, so i usually answer, "i don't know".

the portland police bureau seems obsessed with learning the names of protestors, indicating there is a concerted program in violation of oregon law on gathering data on non-criminals. the police know that the fear of being arrested makes most people give up their names. it would be nice to know our legal rights and when we can confidently tell a nosy officer, "No."

thanks again to the good people of the northwest constitutional rights center and the portland legal defense network. i look forward to reading more on these topics in the future.

Document Everything 18.Nov.2005 20:30

NWCRC

The police can arrest you for any or no reason. They're quite handy at making up reasons, or citing people for "jaywalking" when they never cite any other person.

That's why video documentation is important so long as the police are going to act this way. Scrupulous obedience to the most minor laws is the only way that you can be 100% sure that the police aren't going to get any convictions, and even then, they can still harass people.

I would suggest you do give your names, addresses, and birthdates to any officer who asks, then file a complaint with the mayor's office and IPR for violation of ORS 181.575, which states:

181.575 Specific information not to be collected or maintained. No law enforcement agency, as defined in ORS 181.010, may collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct. [1981 c.905 8]

Bad cop Todd Wyatt was there 19.Nov.2005 01:02

...

Bad cop Todd Wyatt was present. He had a smug look on his face.

Here is a recent article about his misdeeds:

 http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=6036

thank you for this thread 19.Nov.2005 02:57

my experience

I was compelled to give my name at one of these protests after officer Parman started pulling me (literally) to his police car - telling me I could either give my name to receive a warning for a violation he said I had committed during the protest (using the megaphone - nothing about the 100 foot rule), or go down to the station where I would be cited (and have to give my name anyway). I asked him for more time, as people were at the constitutional law center trying to get help, and I was trying to get ahold of an attorney by phone, but officer Parman did not agree to that. Strangely, this happened after the entire demo was over, and we were stopped by the police while walking to our cars. Now, the officers were at Schumacher's before we ever got there (it was a publicly called protest), and could easily see the megaphone before we ever used it, and watched us use it for well over an hour - with not a word out of them to turn it down, turn it off, anything. They could have stopped this "crime" before it even started, could have given a warning once they saw it happening or at any point - to avoid the situation at the end of the protest - but they never said a word, just watched.

My belief is that they were hoping as many people as possible would use the megaphone, and gather as many names as they could - since then they could say we had committed a crime, and needed our names to give us this "warning." They REALLY wanted my name, and there was no way I was leaving that protest without them getting it.

At one fur protest... 19.Nov.2005 02:59

and this

we also got on tape one of the officers saying how much he hated defense attorneys.

It's not much of a stretch to see that activists, who go up against the power structure, are likely to be on the side of requiring defense attorneys in any case, and these officers' views of activists was made fairly clear.

In a world in which vivisectionists, fur traders, factory farms and slaughterhouses are on the side of the powerful (good), and people who try to stop these atrocities are on the side of the powerless (bad), I guess that makes some kind of twisted sense.

More questions 19.Nov.2005 09:01

enquirer

Thanks for the great info. Now I'm wondering whether the whole idea of keeping a name on record for receiving a warning is legit. Or maybe that's what NWCRC was trying to say and I just got it. Can I file a complaint if I've been part of a "warning" scenario? What kind of outcome could I expect?

While we're on the subject, would you care to weigh in on the nature of home demos? If done briefly (10 minutes) and relatively infrequently (say once per month), does that constitute stalking?

Thanks for being here to answer our questions.

181.575 and Home Demos 19.Nov.2005 11:28

NWCRC

For "my experience" - Sgt. Parman was possibly violating ORS 181.575 by gathering names. Unfortunately, there is no punishment indicated for violation of the statute, but notifying the IPR and the mayor's office (as well as the press) of the police violating this law may be helpful to stop it.

The NWCRC may be able to research case law on home demos. There were some cases involving anti-abortion protesters picketing abortion doctors' houses, and the case law is likely to be applicable to anti-fur and anti-vivisection protests.

Proof of ID 19.Nov.2005 19:00

Want to know too

Are officers required to provide a citizen with their personal card when a request is made?

question 19.Nov.2005 21:17

lll

My question is what would happen if you do not want to give your name then the police bring you to the station for something minor lets say using a bullhorn and you still don't provide your name how long can they hold you? Cuz I too have given my id and am sick of it i would rather spend a few days/weeks in jail..

Business Cards 20.Nov.2005 13:38

PPBCopwatcher

No, there is no policy that requires an officer to give you a business card.

There is, however, a policy which requires them to give you their name and DPSST number if asked.

There is also a policy which requires them to wear nametags (with the exception of the RRT - Rapid Response Team members - aka riot cops).

Providing names to Police 20.Nov.2005 13:55

PPBCopwatcher

You are required to provide your name, date of birth and address to police if you are being cited or arrested. Otherwise, you do not have to give your name.

If they are citing or arresting you, and you do not give your name, they can hold you until they identify you.

When they tell you they want your name for a "warning", and if you don't provide it they will cite you...they are definitely doing this ONLY because they want to know who you are. A "warning" can be provided to you without them knowing who you are! They are using intimidation and fear to find out what they want to know. If you refuse, they generally will cite you anyway...so why make them work to find out?

When approached by police, ALWAYS ask them if you are FREE TO LEAVE before providing them with any information. If they say you are not free to leave, then that generally means they have a reason to cite you or arrest you. At this point, they should be telling you why you are not free to leave.

Tell them NOTHING more than your name, date of birth and address. After providing them with that basic information, invoke your right to remain silent and tell them you want to talk to your attorney!!!

Look at the ID policy yourself 20.Nov.2005 15:10

"Upon demand, ID will be provided in writing...'"

312.50 IDENTIFICATION
Index: Title; Business and Personal Cards
Refer: DIR 211.00 DPSST Identification Numbers
POLICY (312.50)
Members in a uniform will carry their issued identification (I.D.) card and display
their badge and issued nametag on their outermost garment. Members are relieved
of the displaying requirements when wearing the badge and/or nametag is prohib-
ited by the uniform type.
Members wearing civilian attire will carry their badge and/or Bureau I.D. on their
person at all times while on duty except when such impairs their safety or impairs an
investigation. Members will wear their badge or Bureau I.D. so to be clearly visible
in all City facilities.
When on duty or after identifying themselves as a Bureau member, all members
will identify themselves by name and I.D. number upon request (I.D. numbers will
be provided when citizens request a badge number). Upon demand, I.D. will be
presented in writing or through the presentation of a Bureau issued business card.
The only exceptions to the I.D. presentation rule are when the providing of this
information impairs the performance of police duties or a supervisor has authorized
the withholding of information.
Business or personal cards that refer to the Bureau shall be used by members
only in connection with official business and will conform to the approved Bureau
form.
________

Sorry PPB Copwatcher 20.Nov.2005 15:37

You're wrong

Oregon does not have a law that requires you to give your name and address to an officer at any time, including if being arrested or cited. The US Supreme Crt recently decided in Hibel that a stop and identify law was constitutional but law was in Nevada. Unless the state you live in has such a law (and let's make sure Oregon doesn't become such a state) you are not required to ID yourself unless you are driving a car.

It is only illegal to give a false name to officers, but to remain silent is still your right. Note, though, that many cops here will not honor that right graciously and make threats and so forth. They can take you to ID, but unless you have a record, they still won't know who you are unless you squawk. Some cops will get nasty and use force when you exercise this right, so use caution and have many witnesses!!!!

Sorry PPB copwatcher 20.Nov.2005 15:41

Here's the law

Note, too, that if a cop takes you into custody for ID purposes and you have only been charged with a violation - he is doing that illegally. You cannot be arrested for a violation, only a crime, and even though the cop is only taking you in to ID you, that is still considered arrest, because you most certainly are not free to go. Again, though, it's best to go with the flow and then use the courts or IPR to redress the misconduct. Good luck.

Unclear 21.Nov.2005 09:03

Questionable

This is a great idea, a thread where protesters can have their legal questions answered by "experts." Unfortunately, the "experts" do not appear to agree with one another. When protesters put the advice to the test there is no room for error. Looks like there is much to learn by both the "experts and the protesters.

ok listen... 22.Nov.2005 04:08

there are experts...

...because we live in a police state,

but as a rule

dont fuck with the cops, they will kill you.

TALKING TO THE POLICE ABOUT IS LIKE TALKING TO THE POPE ABOUT ATHISIM.

Dont bother... do your thing, and get the fuck out of there before he peppers yer ass.
Have frirnds with you. So close they are touching you in some way. Dont pull cell phones out of pockets too fast. thats all i can say as an expert getting ass kicked by cops at rallys guy...

police officers have themselves convinced me 22.Nov.2005 05:52

x

that they are biased, ruthless, and unethical. Before I became an activist, I used to imagine that police officers were neutral observers and protectors. I was a freaking idiot. I have had my name forced out of me for a warning vs. citation. Our car has been stopped and police have outright lied about some traffic violation (e.g. not wearing seatbelts, when we clearly were), to hassle activists. Police have misrepresented and lied about the laws (e.g. a video player showing a video in a public area is illegal - no it's not...the business just didn't want us to play a video of the torture they contribute to). And so on.

I write this only because I think police may be monitoring this site, and you all should know just how much you have become despised, because of your actions. Sure, there must be some good ones, but the bad are so very bad.

"stop and identify" law 14.Apr.2007 11:40

Arthur Dent

Hi, I just read an article in the Grants Pass Daily Courier. (i've been living in GP until the intergalactic bypass work begins)

In the article's accompanying picture, the police were shown randomly checking the identification of area teens on our monthly "First Friday Art Night".

To me, this appeared to be illegal. So I did some googling on the subject.

Several people have addressed parts of this issue, but I don't think anyone has covered it thoroughly enough. I highly recommend going to  link to en.wikipedia.org

Basically, if I'm interpreting this correctly-and I recommend anyone interested do their own research-you are NEVER required to even give your NAME, and certainly not an ID, if you are subjected to a "consensual interaction". This is a REQUEST by a cop to stop and answer questions.. In states with "Stop and Identify" laws, you must give a copo your name, only, if you are stopped for "reasonable suspicion" of having committed a crime, or being about to commit a crime. But you don't even have to give your name in Oregon, as it has no "Stop and Identify" statute (as of 2004, that is, and I was unable to find any such law being passed in the meantime)

If the cop(s) have "probable cause" that you have, in fact, already committed a crime, he can arrest you. Ironically, though, he would then have to read you the "Miranda Rights", which allow you to keep totally silent if you want to.


I hope htat's not too confusing. I really recommend that anyone, especially those of us who are politically active, study the information available at the wikipedia site I include, above. And you might want to talk to the local police dept BEFORE you take part in an activity which is likely to put you in a position where you (and the cops) need to know the laws. Ask the cops. Insist that they identify the statute(s) they are using to determine their, and your, rights.