Daniele Watts

Has claimed that she was handcuffed because of racism.   She was kissing her white boyfriend in public and was handcuffed….when she refused to give identification.

I don’t know if race is involved.  I know that this nearly happened to me in Fort Wayne when I refused to give my social security number or my birthdate to an out of control fire fighter.

She was absolutely within her Fourth Amendment rights not to give her identification if she was not being arrested.  I have paralegal training, and the attorney teaching the class on the Fourth Amendment told us that unless we were under arrest, we did not have to give out any information, and did not have to have our persons or our vehicles searched without our permission.  He said all the client had to do was ask if they were under arrest.

This Amendment was put into place to protect us from a police state–so we would not become Russia, China, or Nazi Germany.

In my case, I was the Fire Captain of my five story building.  I was the one who jumped out of bed at 2 a.m. when the fire alarm went off.  I would communicate to the fire dept and to our maintenance on-call person that everything was okay…or not.

On this particular day,  someone had set off the alarm three times that day.  I called off the fire dept each time, but for some reason, they showed up anyway at the third instance.

I was already back in my apartment when I got a knock on the door from one of the residents telling me the fire dept was here and wanted to speak with me.

The fire fighter immediately began accusing me of setting off the alarm, of making a false report, and other stuff that i can’t remember at the moment.  He said he was going to shut this building down.  Then he demanded to know my soc. sec. number.  I refused.  He then demanded my birthdate, which I also refused, as I had done before with the other fire fighters.  Alarm bells were going off in my head by this guy’s irrational behavior, and I started to walk away.

He threatens that he is going to call the police as I was walking down the hall.  He does.

Three squad cars pull up within minutes. Three.

They, too, were bullying me into giving up personal information that they had no right to.  I didn’t set off any alarm, only reported what I saw, as was required of my job.

This went on for an hour.  They intimidated me to the point I was in tears.  I finally had to give this arrogant, irrational fire fighter my birthdate…because they threatened me with jail if I did not.

Afterwards, the police officer sarcastically said, “There, was that so hard?”

I said that it was none of the firefighter’s business.

He then shot back that I should not be the Fire Captain if I did not want to give out that info.

I had been a reliable Captain. I gave up nights and weekends to be in the building when the staff was gone.  I sure the hell didn’t need this grief.

And I’m not down on the fire fighters.  They’re good guys, for  the most part.

One of them even quietly thanked me for standing up to this creep.

And, no, racism wasn’t involved in this–I am white, the fire fighter and all of the police man were white.  It’s a civil rights issue,  for sure.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. dolphin
    Aug 10, 2016 @ 17:12:18

    Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:

    Reblogging this because I see our civil rights fading away. I wonder why more folks are not standing up for their civil rights….

    Reply

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