It’s taken on a life of it’s own. Just this week, the Shreveport Times ran a letter to the editor concerning the story. Much of the website traffic generated is now coming in from email links. That means that it is beyond the blogosphere and will now circulate indefinitely.
The cool thing is that as of right now, this site ranks #1 in Google for the search term “cedric glover” – that is awesome and just goes to prove that relevant content is king. It ranks #5 for if you search for “shreveport mayor”
Am I out to “get Cedric Glover”? Absolutely not. Am I out to make sure this information is public? You bet. Mayor Cedric Glover was dead wrong then and is absolutely still wrong now.
Any candidate running in the 2010 Shreveport Mayoral race should just simply play sound bites of “your rights are suspended” over and over. I will gladly provide the audio with no restrictions – and I’m quite sure Robert Baillio would have no problem as well.
Is this bad publicity for Shreveport? Some would say so, but I would suggest it actually bringing to light some of the bad policies in place at the core of Shreveport’s government. Again, I would rather have the information out in the open where citizens can make informed decisions.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned that I thought Robert Baillio was profiled rather than just pulled over for failure to use his turn signals. Well, let me offer some clarification and some proof.
First, the complete police video does show Robert failing to use his turn signal while changing lanes and making a right-hand turn on Milam Street – so that is not debatable anymore. I would like to mention that most police officers constantly fail to use their turn signals during non-emergency driving too, but that is another discussion. However, if you actually read my article, I said this:
Then the officer marched over Robert’s truck, removed the weapon, unloaded it, and temporarily seized it. This just smacks of both profiling and unreasonable search and seizure.
I did not say that the officer profiled him for the traffic stop. The officer profiled him for the search and seizure. Still don’t believe me?
Baillio: When you said “have i got a handgun?” – you ask everybody that? Officer:No. Not everybody. Its just, you know, you’ve got some stickers.Especially when you’ve got an NRA sticker. Anybody that has an NRA sticker needs to have a gun. If they don’t have a gun they’d better get one.
Do what? I’m glad that according to Mayor Cedric Glover the officer is a member of the NRA. I’m also glad that he apparently thinks anyone with an NRA sticker should have a gun.
What concerns me (and a lot of other people) is that he illegally searched and temporarily seized the weapon because of the NRA sticker!
—————— Arizona v. Gant ——————
Now Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover can try to continue and spin this anyway that he wants. After all, he is a politician. I don’t care if he thinks this is a mark on the “next great city of the south”. It is a mark and a bad one – that was caused by Cedric Glover’s remarks after the fact. Then you interview Ed Jones, the city attorney, and he cites a legitimate reason for the officer to ask about a weapon in the vehicle. Ok, I agree with that too, but the problem is that the officer searched the vehicle without probably cause, an arrest, or a warrant.
Robert had the legitimate and legal right to refuse a vehicle search, but the officer did not give him the opportunity. That put Robert in the odd predicament of trying to prevent the officer from searching or arguing with the officer. Guess where that would have probably led?
According to KSLA 12’s story, an officer can search a person if he believes a crime has been committed. For an officer’s own protection, they can also frisk the outer clothing if they believe the suspect is armed. This is known as a “Terry Stop”. In the case of Robert Baillio, the traffic stop was for a civil infraction, which is not considered a crime, and thus excludes searching of the vehicle.
Maybe KSLA should have done a little better homework and read up on Arizona v. Gant. In the 2008 SCOTUS made a decision that requires law enforcement officers to demonstrate an actual and continuing threat to their safety posed by an arrestee, or a need to preserve evidence related to the crime of arrest from tampering by the arrestee, in order to justify a warrantless vehicular search incident to arrest conducted after the vehicle’s recent occupants have been arrested and secured.
So let’s look at the common thread between a Terry Stop, Arizona v. Gant, and even Atwater v. City of Lago Vista – you must have an ARRESTEE to search beyond a pat-down. What part of that doesn’t Cedric Glover, the Shreveport Police Department, and their city attorney seem to understand? You must have an arrest to search beyond a pat-down.
Mayor Cedric Glover: …I’m personally comfortable with what I said and how I said it…
Hey Mayor – why don’t you admit the policy mistake and take efforts to correct it? We don’t care about your personal comfort. We care about your understanding of the law, the Louisiana State Constitution, and the US Constitution. How about standing up for the citizens of Shreveport who elected you – and even those that didn’t vote for you?