DeKalb, IL-- Activist Ryan Scott, who you may remember from his video of a "road side safety check" (and the completely belligerent officer who lost his mind during it), was pulled over once again on Friday evening by a police officer in DeKalb.
The officer stated his reason for pulling Scott over was "failure to operate turn signal before 100ft of an intersection".
Upon being pulled over and asserting his 5th Amendment right to not answer any questions a K9 was brought out for a "free air sniff" and used to claim there was probable cause for a search.
The "free air sniff" has been a controversial issue, with many believing that it violates our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that a dog sniff is a search and requires a warrant- but unfortunately only for your home.
They decided you have significantly less expectation of privacy in your vehicle as the area surrounding your car is public road.
Here's how the chief of police from Normal, IL explained it:
After the K9 was brought out, Scott was then detained outside of his car in one degree weather without his gloves that he had mistakenly left in his vehicle.
"Is there a reason you're not really cooperating with me?" the officer asked.
"I don't answer questions," Scott asserted once again.
"Okay. Keep your hands out of your pockets for me"
"Its cold sir!
"Okay, then I'm going to pat you down for my safety, okay? You keep putting your hands in your pockets."
When Scott instinctively put his hands in his pockets to keep warm, the officer's tone changed abruptly, "Keep your hands out of your pockets!" he yelled angrily.
When we spoke to Scott he told us this was humiliating for him. "I was standing there in sub zero temperatures while the entire lot of officers were putting on their gloves, nice and warm. Honestly, when my hands started to warm back up and circulate, it felt like someone had put my fingers in vice grips. That is not an exaggeration," he told us.
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"I know you're filming me... it's okay. I have no problems with that." the officer states after he cools down.
Scott requests a supervisor and the officer calls it in, but states that it isn't necessary to expedite because Scott is just "being uncooperative." Scott takes offense to this and asks if asserting his rights is wrong.
"Am I guilty until proven innocent?" Scott asks.
"I didn't say that." the officer responds.
This is where the tables turn, and the officer refuses to answer if he took an oath to uphold the Constitution.
"Did you take an oath to uphold the constitution to protect United States citizens rights?"
"I'm not going to answer your questions."
Eventually Scott was issued a citation and free to leave.
We spoke to him about what happened and asked if he had anything he wanted to say about the incident.
"Well, first off, I had nothing illegal on me and the search was completely unwarranted. It's a shame that exercising your constitutional rights will get you harassed. I was very polite, respectful etc." he told us. "As far as after the encounter, it's always a bit unnerving when dealing with police. They can be frightening, but no matter how much they try to shake you up, it's always important you are educated, stick to your guns and fight for what is right."
We asked him why it was important to him that he didn't answer any of the officers questions and he told us:
"I exercise my rights, not only because it is the right thing to do in the pursuit of life and liberty, but because they are appointed to me by our country's forefathers who fought to the death to ensure that I have them."
Countless innocent individuals have been further harassed, violated, or arrested by answering what may seem like casual and mundane questions from police. Police are never your friend at a stop. They have quotas to make and revenue to generate. Ryan Scott absolutely did the correct thing in this situation. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Thanks to the SCOTUS ruling in Salinas v. Texas, you are now expected to know that you have a right against self-incrimination, and unless you specifically and clearly invoke this right, anything you say or do not say, including your mannerisms at the time you stop talking, can be used against you. You actually have to say, “I do not answer questions.”
Read more and check out more great videos on the importance of exercising your 5th Amendments right here.