It was a beautiful day in April when I was approached by an officer of the law in reference to a forgery that had apparently been reported. The first officer asked me for some identification and I politely declined as is my protected right under the Forth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He continued to go about his investigation occasionally glancing in my direction and requesting my identification, each time I politely refused. Time continued to pass, the person who reported the forgery was very cooperative and explained to the officer I had nothing to do with the crime that had been committed. This did not satisfy the officer's belief that regular citizens are to bow to his authority. He called for back-up.
Upon arrival of the second officer, this one older, larger, and seemed well seasoned or hardened by the rough streets of the back water town of Ozark, Missouri, he approached me and ask the same question, "Can I see your ID?" Politely I declined again. The two officers stepped off to the side and discussed the situation in private. When they returned the older officer Graham continued to ask for my ID and began to threaten me with arrest, criminal charges, and jail time. I had the Constitution on my side so I wasn't quite worried, yet. After an exchange of about 15 minutes of him requesting my ID and my denying him he began to get angry. Some may ask how I know he was getting angry, well, he said,"alright now, your making me angry". Which is fine by me. He has every right to get as angry as he wants, rights are rights.
About this time he approached me as if he was going to strike me or arrest me or touch me in some way and I became spooked. I had done nothing wrong and he was about to assault me, so I ran. After all he was much bigger than me and if he hit me it probably would have hurt, a lot. I may have ran 30 ft and i was faced with a taser and a threat of being shot, so I stopped. At this point I was arrested and sent to jail for "Failure to Identify as a Witness" and "Resisting Arrest".
Due to the events that took place that day I began to do some serious research. I discovered various Supreme Court cases in which the Court ruled, "A police officer could not arrest a citizen merely for refusing to present identification." (Kolender V. Lawson (461 U.S. 352, 1983) That clears me of the charge od failure to Identify as a witness. I was informed by several people close to me that even if I didn't have to show my ID I ran and hence, resisting arrest. Well, Let's see what the Supreme Court has to say about that.
"An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempting to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery." (State V. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL 260). And if that's not clear enough, in the case of the State V. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.F. 2d 100 the Supreme Court ruled, "Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self-defense." These legal precedents create a capacity for each American to stand and fight for the right to say something you might not like, such as "No sir, you cannot see my ID". I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. I will Stand before a court of law and be inconvenienced, arrested, accosted, assaulted, seized, and kidnapped for the rights that men have died for. If we don't use our liberty or trade it off for the convenience of "making things easier" then we don't deserve the right.
The founding fathers of this country created the Constitution and the Amendments for a reason. They believed that the Government should not interfere with a person and their pursuit of happiness. It is through the liberties they left us that we may pursue happiness in our own way. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what this is all for. I have my first son on the way and I want him to understand that his life is his own and can do anything he wants with it. Don't let anyone, not even the perceived authority of the police department force him to do anything. Stand on your principles and the world will unfold unto you.