Re: Tx moml letting Kids Play Outside is Arrested, Charged with Child Endangerment
Duly-sworn police officers in Texas need the same thing to make arrests as duly-sworn police officers all over the country need: probable cause. The authority to make such arrests is vested in them statutorily via a standing implied administrative warrant. In other words, if the circumstances create probable cause, they don’t need permission to make arrests.
Originally Posted by Beau Stockard
As for the period over which they may hold an accused, it depends on the charges. Unless the accused was arrested under the auspices of the Patriot Act—no bearing on this matter whatsoever—charges of some sort would have to be brought within a range of 24 to 72 hours.
As to your contention that an “official” police statement tended to support the actions of the arresting officer, such statements are meaningless. I have yet to read of any incident where such statements did NOT back the arresting officers unequivocally or, at worst, conditionally and in glowing terms to boot.
The fact is that this news article tells us absolutely NOTHING relative to the specifics of this incident except that the charges were dropped. And, the only reason for reporting that the charges were dropped was because the entire point of the article had nothing to do with informing the public and virtually everything to do with enticing readership and invoking emotional responses.
The fine Republic of Texas has, for years, self-anointed itself as a “law and order state.” It’s essential in Texas that authorities NOT appear soft on crime. Demonstrating low intellectual and emotional IQs, as well as complete ineptness in applying common sense are forgivable. But appear soft on crime at your own risk.
Politicians have lost elections; police chiefs have been fired; and judges have been recalled because of the mere suspicion of being “soft on crime.”
In a case of child endangerment where the evidence is strong, the police would have presented its findings to a prosecutor and the accused would have been in the midst of a probable cause hearing with the two sides arguing over bail within a matter of a few hours.
Texas does NOT drop charges even if they’re a tad weak. So, whenever they do drop them, it’s reasonable to assume that they had nothing legitimate from the start. And, although dropping charges is a rarity in Texas, its most frequent cause is either some overzealous Barney Fife type “throwing the book” at someone; or it’s because some self-absorbed jack-boot exercised the right to be an asshole.
As for the reasons that the Coopers are suing the police, et al, the article wasn’t very specific. But it does not matter. The case will never reach a courtroom.
The fact that TEXAS dropped the charges—this is especially telling in that state—amounts to a minimum of a passive admission that their police officer screwed up big time. But you can make book on two things. The police department will never admit this publicly and the arresting officer will be taken out behind the police woodshed.
This will end up as an out of court settlement. Both the police department and the officer involved are covered under the legal doctrine of Qualified Immunity. Other than some damaged pride, it will not cost either entity a dime. Texas taxpayers will foot the bill. But they won’t mind a bit. A relatively small out of court settlement trumps the hell out of appearing “weak on crime.”
But as for the neighbor who started the whole thing, she’s not covered under the Qualified Immunity Doctrine. The Coopers are going to have to pay their own legal expenses plus any potential judgment or out of court settlement. They’re undoubtedly going to be in for some sleepless nights.
Even if the pessimists are right, in the end, the optimists will have had a much more enjoyable trip through life.