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4th Amendment:
Is Everyone Required To Show ID To Government Agents Upon Demand?

No, not at all. This section lists 23 references, outlining the Constitutional protections and U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the matter.

1. In Martin Hill's case, there were no "exigent circumstances", there was no "reasonable suspicion" that a crime had been committed or was about to occur; (1968 case of Terry v. Ohio) There were no grounds for a warrantless search or arrest, detainment, Terry stop, or for a demand for ID. Brown v. Texas (1979) held that absent reasonable suspicion of criminality, the police can not simply stop people and ask for their names or ID.

On November 10, 2010 after being illegally woken up out of a commercial truck's sleeper berth and threatened with arrest if he didn't show ID, Hill recorded his interaction with both officers. Hill then filed both state and federal official civil rights complaints. Soon afterwards, the Texas Department of Public Safety admitted wrongdoing in writing on behalf of the two officers only one month after an internal affairs complaint was filed against the officers in November 2010. The admission letter, dated December 20, 2010 and signed by Captain Kenneth Plunk of the Waco Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, stated that "corrective action was needed" against both officers and that "additional training has been taken." [Here is the postmarked envelope the letter came in.] The driver, Martin Hill, then filed a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit against the troopers for damages, permanent injunction, and to dissuade them from continuing this blatantly illegal practice. Updates on the case are directly below. One of the internal police department documents which they were forced to release as a result of my lawsuit in initial disclosures revealed that the Texas Troopers officially admitted that "The passenger is under no obligation to comply with request" for ID.

Truck driver Kenny Capell of TN runs trucking a business with his wife and was woken up repeatedly by a rogue police officer in Georgia named Leigh A. Parsons. On April 15, 2014, while Kenny's wife was driving and he was off duty sleeping, Parsons woke Kenny up out of the sleeper berth and demanded his ID with no probable cause at a weigh station on I-75 in Ringgold, GA. The same officer had done this a month prior so this time, Kenny refused on principal to show the cop his ID since she had no legal justification and no warrant. Kenny was then arrested, handcuffed, jailed and kept in a cage until he was bailed out twelve hours later. Charged with the criminal offense of 'obstruction of justice,' Capell fought it in court and after stalling nearly a near, the Georgia prosecutor dropped the case.

James P. Lamb, Chairman of The Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") [smalltransportation.org], supported Capell's cause. Read their press release here: 'SBTC's Police Misconduct Complaint results in Judge dismissing bogus "obstruction" charge against Trucker Kenneth Ahearn Capell.' [Also see: AskTheTrucker.com: Trucker victory for Obstruction of Justice "Right to Sleep" court case (2/26/15) and OverdriveOnline: Driver cleared of obstruction charges after being woken up by police in the sleeper of team-driven truck (3/2/15)

2, Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979)
In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Texas, a case where a man in Texas refused to show police ID because there was no probable cause. The court noted "he was arrested for violation of Tex.Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, 38.02(a) (1974), which makes it a criminal act for a person to refuse to give his name and address to an officer "who has lawfully stopped him and requested the information." However, the court reversed his conviction:

"Held: The application of the Texas statute to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe that appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct. Detaining appellant to require him to identify himself constituted a seizure of his person subject to the requirement of the Fourth Amendment that the seizure be "reasonable." Cf. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1; United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U. S. 873. The Fourth Amendment requires that such a seizure be based on specific, objective facts indicating that society's legitimate interests require such action, or that the seizure be carried out pursuant to a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U. S. 648. Here, the State does not contend that appellant was stopped pursuant to a practice embodying neutral criteria, and the officers' actions were not justified on the ground that they had a reasonable suspicion, based on objective facts, that he was involved in criminal activity. Absent any basis for suspecting appellant of misconduct, the balance between the public interest in crime prevention and appellant's right to personal security and privacy tilts in favor of freedom from police interference."

The court concluded "The application of Tex.Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, § 38.02 (1974), to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct. Accordingly, appellant may not be punished for refusing to identify himself, and the conviction is Reversed." [http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/443/47/case.html.]

3. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
In the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio, the Court held that police could "stop and frisk" a suspect on "reasonable suspicion" that he had already committed, or was about to commit, a crime.

4. Miranda v. Arizona - 384 U.S. 436 (1966

5. The right of privacy may not be intruded upon by the government absent probable cause, see Dunnaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 208 (1979); indeed, it is the probable cause requirement that "safeguard[s] citizens from rash and unreasonable interferences with [their] privacy." Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176 (1949).

6. United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 881 (1975) The government agents can not stop and search all vehicles; that is not reasonable under the Fourth Amendment

7. The exception to the Fourth Amendment is an exceedingly narrow one, United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983)

8. Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500 (1983) "The person approached, however, need not answer any questions put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all and may go on his way" Id. at 497-98.

9. Failure to observe these limits converts to a Terry encounter into a full-fledged arrest under the Fourth Amendment that can only be justified by probable cause. Royer, 460 U.S. at 1325; Dunaway, 442 U.S. at 216; Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. at 881-82.

10. Lefkowitz v. Turley, 414 U.S. 70, 77 (1973) the Fifth Amendment "not only protects the individual against being involuntarily called as a witness against himself in a criminal prosecution, but also privileges him not to answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings"

11. Haynes v. United States, 390 U.S. 85, 97 (1968)

12. Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 125 (2000)
"If they do not learn facts rising to the level of probable cause, an individual must be allowed to go on his way."

13. Brinegar v. United States - 338 U.S. 160 (1949) "The citizen who has given no good cause for believing he is engaged in [criminal] activity is entitled to proceed on his way without interference" (Page 338 U. S. 177)

14. Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352, 369 (1983) probable cause, and nothing less, represents the point at which the interests of law enforcement justify subjecting an individual to any significant intrusion beyond that sanctioned in Terry. See also Kolender, 461 U.S. at 366-67 noting that states "cannot abridge this constitutional rule by making it a crime to refuse to answer police questions during a Terry encounter."

15. Texas may not criminalize by statute or practice conduct that is Constitutionally protected Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611, 616 (1971)

16. Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984) an individual stopped pursuant to Terry is not "in custody" for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), precisely because the individual remains free to ignore or otherwise decline to respond to an officer's questions.

17. Michigan v. DeFillippo, 443 U.S. 31, 40 (1979) "Held: Respondent's arrest, made in good faith reliance on the Detroit ordinance, which at the time had not been declared unconstitutional, was valid regardless of the subsequent judicial determination of its unconstitutionality, and therefore the drugs obtained in the search should not have been suppressed. (a) Under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, an arresting officer may, without a warrant, search a person validly arrested. The fact of a lawful arrest, standing alone, authorizes a search.(b) The Constitution permits an officer to arrest a suspect without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed or is committing an offense..."

18. Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143 (1972) - "Thus, while the Court's decisions indicate that this informant's unverified tip may have been insufficient for a narcotics arrest or search warrant, see, e.g., Spinelli v. United States,393 U. S. 410 (1969); Aguilar v. Texas,378 U. S. 108 (1964), the information carried enough indicia of reliability to justify the officer's forcible stop of Williams. In reaching this conclusion, we reject respondent's argument that reasonable cause for a stop and frisk can only be based on the officer's personal observation, rather than on information supplied by another person. Informants' tips, like all other clues and evidence coming to a policeman on the scene, may vary greatly in their value and reliability. One simple rule will not cover every situation. Some tips, completely lacking in indicia of reliability, would either warrant no police response or require further investigation before a forcible stop of a suspect would be authorized. But in some situations -- for example, when the victim of a street crime seeks immediate police aid and gives a description of his assailant, or when a credible informant warns of a specific impending crime -- the subtleties of the hearsay rule should not thwart an appropriate police response."

19. Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 534-35 (1967) - "Though there has been general agreement as to the fundamental purpose of the Fourth Amendment, translation of the abstract prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures" into workable guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a difficult task which has for many years divided the members of this Court. Nevertheless, one governing principle, justified by history and by current experience, has consistently been followed: except in certain carefully defined classes of cases, a search of private property without proper consent is "unreasonable" unless it has been authorized by a valid search warrant. See, e.g., Stoner v. California,376 U. S. 483; United States v. Jeffers,342 U. S. 48; McDonald v. United States,335 U. S. 451; Agnello v. United States,269 U. S. 20. As the Court explained in Johnson v. United States.."

20. United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 227-28 (1973)

21. Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156 (1972) "a statute which serves as "merely the cloak" for arrests which would not otherwise be lawful is a pernicious affront to the Fourth Amendment and cannot be upheld"

22. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), The issue was whether someone who had been lawfully subject to a Terry stop can also be required to provide his name to the police officer who stopped him. The justices answered yes (5-4) but all nine justices agreed that a person who is not behaving in a way that gives rise to an articulable suspicion of criminality may not be required to state his name or show identification. The Hiibel majority took care not to disturb precedents like Brown v. Texas.


"Justice Brandeis famously observed that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution embodies an individual's "right to be left alone,", an entitlement constituting the "most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." Olmstead v. United States, 227 U..S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). The Supreme Court has long held that the Fourth Amendment protects this "inestimable right of personal security," Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1968), by prohibiting the search and seizure by the police of an individual's person in the absence of probable cause. Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 498 (1983). In Terry v. Ohio, the Court recognized a "limited exception to this general rule," allowing a law enforcement officer to briefly detain a person on the street based upon a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and to frisk the person for concealed weapons. See also United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 17 (1989).

"Because Terry represented a departure from the constitutional mandate of probable cause, this Court has maintained it as a narrowly defined exception defined solely by its underlying purpose. See Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 207-09 (1979). Thus, while Terry allows a police officer to "ask the detainee a moderate number of questions to determine his identity and try to obtain information confirming or dispelling the officer's suspicions," this Court has also held that the individual detained "is not obliged to respond" to such questions, and must be released unless his "answers provide the officer with probable cause to arrest him." Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984)

"The Fourth Amendment expresses the recognition that the power to arrest is among the greatest intrusions on individual liberty; the social, legal, and human consequences of this power have thus led the court to refrain from unduly expanding the right of law enforcement officers to demand compliance from individuals briefly detained pursuant to the limited investigatory stops condoned in Terry."

..."a statute that compels self-identification, and thereby disregards the Constitutionally significant distinction between reasonable suspicion and probable cause, represents an unjustified expansion of Terry and must be invalidated."

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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