Breakfast in Collinsville

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Here’s video of Collinsville, Illinois K9 officer Michael Reichert violating the civil rights of two guys returning from a Star Trek convention. This one has it all. According to the video, Reichert lies about why he pulled them over. He lies to justify the K9 search. He then conducts a dubious pass around the car with his dog, after which he lies about the dog alerting. When he doesn’t find any drugs, he lies about the dog alerting to some marijuana “shake” on the floor. Finally, we learn at the end of the video that Reichert has two (!) prior convictions and had resign from a previous police department for lying under oath about a drug case.

The kicker: Reichert found out that the driver had an old arrest that was supposed to have been expunged when he ran the driver’s license. This was one of his justifications for conducting a search.

MORE: I’m looking into this story. Looks like Reichert only has one conviction, for selling knock-off sunglasses. The other incident referred to in the video involved a federal drug case in which the judge dismissed Reichert’s testimony. More to come.

MORE II: The Collinsville Police Department obviously disputes the video narrator’s interpretation of the stop and search and Reichert’s justification for them. I’ll have a piece on this for HuffPost soon.

 

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64 Responses to “Breakfast in Collinsville”

  1. #1 |  Aresen | 

    Reichert has two (!) prior convictions and had resign from a previous police department for lying under oath about a drug case.

    Considering the effects of the ‘blue wall of silence’, the lying under oath must have been particularly egregious for Collins to be convicted and fired for it.

    Which leads naturally to the question “Why in hell is he working for any police department anywhere?”

  2. #2 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    This cop is a hero. He should get a medal for what he did. I feel safer.

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    In the interest of Public Relations, let’s make some deal with the cops that if they’re going to lie, connive, bullshit, trample your rights, search your car, your person, your passenger, and still not come with any drugs or weapons, then the assholes have to clean, vacuum, and wax the vehicle, then fill it up with a full tank of gas.

  4. #4 |  kristen | 

    Collinsville’s April 2011 Officer of the Month!

    “Officer Reichert had 166 total incidents with 6 arrests and 7 citations in 13 working days. In addition to this he had 3 self initiated significant incidents that is very worthy of praise.”

  5. #5 |  Andrew S. | 

    While googling for more information on this story, I found something interesting. This is from 1973. Looks familiar. Especially the promises of how things would change.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=trhNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yUQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6160,1780233&dq=collinsville+illinois&hl=en

  6. #6 |  Discord | 

    “In the interest of Public Relations, let’s make some deal with the cops that if they’re going to lie, connive, bullshit, trample your rights, search your car, your person, your passenger, and still not come with any drugs or weapons, then the assholes have to clean, vacuum, and wax the vehicle, then fill it up with a full tank of gas.”

    I suspect at the end of this procedure your car would have a gun, drugs, and too much money hidden in various places, and you’d get pulled over down the road for “driving erratically.”

  7. #7 |  Onlooker | 

    This guy is exhibit A in a retort to the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, then why not” crowd.

  8. #8 |  Charlie O | 

    Define “large amounts of cash.” I am a gambler. I often withdraw $5 -$6 thousand dollars from my bank before leaving on casino trip. It much easier than trying get large amounts of cash once you’re there. I don’t much feel like filling out reams of paperwork for casinos just to get a check cashed. I also travel armed when driving across country.

  9. #9 |  nigmalg | 

    Yeah..

    1.) deny consent = being nervous
    2.) drug dogs = probable cause anywhere, anywhere. Like pushing a button.

    And no, it’s not an isolated incident.

  10. #10 |  Jay | 

    Andrew, screw the story, I want to know how the party was on the patio at the Windward. MELLOW TONES!

  11. #11 |  Bob | 

    Yay for the New Professionalism!

    I feel so safe now.

  12. #12 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Yizmo Gizmo,

    Even assuming that Discord is overstating matters (which I have doubts about) do you really want aggressively incompetent jerks like this cop handling gasoline anywhere near you?

  13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    $10 says as soon as that camera is off he’s gonna fuck that dog. What…no one has watched Shakes the Clown?

  14. #14 |  Ariel | 

    Charlie O,

    You are a prime candidate for asset forfeiture. Your large sum of money represents one of two possibilities: you have just finished a drug deal; or you are traveling to make one. Police know there is no other possibility and they are well-trained in even detecting the smallest of lies. So you won’t be able to lie your way out of it with that bogus story.

    Honest Americans never carry large sums of cash.

  15. #15 |  Robert | 

    @ Charlie O: Be prepared to get all of that taken away from you if you get pulled over and searched.

  16. #16 |  Carl Drega | 

    What’s the problem? If they take Charlie’s money, all he has to do is hire an attorney and sue the police to prove he’s innocent, and then they’ll give him the money back. Two years would be the most something like that would take to get worked out. We can’t have people out running around free now can we?

  17. #17 |  (B)oscoH | 

    Charlie… Do you have Lifelock? Then you could post your car’s license plate number here and be completely safe.

  18. #18 |  derfel cadarn | 

    How is one convicted of lying under oath forced to resign yet continue to maintain there law enforcement credentials ? We are told it is only a few bad apples,yes,being aided and abetted by those other officers that have not been caught yet. This gives one such a warm and cozy feeling inside that I want to vomit. This video also shows that drug/explosive sniffing dogs are less than useless. It is not the dogs abilities it is their inherent willingness to please that makes them unreliable. You can see the proof here along with the blatant corruption of Authority.

  19. #19 |  Roho | 

    @nigmalg

    I’m still thinking I could make a very profitable business creating and selling the Cause-o-Matic for police departments around the country. Marketed as a police dog replacement, it’d just be a little handheld device with a button and a pair of lights (red and green). If the officer pushes the button, and the green light illuminates, they have probable cause for a search.

    (The red light, of course, is not connected to anything)

  20. #20 |  Bob | 

    But wait! This officer is a stalwart hero of his department! Why, just last April:

    http://www2.collinsvilleil.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=352:april-2011-officer-of-the-month&catid=74:departments-police-officer-of-the-month&Itemid=161

    Officer Reichert had 166 total incidents with 6 arrests and 7 citations in 13 working days. In addition to this he had 3 self initiated significant incidents that is very worthy of praise

    Wait… This clown pulled over 166 people and only cited or detained 13 of them? Why, that’s not blatant at all! So basically, he pulled over 166 people with out of state plates in those 13 days. I’d love to know what those arrests were for.

    And of course, don’t forget the 3 “self initiated” incidents at Fed Ex! What are the odds that he’d be 3 for 3 for random Fed Ex searches? It’s like he knew the drugs would there.

  21. #21 |  Ariel | 

    Charlie O, don’t sweat it though. They won’t charge you with a crime, they’ll charge your money with the crime and you’ll have to prove your money innocent. In between, the Police will be looking through that “Police Toys” catalog…

    You should be able to carry that money without any fear of the Police seizing it, but it just doesn’t work that way any longer. Too many Police look at it as theirs for their budget. Dishonest, yes, legal, yes.

  22. #22 |  JimBob | 

    Nigmalg, you got it in one.

    I’ve met cops who genuinely believe that refusal to consent amounts “reasonable suspicion”, which allows them to search anybody who doesn’t want to be searched. Sort of a “heads, I win; tails, you lose” argument, I guess.

    I would have thought that this shit was settled by the courts YEARS ago, but even last year it wasn’t considered an established principle: in US v Massenberg, the Fourth Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling that being “real reluctant to give consent” to a search constituted probable cause for a search. Got that? A federal court in Virginia held that saying “I’d rather not” to a consent search WAS SUSPICIOUS.

    California, 2010: a juvenile refuses consent for a search of his backpack. Officer takes the kid’s as a “red flag” that the kid is up to something, and he performs a search, anyway. Court of Appeals overturned.

    There was another (civil) case in Texas where the cops pulled over a car, then held them for over an hour for the canine unit to arrive (which is illegal; the canine search has to be conducted within a “reasonable” amount of time from the initial stop). When they asked if they were free to go, cops said no, you have to wait for the dogs. When they sued, the cops said that they had “reasonable suspicion” based on the driver’s behavior, even though the incident report listed probable cause as “failure to consent to search”. Federal judge in Texas basically told the cops to get stuffed.

  23. #23 |  Chris Mallory | 

    So short, fat, middle aged Trekkie nerds are the latest threat to America?

  24. #24 |  arglebargle | 

    It seems to me there are 2 kinds of dog ‘alerts’. One is valid, and one is not.

    The kind where you have the dog among 10000 possible items, and tell him to find the one. Where the handler has no incentive or disencentive to favor the outcome. And in fact the handler does not want a false altert, because it would be a big waste of his time. That kind of dog alert seems valid. Like roaming the package handling facility at fedex, or roaming the airport.

    The other kind, where you have 1 possible target, and the handler has incentive, is not even close to valid.

    It doesn’t seem like that is rocket science. The laws should change to allow the one type of alert, and disallow the other.

    But in this case, that cop is going to record the interaction as a successful altert. The dog was correct in identifying the trace amounts of marijuana under the seats. So anyone looking at the numbers would say, well that was great, lets keep doing that.

    So basically we are screwed.

  25. #25 |  BamBam | 

    Honest Americans never carry large sums of cash.

    Correction: only terrorists carry any sum of cash, and they pay for things with cash, otherwise why would you have cash? The FBI flyers tell me that paying with cash, and thus you had to be carrying cash, in ANY amount, is suspicious activity and should be reported.

    http://publicintelligence.net/fbi-suspicious-activity-reporting-flyers/

    Who’s gonna report Charlie O so you are doing your patriotic duty?

  26. #26 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “So short, fat, middle aged Trekkie nerds are the latest threat to America?”

    Exactly. I’m struck by the similarity of this scene to a USS Enterprise run-in
    with bad guys…who in this case are supposed to be the good guys…
    which makes life on this planet much more complicated than it needs to be…

  27. #27 |  Uh-huh | 

    Around the 3:35-3:50 mark you’ll see another common tactic. The cop offers a warning to the driver, while insinuating that the entire event is almost over. After issuing the warning, I don’t hear the cop plainly state that the driver is free to leave, but this is often the case. Then comes the “hey, let me ask you a few quick questions.” If the driver “chooses” to stay and answer, he or she has then consented to further detention/questioning. It’s a very common tactic. I was hoping the driver would smile and turn away. He would’ve been subject to some level of assault, but it would have been sweet.

    Cops know that the average person is afraid to assert their liberty. Cops also know that some people will (rightly) recoil and become infuriated at having their liberty violated. Both instances are a win for the police. If you submit, they defeat the Constitution. If you become angry, they will put their hands on you in the name of officer safety or disorderly conduct, etc. This is also a victory.

    The driver did a good job. I wish the passenger had refused to ID. Very few of us can calmly and confidently assert our liberty in the face of the government’s violence. This is one glaring instance where our judiciary has failed us in regards to cop/citizen encounters. No one should have to tolerate this.

  28. #28 |  Aashish | 

    Radley, it would be great if you had a “share on facebook, twitter..” etc, button on your blog! I post links to your articles all the time!

  29. #29 |  freedomfan | 

    This is a case where officer Reichert lies about an incident to generate suspicion and coaxes his K9 to “alert” in order that he could conduct a search for which he otherwise didn’t have even the vaguest patina of cause.

    This video should be attached to the public file of both the cop and the dog so that it may be introduced in any and every case in which there is any dispute over the legality of the search. It would have been even better if the citizens (Fischer and Seton?) had insisted on having the phony “shake” tagged as evidence and independently tested so that it would be clear that the dog had no cause to alert and that such alerts in the future do not constitute probable cause for a search.

  30. #30 |  Police Are Trained to Lie -- And Expect to Get Away With It REPUBLIC MAGAZINE | THE VOICE OF THE PATRIOT MOVEMENT | 

    [...] Radley Balko, a prolific and perceptive commentator regarding police abuses, provides a useful play-by-play summary of this infuriating — but entirely typical — episode of police mendacity: This one has it all. Reichert lies about why he pulled them over. He lies to justify the K9 search. He then conducts a highly dubious pass around the car with his dog, after which he lies about the dog alerting. When he doesn’t find any drugs, he lies about the dog alerting to some marijuana “shake” on the floor. Finally, we learn at the end of the video that Reichert has [a prior conviction] and had resign from a previous police department for lying under oath about a drug case. [...]

  31. #31 |  freedomfan | 

    BTW, I am interested in the part of the video where officer Reichert claims that the driver (and maybe the passenger) are free to go, but that he is “just going to detain the car” so that he can get the fake K9 alert. Can someone with some legal expertise talk about whether that is legal? Basically, the cop is saying, “I’m not detaining you, but you are stuck here indefinitely while I manufacture cause for a search you will not consent to.” Can the police “detain” a person’s property, particularly in a situation where the person cannot reasonably leave without the property, and skirt the rules for detaining the person?

    As another example, could a cop take someone’s wallet and claim he wants to test all the bills and credit cards for residue in case the owner has been using them to cut cocaine? That is, “You’re free to go, but I am keeping your ID, your credit cards, and all of your cash until my fishing expedition turns something up.”

    Of course, Reichert goes on to say “I could get you a ride”, as if he is some nice guy who is doing everything to accommodate the driver and passenger, but he already knows that they are driving home from out of state and he’s certainly not offering to drive them all the way home and then have the car shipped to them when he is done with it, all on the department’s dime. So, the offer to get them a ride is complete BS as he knows there’s no way for them to accept it. And, who in their right mind would abandon his car to this cop, who clearly is not above inventing (probably planting) evidence when it suits his purpose?

  32. #32 |  Powersox | 

    At arglebargle #24,
    That WASN’T a correct alert from the dog. There was no marijuana in the car at all, not even “shakes”. That’s just the excuse that was used to pretend the dog was correct, and justify the stop / search.

  33. #33 |  Ariel | 

    #25 Bam Bam,

    I stand corrected. I had forgotten that everything has changed since 9/11.

  34. #34 |  Ross | 

    and to think that the library of the Supreme Court is full of Laws enacted to enforce 10 Commandments.

  35. #35 |  Neil | 

    I had an interaction with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD in 2010 after another driver rear-ended my Civic.

    After the officer did his ‘job’ of asking questions about the accident and writing things down, he quickly became hostile to both me and the other driver. “Why do you have an ORANGE SAFETY VEST IN YOUR CAR?”, he demanded of the other driver.

    “Ummm…because I work in a warehouse and it’s required.”

    “I’d like to search your vehicle”, he demanded of me. Being tired, frustrated, and generally wishing I hadn’t been there at that moment, I told him to go ahead if he really wanted to. While searching my car, he found my old cell phone (which was in my glove box). As he exits the vehicle clutching this triumphantly, his partner informs me that this is significant because DRUG DEALERS often carry MULTIPLE CELL PHONES.

    The officer stood, turning the iPhone over in his hand, looking puzzled. He did this for at least sixty seconds before thrusting it at me and saying “HOW DO YOU OPEN IT!?”

    “You don’t”, I replied, “It’s sealed.”

    “THEN HOW DO YOU FIND THE SERIAL NUMBER!?”

    “It’s right there on the back, in the words you keep looking at.”

    I almost pointed out that, had I had any contraband, I was the one who called 911 and waited 30 minutes for the police to show up. I could easily have thrown it into the field next to the road…

  36. #36 |  Whim | 

    Police dogs “alert” on signal to satisfy their master, the K-9 officer.

    They will also alert on a barbecue beef sandwich, alert on a soiled sanitary napkin, or alert at the signal of their master.

    It’s frequently bogus B.S., encouraged and tolerated by the endless War on Drugs.

    That being said, I did once see a “fruit” sniffing dog in Hawaii alert on a lady’s handbag. I was flying back to the mainland from Hawaii, and while sitting in the airport waiting room, either the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture or the USDA inspector went through the waiting room with a fruit sniffing dog, going up and down the waiting room aisles.

    The dog absolutely alerted and found the fruit.

    Despite prominent signs EVERYWHERE throughout the airport, this oriental looking lady was trying to sneak some fresh fruit back to the mainland.

    This is totally forbidden as it might introduce tropical pests (like happened with the Mediterranean Fruit Fly) into a Temperate zone.

    The officer confiscated the fruit, and gave her a humiliating dressing-down about whether should could read English. She sheepishly admitted that she could, and that she had seen the notices. This while everyone glared at her.

    Suitable and deserved punishment.

  37. #37 |  practicepro | 

    This guy got off lucky. My experiance this summer getting stoped my the Michigan police ended up with a ride to the station, a 3 hour search, damaged interior parts of the trim, a study of my personal bank records, and a search of my Iphone. Then to cover their tracks they stated that they found a green leafy substance in the car that tested positive for marijuana. This was completely false and when I asked to see the results of the test they refused. There has never been any marijuana in the car and no one I know would even touch the stuff. All of this for just driving in Michigan with a California plate.

  38. #38 |  picachu | 

    Charlie O “Define “large amounts of cash.” I am a gambler. I often withdraw $5 -$6 thousand dollars from my bank before leaving on casino trip. It much easier than trying get large amounts of cash once you’re there. I don’t much feel like filling out reams of paperwork for casinos just to get a check cashed. I also travel armed when driving across country.”

    Charlie I fear it’s only a matter of time before you have a really really bad day.

  39. #39 |  Stu Padasol | 

    Law Enforcement: protecting and serving the s*** out of you every day.

  40. #40 |  IrishMike | 

    “Officer Reichert had 166 total incidents with 6 arrests and 7 citations in 13 working days. In addition to this he had 3 self initiated significant incidents that is very worthy of praise.”

    Why is everyone so focused on the low arrest and citation rate while skipping over the lede? The best officer in the department that month worked a total of 13 days! Wow he must have been exhausted.

  41. #41 |  SeanSatori | 

    That police encounter reads like a criminal procedure question on the bar exam. Every 30 seconds is another violation…

  42. #42 |  croaker | 

    Tree.
    Rope.
    Tar
    Uniformed Tyrant.

    Some assembly required. If you can’t get rid of a lyin, convicted pig one way…

  43. #43 |  Juice | 

    That cop is a complete ass, but this is completely normal. Everything that happened is SOP. This used to happen to me every once in a while in Arkansas because I had long hair and kind of a beater car. They do the pat down without asking consent at all. One time there was some dirt and grass or something on the floorboard and the cop was all “Ah hah! What is this?” “It looks like dirt to me, you moron.” Anyway, once they start in with the “do you have any drugs or guns?” they WILL search you car, period, and there is absolutely nothing they you can say to stop them. Nothing.

  44. #44 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    My hope is that one day this lying, lazy cop rolls up on a real drug dealer, who decides that he has had enough of this sh*t, and disposes of LEO boy in the nearest swamp. Because you KNOW that this idiot is so busy busting ordinary citizens and small-time users that he wouldn’t recognise an seriously dangerous criminal until it was FAR too late.

  45. #45 |  Juice | 

    Oh, and the “I’m not concerned with small amounts. I won’t arrest you for that” is pure bullshit. Obviously.

  46. #46 |  Juice | 

    #13 – It’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

  47. #47 |  Kukulkan | 

    #31

    Officer Reichert’s pretext for stopping the vehicle was a dangerous swerve. Assuming that this happened (and we might as well, since the driver has no evidence other than his word which won’t be enough to contest the validity of the stop), then Officer Reichert could lawfully detain the vehicle for the amount of time that is reasonable for Officer Reichert to issue a citation or a warning. Once this has occurred, the officer may no longer detain the vehicle. Illinois v Caballes, 543 US 405 (2005) (“A seizure that is justified solely by the interest in issuing a warning ticket to the driver can become unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete that mission.”) http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10622335546539670066&q=543+U.S.+405&hl=en&as_sdt=4,60

    If I recall the video correctly, Officer Reichert gave the driver a warning and then advised the driver that the driver was free to leave but the car was being detained all before the dog alerted. This was improper. Officer Reichert’s declaration that the car could not leave constituted a seizure of the driver’s constitutionally protected property (“persons, houses, papers, and effects”). There was no probable cause (this is before the dog alerted) for the Officer to believe there was contraband inside the car. Since there was no probable cause, Officer Reichert should not have seized the car.

    Once the warning was issued, the driver and his property were (in a Constitutional analysis) free to leave. The problem here is that the driver only has minimal damages flowing from Officer Reichert’s improper seizure of property and an attorney therefore has little incentive to file an action alleging violation of the driver’s rights. I fully support the driver’s decision to publicly humiliate Officer Reichert.

  48. #48 |  JSL | 

    I eagerly await the excuses from the “theres always another side to the story” folks like Massad Ayoob.

    Whats the deal on the passenger rights, are they required in Ill. to give ID? I thought one only had to consent to a terry frisk for weapons?

  49. #49 |  Joker | 

    Ariel =”Honest Americans never carry large sums of cash.” Honest Americans dont have large sums of cash.

  50. #50 |  jajaja | 

    This is bs. I know mike. He is probably one of the greatest guys. great cop.

  51. #51 |  Gary | 

    Once the reason for the stop (weaving) was completed, the citizens were free to leave. The officer was not required to tell them that they were free to leave. The officer probably broke the law by telling the driver that he could leave, but his car was being detained. That statement was meant to keep the driver at the scene. I would suggest reading Ohio v. Robinette, 519 U.S 33.
    There is very little doubt that an officer with a drug-sniffing dog in his vehicle pulled this car over for any other reason than to search the car. Unfortunately this happens every day in this country. It’s time to end this unconstitutional war on drugs.

  52. #52 |  Dave | 

    I love the continued, “I’m not worried about any drugs for personal use” horseshit.

    The ultimate argument for legalization.

  53. #53 |  Arthur | 

    Kristen (#4) great bonus link! That thin-blue-fluffery is hilarious and terrifying at the same time, especially when viewed immediately after watching this goon commit several felonies on camera. I mean seriously, there is just sooooo much to hate in this video I don’t know where to start. Like so many others, I have been on the receiving end of this type of nonsense often enough to be absolutely convinced that not only are these tactics condoned, they are encouraged and they are the result of training.

    Okay, please do not read the rest of this tardy post as I really, really need to just go off on a whiney little bitchfest and can think of no better place.

    “Officer Reichert had 166 total [shakedowns] with 6 arrests and 7 citations in 13 working days. In addition to this he had 3 self initiated significant incidents that is very worthy of praise.” [Sidebar--must be tough having to work a whole 13 days a month, I suppose they deserve it cause their jobs are like, super dangerous and stuff.]

    Assuming no overlap for the 6 arrests and 7 citations, this clown is 13/166! He’s batting .078 and that is worthy of praise? I think it’s worthy of an internal affairs investigation (please forgive my naive optimism.) If he is not arresting or citing 92% of the subjects involved in his ‘incidents’ (sorry, but that is just not the right word for this) there can be no doubt that he is addicted to fishing. Hint for Herr Reichert: STOP MAKING SHIT UP AND PULLING OVER WHOMEVER YOU GODDAMN PLEASE CAUSE THEY DON’T LOOK RIGHT/HAVE OUT-OF-STATE PLATES/SEEM SUSPICIOUS/MAKE YOUR WILLY TINGLE/ETC. BECAUSE, IT’S AGAINST THE FUCKING LAW! NOT ONLY IS IT AGAINST THE FUCKING LAW, YOU ASSHOLE, BUT IT IS A VIOLATION OF LAW THAT POSES A MUCH, MUCH GREATER THREAT TO OUR NATION, OUR SOCIAL ORDER, AND OUR OLD VISIONS OF LIBERTY THAN ANY OF THE LAWS YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO LUCK INTO ENFORCING WITH YOUR DOG AND MONKEY SHOW! Either he gives those ‘friendly’ warnings to A LOT of guilty people or he is a filthy liar/pirate who invents PC as a matter of course. I believe the video makes for some extremely long odds on the former.

    Do you have any weapons in the vehicle? Any pot? Any cocaine? Heroin? Bazookas? Hand grenades? Do you have a Vietnamese teenager tied up in the back? I’ve got a dog here that’s trained to detect anything illegal, so you might as well come clean now. We both know he’s gonna alert on your vehicle, sir. At least the dog and I both know it *chuckle* If it’s just a small amount for personal use, it’s not that big a deal (like what, 5 or 6 times he tried that one?) Why don’t you just tell me what you got. Oh btw, do you have a large amount of cash on you by any chance? JFCOAC! I get why cops, prosecutors, gaolers, judges, treatment couselors, et al. have no problem with anything Reichert is doing here ’cause it’s so damn good for business and they are all in the club so it will never happen to them, but where the fuck is the rest of America? Do you still not understand that this can happen to you at any time and when it does, being innocent will not necessarily matter (usually it still does…usually.) Do you even remember what the words freedom and liberty mean? Even if the driver did leave his lane or whatever, which he almost certainly didn’t, or we would have heard it described several times (I do wish I could see the entire video, though) and it was a legal stop, take his license/reg./ins. back to your fucking prowler, check for warrants, write a warning or a ticket, politely give the man his stuff, say “Hope the rest of your day goes better,” get back in your car, and continue doing your goddamn job as a professional and law-abiding cop (I know, I am a dreamer.)

    Of course, the readers here (well, the pre-invasion readers at least) know that the reason police contact almost NEVER happens that way anymore is that their true goal has not been to protect the peace and provide for public safety for a very long time. Their goal is to get ya. Don’t care how, don’t care what laws they have to break, they just want to get ya. It’s fun, it’s profitable, it’s mostly incredibly easy (’cause we can do whatever the fucking hell we want now,) and best of all, I don’t have to worry about a goddamn thing ’cause I would practically have to murder someone in cold blood just to get a suspension or be fired, much less be charged with a crime. Even murder sometimes isn’t even enough to warrant suspension WITH pay. Hell, sometimes multiple murders aren’t even enough!

    [I really am starting to feel better] For my last point I return to Mr. Officer of the Month’s public fluffing:

    Officer Reichert continually reflects the proactive, illegal, innovative, Constitution-shredding philosophy of law enforcement prescribed to by the Collinsville Police Department. He has demonstrated this by his aggressive approach to drug trafficking in the area. FIXED!

    Fuck you Officer Reichert!

  54. #54 |  Whim | 

    #47 Kukulkan:

    Collinsville IL may not have a police force much longer if a class action civil rights suit gets filed against officer Reichert and his employer. Because there is evidence that this was entirely a pretext stop. The evidence is the video. The driver was followed he estimated for 4 miles. Somewhere in that four miles this alleged illegal lane change purportedly occured.

    The video is the evidence that the entire stop was a pretext. As would a preponderance of the other 166 traffic stops that Officer Jackboot made in just a 13 day period, to garner only 6 arrests and 7 citations. Some of the citations issued were also probably issued to the arrestees, in effect double counting. For instance, there may have been an arrest for a warrant, but also a citation for expired insurance or no driver’s license.

    So, for Officer Jackboot in a 13 day period, we find that over 90% of his stops did not involve either an arrest or a citation, then that demonstrates a pattern and practice of PRETEXT STOPS so that he could fabricate a reason to launch his trusty K-9 in an unjustified sniff test.

    As you pointed out, when you are stopped for a traffic offense, it’s supposed to be for traffic-related activity. Using the most common opportunity the police ever have to instruct the public in Obediance Training, the traffic stop is their main venue to intimidate and terrorize the public.

    The police have invented a variety of techniques to expand beyond the traffic stop:

    1) First, that is total B.S. that the policeman could not HEAR the driver. That was the beginning of the lie, to separate the driver from his vehicle.
    Once he got him out of the vehicle, he had a right to do a Terry Stop for weapons, so that the policeman could feel “safe”.

    2) Stating that the passenger appeared nervous, and therefore this was somehow suspicious behavior that he was hiding something. Another lie.

    3) Dried grass residue from the car occupants shoes is not marijuana “shake”, whatever the hell that term means. I’ve never heard of it. That is another lie.

    4) Sometimes the police make statements that they “smell” something suspicious. Frequently a lie.

    If these two individuals can locate a good civil rights attorney, they can make the citizenry of the city of Collinsville IL wish they had never hired Officer Reichert…..any, maybe collect a nice future payday. They’ve got the video.

  55. #55 |  M Fox | 

    A criminal WAS found, it was Michael Riechert!
    A crime WAS committed, by Michael Reichert!

  56. #56 |  Dante | 

    #50 jajaja

    Welcome, pig.

  57. #57 |  Kukulkan | 

    #54 Whim:

    You assume that there is video from the period during which the police car is following the Trekkie. I doubt such video exists. The camera likely was only activated after the stop was initiated. I base this on how other police departments handle things and the fact that the driver did not include moving video in his presentation. If he’d had the video, he would have used it. In the absence of such video, the only evidence will be Officer Reichert’s word versus the word of the two Trekkies – one of who stated that he was eating and not paying attention during the relevant time period. So, unless Officer Reichert is caught in some obvious lie to the court, it is highly unlikely that a reviewing court (or a jury) would conclude that no weaving occurred.

    You assume that the vast majority of other stops by Officer Reichert were pretextual. Maybe so. Maybe not. It’s worth reviewing the video. Unfortunately Collinsville PD is not turning over the video. Trekkie has to figure out if he wants to spend the resources needed to obtain the video No attorney is going to file a class action without evidence that there is a basis for a class action.

    So let’s assume Officer Reichert lied about being unable to hear Trekkie. So what? Do you think Trekkie has any kind of action based on this lie? I don’t think so. Police are allowed to lie. Moreover, Trekkie describes the statement as “Officer Reichert asked me to step to the rear of the car as he was having trouble hearing me over the traffic noise.” If (as described by Trekkie) this was framed as a request, then Officer Reichert would be able to make a strong argument that Trekkie acted voluntarily. (Hint, always ask if you are free to leave at every opportunity and always ask whether the officer is commanding you to do something or asking you to voluntarily do something). We don’t have the evidence to do more than speculate.

    Now let’s assume that Officer Reichert was intentionally lying that Trekkie #2 was nervous. So what? He’s trying to get Trekkie #1 to admit that Trekkie #2 has a reason to be nervous. It’s not unconstitutional. Police can (and do) lie to you.

    Now let’s address Officer Reichert’s statement that he found marijuana shakes. Officer Reichert did not arrest Trekkie or further detain him as a result of the marijuana shakes. So what is Trekkie’s injury here? None. The injury is that Officer Reichert can now claim that his dog did not falsely alert. Trekkie could have asked Officer Reichert to bag the shakes and have them tested. Trekkie just wanted to be on his way, so did not do this (and reasonably so). Again, Officer Reichert’s statement is not actionable even if it was a lie.

    Given the length of the detention and the fact that Officer Reichert seized Trekkie’s car without probable cause, Trekkie does have some damages. They just are not large damages. Since the damages are not significant, Trekkie will have a difficult time retaining a really good attorney. Given this unfortunate reality, Trekkie’s got the right idea – ridicule Officer Reichert.

    Radley: I assume you have the whole video from Trekkie by now. Why don’t you post it so that you can crowdsource analyze it?

  58. #58 |  nigmalg | 

    The youtube comments on this video are going south…

    “sorry, but, this officers actions look pretty textbook to me, and the driver of the red PT cruiser looks to be acting very nervous and “standoffish” the entire time. As a former police officer that has worked interstate 55 in the St. Louis metro for years, I would be very suspicious of your actions very quickly by the way you were acting. Sorry man, just because you lack the understanding of police officers training and duties, doesn’t make you in the right on this one. Cool editing though..”

    You know what guys, we’re fucked.

  59. #59 |  JSL | 

    Clearly, the trekkies needed LEO Pro Cards.

    http://carlbussjaeger.blogspot.com/2012/03/remember-gellin-and-leo-procards.html

  60. #60 |  AlgerHiss | 

    Mayhaps the folks at the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce would like to hear how the rest of the country feels about their vaunted, brave LEOs:

    http://discovercollinsville.com/

    Doubtful I would be willing to spend any funds in their shitty little town.

  61. #61 |  deputy | 

    #58 Maybe you should take a second look or put your glasses on, no nervous shakes from this driver detected, just another bullshit traffic stop is all I can see and from the looks of it 99.9% of the people agree.

  62. #62 |  Blackburn | 

    The officer’s facebook can be found here: profile.php?id=1592432548

  63. #63 |  Supreme Court To Hear a New Drug Dog Case | The Agitator | 

    [...] have a long piece on that Collinsville, Illinois police stop up soon at Huffington Post. It will touch on some of this. I was also able to obtain about a [...]

  64. #64 |  MillerT | 

    Nervous probably, I would be too, considering that he has been stopped by the “other crooks”, just one plant of a controlled substance and the Trekkie boys go to jail. I and a majority of the population do not trust most Police Officers. We want too, but this kind of crap makes it nearly impossible to do so.

    Assuming that there are some Police Officers that exist that are honest and follow the laws, I appreciate you and what you do for us. I have never been arrested, handcuffed, or even been inside a police car. However, Police Officers like Officer Reichert certainly would make me nervous. I have been pulled over by some police at different times in the past 33 years, and have had warranted moving violation tickets issued, and only once was I subjected to that “I have a badge and a gun” mentality. It only takes one undeserving threat from an officer to make a person uncomfortable around all other police officers.

    No one so far has noticed or commented on the fact that it appears that the officer tossed or threw something on the ground in the direction of the car. This was noticed by me and Deputy “DOG” between 9mins 40secs and 9mins 50secs of the video. The response of the dog was noticed when his free hand moved forward in a underhand throwing like manner. “Underhanded”…LOL Was that a plant? Was it nothing?

    And in response to your comment jajaja:
    To respond #50 | jajaja | March 15th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    This is bs. I know mike. He is probably one of the greatest guys. great cop

    Did you even watch the video? I am not an expert but I can even tell that “Mike” is on a fishing expedition, I am just glad that they didn’t have any suspected drug money for him to “confiscate”, or pocket! You may know him on a personal level and he may appear to be a great guy to you, but based on what I see in the video, he would be no friend of mine.

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