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.

 


Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

64 Responses to “Breakfast in Collinsville”

  1. #1 |  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.

  2. #2 |  Dave | 

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

    The ultimate argument for legalization.

  3. #3 |  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!

  4. #4 |  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.

  5. #5 |  M Fox | 

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

  6. #6 |  Dante | 

    #50 jajaja

    Welcome, pig.

  7. #7 |  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?

  8. #8 |  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.

  9. #9 |  JSL | 

    Clearly, the trekkies needed LEO Pro Cards.

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

  10. #10 |  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.

  11. #11 |  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.

  12. #12 |  Blackburn | 

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

  13. #13 |  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 […]

  14. #14 |  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.