Letter: What about Fifth Amendment rights? - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: What about Fifth Amendment rights?

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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:16 pm

Every time I am stopped by the police I tell them I am taking the Fifth and refusing to answer their questions.

I even refuse to tell them my name.

I am not a criminal, but I figure that since the founders died to get me those rights I should use them or lose them.

The next things that usually happens is the cops tell me I don’t have any Fifth Amendment rights in “this case.” I am confused on that because Miranda v Arizona says “If the individual indicates ... he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease”

And of course things then get worse. The cops usually illegally search my wallet, and all my pockets looking for my ID, drugs and guns. I don’t carry an ID, and I don’t use drugs or carry a gun so they never find anything.

Yes, I know Terry v. Ohio allows the cops to give you a pat down search of your outer garments looking for weapons, but a search of my pockets and wallet is clearly illegal per the 4th Amendment and Terry v. Ohio.

Then, I am usually handcuffed and falsely arrested while the police make all kinds of threats on what is going to happen if I don’t answer their questions. After an hour or two the cops release me and tell me I am a jerk for thinking I have “Constitutional rights”.

With that in mind, I can understand where the cops are going in attempting to force Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, to answer their questions without reading him his Miranda rights.

Our Constitutional rights were not created to protect criminals. They were created to protect the innocent from government tyrants, like the police that have a number of times falsely arrested me, illegally questioned me and illegally searched me. I guess I should be glad, because I have not been beaten up, yet, for thinking I have Constitutional rights.

Mike Ross

Tempe

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