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I was given a breathalyzer test at a road block after admiting I had two bottles of beer with dinner about an hour before. The test came back with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 which is well below the legal impairment level. The officer asked me to sign a statement confirming the reading and the amount I had consumed, so that in the event that the calibration was disputed by someone they could call on me to testify in court. I agreed and was the 7th or 8th person on their list that had signed with results.



Did the officer ask you, or instruct you to sign the document? Such a situation lends itself to feel coercive, as the officer has already detained you for a search.


The officer did ask me to sign not order me, but it still left me with an un easy feeling. Once I got home I thought about it, and was dumb to comply because if I had been in an accident that document could have been used to either refuse or reduce my insurance, and possibly be used in civil action by the other party.


Yeah, I don't know if I would have done that myself. They were collecting evidence from you. It's like talking to a police officer: it's best to not - they can and will use what you say against you.


Legally, it's consensual. Morally, it's an order.

If anyone except a police officer made a similar request, they'd be guilty of brandishing a firearm and any contract (or agreement to have sex) would be invalid. But if you accede to a police officer's "request", when they have a legal right to kill you for any reason during the encounter, it's considered consent.


You need to get out of the city from time to time. I've done plenty of business where one or both parties were packing, yet no threat of violence, no sense of coercion.


I for one, am quite happy to live in places where it is not considered cool, necessary or culturally appropriate for anyone to carry around lethal weapons, on any kind of ordinary basis.


I'm happy to live in a rural place with virtually no crime, and a high enough trust between citizens that guns are really no big deal.


I for one am quite happy to live and work in places where exercising the constitutional right to bear arms is generally not infringed and where the culture around me generally accepts and sometimes encourages the exercise of that right.


You, and few more billions of people in the worlds decided that is "not considered cool, necessary or culturally appropriate for anyone to carry around lethal weapons".

Let's not forget it.


The situations are not comparable. If you and I meet, each with our guns, and you shoot me for no reason, you will be arrested for murder and go to jail. If a police officer does the same, the worst consequence he is likely to suffer is an administrative suspension with reinstated back pay.


That's not the point. Those people were "mere peasants" like you or I so while they possesses the tools to use deadly force they couldn't use them on flimsy pretexts and then have the system back them up. In those transactions you were on more or less equal footing. In any transaction with a cop there is an unspoken threat of state violence being used against you if you are not complaint enough.


You can be critical of the abuses of power that exist in the police force without resorting to hyperbole like "they have the legal right to kill you for any reason during the encounter." They most certainly do not legally have that right, and that's one reason it's reported on so heavily when people are shot by cops.


> and that's one reason it's reported on so heavily when people are shot by cops.

Is it though? I would say that the reason is that it is reported because the police are not expected to shoot you. As for legally being allowed to shoot you, there have been a lot of cases in the recent decades proving that point. For example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Wichita_swatting


That's a funny way to do a validation study...


Sadly, that 'data' will be used in a manner (most likely) inconsistent with any rigorous scientific underpinnings - but passed to policy makers as such.




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