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Thread: Don't Leave Town

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Don't Leave Town

    I have seen this trope in almost every crime tv show ever made.

    "You're free to go, but don't leave town", spoken by a cop to a suspect.

    Could this instruction ever have any force of law, outside the judicial system? And if not, how can cops get by with issuing demands that the law doesn't recognize?
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    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    Because.......TV? NO, they can't do that. They can ADVISE it, like if you leave town, you will have to come back/we will come get you, but no they can't just verbally issue a command like that.
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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Even a judge cannot issue such an order - though he/she can set bail to ensure your appearance (which you forfeit if you do not show up).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I have seen this trope in almost every crime tv show ever made.

    "You're free to go, but don't leave town", spoken by a cop to a suspect.

    Could this instruction ever have any force of law, outside the judicial system? And if not, how can cops get by with issuing demands that the law doesn't recognize?
    I believe this is mostly done as an investigative tactic. In other words; suspects who do not heed the order and leave town are looked at more closely as the likely perpetrators.
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    I believe this is mostly done as an investigative tactic. In other words; suspects who do not heed the order and leave town are looked at more closely as the likely perpetrators.
    Okay, so you think it happens IRL? How could that be legal?

    The police have no special dispensation to intimidate and threaten civilians.

    If I tell my neighbor to sell up and move away, and imply I will harm him if he refuses, I probably have committed a crime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Okay, so you think it happens IRL? How could that be legal?

    The police have no special dispensation to intimidate and threaten civilians.

    If I tell my neighbor to sell up and move away, and imply I will harm him if he refuses, I probably have committed a crime.
    Oh it absolutely happens in real life.

    The police can lie to and intimidate suspects all they want. That is sadly legal - at least in Florida and North Carolina.

    In fact - I find that crime dramas on television are actually watered down versions of real life. in my experience - the police are far more ruthless and deceptive in real life than they are on say Law and Order for example. lol
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    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Oh it absolutely happens in real life.

    The police can lie to and intimidate suspects all they want. That is sadly legal - at least in Florida and North Carolina.

    In fact - I find that crime dramas on television are actually watered down versions of real life. in my experience - the police are far more ruthless and deceptive in real life than they are on say Law and Order for example. lol
    They are more realistic in that sense in Chicago PD.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Oh it absolutely happens in real life.

    The police can lie to and intimidate suspects all they want. That is sadly legal - at least in Florida and North Carolina.

    In fact - I find that crime dramas on television are actually watered down versions of real life. in my experience - the police are far more ruthless and deceptive in real life than they are on say Law and Order for example. lol
    I can certainly believe that.

    But I disagree that the police immunity around lying to suspects stretches to all verbalizations, in whatever setting, to any civilian. Or that the status of "suspect" has much legal function, if any. To my mind, there is still only under arrest and not under arrest.

    The cops clearly could not legally threaten to falsely arrest a civilian in hopes of extracting information, or solicit a bribe, or offer protection in exchange for money.
    Last edited by Madeline; 14th November 2017 at 12:36 AM.

  9. #9
    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I can certainly believe that.

    But I disagree that the police immunity around lying to suspects stretches to all verbalizations, in whatever setting, to any civilian. Or that the status of "suspect" has much legal function, if any. To my mind, there is still only under arrest and not under arrest.
    They are allowed to lie and trained TO lie about what they may and may not do, hoping Joe Civilian won't know the difference.
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  10. #10
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassy View Post
    They are allowed to lie and trained TO lie about what they may and may not do, hoping Joe Civilian won't know the difference.
    I'm not so sure that accurately states the law. Lies about evidence are permissible.

    But lies about police power or threats to exceed their authority?

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