Goatdog, I wasn't trying to pin you in a corner or question your motives or the motives of the police involved. I wanted to learn by asking more indepth questions. I have never been through this before and I would like an idea of what to expect so that I react appropriately. For example, I did not realize that cuffing was not the same as arresting. I hope you didn't feel like I was trying to make it out like you did something wrong in all of this. I think you did the right thing, but I wanted to learn from what happened too. Like what is considered 'put away' to police? Is it holstered, or far from your reach without bullets in it? I know you can't say for definite because it is different from state to state, but I just wanted to know your take on it. Thanks for the info. It helped clarify some things for me.
Klapton, that was very informative. +1 Is there a link to the other side of the story?
No Coldhaven, I know you and SW and Pathfinder and everyone were making valid comments. I LOVE discussions where everybody presents opinions and questions and nobody gets their shorts all knotted up. I answered your questions from my point of view. I am not offended by your reasonable questions at all.
I will be the first to admit that cops are not robots and aren't programmed to make the same response across the board to every situation. You would do very well to make sure you can articulate your circumstances clearly to any responding officer AFTER he/she has secured the scene enough to listen to you. I have rolled up on 15 - 20 persons fighting in the streets and we are a little too busy to figure out the aggressor vs the victims at first. It all gets sorted out eventually. As much as it may upset you to be yelled at to turn around and put your hands behind your back, it is far better than arguing/noncomplying and making the cop think you are on the wrong side.
Klapton has a point on being quiet. A cop only has to read you your rights if he believes you are a suspect and he is directly questioning you about the allegation. I read less than a handful of rights on the scene, it just isn't like the movies. One warning on Klaptons advice as stated "Please articulate your reasonable suspicion for detaining me."
A cop where I'm from does not have to hold court on the side of the road with you. It isn't even smart to do so. Only the judge, period, can make you present evidence. Not even a police supervisor can order an arrest or order an officer not to arrest. The sworn officer has to make the call. Misdemeanor - only if he witnessed it and in most cases he has discretion, exceptions being domestic assault and DUI. Felony - must make arrest if he can determine PC.
If you ask "Am I being detained, or am I free to go?"
, he should tell you. If he says you are detained, that is not an arrest but you can make it one by trying to leave at that point.
Also remember that you have to answer some questions or you can be arrested in many jurisdictions. These would be administrative questions i.e name, SSN, DOB, etc. They cannot be related to the alleged crime. Lying on admin questions is a crime (criminal impersonation) in TN. Sometimes, if you feel that your predicament can be helped (sped along) and you are sure you have no exposure, it may be a good idea to answer questions. He/she has discretion and is authorized to make a decision to let you go on the spot. Completely buttoning up will likely mean a lengthy investigation, usually based completely on the story of the side that does talk, and this could mean a night at the station for you.
You can do what you want. I advise having a very friendly demeanor with an officer. They are human, they recognize aggression and react to it the same way that you would. The old vinegar vs honey argument will always apply to 90% of the sworn officers out there. Every group has their 10% that are jerkoffs, I don't care if you're a cowboy or a clergyman.
Now the good news. I called my insurance company and reported the damage to my rear bumper. If it had been a hit and run with no physical person to place blame on, I would have had to pay the deductible. Because the suspect was in custody and charged with the accident, the deductible is waived. That saves me a few hundred $.
Thanks for listening.