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We came out of a night club and there was a police car with dogs barking at the back of it. For some reason this fascinated my friend and he stood behind the police car laughing and watching the dogs bark. Few seconds later an officer came through and I believe he thought he is the one who was provoking the dogs, but as far as i remember the dogs had been barking for at least half an hour as we were had been standing outside for a while, because there was already some unrelated incident which is why the cops where there. The police first words were ‘Hey fuck off’. My friend said why u talking to me like that and the policeman got offended and a bit aggressive then all of a sudden he was in handcuffs with at least 10 cops around him. The whole time he wasnt fighting back, just asking what he did wrong. I explained what happened to a few of them and finally they let him go with a move on notice but they also told him he will be appearing in court. Seems weird and an abuse of power to me. Could they win such a case??

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    What was he charged with? That is, what charge is listed on his court appearance notice. Also, what country is this?
    – Dale M
    Nov 28, 2021 at 21:33
  • Yes, the jurisdiction is the most important piece of missing information. The answer is likely quite different in Indiana than it is in Indonesia.
    – bdb484
    Nov 28, 2021 at 22:28
  • @DaleM this is in australia. There wasnt a notice the only paper he got was a move on notice. But he said they told him they will be posting to his address the details for the court appearance
    – West
    Nov 29, 2021 at 1:41
  • @West which state or territory in Australia?
    – Dale M
    Nov 29, 2021 at 5:45
  • @West, I added the Australia tag. Put the state into the main text.
    – o.m.
    Nov 29, 2021 at 6:25

3 Answers 3

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Can someone be arrested for not being ‘nice’ to police?

Yes.

The arrest may later be declared unlawful, and the cop could later be disciplined by his boss, but if a cop wants to arrest you now for any reason they just can.

Seems weird and an abuse of power to me.

The available means of dealing with abuse of power have never been in excess.

Could they win such a case?

Yes. So could your friend. It depends on many many factors.

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  • Okay got it, thanks for the explanation
    – West
    Nov 30, 2021 at 5:06
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The CAN is yes. A police can arrest you for both lawful and unlawful reasons.

Whether you will be guilty of any charges is a completely separate issue, and that is resolved via the court system.

So strictly speaking, yes, police can abuse their power, because they are given power to do their job. Whether it is abuse is up to the court to decide.

If a police tells you to go away and you don't, you're just inviting trouble. There's nothing you can do at that point to prevent them from arresting you. Resisting arrest is a real charge, so it is best to just get arrested at that point.

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    This is for 1st world democratic countries. If you're stupid and decide to piss off corrupt cops in a 3rd world country, you might just end up dead.
    – Nelson
    Nov 30, 2021 at 5:54
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    In a democratic country, there will be plenty of situations where a police officer can use his judgment to decide whether to arrest you or not, usually because you have done something that was bad enough that he can arrest you but not so bad that he must arrest you. In that situation, not being "nice" to that police officer can change his judgment. Police officer: "What you did there was quite bad, I could arrest you for that." Random person: "Then do it, yo a*****e". Police officer: "You are under arrest."
    – gnasher729
    Nov 30, 2021 at 23:24
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This is assuming we are talking about the USA. It applies to all states. It is protected speech under the first amendment. You can directly curse at a cop and even flip them off technically.

This answer will change based on country and it would be good to see a list of different ones by country.

They can arrest you, but it is abusive of power, and they have a chance of losing their job over it.

My advice is to stay very calm in this situation and try to record what is happening as much as possible if they have no body cam. Get their badge numbers recorded as well, preferably as soon as possible. If you resist in any way or show any signs of physical aggression, this can turn on you very quickly.

Depending on state you don't even have to give your ID. Look up your specific states laws for that part to determine if you can or not. If you live in a state where it is not required and they force it on you, that would be another thing to get recorded so that can be held against them as well.

Get clear answers to what you are being detained for. Usually, this is enough for them to start realizing they don't have a good reason to detain you and will let you go.

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    How often do USA cops lose their jobs for abusing their power, and how often do they get promoted instead? Mar 16 at 17:56
  • Luckily, due to the internet these days you can just search on YouTube. The most common story I have seen was a police chief officer arresting someone recording in a public place. The chief was indeed fired. Recording in a public area is also protected in USA. He was inside the public (non-restricted) areas in the police department. The funniest part is he called a judge and that is when he found out he was wrong. It happens, but you need to be very careful not to break a law in the process of catching them. Mar 16 at 18:45

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