Attorney comments on the Illegal Stop and Arrest of DFW Memorial Day Biker

Last night, WFAA's David Schechter ran a story featuring myself and my client after an obviously illegal stop and illegal arrest.

 

In order for the police to stop and detain someone, they must have "Reasonable Suspicion" that a crime has occurred.  This can, of course, include traffic offenses.

But in this case, it is quite clear there was no reasonable suspicion that a traffic offense was committed by my client.  The video shows as much.  This is confirmed by the police officer, who, in response to my client asking why he was pulled over, states:

The reason you're being pulled over is because I'm gonna take your camera and we're gonna use it as evidence of the crimes that have been committed by other bikers.

Obviously stopping someone because of crimes committed by others is not legal.  If everyone that took video of others were a crime, everyone at our local news stations would already be in jail.

The other major issue here, is the obvious "creation" of a crime: the obstructed license plate charge.

Texas law states that you may not have "a coating, covering, protective substance, or other material... that [distorts or alters] the plate."

     

Here, the video clearly shows that no coating, covering or protective substance is covering his license plate.  So even if this were the reason he was stopped (which the officer clearly denies in the video), he was not committing a traffic offense.

This story has been commented on, and a question that came up often has been on the issue of arresting someone for a minor traffic offense.

An officer does have the option to arrest or issue a citation on pretty much any charge, this included.  So if this were a valid charge, he would be allowed to arrest. But that of course is only if the charge is valid.

Since the video aired, the Sheriff's office has release video from a different officer, showing different bikers committing traffic offenses.  I'm still not quite sure what this has to do with our case.  

What this video show us, is that:

1. They already had video evidence of other people committing crimes, thus lowering the need to illegally stop and arrest Mr. Moore. And;

2. The Dallas Sheriff's Office should be arresting the other bikers they already knew were committing crimes.

The video release by the sheriff's office simply furthers our point -- Mr. Moore should never have been pulled over, much less roughed up and arrested.

Mr. Moore would like to thank everyone involved with helping to bring this case to light, and the outpouring we have received thus far.

 Hunter Biederman is a DWI / Criminal Defense Attorney in Collin County. He publishes his blog (www.friscodwilawyer.com) which focuses on the Collin County and Texas legal system. He can be reached at friscolaw@gmail.com or (469) 333-3333.

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Comments (14) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Mike - June 21, 2012 7:52 PM

I hope you guys sue that department for punitive damages. Take them to trial, bleed them so bad they have to lay that guy off or at least make his life there a living hell.

Nothing worse than one cop making the rest of them look bad, but they look worse by trying to cover up for him. So in this case, down with the whole department.

p - June 21, 2012 8:03 PM

please keep updated

Dann - June 21, 2012 8:33 PM

Thank you for representing a good guy who has been done wrong. Fight the good fight. Let's just hope these unfortunate bad apples don't get paid suspension(vacation) as their reward for their actions. I am an advocate for officers of the law, I believe that we have many good men and women protecting our streets out there and the department shouldn't protect those officers that are a cancer of the system the same way they fight for heroes.

Xavier - June 21, 2012 10:46 PM

And let me guess... the great people of Texas are too busying watching American Idol to take some initiative and drive a bulldozer through the police station.

steve - June 22, 2012 4:12 PM

Thats a load BS. Glad I don't live in Dallas. If that cops on here he can come see me. If that would have happened to me I would definatly be going to jail (prison). Thats nothing but a fu**in idiot with a badge and the video proves it. Somebody will get him.

Michael - June 22, 2012 5:05 PM

Thats a great example of "protect and serve".
Perfect oppertunity...pick a guy that you outweigh, pull him over, cuff and stuff while the same type parasite watches...
I hope they make that young man a nice settlement.
I guess the world will get one more security guard!

Chris - June 22, 2012 9:59 PM

What a load of crap. Police pick on bikers so much for the few rotten eggs that spoil the rest of us.

F the Police - June 23, 2012 6:16 AM

This is another example of why the American people are losing faith in the people that are supposed to be Service and Protecting them. Not abusing and twisting the law they know nothing about!

Pete - June 24, 2012 12:25 AM

Looks like the cop slammed door on bike riders leg. (xnay)

Fascist Amerika - June 24, 2012 12:01 PM

This is NOT an isolated incident, occurrences such as this happens every day in America or Amerika as I now call it. With the Militarization of the Criminal Justice System, along with the militarized weapons that are now being supplied to local law enforcement in the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, the goal is to eliminate, intimidate, incarcerate and to terrorize the American people.

While you’re evil and wicked Fascist Amerikan Government stands on the world stage and proclaims it to be a champion of liberty and freedom, they in the cloak of darkness and secrecy rip apart the founding Constitution stamping it Classified, enacting and debating communistic laws such as the Patriot Act, FISA, SOPA, CISPA, NDAA, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Rivaling anything seen beyond the imagination of the Stasi in East Germany, millions of Fascist Amerikans are now holding top security clearances. Over 30,000 drones to be launched over Amerikas airspace in the next 5 years under the deceit to find missing hikers and children. Remember America today you are being told by the Fascist “Not to worry, we will never arm the drones with weapons”. Just give it a few more years America the drones will be fitted to carry weapons. Hi-tech street lamp posts that listen in on your conversations as they carefully watch you, hi-tech hand carry x-ray’s that scan and provide virtual strip searches of pedestrians on the street. Now some of you might say that you have nothing to hide, so therefore you’re not worried about it, well think again over 40,000 laws passed in Fascist Amerika in 2011 alone, and in some form or fashion every American is breaking a law right now and as described here in this story does it really matter the Fascist Amerikan Police will still drag you off to jail. Also don’t forget about Hitler’s Germany, funny how it turned out for them they had everything to hide and everything to fear.

It is quite comical the number of Americans who actually believe that the Fascist Amerikan Police State is not going to have any effect on them at all, as if they are somehow immune, invisible if you will and at the end of the day one has to think what a horror it must be for Americans to be spoon fed Genetically Modified Frankenstein Pink Slime while the Statue of Liberty twists’, bends, contorts and convulses into a DARK EVIL FASCIST QUEEN.

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience...therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring"

-- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

dianeco - June 25, 2012 12:26 PM

The behavior by the police officer who pulled the biker over to take his camera is shameful. He should have to apologize and be put on probation. Cops like him give give all cops a bad name. There was no justification for arresting the guy, none. He just made something up and that should even scare cops! I want to support the police but cops like the Stemmons power abuser make that difficult. The vid posted in an attempt to justify his bad behavior fell short for me. I couldn't identify the guy pulled over anywhere on that footage. Could anyone else? Plus, although it was hard to tell exactly what was going one, the cop following the alleged harassing bikers seemed to be a cop harassing bikers instead. The bikers seemed to be acting as if they thought the cops might pull them over and had slowed down in case that was happening. The police car appeared to have free lanes to pass if that's what they wanted to do. Don't know why the truck was stopped but so what if a passenger got on a motorcycle and rode away. Had the cop told everyone in the truck to stay with the truck? Was it a crime for her to leave? He didn't seem to try to stop her. Is the fact that she handed something to someone proof of some crime? If so, what crime? There are a lot of things she could have handed off. Bikers did appear to be coming back the wrong direction but were they stopped for that or was it just the helmet cam guy, who was going the right way in traffic? Again, where was he the police car tape?

Steven S. - June 25, 2012 12:51 PM

Although the video shows the plate, I wouldn't use the phrase "clearly shows". Is it possible to take a couple pictures of the plate and post it here. One from a few feet back so we can see the orientation and one from the legal 50' back. A lot of the message board arguments are over whether his plate was really illegal.

Dennis B. - June 26, 2012 1:49 PM

@Steven S. You should try and stand at exactly 50ft back from a stationary motorcycle and try and read the tiny little plate. It can be done, but even on a totally legal bike it can be difficult to make out.

Now put a bike in motion with all the bumps of the road and the vibration from the bike itself and stay back exactly 50ft and try and read the same plate. It will be almost impossible.

I've been pulled over on a bike on two occasions and ticketed regarding the license plate (which was moved a bit for vanity purposes) and each time I've taken pictures to the traffic court of the license plate and each time it has been dismissed immediately. The point being, these cops have a chip on their shoulder for ANYONE or ANYTHING that is different from the norm and feel the need to harass these "different" individuals regardless of legality. And that is the problem.

I'm in my mid 30's now with a wife and kids, and I still enjoy riding sport bikes on a daily basis. It's situations like these that make me completely livid. If someone is breaking the law, then by all means move in and take appropriate action. If not, don't just violate our rights to amuse your shitty disposition.

Nick - July 3, 2012 8:52 AM

Disgusting behavior by the police officer.

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