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CO: Weld officials discuss constitutional questions surrounding sex offender registry

From the outside, Robert’s life looks stable. He’s a private contractor who works in equipment financing. He has a home and a dog in Littleton. He dates regularly. In his spare time, he mountain bikes competitively and travels — most recently, he went to Iceland.

But he believes his life is fragile. So fragile, in fact, Robert is not his real name; he was so concerned about widespread publicity he only agreed to speak with The Tribune on condition of anonymity.

Not long ago, he made a shorter trip, this time to visit his brother in Oregon. While he was gone, a police officer came by his home, looking for him. When he couldn’t find Robert, the officer began to question his neighbor aggressively about where Robert was, what he was doing and when he would be back. Robert was, the officer reminded the neighbor, a registered sex offender. Full Article

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  1. G4Change

    “She pointed out drunk drivers have a recidivism rate of about 60 percent, yet no public registry exists for them.”

    And drunk drivers kill dozens (if not hundreds) of children each year. Just sayin’

    • David Kennerly, Social Contaminant

      Number of children murdered by sex offenders each year? I’ve come up with one or two for each of the last several years.

    • AlexO

      I actually looked this up recently and I believe the number of juvenile fatalities as a result of a DUI are around 1300 annually. Casualties in general are in the tens of thousands annually (adult and children).

  2. Nondescript

    “police told him they could come by every day if they wanted to”

    The compliance cops told me this this last time they were at my house as well.
    It is ironic that they default to this statement when their presence at your front door is challenged.

    I`m fairly certain a judge would find that to be an excessive physical intrusion that amounts to a Fourth Amendment search, and they need a warrant for that.

    • AJ

      Yeah, that kind of behavior would rise to harassment, and would also belie any claim of administrative duties. Perhaps next time they toss that out to you, throw back, “if you do, we can both find out what a judge thinks about such non-stop harassment.” But then that would involve speaking with them…

    • Q

      @Nondescript; A easy solution would be to learn your rights and exercise them. I had the cops coming over to harass me regularly until I got sick of it and learned my rights and exercised them. They didn’t like that someone; especially a sex offender, would dare to pull them up on their BS and exercise their rights, but I did and I haven’t seen them for several years now. Should the intrusions into my personal life and attempts to get me to forfeit my rights ever start up again I would simply do the same thing, stand up for myself LEGALLY. I actually walked the cop to the gate and invited him to stand outside of it with a hand gesture. I have never seen someone so bewildered in my life! After he mouthed some threats to me as he was walking to his car like some elementary school boy bested on the playground he left and I haven’t seen them at my door since. You should try it, it’s great. A little scary at first, but the results are great.

      • Nondescript

        Good for you Q! ( a nice little rhyme there) . I am indeed aware of how to interact with minion enforcers. I don’t answer any of their inquiries- ever. I ask THEM questions as it changes the dynamic of the encounter and takes a bit of their power away. Obviously, it would be better if one did not have to interact with them at all, but given our circumstances that is not always possible.

      • AJ

        ” I actually walked the cop to the gate and invited him to stand outside of it with a hand gesture. I have never seen someone so bewildered in my life!”
        Too funny! I’d buy you a drink, if I could.

  3. Paul

    “The registry only includes sex offenders who have been convicted of a felony, so those with misdemeanor convictions — such as urinating in public or indecent exposure — are not included.”

    Ummm. What??? I beg to differ!

  4. AJ

    While he was gone, a police officer came by his home, looking for him. When he couldn’t find Robert, the officer began to question his neighbor aggressively about where Robert was, what he was doing and when he would be back.
    Good thing it was just a compliance check, and no indication of suspicion on the officer’s part. Let’s see, questioning others about activities of another citizen. Hmm, sure sounds like an investigation. What reasonable suspicion did the officer have? Oh my goodness, the person wasn’t home when they wanted him to be! Nope, no burdens here, SCOTUS.
    “Anytime you’re looking at a crime in an area, you go back to the people who committed that (same) crime in the past,” Reams said.
    He forgot to add, “and when we do this for people on the registry, we typically come up empty, because 92% of all sex offenses are done by first-time offenders.” He also forgot to add, “and even if this use of the registry were useful, it has no connection to broadcasting it to the world via the Internet.”
    The only difference with the sex offender registry is it proactively alerts people. The information is free and when sexually violent predators move into a community, police departments hold public meetings to notify residents.
    Whoops, there goes that whole “the public must seek it out” notion from Smith.
    Greeley police detective Mark Stumpf, the man tasked with monitoring Greeley’s 345 sex offenders, said most of the sex offenders he deals with don’t reoffend sexually. But it’s worth remembering he’s only dealing with sex offenders who are in compliance with the law by registering in the first place, which means they probably don’t want to reoffend to begin with.
    But let’s harass them anyway.
    Day after day, in so many ways, the States are showing their true intention with these laws. They can put their magical “intent” statements in the laws all they want; as always actions speak louder than words.

    • TXSO4life

      A few yrs back, while driving with my wife, I got pull over. After checking my ID, cop told me to get out of my car and asked me if I had told the woman I am driving with that I am a sex offender. I said yes, that’s my wife! He went over to the passenger side window and asked my wife if she knew I was a sex offender. Long story short, he gave me a speeding ticket and threatened to put me in jail if I told him any lie. This was in texas.

      • AJ

        20/20 hindsight answer is: “I don’t answer questions nor submit to interrogation without legal counsel present.” While one normally tries to be kind to a LEO to try to get out of a ticket, they moment he asked that question, he was locked in on you. It just reinforces the concept that one (RC or not) should *never* answer questions from a LEO. Nothing beyond the legally required bare minimum.

        P.S. Speeding tickets go unchallenged 95% of the time. Of the 5% challenged in court, 50% of the time the officer doesn’t appear, and the case gets dismissed. Bonus tip: you can almost always get one continuance beyond the date on the ticket, just be asking for it. This is handy as it makes things cloudier in the LEO’s mind, the LEO may change jobs, money may become too tight to spend OT for the LEO’s court appearance, or the LEO may die.

        • David Kennerly, Social Contaminant

          Or simply say “Sorry, but I don’t give interviews.”

          The fewer words you say, the better.

          If it gets hostile beyond that tell them to please contact your lawyer and provide them with the name of an actual lawyer. In that case, you will have needed to identify a lawyer ahead of time and remembered their name.

          Beyond that, and if they become even more hostile, you could say: “I’ll be happy to talk with you if my lawyer agrees to it.” Most lawyers, of course, would never recommend offering statements to the police.

          You should say absolutely nothing beyond this. Remember, you can be charged with false reporting if anything you say to the police is untruthful, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

          In this case, the aforementioned cop was correct, he can arrest you for lying. Give them nothing.

          Practice in front of mirror if you have to but get in the habit of seeing any interaction with police as an adversarial encounter, because they are.

      • Chris F

        It would make much more sense to have a DUI/DWI scarlet letter and have the officer ask your passenger, “Do you know the driver has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol?”.

        But hey…that’s never going to happen. Until it does because sex offender court cases are setting precedent for other crimes as well. All we need is the majority of legislature to not have DUI records. Oh..ok…maybe it won’t ever happen after all. My bad.

  5. Stay outraged

    Here we see the same tried and predictable “arguments” from the local authorities attempting to defend something that’s already on the wrong side of history future-tense. “It’s for public safety, vulnerable citizens, we have to keep tabs on these people, it’s just a matter of time before they re-offend, parents have a right to know where these people live, it’s being proactive, it aides and assists law enforcement..”

    Ad Infinitum.. Blah blah blah..

    I can see how all these local cops with their “sex offender units” can devlop a false sense of pride with their savior complexes and altruistic notions, but at the end of the day, they’re not fighting the good fight they think they are.. hell, they’re not even minimizing risk! All they’re doing is pissing a LOT of people off.

    The registry allows the local police to take false credit for protecting children and the community. Of course they will defend Megan’s Law tooth and nail until the very end because they want to protect their cushy, security theater jobs instead of doing REAL police work while dodging bullets on the streets with the rest of their ilk.

  6. Q

    (“Sexual offenses are invasive, can be violent and can cause victims lifelong trauma. Depression, substance abuse, suicide, PTSD and an array of other psychological disorders have all been linked to sexual victimization. That’s different, Garner said, from, say, auto thefts.”) I guess robberies, shootings, stabbings, non sexual assaults, getting hit and severely injured by a drunk driver, being taken hostage at knifepoint or gunpoint, etc are basically harmless.

    (“In part it’s because so many children are victims of sex crimes, and parents need to protect their children,” she said. “It’s about protection of people who are vulnerable.”) Wait a minute, I thought statistics have proven the majority of sex crimes are committed by parents or someone else the child knows and trusts, not strangers.

    ( “Anytime you’re looking at a crime in an area, you go back to the people who committed that (same) crime in the past,” Reams said.) Since people forced to register like a Jew in Nazi Germany have a 1% or less rate of recommitting a sex crime this sounds very dubious at best; or it’s just some more of that made up crap these people like to present as truth.

    (“A person’s criminal history isn’t a hard thing to track down, either, Rourke said. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation keeps records of many types of crimes and the people who committed them. The only difference with the sex offender registry is it proactively alerts people. The information is free and when sexually violent predators”) Woa!!! stop right there. I thought most “violent predators” are basically buried in jail. The LE people interviewed in this article are way off base according to the fact’s produced by empirical studies. I don’t think I’ll read anymore of this inflammatory sensational propaganda.

    • David Kennerly, Social Contaminant

      Well, you’ve got to get with the rhetorical program. “Sexually violent predators,” as I’ve discussed here recently, has a non-intuitive meaning under California, as well as under all other states’ and federal, laws.

      “Violence” does not necessarily mean violence in the way reasonable people understand the term and “predator” doesn’t mean what we think of as “predatory,” either. These terms got re-defined, ages ago, by victimist theoreticians who needed reality to more closely align with their febrile boogie-man fantasies with which they had been indoctrinating the public for the past thirty or more years and who, alone were consulted in the massive re-engineering of the criminal justice system, if not society as a whole.

      Violence can mean actual violence or it might just mean that your younger partner was under fourteen. And predatory can mean all kinds of things, including the more recent concept of “grooming” in which any act of kindness or support or friendship gets tarred as “predatory.”

      We’re through the criminal justice looking glass. It’s time to begin shedding light on the grotesquerie it has become and noisily expose the fundamental distortions which give it continued life.

  7. michael

    PIGS came out about a month ago (SDSO San Diego Sheriff’s Office) I told the guy yea im here and what you are doing is called HARASSMENT im not on PAROLE, he rattled of some bullsh*t about it is in the law they can come out blah blah blah…. I said NOPE it isnt in the 290 code (CA) he didnt have anything further to say…

    Question for anyone:

    At the FENCE at the ROAD Level i do have a sign that says NO TRESPASSING PRIVATE PROPERTY… even knowing it is a UN-GATED Driveway can they legally come PAST that sign ?

    Once inside the dirt driveway they went to two neighbor’s houses, one called me, I came out to a secondary PADLOCKED GATE that also has a priv prop/np trespass sign and talked to the retards… they surely didnt pass that one, even funnier the cop asks… Did you see me on your camera ? I said YEP and I got a call, and after me telling them of their harassment they left.

    Is it legal to send them a certified letter saying they CAN NOT Come to my gate or in my drive as it is POSTED ? any thoughts anyone ? thanks !

    • AJ

      Next time they say it’s in the law, ask them for the statute. If they stammer and stumble, you can then toss the “it’s not in 290” at them.

      As for their entering your curtilage (
      ) despite the signage, yes they can do that–within reason. They cannot just willy-nilly wander onto people’s property, but if they have a defensible reason for their presence–including performing administrative functions on behalf of the State–they can do it. That they went to others’ homes chips away a bit at any claim of administrative tasks, and rises more to a reasonable suspicion investigation. However, one’s driveway has been established as a reasonable–sometimes the only–method of approaching one’s front door.

      As to the letter, it’s certainly legal to send it to them…and it’s (for the most part) legal for them to ignore it completely. BTW, legally a first-class letter is considered delivered unless it’s returned. So technically all you need is proof of mailing. (Saves you a buck or two.)

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