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HOUSTON -- A man said he was wrongly targeted by Houston police, handcuffed and detained for more than an hour, after he gave a homeless man 75 cents.

Greg Snider said he was driving in downtown Houston around 2 p.m., when he pulled into a parking lot at Commerce and La Branch to take a business call.

"That's when the homeless man came up to me. He said, 'Hey my name is Dave. I'm from Dallas. I'm down on my luck. Do you have any change,'" said Snider.

Snider said he gave the man some change and drove off.

"I had no idea at all what was about to happen," said Snider.

After Snider pulled onto I-10, he said a police car with flashing lights and sirens pulled behind him.

"I put my hazards on to let him know, 'Hey, I see you,'" said Snider. "This is a really bad part of I-10 to be pulled over on, so I was trying to find a safe place to pull over."

Snider said he was shocked by what the police officer did next.

"He's screaming. He's yelling. He's telling me to get out of the car. He's telling me to put my hands on the hood," said Snider.

Snider said the officer pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a police car, as ten more police cars were also pulling up.

"They're like, 'We saw you downtown. We saw what you did,'" said Snider. "I was like, 'Are you kidding me? I gave a homeless man 75 cents.'"

Snider said the officer accused him of giving the man drugs. The officer asked to search Snider's car and Snider said he agreed.

The officer brought in drug sniffing dogs. Snider said he sat handcuffed for an hour until an officer told him their search turned up no drugs.

"He said everything was a misunderstanding and that I was free to go," said Snider.

Snider said the officers were laughing. Snider said he found nothing funny about the officers' actions or the damage they caused to his car during the search. Snider filed a complaint with the police Internal Affairs Department.

source

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The Police I saw in Austin on holiday did all sorts of stuff like this, they all seemed very bored. Randomly and repeatedly driving down the road, flooring their engines for 20 meters suddenly with the sirens and lights on, then slowing down and turning them off, repeating 100 meters down the road.

 

Saw dozens of people a night being pulled to one side by Police, handcuffed and patted down for drugs, the bars I was in kept getting shut down for the night because A policeman had "reports of a minor being served". That would be it, the bar closed and everyone thrown out, outside would be 20+ cops picking people at random to cuff and pat down. 

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Typical power trip officer by the sounds of it, following a "crime" thats irrelevant when there are actual ones going on elsewhere.

 

God i bet they lead boring unimaginative lives.

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The Police I saw in Austin on holiday did all sorts of stuff like this, they all seemed very bored. Randomly and repeatedly driving down the road, flooring their engines for 20 meters suddenly with the sirens and lights on, then slowing down and turning them off, repeating 100 meters down the road.

 

Saw dozens of people a night being pulled to one side by Police, handcuffed and patted down for drugs, the bars I was in kept getting shut down for the night because A policeman had "reports of a minor being served". That would be it, the bar closed and everyone thrown out, outside would be 20+ cops picking people at random to cuff and pat down. 

Welcome to texas, and people wonder why I left...

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mistakes happen... police have to follow up, the situation escalated do to circumstances.

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He wasn't "arrested", just detained under suspicion of a crime.  This happens in every city, every day.

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mistakes happen... police have to follow up, the situation escalated do to circumstances.

 

Sadly more often than not with some police who seem to think everybody is a murderer and treat everybody the same.

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He wasn't "arrested", just detained under suspicion of a crime.  This happens in every city, every day.

 

Doesn't make it right. You can treat people with respect and still get the job done. And if I were their boss I'd wonder why it took 10 cops an hour to search a car.

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Sadly more often than not with some police who seem to think everybody is a murderer and treat everybody the same.

 

I would too. It's proactive prevention.

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What happen to "Innocent" until proven "Guilty"?

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Sad how obsessed people are with drugs.

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What happen to "Innocent" until proven "Guilty"?

Was he charged?

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What happen to "Innocent" until proven "Guilty"?

so, if "innocent" until proven guilty, how does one investigate to see if someone is guilty?

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so, if "innocent" until proven guilty, how does one investigate to see if someone is guilty

 

So it's OK to assume you're giving drugs to a homeless guy instead of money?  I don't recall a homeless guy EVER asking me for drugs.  He should have been stopped before leaving the parking lot if that's the case.  Not to mention, if they couldn't stop him that quickly, how far away were they and couldn't reliably say it was drugs on money?  With your thinking everyone should be considered guilty even when they haven't done anything wrong?

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so, if "innocent" until proven guilty, how does one investigate to see if someone is guilty?

 

There's a difference between investigating something you know you saw, and investigating something that might have happened.

 

 

I would too. It's proactive prevention.

 

No, it's not.  If it was prevented it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

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There's a difference between investigating something you know you saw, and investigating something that might have happened.

 

 

 

No, it's not.  If it was prevented it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

 

 

no difference. without investigating you don't know innocence OR guilt.

 

preventive in the sense of preventing it from happening again, (if it had been drugs)

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no difference. without investigating you don't know innocence OR guilt.

 

preventive in the sense of preventing it from happening again, (if it had been drugs)

 

Hey, that's cool.  I'm going to have you investigated for rape tomorrow.  No way to know if you're guilty or innocent until we investigate, is there?  In fact, we won't even bother naming a victim.  We'll just have the police call everyone you know and tell them that they're investigating a rape and that you may be the rapist, because you might have done it.

 

After that, tax evasion.  Get your records ready, will you?  

 

Then after that... Well, we'll just let the Neowin community decide, because that's how we determine whether you're innocent of crimes.  

 

These investigations are preventative in the sense that they will prevent you from committing these crimes again.

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I'm guessing it was a high trafficking area. Houston has some hardcore crime and criminals, as well as a big time drug game. Sounds like this one just got out of hand.

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Also you are getting one side of the story here as well. So could just be a guy setting up for a law-suit and half of what he says actually didn't happen etc...

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Hey, that's cool.  I'm going to have you investigated for rape tomorrow.  No way to know if you're guilty or innocent until we investigate, is there?  In fact, we won't even bother naming a victim.  We'll just have the police call everyone you know and tell them that they're investigating a rape and that you may be the rapist, because you might have done it.

 

After that, tax evasion.  Get your records ready, will you?  

 

Then after that... Well, we'll just let the Neowin community decide, because that's how we determine whether you're innocent of crimes.  

 

These investigations are preventative in the sense that they will prevent you from committing these crimes again.

 

If you report the rape, and have a victim, then yes, I should be investigated to see if the charges are true. Why would the cops call everyone? They only contact and get info from people that can provide input to the alledged crime at hand.

 

Tax evasion IS reported mostly by jane/john doe's and must be provided upon request.

 

Why would neowin be deciding?

 

If you don't know how to prevent bigger crime, then this is something you just will never get, sorry.

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If you don't know how to prevent bigger crime, then this is something you just will never get, sorry.

 

I don't want to turn this into a flame war.  I think what I (might have) misinterpreted in your post was that you thought ordinary citizens should be subject to searches to prove their innocence.  That may not be the case and I could have responded differently.  My point, in a nutshell, is that there needs to be reasonable cause for police to investigate anything.  That bar should not be set too low.  

 

Was the bar too low in this case?  I don't know.  As xendrome rightly pointed out, we are only hearing one side of the story.  But in my view (call me old-fashioned) I don't think a handshake or dropping 75c in high-drug-trafficking area is a high enough bar for reasonable cause for an investigation to take place.

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I don't want to turn this into a flame war.  I think what I (might have) misinterpreted in your post was that you thought ordinary citizens should be subject to searches to prove their innocence.  That may not be the case and I could have responded differently.  My point, in a nutshell, is that there needs to be reasonable cause for police to investigate anything.  That bar should not be set too low.  

 

Was the bar too low in this case?  I don't know.  As xendrome rightly pointed out, we are only hearing one side of the story.  But in my view (call me old-fashioned) I don't think a handshake or dropping 75c in high-drug-trafficking area is a high enough bar for reasonable cause for an investigation to take place.

i totally agree that sometimes things get out of hand both ways, from cops elevating the situation by being too rigid, and also to people that cry loud "cop abuse" just because they don't like cops.  I think too in this case it was just a mistaken identification of an act that appeared to be a drug deal. Even if I was the guy getting stopped I would be "meh, big deal, search me". Things never have to go this far.

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the police should've at least issued an apology,

but that didn't happens, that said police just laugh at it. :/

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Actually if this was in the UK I wouldn't have been surprised. Begging for change is actually illegal in UK and so is giving change to beggars.

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Mistakes happen.  Only other option is to not do this kind of thing anymore and that would cause more issues.

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