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Woman files suit over police demand for her identification
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | 8/26/2005 | Pamela Manson

Posted on 08/26/2005 4:37:24 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Until last year, Tanya Ortega de Chamberlin had a clean record, with no criminal convictions or even an arrest. But her refusal to provide her date of birth or Social Security number to a South Salt Lake police officer changed that.

Although she was not suspected of committing a crime, and eventually provided the requested information, Ortega de Chamberlin was still cited based on her initial resistance.

The obstruction charges against her were later dropped. But Ortega de Chamberlin says that's not good enough - she has filed a lawsuit asking for a declaration that her constitutional right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure was violated. She also wants reimbursement of the money she spent fighting the criminal case.

Capt. Chris Snyder said Thursday that the department cannot comment on pending litigation.

The legal action, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, gives this account of the incident:

On Nov. 4 about 12:30 p.m., Ortega de Chamberlin, a photographer who lives in Salt Lake City, was standing on a public sidewalk near 3021 S. Main St. when Officer B. Heddlesten approached her. The officer said she was not suspected of a crime, but demanded the photographer give him her name, date of birth and Social Security number and tell him whether she had a driver license.

Ortega de Chamberlin gave her name but told the officer she was not required by law to provide the other information he requested.

In response to her repeated questions, Heddlesten said he did not think she had committed a crime or was attempting to commit one, according to the suit. However, the officer still insisted that she had to tell him the information; his supervisor, Sgt. Brian Stahle, who arrived at their location, backed him up.

Under threat of arrest, Ortega de Chamberlin finally complied, but was cited for allegedly interfering with or obstructing an officer by giving false information and by refusing to give information. Her suit says she then was put in handcuffs and placed in a police car until the officers changed their minds about taking her to jail and released her.

The charges were dismissed before trial, but Ortega de Chamberlin still has a criminal accusation on her record.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: aclulist; billofrights; boredcops; constitutionlist; donutwatch; govwatch; jackbootedthugs; newworldorder
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It's good to see the cops hassling pedestrians that are not suspects in any wrongdoing and providing other useful public services. Can I hire this guy to come over and kick my dog, too?
1 posted on 08/26/2005 4:37:25 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Why did they want her info?


2 posted on 08/26/2005 4:39:32 PM PDT by garyhope
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Somewhere someone once told me that a cop does not need probable cause to ask for identification.

What I don't remember is if they need probable cause to "insist" on identification.


3 posted on 08/26/2005 4:40:12 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I hope she breaks these thugs' backs. Talk about abuse of power ...


4 posted on 08/26/2005 4:40:37 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Can I hire this guy to come over and kick my dog, too?

If he did, there probably wouldn't be much you could do
about it.


5 posted on 08/26/2005 4:40:49 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
The police deserves to lose money just for having their officer hassle a pedestrian who by his own admission, did not suspect that person of committing a crime. If I don't commit a crime, its none of the police's business who I am or what I am doing. Its still supposed to be a free country.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
6 posted on 08/26/2005 4:41:09 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

It sounds like unreasonable hassling to me at first reading, but obviously there is a lot of information not included in this story, such as what was going on that caused the officer to seek to identify the photographer.


7 posted on 08/26/2005 4:42:45 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: coconutt2000
They don't even have probable cause here much less than suspicion. A police officer can't arbitrarily demand identification from someone who he knows hasn't committed a crime. Last time I checked, America wasn't a police state.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
8 posted on 08/26/2005 4:43:28 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Whats gonna do whats gonna do when they come for you. Bad Cop bad Cop.


9 posted on 08/26/2005 4:43:33 PM PDT by zipp_city
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Hope the guy gets taken down so he cant do this again. What a Nazi.

Papers Please!

10 posted on 08/26/2005 4:43:42 PM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Where I live the PD runs CIBRs on everybody they come in contact with. Pitiful


11 posted on 08/26/2005 4:45:37 PM PDT by UB355
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To: jimtorr
Based on what? Standing on a street corner? Like the story says, the officer didn't even have suspicion of a crime. And the poor woman still has a criminal accusation on her record. How would you like that happening to you? As far I'm concerned, what occurred was official abuse of authority under color. The police aren't always infallible and they do pick on people if they think they can get away with it.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
12 posted on 08/26/2005 4:46:22 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
How about the "wanted subjects" board during briefing? Might she not have looked like a suspect under investigation? Someone on the "missing" board?

A cop (any citizen) has a right to ask another for ID. You also have the right to refuse, but depending on the circumstances, you have to deal with the consequences.

It is not considered an invasion of privacy.

13 posted on 08/26/2005 4:46:24 PM PDT by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
I predict she will lose. Even if it gets to the Supremes. they ruled last year on stops in a motor vehicle. Now they will seal this crack in the law.
14 posted on 08/26/2005 4:46:57 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Left unanswered: Is this an illegal immigrant we're talking about?


15 posted on 08/26/2005 4:47:45 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Hey Senator! Leave those kids alone!)
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To: UB355
Guilty before being considered innocent. Of course traffic stops may or may not have anything to do with your having broken a law. The cop may decide he needs you to fulfill his day's quota and you're good as screwed since you know its his word against yours.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
16 posted on 08/26/2005 4:48:30 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Already been done. Already been to SCOTUS. Already been lost.

We're done.

papersplease.org

17 posted on 08/26/2005 4:48:42 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I need more info before I can blame the cops here. One, what is the area like? If its a high crime area, or one with prostitution present, then maybe the officer had some reason to do this.

I do not trust the media to give all the details. There are some serious questions that need to be answered before can say which side is in the wrong.

It very well may be the officer overstepped his bounds. The fact that the officers supervisor backed him up leads me to think there was some reason for the request.

I guess the courts will work it all out, like it should.


18 posted on 08/26/2005 4:48:54 PM PDT by Peace will be here soon
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

This sort of reminds me of those old black and white movies where the German Gestapo agent walks up to the hero and says "papers please".


19 posted on 08/26/2005 4:50:05 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: mad_as_he$$
Yes, of course. Big Brother wants to know what we're up to 24 hours a day.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
20 posted on 08/26/2005 4:50:11 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: coconutt2000
Somewhere someone once told me that a cop does not need probable cause to ask for identification

Except when the person in question is an illegal alien or is attempting to vote.....

21 posted on 08/26/2005 4:50:44 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Can I hire this guy to come over and kick my dog, too?

You could, but someone in the private sector would do a better job, cheaper and your donuts would be safe.

22 posted on 08/26/2005 4:53:07 PM PDT by magslinger (They called Israel the land that GOD Himself gave his Chosen People the Jews.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

I can tell an illegal alien at a glance. Can you? /sarcasm


23 posted on 08/26/2005 4:53:58 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Gay State Conservative
Its funny. No ID is necessary if you're an illegal who wants to get on welfare or if you're one of those people Democrats need to vote for them multiple times. But watch out if you're a middle class white American minding your own business. Then all of a sudden the government is interested in your ID. Its the good ol' double standard at work here.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
24 posted on 08/26/2005 4:53:59 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Heddlesten said he did not think she had committed a crime or was attempting to commit one

Officer Heddlesten, what is YOUR Social Security number!

25 posted on 08/26/2005 4:54:14 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: xcamel
In that situation, I'd have just given him the ID because a cop can screw up your whole weekend even if they don't have a leg to stand on in court.

What's ridiculous is that they cited her after letting her go, and then dropped it later. These cops are total amateurs.

26 posted on 08/26/2005 4:54:18 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ( "Sic semper tyrannis." (Your dinosaur is ill.))
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Utah tends towards a rather regimented outlook on life. My town, for instance is run more like law by homeowner's association than a town. Most of the cities in the state think you should only have no more than two dogs, or one dog and one cat, and ferrets are a menace.

I suspect that there's some law somewhere that requires you to show ID if asked, even if without probable cause. Good that it's coming to light.

Anyway, found this site about Ms. Chamberlin's work:

http://spareroomgallery.com/


27 posted on 08/26/2005 4:55:34 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Peace will be here soon
I need more info before I can blame the cops here.

Strange, I found plenty of info in the article to blame the cops.

28 posted on 08/26/2005 4:57:58 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
More on Ms. Ortega de Chamberlin:

A native New Mexican, Tanya Ortega de Chamberlin recently returned from Cuba and Nicaragua where she focused on photography of architectural decay in the region. She says of her current work, "Standing in these rooms, one's natural response is to imagine what they once must have been, or on the other hand, what project they could become... the viewer may not want to reckon with each space in its current, isolating condition. I want to show these orphan spaces for what they are at present, not what they once were or could become."

29 posted on 08/26/2005 4:58:15 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ('That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy Sheehan")
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I thougt it was illegal for people to require your SS# for ID purposes. This seems like info that he didn't need to know. I don't know about birth date and drivers liscense. It sounds fishy but I've heard of cops abusing their power in worse ways.


30 posted on 08/26/2005 4:59:22 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: jimtorr

That's what I think -- there is a lot of data missing in this story that I'd like to know before I make a judgment. Cops talk about having a sixth sense....


31 posted on 08/26/2005 5:00:03 PM PDT by bboop
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To: garyhope
"Why did they want her info?"

I have never been to Salt Lake, but I wonder what is near the address she was arrested at? If there are a lot of possible "targets" in that area, and she (being a phoptographer and her name has a possibly of being a "minority" ) was taking photos more so than what a normal tourist in Salt Lake would, and looked a little suspicious, the officers probably noticed her, and decided to question her. Then she refuses to give ID.........

(....just this freeper's VERY humble opinion....)

32 posted on 08/26/2005 5:00:44 PM PDT by musicman
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
All she had to do was co-operate and none of this would have happened. Instead, she refused to co-operate and reading between the lines it sounds like she got a little intense.

Sorry, but manners count for something, especially with cops.

33 posted on 08/26/2005 5:03:55 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ('That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy Sheehan")
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To: musicman
If there are a lot of possible "targets" in that area, and she (being a phoptographer and her name has a possibly of being a "minority" ) was taking photos more so than what a normal tourist in Salt Lake would, and looked a little suspicious, the officers probably noticed her, and decided to question her.

Standard Salt Lake City "targets"

34 posted on 08/26/2005 5:04:41 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Durka Durka Durka. Muhammed Jihad Durka.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I don't think we're hearing the whole story. Although probably not a terrorist, possibly there was some profiling going on and if there was some sort of suspicion, I'd rather the cop err on the side of caution.


35 posted on 08/26/2005 5:04:47 PM PDT by Bushbacker1 (Kill 'em til they're dead! Then, kill 'em again!)
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To: musicman
click on the link in my first post above, there is a picture of her there.
36 posted on 08/26/2005 5:05:38 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ('That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy Sheehan")
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To: musicman

She seems to like architexural photography, and perhaps the cops wondered who this woman was taking pics?

I tried to look up more info from the local papers, but didn't find anything in the archives about the arrest.

Still, I don't like policemen asking for id where there is not probable cause. Women with expensive cameras, even if they are hispanic, usually have some means behind them.


37 posted on 08/26/2005 5:06:10 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: elkfersupper

"Strange, I found plenty of info in the article to blame the cops."

So you hate cops. Is this all the info I need to come to this decision?


38 posted on 08/26/2005 5:06:31 PM PDT by Peace will be here soon
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To: goldstategop

[Last time I checked, America wasn't a police state.]

You must have checked a very long time ago. Welcome to the new America.


39 posted on 08/26/2005 5:07:04 PM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (We're living in the Dark Ages.)
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To: coconutt2000
I can tell an illegal alien at a glance. Can you? /sarcasm

Put 10 people in a line up. Have them selected at random from a phone book. Have one of them be an illegal alien, also selected at random from.

I bet I could pick him out maybe 90% of the time.

40 posted on 08/26/2005 5:07:07 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: yarddog

Let me pick the lineup from a collection of randomly selected legal and illegal immigrants.

And none of them have to be illegal.

Then you choose.


41 posted on 08/26/2005 5:09:23 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Peace will be here soon
So you hate cops.

No, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for "peace officers". Too bad there aren't any around anymore. They're "Law Enforcement Officers" now.

I distrust Law Enforcement Officers.

42 posted on 08/26/2005 5:10:02 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: thoughtomator

Ortega de Chamberlin

43 posted on 08/26/2005 5:12:25 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ('That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,' Cindy Sheehan")
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To: coconutt2000

Why don't you make it even harder. Why don't you make me pick out the one illegal from a group of 10 from Iceland./sarcasm.


44 posted on 08/26/2005 5:12:48 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
The Salt Lake area has some pretty hard core law enforcement officers. Years ago my dad was stopped because he was driving a Lincoln that had tinted windows. His other "crime" was that he was from California. They thought he was running drugs.

They backed way off when he verbally started recalling court cases about harassment and illegal vehicle searches. He was a former cop and worked in the legal field for decades. By the time he was done with THEM the were practically tucking him back into his car and telling him to have a nice day.
45 posted on 08/26/2005 5:13:38 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (Freedom isn't free)
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To: elkfersupper

"I distrust Law Enforcement Officers."

And I distrust the media to tell the whole truth.

Do you trust the media that much to just take a side on this issue from the limited info given in the article?

Like I said, the cops could have overstepped their bounds, but since I was not there, and there is very limited info in the article for me to base an opinion either way, I will hold back judgement before I slam either side.

Let the courts deal with it, and then we will know the truth ( hopefully ).


46 posted on 08/26/2005 5:16:28 PM PDT by Peace will be here soon
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To: garyhope
Why did they want her info?

Probably wanted a date...or at least try to feel like a "man" by bossing a woman around.

47 posted on 08/26/2005 5:16:48 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Michael.SF.

Other than knowing now that she's ugly, too, that doesn't really provide much insight.


48 posted on 08/26/2005 5:17:03 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Hey Senator! Leave those kids alone!)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum; Michael.SF.; freedumb2003

Thank you all for replying to my post.

Knitting A Conundrum - Michael SF's post that has a link in it, goes to her web site and has her pic. Still would like to know what's around the address where she was "questioned"......

Michael.SF.- Thanks for the link. Her pic on her site doesn't make her look real "suspicious".

Freedumb2003- The lady in question WOULD look suspicious if placed next to the pic you posed....

Thanks again .


49 posted on 08/26/2005 5:17:47 PM PDT by musicman
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To: garyhope
Why did they want her info?

What kind of smart-alec question is that? It's for The Children, of course. We're At War Now.

50 posted on 08/26/2005 5:18:22 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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