Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

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MechAg94
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Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#1

Post by MechAg94 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:31 pm

http://www.texastribune.org/2016/01/26/ ... rs-commen/

http://www.cleat.org/2016/01/dps-chief- ... t-on-cops/
When asked about the arrest of Sandra Bland and escalations with law enforcement at a Texas Tribune event last week, McCraw said officers dealing with various unruly behavior including being spit at should "just take it" and respond professionally.
I heard about this issue on Walton and Johnson last Friday and looked around for links. These were the only two I saw.

Anyway, how does Texas law treat spitting on someone? I was thinking it would be some form of physical assault, but I have no idea what level it reaches. I figure it is something police can and should respond to. For non-LEO's, I have no idea. I figure it would not justify deadly force.

I recall a case years ago on the news where a guy was going down the street spitting on people and claiming he had AIDS or some other disease. Disease transmission is nothing to take lightly.

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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#2

Post by nightmare69 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:44 pm

If they are going to spit on me I would rather them do it once we enter the jail so I can add a F/3 to their charge list. This all falls under TPC: 22.11. Enjoy your 2-10 in TDC.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#3

Post by baldeagle » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:10 pm

nightmare69 wrote:If they are going to spit on me I would rather them do it once we enter the jail so I can add a F/3 to their charge list. This all falls under TPC: 22.11. Enjoy your 2-10 in TDC.
I kind of doubt it. TCP 22:11 addresses assaultive offenses that involve physical contact. I think it would be a stretch to make that charge stick for spitting.

Back when I was in the Navy, anti-war protestors spit on the police (military and civilian routinely. It got so bad that an anti-war US Congressman publicly begged anti-war protestors to stop the spitting. (I can document all of this, but I don't think it's appropriate to do so here. PM me if you doubt what I say.) National Guard troops received training where instructors would spit on them, and they were trained not to react.

As a police officer you should be aware that some of the people you interact with are not going to act rationally or decently. It's your job to remain professional throughout and complete your work (arrest, interview, etc.) without getting emotional based on the suspect's behavior. They are not reacting to you. They are reacting to being encountered by law enforcement. To protect and SERVE is supposed to mean just that.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#4

Post by mojo84 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:32 pm

I think spitting or sharing other bodily fluids on someone is now a crime. I believe it came about with aids and other diseases that can be spread.

Is it just a crime if the target is a cop or is it anyone?
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#5

Post by baldeagle » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:43 pm

mojo84 wrote:I think spitting or sharing other bodily fluids on someone is now a crime. I believe it came about with aids and other diseases that can be spread.

Is it just a crime if the target is a cop or is it anyone?
I searched for the word spit in the Texas Statutes. It does not appear anywhere. So there is no specific statute that deals with spitting on anyone. Calling it a third degree felony is a massive stretch. As a jury member, there is no way I would find someone guilty of that charge for only spitting. They would have to strike the officer for that charge to apply.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#6

Post by mojo84 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:49 pm

Not sure if this applies in Texas or not. http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-ch ... rview.html

I have no idea about the level or degree of crime.


Somebody found it.
http://www.brettsanders.me/2015/05/texa ... -on-a-cop/
Last edited by mojo84 on Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#7

Post by nightmare69 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:50 pm

baldeagle wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:If they are going to spit on me I would rather them do it once we enter the jail so I can add a F/3 to their charge list. This all falls under TPC: 22.11. Enjoy your 2-10 in TDC.
I kind of doubt it. TCP 22:11 addresses assaultive offenses that involve physical contact. I think it would be a stretch to make that charge stick for spitting.

Back when I was in the Navy, anti-war protestors spit on the police (military and civilian routinely. It got so bad that an anti-war US Congressman publicly begged anti-war protestors to stop the spitting. (I can document all of this, but I don't think it's appropriate to do so here. PM me if you doubt what I say.) National Guard troops received training where instructors would spit on them, and they were trained not to react.

As a police officer you should be aware that some of the people you interact with are not going to act rationally or decently. It's your job to remain professional throughout and complete your work (arrest, interview, etc.) without getting emotional based on the suspect's behavior. They are not reacting to you. They are reacting to being encountered by law enforcement. To protect and SERVE is supposed to mean just that.


Section 22.11: HARASSMENT BY PERSONS IN CERTAIN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES; HARASSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVANT - a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to assault, harass, or alarm, the person:
(1) while imprisoned or confined in a correctional or detention facility, causes another person to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of the actor, any other person, or an animal; or
(2) causes another person the actor knows to be a public servant to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of the actor, any other person, or an animal while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of the public servant's official power or performance of an official duty.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#8

Post by nightmare69 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:51 pm

baldeagle wrote:
mojo84 wrote:I think spitting or sharing other bodily fluids on someone is now a crime. I believe it came about with aids and other diseases that can be spread.

Is it just a crime if the target is a cop or is it anyone?
I searched for the word spit in the Texas Statutes. It does not appear anywhere. So there is no specific statute that deals with spitting on anyone. Calling it a third degree felony is a massive stretch. As a jury member, there is no way I would find someone guilty of that charge for only spitting. They would have to strike the officer for that charge to apply.

Negative. See above.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#9

Post by dlh » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:20 am

Folks, don't go spitting on anybody and think you can get away with it. It is a criminal offense. It is at least a class c misdemeanor under the Texas Penal Code.

Back in the stoneage when I was a municipal court prosecutor we routinely obtained convictions for defendants spitting on victims.

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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#10

Post by Distinguished Rick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:43 am

Regardless of where it falls in the Texas Penal Code I can assure you I will not react favorable towards them. If I have my way they won't be spitting on anyone else for a while. Spitting on someone is vial and disgusting.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#11

Post by Javier730 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:18 pm

Distinguished Rick wrote:Regardless of where it falls in the Texas Penal Code I can assure you I will not react favorable towards them. If I have my way they won't be spitting on anyone else for a while. Spitting on someone is vial and disgusting.
:iagree:
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#12

Post by baldeagle » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:41 pm

mojo84 wrote:Not sure if this applies in Texas or not. http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-ch ... rview.html

I have no idea about the level or degree of crime.


Somebody found it.
http://www.brettsanders.me/2015/05/texa ... -on-a-cop/
Have you read this? She was drunk in her own home and they arrested her for public drunkenness. That sets of HUGE alarm bells in my head. How can you be publicly drunk in your own home?

I was obviously wrong about spitting not being an offense. I searched for spit but never thought of saliva. (Still haven't learned to think like a lawyer.)

My argument in this particular instance would be that since her arrest was false, everything subsequent to that is fruit of the poisonous tree. The officers should have been charged with false arrest. Just because someone behaves like a pig does not justify looking for something to charge them with so you can get your revenge. Officers are supposed to be arresting people for crimes, not looking for things to arrest them for.
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#13

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:47 pm

nightmare69 wrote:
baldeagle wrote:
nightmare69 wrote:If they are going to spit on me I would rather them do it once we enter the jail so I can add a F/3 to their charge list. This all falls under TPC: 22.11. Enjoy your 2-10 in TDC.
I kind of doubt it. TCP 22:11 addresses assaultive offenses that involve physical contact. I think it would be a stretch to make that charge stick for spitting.

Back when I was in the Navy, anti-war protestors spit on the police (military and civilian routinely. It got so bad that an anti-war US Congressman publicly begged anti-war protestors to stop the spitting. (I can document all of this, but I don't think it's appropriate to do so here. PM me if you doubt what I say.) National Guard troops received training where instructors would spit on them, and they were trained not to react.

As a police officer you should be aware that some of the people you interact with are not going to act rationally or decently. It's your job to remain professional throughout and complete your work (arrest, interview, etc.) without getting emotional based on the suspect's behavior. They are not reacting to you. They are reacting to being encountered by law enforcement. To protect and SERVE is supposed to mean just that.


Section 22.11: HARASSMENT BY PERSONS IN CERTAIN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES; HARASSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVANT - a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to assault, harass, or alarm, the person:
(1) while imprisoned or confined in a correctional or detention facility, causes another person to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of the actor, any other person, or an animal; or
(2) causes another person the actor knows to be a public servant to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of the actor, any other person, or an animal while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of the public servant's official power or performance of an official duty.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
You are correct about it being a felony, but it's absurd. A felony for spitting on someone is something that King George would have loved. It's the kind of law that offends the public.

Chas.

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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#14

Post by mojo84 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:53 pm

baldeagle wrote:
mojo84 wrote:Not sure if this applies in Texas or not. http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-ch ... rview.html

I have no idea about the level or degree of crime.


Somebody found it.
http://www.brettsanders.me/2015/05/texa ... -on-a-cop/
Have you read this? She was drunk in her own home and they arrested her for public drunkenness. That sets of HUGE alarm bells in my head. How can you be publicly drunk in your own home?

I was obviously wrong about spitting not being an offense. I searched for spit but never thought of saliva. (Still haven't learned to think like a lawyer.)

My argument in this particular instance would be that since her arrest was false, everything subsequent to that is fruit of the poisonous tree. The officers should have been charged with false arrest. Just because someone behaves like a pig does not justify looking for something to charge them with so you can get your revenge. Officers are supposed to be arresting people for crimes, not looking for things to arrest them for.
I only used that story to illustrate the fact one can be charged for spitting on someone. I have no interest in the other circumstances of the case and have no interest in arguing over them. The point I was making at the time was to point out you were in error in your conclusions regarding the criminality of spitting on someone and stating emphatically you would not convict someone for doing it because it's not in the law.

I wasn't aware the case I linked to was being debated in this thread. :headscratch
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Re: Police Group Upset Over DPS Director's "Spit" Comment

#15

Post by baldeagle » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:59 pm

mojo84 wrote:
baldeagle wrote:
mojo84 wrote:Not sure if this applies in Texas or not. http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-ch ... rview.html

I have no idea about the level or degree of crime.


Somebody found it.
http://www.brettsanders.me/2015/05/texa ... -on-a-cop/
Have you read this? She was drunk in her own home and they arrested her for public drunkenness. That sets of HUGE alarm bells in my head. How can you be publicly drunk in your own home?

I was obviously wrong about spitting not being an offense. I searched for spit but never thought of saliva. (Still haven't learned to think like a lawyer.)

My argument in this particular instance would be that since her arrest was false, everything subsequent to that is fruit of the poisonous tree. The officers should have been charged with false arrest. Just because someone behaves like a pig does not justify looking for something to charge them with so you can get your revenge. Officers are supposed to be arresting people for crimes, not looking for things to arrest them for.
I only used that story to illustrate the fact one can be charged for spitting on someone. I have no interest in the other circumstances of the case and have no interest in arguing over them. The point I was making at the time was to point out you were in error in your conclusions regarding the criminality of spitting on someone and stating emphatically you would not convict someone for doing it because it's not in the law.

I wasn't aware the case I linked to was being debated in this thread. :headscratch
Let me be very clear. I will NOT vote guilty in a jury trial to convict someone of spitting on an officer when the punishment is a felony. It's beyond ridiculous.

Hopefully that clarifies my position.

The larger point I was trying to make is that officers should remain professional no matter what the person says or does and they should not look for excuses to arrest someone. I suspect that section of the law has its roots in the AIDS epidemic, where people believed just being spit on would be a death sentence if the person who spit had AIDS. That section was added in 1999, so I have no doubt that AIDS at least played a part in the motivation for introducing that legislation.

I do not like laws that are designed purely to put people in prison for abuse of cops that does not become physical. If you assault an officer physically, then I want the book thrown at you, but if you call him a pig or spit on him or kick dirt on him, then you should be fined. That law needs to be changed, and I'm going to ask my Representative to introduce the legislation.
Last edited by baldeagle on Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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