Does being in legally parked vehicle for an extended period of time give officers the right to go to this extreme to detain me? ?

How far can a police officer take this?I was parked in a popeyes parking lot. An officer approached and asked what I was doing/my information. I explained I was reading a book and killing time. Even though provided all requested documents, license, insurance, registration/inspection, and there was no issue they continued questioning me. They asked if I would allow them to search my vehicle, I declined. They then called a drug dog and a female officer to body search. After the dog sniffed the car I was placed in handcuffs and a female officer body searched me while others physically searched through my truck, finding nothing. The cop opened the door but didn't let me out. Instead he read me my rights.  Then questioned about two cards in my wallet that didn't have my name o  them, a gift card the a medical insurance credit card, both in my moms name. I was not arrested, but when I was released the cop told me that he knew I was lying or hiding something, that they just couldn't figure it out.  Does being in a parked legal vehicle for an extended period of time give officers the right to detain me like this? 

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  • Ann
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Lucy, the fact that you were parked in a parking lot (and you weren't a customer) for an extended period of time raised some flags.  The scenario you described is the kind of thing drug dealers actually do.  They have locales where their customers come to do drug deals.  If you were just "killing time", then you could have done it elsewhere besides in a parking lot where you weren't purchasing anything from that business.  The manager could have called the police to have you checked out, and it is their job to do that.  Because you declined to let them do a search, that behavior raised more suspicion, and your defensive attitude rather than being cooperative lent even more suspicion to the situation.  And to answer your question, yes, having a vehicle parked in a location for an extended period of time does raise suspicion and can result in a person's being detained.  Many establishments have signs posted that vehicles can't be parked for more than two hours, or they will be towed.  The fact that you were occupying the vehicle might have made the manager believe you were there to negotiate some kind of illegal activity.  Become aware of the laws in your locale,, so you won't make this mistake again. 

    Source(s): Dallas P.D.
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    • Dan
      Lv 4
      4 weeks agoReport

      The officers knew this game and I felt like crap for letting them walk all over me in this manner. We had nothing in the car. My friend and I don't even drink. Yet that game was played on us. Never will I allow it again.  Go get your damned dogs.  SMH

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  • 4 weeks ago

    I was parked in a popeyes parking lot.

    I explained I was reading a book and killing time. 

    By YOUR admission, you WERE NOT legally parked. The lot is ONLY for customers of the restaurant. That alone is probable cause to investigate.

    The cop opened the door but didn't let me out. Instead he read me my rights. 

    That means you were arrested, which means they DID find something.

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    That could be construed as loitering but clearly these officers were already looking for someone who meets your general description and they did all this to rule you out. Better that than that they just arrest you, take you to the station and really mess up your evening as you wait hours to be cleared.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    First of all you were not parked legally, you were on private property and the owner of the business called the police because as you stated you were there "an extended period of time" You failed to mention how long that was. But regardless a business parking lot is for customers, not for somebody to read a book.

    The business had every right to call the police and ask you to leave, you were not doing business with the lot owners business.

    They had every right to have a canine officer walk around your car, as only people with something to hide refuse to allow the car to be searched.

    You were placed in mechanical restraints for everybody's safety, and you were patted down by the female officer you were not cavity searched or  stripped search. You were not stripped and searched, you were patted own called a Terry search. Until the female officer arrived, you were placed in the back of a patrol car for your safety and the officers.

    The restaurant may have called and said you were acting suspicious, been in the lot for an extended amount of time, you showed no signs of purchasing anything. The restaurant may have been robbed before, you don't know

    Everything they did was legal 

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    • Badge 203
      Lv 4
      4 weeks agoReport

      98% of people who refuse a vehicle search are holding of hiding something illegal.  The refusal shows probable cause. Again stop playing lawyer! You are not very good at it

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  • 4 weeks ago

    You were questioned but you don't seem to have been arrested. You know, the Popeye's lot could be a place that someone else likes to sell drugs out of.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    I don't think you were in a "legally" parked vehicle. The parking lot was probably only for customers of the restaurant to use while they were inside eating (or waiting for there food), not for anyone to use just to sit and read (or kill time).

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    I'm guessing they did have the right, although it was over the top. They could have just told you to move on. Maybe they just wanted to investigate thoroughly. From their perspective, you may have been a drug dealer, a child snatcher or were there for any nefarious reason, maybe someone contemplating a mass murder. Just put it down to lesson learnt and be careful where you park for lengthy periods while sitting in your car. I had two detectives approach me while sitting in my car at a park, not a car park, a park with grass and trees.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    You were on private property. Did you make a purchase? If not then they had a right to call the police. However, if you made a purchase, they better have a sign posted limiting the time a customer can be on the property. You may want to contact a lawyer.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    You are parked on private property. They have every right to investigate suspicious activity

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  • 4 weeks ago

    The parking lot at Popeyes is private property. You're only supposed to park there if you're in the store. You don't have a right to sit there and read unless you have permission from the owner's to.

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