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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 19, 1975)
I. Fighting the Law and the Law Won.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the suspect was apprehended
by Lt. Bob Edmunds of campus security while trying
to rip off a car from a University parking lot.
What happens next is just like it is in The FBI
reruns: the arresting officer yells some variation of,
"Hold it right there. This is the police." The suspect
is ordered to stand spread-eagle and place his hands
on the roof of the car while he is searched for hidden
The suspect then is handcuffed, hands behind
back. Shackling the person in the back instead of in
front reduces greatly a person's ability to hurt himself
or anyone else, Edmunds said.
Since the suspect was apprehended singlehandedly,
he rides back to the police station in the front seat of
the cruiser. In a two-man cruiser Edmunds said, the
suspect and arresting officer both ride in the back.
II. The Fifth Degree or Pleading the Fifth.
There is no place at Campus Security to be
interrogated in peace. What with a two-way radio
blaring behind you, secretaries typing a few feet away
on one hand and policemen coming in and out on the
Edmunds admitted his cubicle officer is not the
best atmosphere for talking to a suspect, but it's the
best campus security has to offer. A relaxed
atmosphere is necessary to help communication and
help the suspect feel at ease, he said.
Here the officer advises the suspect of his rights,
verifies identification of the suspect and talks to him
about the alleged crime.
Some physical evidence of the crime could be
placed in the suspect's sight, Edmunds said. That
way, "He knows I know something about the crime,
but he doesn't know how much I know," he said.
Wednesday, february 19, 1975
"This could work to our advantage because he
might think I know a lot and might confess to the
During 1972, out of every eight people arrested,
only one was a student. But that changed last year,
Edmunds said. Last year more students than
non-students were arrested on campus largely because
of the increased number of drug arrests, Edmonds
The campus police have wider jurisdiction than the
Lincoln Police Department or the county sheriffs,
Edmunds said. Their powers, he said, are comparablt
to the ';puty state sheriffs.
Not only do they have jurisdiction within the city
limits, but they also have the power to arrest people
anywhere in the state whom they suspect of
committing crimes on campus.
Edmunds said they take a suspect to the police
station under two conditions: If he admits to doing
the crime or if the police department has enough
evidence to suspect he might have committed the
HI. A Mighty Foreress.
It's not the Bastille or the Tower of London, but
when you pass through the electronic scanning
systems and into the jail complex, there's this feeling
that you've entered something impregnable, fhat
there's no way of escaping from the basement of the
Here the campus security officer hands over items
apprehended from the suspect during his arrest. The
campus policeman leaves, and the Lincoln Police
Department takes over.
First, the suspect is frisked again. He is booked on
the charges. Then he is taken to the hosing room
where he is stripped and searched again. Next, he is
fingerprinted and photographed.
According to one officer, individual security
measures depend on the seriousness of his crime and
the suspect's willingness to cooperate.
"Police are so used to being spit on and called
names that when we find one that is cooperative, hell,
we fall in love."
The suspect is now ready for jail. Usually he is
placed in a cell block, which holds up to four men,
instead of a private cell. The private cells, police said,
are reserved for murderers, homosexuals, or
drunks-people who might get hurt if left in a cell
with other men.
Lincoln's jail has three cell blocks. The A block is
reserved for prisoners under the work release
program, while B and C blocks hold "everything from
theft right up to homicide," an officer said.
IV. Behind Closed Doors.
There's this creepy yellowishness down in the jail
that starts working on you.
The yellow lights off yellow walls of the yellow
bars create the gauzy, unrealistic atmosphere of
Rosemary's Baby. But all around there arc sharp
The realities of a young man waiting to be let out
long enough' to make a phone call, of men lounging
close to the bars, catcalling a passer-by.
"When they put you in the cell, the next thing is
waiting three weeks before the public defender takes
the time to come see you," one prisoner said.
Most of the men in the jail are there because they
are poor. They couldn't afford the jail or attorneys to
let them out. So while others pay for their crimes
with money, they wait inside and pay with their time.
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