Originally Posted by BrianShaw
There is a distinction between being 'arrested' and being 'detained'. There seems to be a lot of detaining and questioning going on... but has there really been many arrests?
There is not as big a distinction as you may think. In the US, if a police officer prevents you from leaving, you have been detained.
If you are arrested, you also cannot leave - however, you are generally physically restrained, transported to a police station to be booked, advised of your Miranda rights, questioned, arraigned, have bail set, and so on.
However, a police officer can 'arrest' someone and process them on the scene, releasing them with a summons or after filling out a field interview card. Then they call it having 'detained' the person in hindsight.
As well, a person can be detained as a material witness in a crime - they could be restrained, transported, and locked up - but have not been arrested.
So the difference may well be academic.
If you are not free to leave when you wish, have you been arrested or detained? I take cold comfort from the definition if I am deprived of my freedom to depart.
When I was an Military Policeman, we 'apprehended' people who were in the military and thus under our jurisdiction. We 'detained' civilians and turned them over to civilian authorities. Both were in handcuffs sitting on my bust bench. What was the difference?