Different crime, different elements. What does the statute say? Because that is what is what you to go off of. Not our opinion, I'm going off of what the statutes say and the interpretations the courts have rendered.If an adult male goes outside in his own from yard and waves his exposed penis around for all the world to see, and an officer sees it but does not receive this "citizen complaint" about it, can the officer not act upon this crime of indecent exposure?
I have never said officers cannot be witnesses to crimes and you know that. So just stop asserting that is my position. In certain cases a cop cannot be a victim. Some statutes are very clear on who constitutes a victim, as in the case of noise complaints or peace disturbances. "Public indecency" is a different issue because the crime is occurring "in public," in other words in a common area. Nothing in the statute identifies the "public" as the victim. In the case of Gates, the statute lists the "public" as the victim, not a necessarily a location. For that you have to have a member of the public actually be alarmed in order for the charge to be valid. Again this is a problem as this cop did not articulate which member of the public was actually alarmed, only that some unidentified citizens "appeared alarmed." That doesn't cut it, that's not evidence.
A cop can pull up to an burglary in progress in which he sees a suspect going into a residence. If the owner comes out and says "I refuse to press charges" the state has no case against this man as there is no victim in the crime. In this case, no victim-no crime. No crime-no PC for arrest.
An exception would be domestic violence or a fighting in public ordinance.