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Author Topic: Citizen-Police interactions  (Read 49555 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: July 09, 2007, 07:46:43 AM »

Woof All:

Although there is already a LEO issues thread, the focus here is a bit different.  We are also looking at the rights of the citizen.

TAC
CD
=============================
By CWS on the WT forum:

This of course does not deal with the issue of a drug dog having a legal right to be brought by police to sniff your car (the Caballes case), but one thing is for sure. If you grant permission to search, search they will. And find they will. If all you have is an unlicensed weapon in your car, and no drugs, are you really worried about what a drug sniffing dog will find?

Secondly, even if you have drugs in the car, I am not sure an officer can hold you up indefinitely awaiting a drug dog to come sniff your car. One key element of the Caballes decision was that the whole matter occurred in 10 minutes, and during the time period the officer was still legitimately in ticket writing mode.

From the Caballes case: "A seizure that is justified solely by the interest in issuing a warning ticket to the driver can become unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete that mission. In an earlier case involving a dog sniff that occurred during an unreasonably prolonged traffic stop, the Illinois Supreme Court held that use of the dog and the subsequent discovery of contraband were the product of an unconstitutional seizure. People v. Cox, 202 Ill. 2d 462, 782 N. E. 2d 275 (2002). We may assume that a similar result would be warranted in this case if the dog sniff had been conducted while respondent was being unlawfully detained."


KNOWLES v. IOWA

certiorari to the supreme court of iowa

No. 97-7597. Argued November 3, 1998--Decided December 8, 1998

An Iowa policeman stopped petitioner Knowles for speeding and issued him a citation rather than arresting him. The officer then conducted a full search of the car, without either Knowles' consent or probable cause, found marijuana and a "pot pipe," and arrested Knowles. Before his trial on state drug charges, Knowles moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that because he had not been arrested, the search could not be sustained under the "search incident to arrest" exception recognized in United States v. Robinson, 414 U. S. 218 . The trial court denied the motion and found Knowles guilty, based on state law giving officers authority to conduct a full-blown search of an automobile and driver where they issue a citation instead of making a custodial arrest. In affirming, the State Supreme Court applied its bright-line "search incident to citation" exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement, reasoning that so long as the officer had probable cause to make a custodial arrest, there need not in fact have been an arrest.


Held: The search at issue, authorized as it was by state law, nonetheless violates the Fourth Amendment. Neither of the two historical exceptions for the "search incident to arrest" exception, see Robinson, supra, at 234, is sufficient to justify the search in the present case. First, the threat to officer safety from issuing a traffic citation is a good deal less than in the case of a custodial arrest. While concern for safety during a routine traffic stop may justify the "minimal" additional intrusion of ordering a driver and passengers out of the car, it does not by itself justify the often considerably greater intrusion attending a full field-type search. Even without the search authority Iowa urges, officers have other, independent bases to search for weapons and protect themselves from danger. Second, the need to discover and preserve evidence does not exist in a traffic stop, for once Knowles was stopped for speeding and issued a citation, all evidence necessary to prosecute that offense had been obtained. Iowa's argument that a "search incident to citation" is justified because a suspect may try to hide evidence of his identity or of other crimes is unpersuasive. An officer may arrest a driver if he is not satisfied with the identification furnished, and the possibility that an officer would stumble onto evidence of an unrelated offense seems remote. Pp. 3-6.

569 N. W. 2d 601, reversed and remanded.
Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Question:

As I understand it with a Terry Stop, wouldn't the motorist be free to go if he does not consent to a search given that asking for consent means the officer has no PC and has already given out the speeding ticket?

CWS:
From the actual Terry case:

"Where a reasonably prudent officer is warranted in the circumstances of a given case in believing that his safety or that of others is endangered, he may make a reasonable search for weapons of the person believed by him to be armed and dangerous regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest that individual for crime or the absolute certainty that the individual is armed. Pp. 20-27.

(a) Though the police must, whenever practicable, secure a warrant to make a search and seizure, that procedure cannot be followed where swift action based upon on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat is required. P. 20.
(b) The reasonableness of any particular search and seizure must be assessed in light of the particular circumstances against the standard of whether a man of reasonable caution is warranted in believing that the action taken was appropriate. Pp. 21-22.
(c) The officer here was performing a legitimate function of investigating suspicious conduct when he decided to approach petitioner and his companions. P. 22.
(d) An officer justified in believing that an individual whose suspicious behavior he is investigating at close range is armed may, to neutralize the threat of physical harm, take necessary measures to determine whether that person is carrying a weapon. P. 24.
(e) A search for weapons in the absence of probable cause to arrest must be strictly circumscribed by the exigencies of the situation. Pp. 25-26.
(f) An officer may make an intrusion short of arrest where he has reasonable apprehension of danger before being possessed of information justifying arrest. Pp. 26-27.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-923.ZO.html - Caballes case

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/97-7597.ZS.html - Knowles case
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 07:49:16 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 06:02:40 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070718/NATION/107180075/1001
=====================


Border case defended
By Jerry Seper
July 18, 2007

The U.S. attorney whose office won convictions against two U.S. Border Patrol agents for shooting a fleeing drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks yesterday described as "the big lie" accusations that the prosecutions were not justified.

During a rancorous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton defiantly said agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, now serving lengthy prison terms, committed "serious crimes" in a case that was not about immigration issues or the Border Patrol but the rule of law.

"Agents Compean and Ramos crossed the line. They are not heroes," Mr. Sutton said. "They deliberately shot an unarmed man in the back without justification, destroyed evidence to cover it up and lied about it. A jury heard the facts and voted to convict.

"There is no one to blame for what has happened but themselves," he said.

But Sens. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, and John Cornyn, Texas Republican, questioned whether the 11- and 12-year prison sentences handed to Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean, respectively, were justifiable and whether the decision to grant immunity to drug-smuggling suspect Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was properly handled.

Mrs. Feinstein, who chaired the hearing, asked whether the government's priorities were "out of whack" when it made the immunity offer to "a drug trafficker," noting that Mr. Aldrete-Davila — who abandoned 743 pounds of drugs as he fled to Mexico — was "not an innocent who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"I find it hard to believe that someone trusted with $1 million in drugs is simply an amateur drug mule," she said.

Mr. Cornyn said he had "serious concerns about judgment calls" made during the case, adding that Mr. Sutton's office allowed Mr. Aldrete-Davila to violate the terms of his immunity agreement without consequences.

He and Mrs. Feinstein questioned Mr. Sutton on why the government gave Mr. Aldrete-Davila unlimited and unescorted access to the United States as part of the immunity agreement and whether he might have transported a second load of drugs into the country during that time.

They said that Mr. Aldrete-Davila re-entered the United States on at least 10 occasions from March to November 2005 and that the documentation authorized by the immunity agreement allowed him to cross the border legally at any time without notifying anyone and being unescorted.

"I would like to hear more about the policy that allows for this kind of unsupervised passage into our country and why someone who was known to smuggle in drugs would be given such flexibility," Mrs. Feinstein said.

Mr. Sutton acknowledged that a "humanitarian visa" given to Mr. Aldrete-Davila as part of the immunity agreement may have been "a mistake" but said it is necessary for his office to have access to would-be witnesses in pending cases — some of whom live in Mexico.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) documents, which remain under seal, show that Mr. Aldrete-Davila was the focus of a drug investigation into his reported stashing of 750 pounds of marijuana at a house in Clint, Texas, in November 2005 — nine months after he was shot.

The DEA's investigative reports, according to law-enforcement authorities and others who have seen the documents, said that the owner of the house, Cipriano Ortiz-Hernandez, picked Mr. Aldrete-Davila from a photo display and that the homeowner's brother, Jose Ortiz, told agents that Mr. Aldrete-Davila brought the marijuana from Juarez, Mexico, and identified him as "the person who was shot by Border Patrol agents."

Mrs. Feinstein also questioned why the agents were charged under a federal statute setting a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. She said that as the law was written, it presupposes an underlying crime, adding that there was no underlying crime in the Ramos-Compean case.

She said the law needs to be clarified by Congress to prevent prosecutorial overcharging.

Ramos, 37, and Compean, 28, were sentenced in October on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and a civil rights violation. The conviction came after Mr. Aldrete-Davila was located in Mexico by Homeland Security investigators.

In the packed audience was Patty Compean and Monica Ramos, both of whom shook their heads in disagreement when their husbands were accused of being responsible for the incident.

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 11,000 of the agency's nonsupervisory personnel, disputed government claims that the agents were prosecuted because they shot an unarmed man, covered it up, destroyed evidence and filed false reports.

"Make no mistake about it — Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was not simply a mule as the prosecution tried to claim who was looking to earn $1,000 so he could care for his sick mother," he said. "The wrongdoing here was bringing 743 pounds of marijuana into the country ... and the person who did that was granted immunity by our federal government."

Presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who introduced a bill calling for a congressional pardon for the agents, described their prosecution as "the most severe injustice I've ever seen with respect to the treatment of U.S. Border Patrol agents or, I might add, the treatment of any uniformed officers."

Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, California Republican, said the decision to give immunity to "the drug dealer and throw the book at the Border Patrol agents was a prosecutorial travesty."

"The whole episode stinks to high heaven," he said.

Defending Mr. Sutton were Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar and former Border Patrol sector chief Luis Barker, who headed the office where the shooting occurred. They blamed Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean for failing to follow Border Patrol policies and covering up the incident.

"This has been a tragedy with emotional undercurrent. But there should be no mistake. ... It begins and ends with the actions of Agents Compean and Ramos," Mr. Barker said. "Not the prosecutors. Not the judge or the jury, as has been suggested."

« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 06:40:49 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
peregrine
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 11:40:37 PM »

If you don't want to get hasseled by the police i would attempt to blend in with the sheep.
Don't wear or dislplay excessive or obtuse jewelry and clothes. Don't drive a rice rocket with 20" chrome rims. Don't have the nra sticker and marijuana leaf sticker on your rear window. Don't loudly proclaim you are an individual. etc. etc.

Also every citizen should attmept to know their rights in this regards- tery frisk, terry stop, probable cause, reasonable doubt, legal knife size, dangerous weapons, curfews, felonious asault vs misdemeanors, etc.

be polite and professional.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 07:03:43 AM »

Peregirne:

Good point about knowing your rights! 

The problem is that I have never seen a simple statement of what the police can and cannot do.  What are the criteria that must be met before they can they search me?  My car?  My home? 

What should I do if the officer is NOT meeting these criteria so as to protect my rights? And not get hurt/killed?

CWS, can you/would you help us out here?

TIA,
CD
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Bandolero
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 09:00:11 AM »

Peregirne:

Good point about knowing your rights! 

The problem is that I have never seen a simple statement of what the police can and cannot do.  What are the criteria that must be met before they can they search me?  My car?  My home? 

What should I do if the officer is NOT meeting these criteria so as to protect my rights? And not get hurt/killed?

CWS, can you/would you help us out here?

TIA,
CD

Being a law school grad, you know better than anybody else that this is a complicated subject.  Each situation has to be looked at closely because a single variable might change what is otherwise illegal, to one that is legal.  And vice versa.

For example, suppose the police have a search warrant for your house to look for a Stinger missile.  Well then they are entitled to look in any locations in your house that might contain a Stinger missile.  If during the search the police take the cover off your toilet tank and find a handgun taped to the side of the inside of the tank, they will probably not be allowed to use that as evidence against you in a criminal proceeding because the place they looked (your toilet tank) was not a place that a reasonable person could expect to find something as large as a Stinger missile.

Or suppose the police have an arrest warrant for somebody, and they hit the house that is the person's residence (I will expand upon this in a moment).  Note that this is not a search warrant, but an arrest warrant.  Upon entry the police have the right to control the occupants in the house while they search the house for the wanted person.  The police may choose to do this by having all occupants sit on the living room couch and other chairs.  But for officier safety they probably have the right to search the immediate area of the couch and chairs, and anything within lunging distance, for weapons.  If they find drugs or illegal guns under the couch cushions, those items could probably be used in a criminal prosecution.  However, these same items, if found in a kitchen drawer could probably not be used because it was not reasonable to 1) expect the wanted person to be in a kitchen drawer (although the cabinet underneath would be fair game), and 2) the kitchen drawer was likely not within lunging distance of the living room couch.

Now let's modify the scenario a little.  Suppose the police pursuant to an arrest warrant come to a house which is not the wanted person's residence.  Suppose they get a tip that a fugitive from NYC is at Crafty Dog's house right now.  Well Crafty Dog's house is not the wanted person's residence (of course once again a small variable change, like say the wanted person has been staying at Crafty's house for a week already and the wanted person had completely abandoned his prior residence in NYC, etc., might change the legalities).  If the police search Crafty's house (under my original scenario and without a search warrant for person), and find a massive drug and illegal weapons cache, they will probably not be able to use the evidence to prosecute Crafty (unless Crafty or another adult in the house with power to authorize, like the wife) gave permission to search.  Another minor variable change...the status of "residence."  If the wanted person is now essentially living at Crafty's house (sleeps there, has not left the house in a week, eats all his meals there, is using the phone there at hours consistent with living at a place, in other words a list if variables starts adding up, then that same search might well be considered legal because Crafty's house may well be considered the wanted person's residence.

Finally, search and seizure law changes.  When I first started my job in 1980 the limitations on vehicle searches were more stringent than they are now.  At that time during a vehicle stop the police, for officer safety, could only search those areas within lunging distance of the driver and passengers (depending upon their status..like small children), for weapons.  Nowadays more of the car is fair game.

So it is a complicated subject and not easy to write an absolute list about.  What may be a lawful Terry frisk in one situation, may be completely unlawful by the same officer in the same exact spot 5 minutes later with another person.

If Random House wants to give me a $500,000 advance on a book, I will start the book tomorrow.  smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 11:26:47 PM »

By TODD RUGER
todd.ruger@heraldtribune.com

SARASOTA -- John Coffin opened the garage door to see his wife on the floor, screaming in pain as two sheriff's deputies tried to handcuff her, Coffin's attorney said in court Monday.

"He grabs his wife and begins to pull her away," defense attorney Brett McIntosh said. One of the deputies then jumped Coffin from behind, "and that's where this case is focused."

Coffin, 56, faces years in prison on felony battery charges that in April 2006 he attacked deputies James Lutz and Stacy Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau.

Monday was the first day in a trial in which prosecutors will use the serious injuries sustained by the deputies to show Coffin is guilty.

Coffin's defense attorney will argue that he was defending his wife, and his home, from deputies who had no right to be there in the first place.

Prosecutors say the fight started when Coffin came into the garage, punched Ferris in the face and threw her against a wall.

When Ferris tried to arrest him for that battery, Coffin fought them and both deputies "were defending themselves and trying to get away," Assistant State Attorney Jessica Zack said. "The pictures will tell you the story as well."

Coffin's attorneys say the two deputies are the ones who broke the law.

"We will find out about the credibility of these officers," McIntosh said Monday in court.

The deputies were at the Coffins' home trying to serve a civil injunction on Coffin, who had been served the same papers five days earlier in Charlotte County.

The deputies entered the garage even though they did not have a search warrant or arrest warrant allowing them to enter the Coffins' house.

And they arrested Cynthia Coffin, 50, on obstruction charges for not following their order to bring her husband outside.

McIntosh said the deputies had no grounds for the arrest.

The charges against her have since been dismissed. A jury had been picked in Cynthia Coffin's case in December when a judge granted a defense attorney's last-minute motion to dismiss the charges because of those facts.

On Monday in court, Zack held up photographs to show the extent of the deputies' injuries and only touched briefly on the issues the defense has raised.

"Whether or not the officers should have entered the house is something I'm sure they would take back if they could," Zack said.

Brandau got the facial bruising in the photos because John Coffin punched her in the face and threw her against a wall when he came into the garage, Zack said.

Lutz got the injuries to his head when he was shocked with a Taser during the fight, then knocked unconscious with three strikes to the head with the butt of that Taser gun, Zack said.

John Coffin's trial is expected to end today.

Last modified: March 13. 2007 3:35AM
__________________
And the final outcome:

Judge acquits John Coffin on 5 felony charges; Coffin gets time served on 6th.
By TODD RUGER

SARASOTA -- John Coffin won't spend any more time in jail for beating up two sheriff's deputies inside his house, striking one in the head with a Taser gun he took from the other.

Circuit Judge Rick De Furia said at Coffin's trial Tuesday that he doesn't condone the violence against the deputies.

But Coffin, 56, had a right to defend his family and property because the deputies had no right to be in Coffin's house in the first place, De Furia said.

"Law enforcement was responsible for the chain of events here," De Furia said. "I think in situations like this, officers become so frustrated they go beyond what the law allows them to do."

The fight started when Coffin heard his wife screaming in pain, went into the garage and saw two deputies arresting her on the floor.

The deputies were trying to serve Coffin with civil papers that had been given five days earlier. They had entered the garage even though they did not have a search warrant or arrest warrant.

And they arrested Coffin's wife, Cynthia, 50, on obstruction charges even though she had no obligation to follow their orders to bring her husband outside.

"The most critical is the fact the officers broke the law by stopping the garage door from going down," and then entering the garage, De Furia said.

A jury was picked for the trial Monday. But the judge granted a motion by Coffin's attorneys, Derek Byrd and Brett McIntosh, and acquitted John Coffin on five of six felony charges Tuesday morning.

Coffin pleaded no contest to the remaining charge of taking a Taser gun from one of the deputies during the fight.

Before handing down the sentence, De Furia asked how long Coffin spent in jail after his initial arrest.

"You spent eight days in the Sarasota County jail," De Furia said. "That's your sentence. No probation."

Relatives applauded, and Coffin walked out of the courthouse with only a $358 bill for court costs. The sentence surprised even defense attorneys, who had suggested De Furia sentence Coffin to probation.

Prosecutors had asked for more than a year of prison time because of "the totality of the case" and the injuries to deputies James Lutz and Stacy Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau.

The two deputies testified about their injuries Tuesday -- three blows to the head with the butt of the Taser gun knocked Lutz unconscious.

"I just ask that he doesn't get away with this," Brandau told the judge.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Young told the judge the case "could have been over in five seconds" if the Coffins "had simply come out and cooperated."

"That is a man who took it upon himself to beat up two police officers," Young said.

De Furia said that while he believed the deputies' mistakes were not intentional, the Coffins had every right to lock doors, try to close their garage door and not cooperate.

"What took place in the house was unfortunate," De Furia said, "but Mr. Coffin ... had a right to resist."

Last modified: March 14. 2007 5:36AM
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lewis
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 05:42:46 AM »

Wow.  That just shows how different the laws are in differing states.  In Kentucky you have no right to resist an arrest, even if it is later proven to be an unlawful arrest.  That case would have been completely different here.

Part of the reason that the issue of what the police can and cannot do is so muddy is that many people go to extremes.  Some people seem to think we can do anything while others think we have almost no authority at all.  As usual, the truth is in the middle.

I have more to say, but no time right now.  Will post again later today.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 05:40:20 PM »

Cops Say the Darndest Things!


#16 "You know, stop lights don't come any redder that the one you just went through."


#15 "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."


#14 "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."


#13 "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."


#12 "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you."


#11 "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"


#10 "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supe! rvisor?"


#9 "Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."


#8 "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"


#7 "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop."


#6 "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."


#5 "In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC."


#4 "How big were those 'Just two beers' you say you had?"


#3 "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."


#2 "I'm glad to hear that Chief (of Police) Hawker is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."


#1 "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2007, 06:44:43 AM »

Not quite sure how to describe this one , , ,

http://www.biggeekdaddy.com/humorpages/Misc/lawnmowerDUI.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2007, 10:08:28 AM »

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/legal/l1980/new_york_v_belton.htm

An automobile in which respondent was one of the occupants was stopped by a New York State policeman for traveling at an excessive rate of speed. In the process of discovering that none of the occupants owned the car or was related to the owner, the policeman smelled burnt marihuana and saw on the floor of the car an envelope suspected of containing marihuana. He then directed the occupants to get out of the car and arrested them for unlawful possession of marihuana. After searching each of the occupants, he searched the passenger compartment of the car, found a jacket belonging to respondent, unzipped one of the pockets, and discovered cocaine. Subsequently, respondent was indicted for criminal possession of a controlled substance. After the trial court had denied his motion to suppress the cocaine seized from his jacket pocket, respondent pleaded guilty to a lesser included offense, while preserving his claim that the cocaine had been seized in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the search and seizure, but the New York Court of Appeals reversed.

Held : The search of respondent's jacket was a search incident to a lawful custodial arrest, and hence did not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The jacket, being located inside the passenger compartment of the car, was "within the arrestee's immediate control" within the meaning of Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752, wherein it was held that a lawful custodial arrest creates a situation justifying the contemporaneous warrantless search of the arrestee and of the immediately surrounding area. Not only may the police search the passenger compartment of the car in such circumstances, they may also examine the contents of any containers found in the passenger compartment. And such a container may be searched whether it is open or closed, since the justification for the search is not that the arrestee has no privacy interest in the container but that the lawful custodial arrest justifies the infringement of any privacy interest the arrestee may have. Pp. 457-463.

============

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-5165.ZS.html

THORNTON v. UNITED STATES
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No. 03—5165. Argued March 31, 2004–Decided May 24, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before Officer Nichols could pull over petitioner, petitioner parked and got out of his car. Nichols then parked, accosted petitioner, and arrested him after finding drugs in his pocket. Incident to the arrest, Nichols searched petitioner’s car and found a handgun under the driver’s seat. Petitioner was charged with federal drug and firearms violations. In denying his motion to suppress the firearm as the fruit of an unconstitutional search, the District Court found, inter alia, the automobile search valid under New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, in which this Court held that, when a police officer makes a lawful custodial arrest of an automobile’s occupant, the Fourth Amendment allows the officer to search the vehicle’s passenger compartment as a contemporaneous incident of arrest, id., at 460. Petitioner appealed his conviction, arguing that Belton was limited to situations where the officer initiated contact with an arrestee while he was still in the car. The Fourth Circuit affirmed.

Held: Belton governs even when an officer does not make contact until the person arrested has left the vehicle. In Belton, the Court placed no reliance on the fact that the officer ordered the occupants out of the vehicle, or initiated contact with them while they remained within it. And here, there is simply no basis to conclude that the span of the area generally within the arrestee’s immediate control is determined by whether the arrestee exited the vehicle at the officer’s direction, or whether the officer initiated contact with him while he was in the car. In all relevant aspects, the arrest of a suspect who is next to a vehicle presents identical concerns regarding officer safety and evidence destruction as one who is inside. Under petitioner’s proposed “contact initiation” rule, officers who decide that it may be safer and more effective to conceal their presence until a suspect has left his car would be unable to search the passenger compartment in the event of a custodial arrest, potentially compromising their safety and placing incriminating evidence at risk of concealment or destruction. The Fourth Amendment does not require such a gamble. Belton allows police to search a car’s passenger compartment incident to a lawful arrest of both “occupants” and “recent occupants.” Ibid. While an arrestee’s status as a “recent occupant” may turn on his temporal or spatial relationship to the car at the time of the arrest and search, it certainly does not turn on whether he was inside or outside the car when the officer first initiated contact with him. Although not all contraband in the passenger compartment is likely to be accessible to a “recent occupant,” the need for a clear rule, readily understood by police and not depending on differing estimates of what items were or were not within an arrestee’s reach at any particular moment, justifies the sort of generalization which Belton enunciated. Under petitioner’s rule, an officer would have to determine whether he actually confronted or signaled confrontation with the suspect while he was in his car, or whether the suspect exited the car unaware of, and for reasons unrelated to, the officer’s presence. Such a rule would be inherently subjective and highly fact specific, and would require precisely the sort of ad hoc determinations on the part of officers in the field and reviewing courts that Belton sought to avoid. Pp. 4—8.
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Zooligan
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 08:37:51 AM »

Also every citizen should attmept to know their rights in this regards- tery frisk, terry stop, probable cause, reasonable doubt, legal knife size, dangerous weapons, curfews, felonious asault vs misdemeanors, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/You-Police-Boston-T-Party/dp/1888766093/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196085266&sr=8-1 used to be a really good book about Terry frisks, searches incident to arrest, reasonable suspicion, probable cause, etc.  As several reviewers mention it probably needs updated with regards to the erosion of the 4th ammendment in the post-9/11 world.

On that topic, http://www.law.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/37patriot.html, provides an excellent summary of some of the non-terrorist-activity-related 4th ammendment implications of the Patriot Act.  Combine that with

(CWS note: his a$$ would have been grass if they would have found drugs, etc. Generally if they come across Item B in your house during the process of looking for item A pursuant to a search warrant, it is admissible as evidence.  There is a caveat related to size of item A being sought).

and you have the perfect weapon for politically-motivated character assasinations -- just keep secretly searching until you find something you can use.

-Z
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2007, 11:03:27 AM »

Officer asks for help:

A) Hue & Cry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hue_and_cry

B)  The 2007 Florida Statutes


Title XLVI
CRIMESChapter 843
OBSTRUCTING JUSTICEView Entire Chapter843.06 Neglect or refusal to aid peace officers.--Whoever, being required in the name of the state by any officer of the Florida Highway Patrol, police officer, beverage enforcement agent, or watchman, neglects or refuses to assist him or her in the execution of his or her office in a criminal case, or in the preservation of the peace, or the apprehending or securing of any person for a breach of the peace, or in case of the rescue or escape of a person arrested upon civil process, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. History.--s. 16, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2585; GS 3505; RGS 5391; CGL 7530; s. 2, ch. 28118, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-433; s. 1039, ch. 71-136; s. 32, ch. 73-334; s. 1338, ch. 97-102.
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2007, 03:43:06 PM »

The classic bit from Chris Rock:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2wOxnAiIVs
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 07:47:54 PM »

On the subject of drugs and guns. I wonder how L.A.P.D. would react to medical marijuana and fire arms found in same vehicle. I can not seem to get a definitive answer from law enforcement or medical marijuana providers. Normally it would be a felony to possess both guns and pot in same vehicle.  There is still a negative stigma when it comes to possession of booth said items and I find myself keeping the two separated just in case. Then theres the problem of other law enforcement agencies i.e. federal law enforcement and how they would react to same scenario.  Funny thing is, If we were discussing more common perscription medication, then it would not even be an issue. It seems that there is still allot of uncharted territory when it comes to medical marijuana laws and how they are enforced.  In the meantime, I would say, Be Carefull and use discretion because, the last thing you want is a room without a view,  complaments of the U.S. Correctional dept...   shocked      DT
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2007, 01:06:36 PM »

Woof Tom, I don't think that the cops are really going to dig finding a control substance and a gun in the same area.
Regardless of weather its "medical marijuna" or not. You still get stoned on it correct?
Are you allowed to drive a car while on med. maryjane? (I hope not)
To my knowledge we don't have med marijuana in Ohio...so Iam just speculating.
                                                           Dog TG
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2007, 02:28:21 PM »

Hey Tom, Good to hear from you, I understand your point completely and it is a valid one although, the affect I get from cannabis really doesn't impair my ability to make responsible decisions per say. Yes I do keep firearms and cannabis in separate areas in an attempt to abide by the law(as grey as it may be), and yes I do refrain from driving while under the influence which you will be glad to here is also against the law. Intoxication from marijuana in my opinion is not going to impair a responsible persons ability to be responsible but, I do agree it can slow ones reflexes which could impair ones driving ability. As far as firearms are concerned, I don't make the connection. A gun is a tool,  just like a hammer or an axe. What puzzles me is,  given the same scenario with lets say, perscription pain medication such as Vicadin,  I'm sure it would not raise as many eye brows as medical cannabis being in close proximity to a firearm.   It seems there is a double standard here. (for lack of a better term) Personally, I would be much more concerned with mixing alcohol and firearms.     IMHO, Alcohol has a greater potential for causing a responsible person to make irresponsible decisions while under the influence. Marijuana carries with it, a social stigma that will no doubt continue for many years to come.  sad    DT
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2007, 03:11:53 PM »

"That is a man who took it upon himself to beat up two police officers," Young said"
                                                                                                                                                                                      If this guy was so concerned about his wife, then why would he put themselves in a life threatening confrontation with the cop's. I don't care what your rights are, that was clearly the wrong decision to make given the situation. If I was a cop and I saw someone beating my partner unconscious and I had already been over powered by the assailant, if I was able I would shoot the fool. Maybe the cops were overstepping their bounds. Thats for a court to decide. Eventhough he got away with it, in my opinion this person is as dumb as DIRT .   grin   DT
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2007, 09:32:51 AM »

A moment on the lighter side of things:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ndc_VHu37PA
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2007, 08:55:12 AM »

IMHO our misguided War on Drugs has many costs-- one of which is a logic of kicking in people's doors on no-knock warrants lest the drugs be flushed.  In a free (hence armed) society, the potential for tragedy and clusterfcuk is obvious.
================

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317398,00.html

MINNEAPOLIS — With her six kids and husband tucked into bed, Yee Moua was watching TV in her living room just after midnight when she heard voices — faint at first, then louder. Then came the sound of a window shattering.
Moua bolted upstairs, where her husband, Vang Khang, grabbed his shotgun from a closet, knelt and fired a warning shot through his doorway as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He let loose with two more blasts. Twenty-two bullets were fired back at him, by the family's count.
Then things suddenly became clear.
"It's the police! Police!" his sons yelled.
Khang, a Hmong immigrant with shaky command of English, set down his gun, raised his hands and was soon on the ground, an officer's boot on his neck.
The gunmen, it turned out, were members of a police SWAT team that had raided the wrong address because of bad information from an informant — a mistake that some critics say happens all too frequently around the country and gets innocent people killed.
"I have six kids, and only one mistake almost took my kids' life," said Moua, 29. "We will never forget this." /**/
No one was hurt in the raid Sunday, conducted by a task force that fights drugs and gangs, though two police officers were hit by the shotgun blasts and narrowly escaped injury because they were wearing bulletproof vests.
Police apologized to the family and placed the seven officers on leave while it investigates what went wrong.
Such mistakes are a fact of police work, some experts said.
"Does going to the wrong address happen from time to time? Yes," said John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association in Doylestown, Pa. "Do you corroborate as best you can the information the informant gives you? Absolutely. But still from time to time mistakes are made."
One of the biggest botched raids in recent years happened in Atlanta in 2006, when police killed a 92-year-old woman in a hail of nearly 40 bullets after she fired a shot at what she thought were intruders. Police had gone to her house on a drug raid, but no drugs were found.
Prosecutors said that in obtaining a search warrant, Atlanta police falsely told a judge that an informant had confirmed drug dealing there. The scandal led to a shake-up in the department, two officers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and civil rights charges, and the city faces at least two lawsuits.
Reliable figures on the frequency of erroneous raids are hard to come by. Federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, said they do not keep track.
A study last year by the libertarian Cato Institute said: "Because of shoddy police work, over-reliance on informants, and other problems, each year hundreds of raids are conducted on the wrong addresses, bringing unnecessary terror and frightening confrontation to people never suspected of a crime."
Gnagey disputed the reliability of the research behind those figures, and said it is impossible to know whether they are too high or too low. He said no dependable estimates exist.
"Going to the wrong home is an extreme rarity," said Mark Robbins, a law enforcement professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. "It's just unfortunate that when it does, it often ends up in violent and even tragic incidents."
In the Minneapolis case, the nature of the tip and precisely what police were looking for were not disclosed; they have not released the search warrant. And it was not clear how far off the mark the informant was in supplying the address.
No charges were brought against Khang, a laid-off machine operator who lives in crime-ridden north Minneapolis. Khang used the shotgun for hunting, said his brother, Dao Khang. In Minnesota, no license is required to own a shotgun.
Khang, who speaks some English but used an interpreter during an interview, said he does not remember hearing any calls of "Police!" until his sons shouted. He said he would never knowingly shoot at officers.
"That's why I reacted the way I did, to protect my family and two sons," said Khang, 34, whose children are ages 3 to 15.
Lt. Amelia Huffman, a police spokeswoman, said the information in the search warrant came from a source who had been reliable in the past.
Huffman said officers who routinely work on drug and gang cases are trained to try to corroborate their information. As for why the process didn't work this time, "that's one of the things the internal investigation will go through in exhaustive detail," she said.
The Hmong are hill people from Laos who aided the CIA during the Vietnam War by fighting the Viet Cong. Hmong refugees began arriving in Minnesota in the late 1970s, and there are perhaps 60,000 Hmong in Minnesota today.
The Khang family is living with relatives until the house gets cleaned up. The raid left six windows broken and walls and ceilings pocked with pellet and bullet holes.
"The whole family is badly shaken and still trying to understand what happened," Moua said.


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Zooligan
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2007, 11:42:23 AM »

Peregirne:

Good point about knowing your rights! 

The problem is that I have never seen a simple statement of what the police can and cannot do.  What are the criteria that must be met before they can they search me?  My car?  My home? 

What should I do if the officer is NOT meeting these criteria so as to protect my rights? And not get hurt/killed?

CWS, can you/would you help us out here?

TIA,
CD

I ran across this recently -- http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/dwb%20bust%20card7_04.pdf

I'm not sure how current the info is, but it seems like a pretty good resource with respect to some of these questions.

DZ
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2007, 11:41:40 PM »

Last updated December 21, 2007 11:23 p.m. PT


Scott Eklund / P-I
Jesse Toro watches his wife, Joelle, speak on his behalf before his sentencing Friday.

No jail for firing back at police

Plea deal brings lesser sentence

By LEVI PULKKINEN
P-I REPORTER

Jesse James Toro II learned in a Seattle courtroom Friday that he will not face jail for his role in a rolling shootout with three undercover police officers.
Toro, 29, was behind the wheel of a Cadillac sedan in June when he got into an argument with three plainclothes members of the Seattle Police Department's vice squad. Stopped at a South Lake Union intersection, one of the officers shot Toro's car, and then the officers chased him north.

Having pulled away from the police -- the officers' civilian-style Ford SUV couldn't keep up with the more muscular Cadillac -- Toro stopped his car on a residential street in the Green Lake neighborhood. When the officers reappeared, Toro drew a pistol and shot out their vehicle's front tires.

Toro pleaded guilty earlier this month to two misdemeanor gun charges as part of a plea deal, a dramatic reduction from the felony assault charge originally levied against him.
"I wanted to go to trial with this, and I thought I could win," Toro told Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas before she handed him a suspended sentence of one year in jail. Toro said he didn't want to risk a felony conviction or a lengthy prison term away from his wife, Joelle, and 8-year-old daughter.

The state's case was complicated by the fact that Toro had no way of knowing that his pursuers were police, said Hugh Barber, the deputy prosecutor who handled the case.
"Fundamentally, this was an incident between a citizen and undercover officers in an undercover vehicle," Barber said. "We had to analyze it as if it was citizen on citizen."

Barber said the charges Toro pleaded guilty to -- unlawful display of a firearm and reckless endangerment -- held him accountable for brandishing a weapon during the initial altercation, which one of the three vice officers claimed Toro did. Toro has denied the allegation.

Key facts of the night remain in question. Officers initially said they fired only one shot at Toro's car, missing it and striking a wall. But a bullet hole found in the side of the Cadillac seemed to disprove that.

Speaking after he received his sentence Friday, Toro said he believes officers fired at him more than once during the initial altercation. He also believes they shot at him while racing after him on the Aurora Bridge.
"There was a point in the chase when I thought they were going to kill me," Toro said. "I had no idea it was the Seattle police."

 Scott Eklund / P-I Jesse Toro is hugged by his stepmother, Theresa, after he received a suspended sentence for a shootout with Seattle police officers.

While he still thinks he was in the right, Toro said the incident has prompted him to make some changes.
He said he doesn't argue with other drivers anymore -- "I just keep my head forward now," he told Darvas -- and he has closed his specialty jewelry business. He traded his jeweler's loupe for a sledgehammer, going to work in construction.
"This has taken a toll on all of us," Joelle Toro said. "It's been a tough situation."

While Darvas abided by the sentencing recommendation agreed to by both attorneys, she did order Toro not to possess a firearm in the next four years.
"The only way that I'm going to have a comfort level in this case ... is that Mr. Toro not be allowed to possess firearms," she said. Toro also was ordered to surrender his concealed-pistol permit.

A Seattle police review board is expected to release its investigation into the case in coming weeks. Calls to the Seattle Police Officers' Guild were not returned Friday.
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2008, 04:08:38 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLYzho6Af_o

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330501,00.html


===============

And here is a real gem:  Man in wheelchair dumped on floor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAGb7_g4Aso
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2008, 08:28:28 AM »

Taser application

http://www.policelink.com/entertainment/videos/3450-suspect-moons-the-cops-and-gets-tased-for-it?referral=pl_nlet
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2008, 05:22:14 PM »

Supreme Court says police may search even if arrest invalid By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
Wed Apr 23, 12:02 PM ET
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080423/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_search

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court affirmed Wednesday that police have the power to conduct searches and seize evidence, even when done during an arrest that turns out to have violated state law.

ADVERTISEMENT
 
The unanimous decision comes in a case from Portsmouth, Va., where city detectives seized crack cocaine from a motorist after arresting him for a traffic ticket offense.

David Lee Moore was pulled over for driving on a suspended license. The violation is a minor crime in Virginia and calls for police to issue a court summons and let the driver go.

Instead, city detectives arrested Moore and prosecutors say that drugs taken from him in a subsequent search can be used against him as evidence.

"We reaffirm against a novel challenge what we have signaled for half a century," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote.

Scalia said that when officers have probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime in their presence, the Fourth Amendment permits them to make an arrest and to search the suspect in order to safeguard evidence and ensure their own safety.

Moore was convicted on a drug charge and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that police should have released Moore and could not lawfully conduct a search.

State law, said the Virginia Supreme Court, restricted officers to issuing a ticket in exchange for a promise to appear later in court. Virginia courts dismissed the indictment against Moore.

Moore argued that the Fourth Amendment permits a search only following a lawful state arrest.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she finds more support for Moore's position in previous court cases than the rest of the court does. But she said she agrees that the arrest and search of Moore was constitutional, even though it violated Virginia law.

The Bush administration and attorneys general from 18 states lined up in support of Virginia prosecutors.

The federal government said Moore's case had the potential to greatly increase the class of unconstitutional arrests, resulting in evidence seized during searches being excluded with increasing frequency.

Looking to state laws to provide the basis for searches would introduce uncertainty into the legal system, the 18 states said in court papers.

___
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2008, 11:04:59 AM »



This case was the subject of a huge and often heated thread on the Warrior Talk forum.  One of the main strands concerned the merits and drawbacks of no-knock search warrants-- which in this case led to the death of 92 year old woman who shot at the men smashing through her door.
======================

Atlanta officer convicted in coverup of shooting
Arthur Tesler didn't fire a shot, but he now faces five years in prison in the death of a 92-year-old woman killed during a botched drug raid.
By Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 21, 2008
ATLANTA -- In a verdict that brought tears to both sides of an Atlanta courtroom Tuesday, a jury convicted a police officer of lying to cover up his role in the fatal shooting of a 92-year-old woman.

Arthur Bruce Tesler, 42, is the only officer to face trial in the death of Kathryn Johnston, felled by a hail of bullets after plainclothes narcotics officers burst into her home in November 2006. He faces as many as five years in prison.

After deliberating more than three days, the state court jury acquitted Tesler of violating his oath of office and of false imprisonment under color of legal process. If convicted of all three charges, he could have faced as many as 20 years in prison.

Unlike two officers who testified against him, he was on duty outside Johnston's house and never fired a shot.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins, a community activist who represents Johnston's family, described the verdict as "bittersweet."

"Juries typically don't convict police officers," he said. ". . . Nothing can bring back Kathryn Johnston, but to the extent that her life can be used to make sure that no more citizens are violated, we think it is a step in the right direction."

Others were more blunt.

"Justice has not been done," said State Rep. "Able" Mabel Thomas. "This officer lied, this officer was part of the coverup. Blood was on his hands."

Johnston's shooting stirred up a whirlwind of protest about aggressive policing in her predominantly African American neighborhood of southwest Atlanta and triggered a federal probe into corruption in the Atlanta Police Department.

Last year, state prosecutors dropped murder, burglary and assault charges against two officers in exchange for their cooperation with a federal investigation into what the U.S. attorney here has described as a "culture of misconduct." Jason R. Smith and Gregg Junnier pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and federal civil rights charges. Junnier faces 10 years behind bars and Smith faces 12, but they have yet to be sentenced. The federal probe continues.

The shooting occurred two days before Thanksgiving, when officers burst through Johnston's front door without knocking after an informant provided false information that drugs were being sold at her house. She fired a single shot from a .38-caliber revolver but did not hit anyone. The officers fired 39 shots, striking Johnston five or six times.

Prosecutors say the officers lied to a magistrate to get the no-knock warrant, claiming that a confidential informant had made a purchase at the address and that the house was fitted with electronic surveillance. Both claims were false.

According to testimony, officers handcuffed Johnston as she lay dying, planted three bags of marijuana in her basement, and asked an informant to pretend that the officers had sent him to her home earlier to purchase drugs.

In his testimony, Tesler, a junior detective who had worked on the narcotics unit for less than a year, admitted that he had lied to help cover up the botched raid. But he said he did not know that Smith had lied to a judge to obtain the no-knock warrant.

In closing statements Thursday, his attorney, William McKenney, argued that Tesler was just a rookie who went along with the coverup because he felt intimidated by his more experienced partners.

Since the shooting, the Atlanta Police Department has tried to address claims that narcotics officers routinely lied to obtain search warrants and planted drugs at crime scenes so they could make arrest quotas. Police Chief Richard J. Pennington disbanded the narcotics unit, then reformulated it and doubled its size. The department also introduced more stringent requirements for how officers can obtain search warrants.

Last year, the Atlanta City Council created a citizen review board to investigate allegations of police misconduct.

On Tuesday, Fulton County Dist. Atty. Paul Howard said he hoped the Tesler verdict would bring "some closure" to Johnston's family. With the three officers involved in the shooting incarcerated, he said, "as a community, we should be pleased."

jenny.jarvie@latimes.com
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« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2008, 11:49:40 AM »

The question arose on the WT forum as to whether a citizen could video interactions with the police without their knowing about it.  Here's the response that made the best sense to me:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The law in California is fairly simple for recording conversations. It is illegal (a misdemeanor) to record (including video recordings accompanied by sound) conversations that are intended by the parties to be private or confidential. See California Penal Code section 632. The test of whether a conversation is intended to be private turns on the reasonable objective (not subjective) expectations of the parties that their conversation would remain private. California courts have generally held that conversations in a public place or in any area where the parties could not have reasonably expected their conversation to be private can be recorded. I don't know if there is any case law on point but I would expect that a police officer who has pulled someone over for a traffic violation was not intending that his conversation was going to remain confidential. After all, many police agencies tape record the stops themselves and the traffic stops almost invariably occur in public spaces. I think you are safe (at least legally) taping the conversation in California.

--------

Contrast the CA law requiring both people to know if a phone conversation is being recorded.
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2008, 06:19:30 AM »

Off-duty Ohio 'supercop' kills robber


By Sarena McRae and Patrick O'Donnell
The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A 35-year veteran Cleveland police officer known by neighbors as Supercop shot and killed a man suspected of robbing a KeyBank on Wednesday afternoon on the city's near West Side.
The officer, James Simone, 60, was off-duty when he happened upon the robbery, chased the suspect and shot him as he attempted to escape.

This image, supplied by the Cleveland Poilice Department, shows a Dec. 12, 2001, mugshot of Robert Hackworth, 35, who was shot and killed Wednesday, July 9 in Cleveland by a 35-year police veteran James Simone, 60, known as "Supercop."
(AP Photo/Cleveland Police)
The 35-year-old suspect, Robert Hackworth, who lived on a nearby street, died at the scene.
"I don't know what the officer saw, what the officer was confronted with," police spokesman Thomas Stacho said. "Certainly, he felt the need to use deadly force. He acted heroically. This was an officer off-duty by himself who confronted a male who had just robbed a bank."
Simone has been involved in at least 10 shootings in his years on the force, has been shot himself and has been injured when his cruiser was hit during a stop.
He has been named patrolman of the year and awarded a medal of valor, in addition to being honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for issuing dozens of citations.
Simone, who is known around the neighborhood, had walked into the bank in a strip mall on Fulton Road at Memphis Avenue about 3:30 p.m. to cash his paycheck when bank staff informed him they had just been robbed.
After seeing a man running from the bank, Simone chased him on foot as he headed south on West 52nd Street.
A woman driving by volunteered to drive Simone as he chased after Hackworth. Steve Loomis, head of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said a dye pack in the $2,000 Hackworth stole had exploded, making it clear he was fleeing a robbery.
According to Stacho, Hackworth ran a few houses up the block when the car with Simone in it pulled up. Stacho said Simone got out of the car, confronted Hackworth and shot him in his side. Hackworth then drove away in a truck he had waiting. Simone stayed in close pursuit.
Mary Jean Zenda was in her driveway just a few doors down from the shooting. She said Simone pulled up in the car and yelled at the fleeing man.
"He said, 'This is an officer, freeze,' " she said. "He shot while the guy was trying to get in his truck."
Hackworth drove the truck south on West 52nd Street and attempted to turn at the Woburn Avenue intersection, but crashed into a telephone pole. Simone, who was following in the car, stopped and removed him from the truck. Hackworth died at the scene.
The suspect had taken the truck from a local car dealership for a test drive and parked it on West 52nd Street before he went into the bank. It was not severely damaged in the crash.
Police have not recovered a weapon from Hackworth nor the truck, Stacho said. Loomis said the suspect did not show a gun in the bank but threatened that he had one.
Stacho said police believe the suspect was acting alone.
After walking through the chase scene with investigators, Simone left with Loomis and declined to comment.
Loomis said Simone was upset about the shooting, but called it justified because Hackworth was reaching inside the truck. Though a gun was not visible, he said, Simone had no idea what he was reaching for.




http://www.policeone.com/police-hero...-kills-robber/
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2008, 06:26:24 PM »

A LEO here in SC told me they get around illegal search of a vehicle by impounding the car and performing an "inventory" on it. Apparently state law allows them to perform this inventory so you can't claim something is missing from the vehicle when you get it back. It seems shocking to me this is allowed, but it's been confirmed by other deputies.

I thought it would be interesting to have an attorney write up a "waiver of liability" form that I could carry in my glove compartment. That way, if I'm ever arrested, I can hand it to the deputy, releasing him and the department harmless from any liability associated with not performing an inventory on the vehicle.

I'll bet that would confuse them! Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2008, 07:36:34 PM »

If your car is a traffic hazard, waiver or not it's getting inventoried/towed. Pre-printed waiver or not, what happens to the car of an arrestee will be determinded by dept. policy. Also search incident to arrest applies.
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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2008, 10:20:48 PM »

If your car is a traffic hazard, waiver or not it's getting inventoried/towed. Pre-printed waiver or not, what happens to the car of an arrestee will be determinded by dept. policy. Also search incident to arrest applies.

I should clarify that the "inventory" includes the trunk space, which as far as I know, is not covered under search incident to arrest. I agree that in all likelihood department policy will determine what happens to the car. However, I also know that you can't write a policy for everything, which is why there is a chain of command. You could ask for the arresting officer's supervisor to be present at the scene and make it clear that you don't want the vehicle inventoried. Granted, they might impound and "inventory" the vehicle anyway, but under what pretext? Would any evidence found be admissible in court?

Tom
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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2008, 11:17:55 PM »

The quick answer is "it depends". The courts have ruled in the past that you have a lesser expectation of privacy for your vehicle than you do for a home. The mobility of a vehicle is a factor. The admissability of evidence seized in an inventory/tow depends on the court's view of the seizure of the car, contrasting "fruit of the poisoned tree" vs. "inevitable discovery".

Just because you demand a supervisor doesn't mean one will respond or honor your wishes.
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« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2008, 11:47:24 PM »

Just because you demand a supervisor doesn't mean one will respond or honor your wishes.

Hi, GM.

Thanks for the comments.

I would suggest that one ask respectfully rather than make demands. Most of these types of encounters (around here anyway) are videotaped, including audio. If you're having a respectful discussion about the disposition of your property pursuant to your arrest, you're savvy enough to understand issues related to search and inventory of the vehicle, and you're offering to indemnify the department with regard to the vehicle's contents, it's probably not a bad idea for the arresting officer to bump it up to his sergeant or lieutenant. Either way, it's evidence for a jury that you asked to see a supervisor, that you specifically asked that the vehicle not be inventoried, and that the "inventory" may not have been necessary from the standpoint of protecting the department from liability. I would think it would be a good idea to secure a search warrant before opening up the truck under such circumstances, or at least get a judges opinion on the matter. Anyway, I respect LEOs and the work they do. I just don't like gimmicks designed to circumvent constitutionally protected rights.

Tom
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« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2008, 08:43:25 AM »

**Below i've cut and pasted from a large, well run Sheriff's Dept. policy on motor vehicle search/seizure.**

10. Motor Vehicle Searches

a) Generally, deputies do not need a warrant to stop and search a vehicle capable of being moved when there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is in the vehicle. This exception is allowed due to exigent circumstances created by the mobility of the vehicle and the diminished expectation of privacy.

 b) When probable cause exists, the following circumstances make a warrant unnecessary:1) The vehicle is moving. 2) The deputy has reason to believe that persons known or unknown may move thevehicle. 3) The vehicle has recently been moved. 4) It is impractical to post a guard while obtaining a warrant. 5) The probability exists that time or elements may destroy evidence. 6) It is an emergency situation in which the vehicle must be searched to save life,prevent injury to others, or prevent serious damage to property.

c) When an occupant of a vehicle has been taken into custody, the deputy may conduct a warrantless search of the passenger compartment where weapons or evidence of a crime may be located. The search may include glove boxes, receptacles, luggage bags, clothing, or other closed containers.

11. Vehicle Inventory Search: a) On July 6, 1976, the Supreme Court expressed four (4) reasons why police may inventory impounded vehicles:

1) To protect the owner’s property while it is in police custody.

 2) To protect the police and the municipal government from claims or disputes overalleged lost or stolen property.

3) To protect the police from the potential danger of thieves entering the vehicles and stealing firearms or drugs left therein.

4) To determine whether a vehicle is stolen and to learn the owner’s identity. b) When impounding any vehicle, a thorough search of the vehicle (to include the trunk) will be conducted. This search will include any and all containers, whether open or closed to inventory the contents. The contents of the vehicle will be listed on the reverse side of the impound sheet and signed by the tow truck driver.

12. Plain View Doctrine:a) When the deputy is lawfully on the premises, the deputy may make a warrantless seizureof property if it is immediately apparent that the property constitutes criminal evidence. b) The item seized must be immediately apparent as contraband or evidence of a crime. If the item must be moved or examined more closely, plain view doctrine does not apply.A search warrant will be required to move/seize the item. c) Except in cases involving exigent circumstances or motor vehicles, a plain view observation of contraband or evidence does not justify a warrantless entry into aconstitutionally protected area to seize the item.
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« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2008, 10:54:14 AM »

Very enlightening, thank you, GM.

Tom
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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2008, 11:00:56 AM »

Some Doubt Mayor's Tie to Drugs
One Theory Has Md. Man an Unwitting Recipient
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 2, 2008; B01



Police are investigating whether a package of marijuana addressed to the wife of a Prince George's County mayor was really intended to be intercepted by a deliveryman as part of a drug smuggling scheme.

A Prince George's Sheriff's Office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers burst into the house of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo on Tuesday evening after they saw Calvo take the package inside. In the course of the raid, they shot and killed his two black Labrador retrievers.

According to law enforcement sources, police believe it is possible that a deliveryman intended to collect the box from Calvo's porch, either before the package was signed for or after the mayor or his wife reported that it wasn't theirs. They asked to remain anonymous because the investigation is ongoing.

Police had been tracking the package, which was addressed to Calvo's wife, since a police dog at a shipping facility in Arizona alerted authorities to the presence of drugs inside. It was delivered to Calvo's house by police posing as deliverymen and left on his porch at the instructions of his mother-in-law. After the raid, police recovered an unopened package containing more than 30 pounds of marijuana, but they made no arrests.
The possibility that no one in Calvo's house was the intended recipient of the package is among several theories police are pursuing.

Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said that police have made some "headway" in the investigation, which continues.

"I don't think they've shut down any angles in their investigation," he said.
Special Agent Edward Marcinko, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Maryland, said it is not unheard of for traffickers to ship a package to a stranger's home.

In February, for instance, Dunn Loring resident Sid Phillips said his 76-year-old neighbor opened a UPS package left on his porch and discovered marijuana packed in vacuum-sealed pouches inside.

Phillips said the neighbor called him for advice, and the two of them reported the discovery to police. Officers swarmed the house and collected the drugs without incident. The package, Phillips said, had been sent from Arizona, just like the box delivered this week to Calvo in Maryland.

"If the same thing happened to this mayor, I would totally sympathize," Phillips said.

Fairfax police spokesman Don Gotthardt confirmed that police seized approximately four pounds of what they suspected was marijuana in the Dunn Loring incident.

In another case this year, a College Park area resident reported receiving a package with drugs inside, one of the sources said.

Residents of Berwyn Heights., meanwhile, have expressed outrage over the raid and the shooting of the two dogs, well known to neighbors who often saw the 37-year old mayor walking the dogs.

Calvo has said that sheriff's deputies shot his 7-year-old dog, Payton, near the front door and then his 4-year-old dog, Chase, as the dog ran into a back room. He has said that he and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and interrogated for hours while surrounded by the carcasses and blood of his pets.

"There is not anybody in the town who is not outraged at how this came down," said Ann Harris Davidson, a Berwyn Heights resident for 22 years.
A rally in support of Calvo and in memory of his dogs has been scheduled for tomorrow evening at a ball field in the town. Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said his eight-person department has been besieged by phone calls from as far away as Louisiana from people who mistakenly believe his officers were involved.

Murphy said he is angry that, instead, his officers were not informed ahead of time of that the county planned a major operation inside the town limits, especially in light of a 2006 incident in which then-Prince George's Police Chief Melvin C. High expressed formal "regret" that Berwyn Heights police were not told of threats made to an abortion clinic.
"I believe there is absolutely no credible reason why notification to my police department should not have been made," Murphy said. He said he is confident his officers could have entered Calvo's house without violence.
Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a spokesman for the Prince George's police department, said officers had a "no-knock" warrant, which allowed them to enter the house without alerting Calvo. Such warrants are issued when police fear they might face armed suspects. He said they notified Murphy immediately after entering the house.

"They were not notified before then due to the integrity of the ongoing investigation and for officer safety purposes," Copeland said.

The dogs were shot by county sheriff's deputies. The Sheriff's Office did not return calls for comment yesterday. A sheriff's spokesman has expressed regret over the death of the dogs but said deputies on the scene felt threatened by the pets.

Ivey said the marijuana seized could have fetched as much as $70,000.
"From my perspective, the key part is figuring out where the drugs came from and who should be held accountable for that," he said.

Staff writer Henri E. Cauvin contributed to this report.
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« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2008, 12:39:55 AM »

Pr. George's Officers Lacked 'No-Knock' Warrant in Raid
Authorities, Who Broke Down Door During Search for Drugs at Home of Berwyn Heights Mayor, Had Said They Obtained Document
By Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 6, 2008; B01



Prince George's County authorities did not have a "no-knock" warrant when they burst into the home of a mayor July 29, shooting and killing his two dogs -- contrary to what police said after the incident.

Judges in Maryland can grant police the right to enter a building and serve a search warrant without knocking if the judge finds there is reasonable suspicion to think evidence might be destroyed or the officers' safety might be endangered in announcing themselves.

A Prince George's police spokesman said last week that a Sheriff's Office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers were operating under such a warrant when they broke down the door of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo, shooting and killing his black Labrador retrievers.

But a review of the warrant indicates that police neither sought nor received permission from Circuit Court Judge Albert W. Northrup to enter without knocking. Northrup found probable cause to suspect that drugs might be in the house and granted police a standard search warrant.
"There's nothing in the four corners of the warrant saying anything about the Calvos being a threat to law enforcement," said Calvo's attorney, Timothy Maloney. "This was a lawless act by law enforcement."

Police spokesman Henry Tippett said yesterday that the statement about the warrant that public affairs officers released Friday was based on information provided by Maj. Mark Magaw, commander of the narcotics enforcement division. A request to interview Magaw was not immediately granted yesterday, and Tippett said he could not explain the discrepancy.
"That was the information that was given to us," he said.

Calvo's home was raided after he brought a package addressed to his wife inside from his front porch. Police had been tracking the package since a dog sniffed the presence of drugs in Arizona. It was delivered to the house by police posing as deliverymen and left on the porch on the instruction of Calvo's mother-in-law.

After the raid, police found the unopened package, containing 32 pounds of marijuana, in the house. According to law enforcement sources, police are investigating whether a deliveryman might have been the intended recipient of the package instead of Calvo or his wife. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is open.
Calvo has said that sheriff's deputies entered without knocking and began shooting immediately, killing 7-year-old Payton first, then shooting 4-year-old Chase as he ran to another room.

Sheriff Michael Jackson (D) has not returned several messages about the case. Sgt. Mario Ellis, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, said last Wednesday that deputies regretted shooting the dogs but that they had felt threatened by them. He has not returned calls since.

The case has highlighted friction between law enforcement agencies. The county police and Sheriff's Office have jurisdiction throughout Prince George's and typically handle major crimes, but they share jurisdiction with smaller police forces in some of the county's 27 towns and cities.

Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy has been highly critical of the county police for not alerting his eight-member department before the raid. He said his officers could have gained entry to the home without incident or informed county police that Calvo was unlikely to be violent.
Greenbelt Police Chief James R. Craze said yesterday that county officers contacted his 54-member department the day of the raid to ask whether his emergency response unit could serve the warrant. County police have said the Sheriff's Office was asked to participate because its team was busy at the time. Craze said it is not unusual for agencies to cooperate in such cases.

"From what I know, their SWAT team wasn't available, and that's why they were out shopping," he said.

He said his department, which conducts a drug raid a month, declined to take part because it is authorized to operate outside city limits only when the raid is conducted by a regional task force led by the Maryland State Police. County police are not part of the task force, Craze said.
Craze said county police do not always alert his officers when operating in Greenbelt. "Obviously, I would prefer that they do," he said.

The warrant issue will probably only heighten anger in the community over the incident. Even when a search warrant has been issued, courts have held that police must generally knock to announce their presence, preserve the privacy of a homeowner and let occupants know they are not experiencing an illegal home invasion.
"It's a traditional constitutional protection, going back forever," said defense attorney Richard A. Finci, who is not involved with the Calvo case.
Police officers are sometimes allowed to search without knocking, even without getting authority in advance, but courts have ruled they can do so only if there are specific circumstances at the time of the search that lead officers to conclude evidence might be destroyed or law enforcement could be endangered, said lawyer William C. Brennan, who is not involved with the case.

Were Calvo or his wife, Trinity Tomsic, to be charged in the case, the issue of the search could come up if prosecutors tried to introduce the box of marijuana as evidence. More likely, experts said, the issue could form the basis of a civil rights lawsuit filed by the family against the county in the incident.

Another issue that could arise in court is whether officers provided Calvo a copy of the warrant at the time of the raid, as required by law. Maloney said they did not, even though a detective signed a sworn statement to the judge indicating that he had. Instead, the detective brought the warrant to Calvo several days later, Maloney said.

Maloney said that Calvo and Tomsic are waiting for an explanation from law enforcement and that it would be premature discuss legal action.
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« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2008, 10:03:32 AM »

Continuing with this story

Pr. George's Police Arrest 2 In Marijuana-Shipping Plot
One Package Went to Mayor's Wife
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 7, 2008; A01



Prince George's County police announced yesterday that they have arrested a deliveryman and another man who they say are involved in a scheme to smuggle marijuana by shipping packages addressed to unsuspecting recipients, including a delivery last week to the wife of the mayor of Berwyn Heights.

The county Sheriff's Office SWAT team and narcotics officers raided the home of Mayor Cheye Calvo and his wife, Trinity Tomsic, after intercepting a package addressed to her that was filled with 32 pounds of marijuana. During the raid, officers broke down Calvo's door and fatally shot the family's two black Labrador retrievers.

Police said the package was one of about a half-dozen retrieved by authorities in the past week along the route of a deliveryman in northern Prince George's. The packages contained a combined 417 pounds of marijuana valued at about $3.6 million.

Police Chief Melvin C. High would not rule out that Calvo and Tomsic had some involvement in the delivery. Asked whether police had cleared them, he said: "From all the indications at the moment, they had an unlikely involvement, but we don't want to draw that definite conclusion at the moment." He later said, "Most likely, they were innocent victims."
Neither he nor Sheriff Michael A. Jackson apologized for the raid, which they said was conducted responsibly, given what deputies and officers knew at the time.

Calvo declined to comment. Timothy Maloney, an attorney for Calvo and Tomsic, said the arrests confirm that Tomsic was a "random victim of identity theft at the hands of major drug traffickers."

"This crime was compounded by law enforcement when it illegally invaded the Calvo home, tied up the mayor and his mother-in-law, and killed the family dogs," he said in an e-mail. "The Calvo family is still waiting for an explanation from law enforcement as to how this could possibly have happened."

Police had been tracking the package since a drug-sniffing dog in Arizona drew attention to it. Calvo has said law enforcement officers burst into his home moments after he picked up the package from his porch and brought it in. It had been left on the porch on the instructions of his mother-in-law by police posing as deliverymen. Calvo has said sheriff's deputies entered without knocking and began shooting immediately.

High said one of the men arrested was an independent contractor who worked as a package deliveryman. The police chief did not release the name of either man.

High and Maj. Mark Magaw, commander of the county's narcotics enforcement division, said the two suspects worked in tandem. The officials said that the deliveryman would drop off the package and that the other man would come by shortly thereafter and retrieve it.
At other times, the officials said, the suspects exchanged packages face to face in parking lots. In two instances, Magaw said, the deliveryman mistakenly took drugs to the wrong address, then went to the houses and asked for the packages.

He said police investigating the case uncovered a separate and parallel scheme to use the package delivery system to send marijuana. They arrested two other men yesterday in connection with that conspiracy and seized about 100 pounds of marijuana.

High and Jackson spent much of a news conference yesterday defending the raid on Calvo's home. They said using a SWAT team was appropriate because guns and violence are often associated with drug rings.
"In some quarters, this has been viewed as a flawed police operation and an attack on the mayor, which it is not," High said. "This was about an address, this was about a name on a package . . . and, in fact, our people did not know that this was the home of the mayor and his family until after the fact."

High said Jackson's team was responsible for determining how "dynamic" an entry was required. Jackson said that the search warrant authorizing the raid was obtained by the police department and that his team was there only because the police's SWAT team was busy on another assignment.

Neither explained why police spokesmen initially said a "no knock" warrant had been authorized, giving law enforcement officers permission from a judge to raid the home without announcing their presence. Magaw said there was no such thing as a no-knock warrant and denied telling public information officers that one exists. Legal experts say a law adopted in 2005 created such a warrant.

Police are allowed to enter without announcing themselves even without the authorization, but only if specific circumstances at the scene lead them to reasonably suspect that evidence might be destroyed or officers' lives endangered.

Jackson said yesterday that his team was justified in entering the home as forcefully as it did because Calvo's mother-in-law screamed when she saw the officers approaching the house. The noise, he said, could have alerted any armed occupants of the home or allowed time for destruction of any evidence.

He also defended the shooting of the dogs. He said his deputies were "engaged" by the dogs, by one as they entered the house and by the other as they made their way through it. Neither dog bit a deputy, he said.

Calvo maintains that his dogs were peaceful.

Maloney said yesterday that it was "demonstrably false" to suggest the dogs were threatening law enforcement, and on the whole called the law enforcement's statement about the raid "defensive" and "outrageous."
Neither agency has asked for the family's version of the raid, he said.
"It is clear that neither agency can conduct an independent review into the law enforcement misconduct that occurred here, nor are they willing to review their policies involving no-knock entry and the killing of innocent family pets," Maloney said.

The family will hold a news conference today to address the issues. Calvo, 37, works part time as the mayor and serves as director of expansion for the SEED Foundation, a national nonprofit group that runs urban public boarding schools. Tomsic is a finance officer for the state.

Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.
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« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2008, 02:51:21 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317398,00.html


MINNEAPOLIS — With her six kids and husband tucked into bed, Yee Moua was watching TV in her living room just after midnight when she heard voices — faint at first, then louder. Then came the sound of a window shattering.

Moua bolted upstairs, where her husband, Vang Khang, grabbed his shotgun from a closet, knelt and fired a warning shot through his doorway as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He let loose with two more blasts. Twenty-two bullets were fired back at him, by the family's count.
Then things suddenly became clear.

"It's the police! Police!" his sons yelled.

Khang, a Hmong immigrant with shaky command of English, set down his gun, raised his hands and was soon on the ground, an officer's boot on his neck.

The gunmen, it turned out, were members of a police SWAT team that had raided the wrong address because of bad information from an informant — a mistake that some critics say happens all too frequently around the country and gets innocent people killed.

"I have six kids, and only one mistake almost took my kids' life," said Moua, 29. "We will never forget this."

No one was hurt in the raid Sunday, conducted by a task force that fights drugs and gangs, though two police officers were hit by the shotgun blasts and narrowly escaped injury because they were wearing bulletproof vests.

Police apologized to the family and placed the seven officers on leave while it investigates what went wrong.

Such mistakes are a fact of police work, some experts said.
"Does going to the wrong address happen from time to time? Yes," said John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers

Association in Doylestown, Pa. "Do you corroborate as best you can the information the informant gives you? Absolutely. But still from time to time mistakes are
made."

--

They gave the MN SWAT guys some medals.

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=5484185


A Minneapolis family is outraged that members of the SWAT team that mistakenly raided their house and fired upon them last December have been awarded medals for their bravery under fire.

According to Heffelfinger, the Laotian family has owned and lived in the house for four years and had no knowledge of the female police informant. "Ironically, the house is located across the street from a police precinct," Heffelfinger said, "so, if [the SWAT team] had simply asked the precinct, they would have learned the family was not gang bangers."

"They were acting in good faith on a warrant that was properly drawn up, based off of what appeared to be good information," Garcia said. "Their bravery under fire should not be negated [because of the misinformation]."

But the Khangs, through their lawyer, beg to differ.

"They were given medals for taking fire in my client's house ... where, by the grace of God, no one was killed that night," Heffelfinger said.
Police claimed to have protected the six children -- ranging in ages from 3 to 15 -- that night, but Heffelfinger says it's "hogwash."

Two of the children jumped up from a mattress on the floor to hide in a corner seconds before the same mattress was littered with bullets fired from the police, he said.

--

Some video. Upper right hand corner.

http://wcco.com/iteam/swat.team.honored.2.783216.html
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2008, 11:41:07 PM »

Fascinating lecture on NOT talking to the police:

Part One - Law professor

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865

Part Two - Police officer

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912&hl=en

Stresses the importance of the Fifth Amendment.
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« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2009, 06:57:18 AM »

1. Supreme Court decision on search incident to arrest in vehicles:

In a 5-to-4 decision, the majority overturned the rule in New York v. Belton, 453 U. S. 454 (1981). Police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to arrest of an occupant or recent occupant only if it is reasonable to believe that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.

The case is Arizona v. Gant, #07-542, 2009 WL 1045962, 2009 U.S. Lexis 3120, viewable at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-542.pdf
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2010, 09:35:54 AM »

http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns


Are Cameras the New Guns?
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Massachusetts attorney June Jensen represented Simon Glik who was arrested for such a recording. She explained, "[T]he statute has been misconstrued by Boston police. You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want." Legal scholar and professor Jonathan Turley agrees, "The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law - requiring all parties to consent to being taped. I have written in the area of surveillance law and can say that this is utter nonsense."

The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

In 2001, when Michael Hyde was arrested for criminally violating the state's electronic surveillance law - aka recording a police encounter - the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld his conviction 4-2. In dissent, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall stated, "Citizens have a particularly important role to play when the official conduct at issue is that of the police. Their role cannot be performed if citizens must fear criminal reprisals…." (Note: In some states it is the audio alone that makes the recording illegal.)

The selection of "shooters" targeted for prosecution do, indeed, suggest a pattern of either reprisal or an attempt to intimidate.

Glik captured a police action on his cellphone to document what he considered to be excessive force. He was not only arrested, his phone was also seized.

On his website Drew wrote, "Myself and three other artists who documented my actions tried for two months to get the police to arrest me for selling art downtown so we could test the Chicago peddlers license law. The police hesitated for two months because they knew it would mean a federal court case. With this felony charge they are trying to avoid this test and ruin me financially and stain my credibility."

Hyde used his recording to file a harassment complaint against the police. After doing so, he was criminally charged.

In short, recordings that are flattering to the police - an officer kissing a baby or rescuing a dog - will almost certainly not result in prosecution even if they are done without all-party consent. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

A recent arrest in Maryland is both typical and disturbing.

On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber III's motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. He is currently facing criminal charges for a video he recorded on his helmet-mounted camera during the traffic stop.

The case is disturbing because:

1) Graber was not arrested immediately. Ten days after the encounter, he posted some of he material to YouTube, and it embarrassed Trooper J. D. Uhler. The trooper, who was in plainclothes and an unmarked car, jumped out waving a gun and screaming. Only later did Uhler identify himself as a police officer. When the YouTube video was discovered the police got a warrant against Graber, searched his parents' house (where he presumably lives), seized equipment, and charged him with a violation of wiretapping law.

2) Baltimore criminal defense attorney Steven D. Silverman said he had never heard of the Maryland wiretap law being used in this manner. In other words, Maryland has joined the expanding trend of criminalizing the act of recording police abuse. Silverman surmises, "It's more [about] ‘contempt of cop' than the violation of the wiretapping law."

3) Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley is defending the pursuit of charges against Graber, denying that it is "some capricious retribution" and citing as justification the particularly egregious nature of Graber's traffic offenses. Oddly, however, the offenses were not so egregious as to cause his arrest before the video appeared.

Almost without exception, police officials have staunchly supported the arresting officers. This argues strongly against the idea that some rogue officers are overreacting or that a few cops have something to hide. "Arrest those who record the police" appears to be official policy, and it's backed by the courts.

Carlos Miller at the Photography Is Not A Crime website offers an explanation: "For the second time in less than a month, a police officer was convicted from evidence obtained from a videotape. The first officer to be convicted was New York City Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who would never have stood trial had it not been for a video posted on Youtube showing him body slamming a bicyclist before charging him with assault on an officer. The second officer to be convicted was Ottawa Hills (Ohio) Police Officer Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist in the back after a traffic stop, permanently paralyzing the 24-year-old man."

When the police act as though cameras were the equivalent of guns pointed at them, there is a sense in which they are correct. Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop.

Happily, even as the practice of arresting "shooters" expands, there are signs of effective backlash. At least one Pennsylvania jurisdiction has reaffirmed the right to video in public places. As part of a settlement with ACLU attorneys who represented an arrested "shooter," the police in Spring City and East Vincent Township adopted a written policy allowing the recording of on-duty policemen.

As journalist Radley Balko declares, "State legislatures should consider passing laws explicitly making it legal to record on-duty law enforcement officials."

Wendy McElroy is the author of several books on anarchism and feminism. She maintains the iconoclastic website ifeminists.net as well as an active blog at wendymcelroy.com.



The author of this post can be contacted at tips@gizmodo.com
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2010, 07:23:23 PM »

I can't imagine the courts ultimately upholding these statutes.
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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2010, 10:14:01 PM »

Precisely so.  What I find remarkable is the shamelessness of the egregious (sp?) bullying.
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« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2010, 10:23:20 PM »

I first pinned on a badge post-Rodney King. We were taught in the academy never to do or say anything you wouldn't want to be seen on CNN. Expect public scrutiny, especially in an age where everyone has cameras integrated into their cell phone.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 09:19:20 AM by G M » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2010, 06:35:09 AM »

"I first pinned on a badge positron King."

Sorry to be slow-witted.  What is your meaning here?
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G M
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« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2010, 09:21:46 AM »

D'oh!

Frakkin' spell check mishap.  shocked
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Dog Howie
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« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2010, 09:45:25 AM »

I can't imagine the courts ultimately upholding these statutes.

Ultimately every area of government needs accountability. Just like citizens need to be held accountable to the laws. There issues are being made more difficult becuase we are dealing with meaningful changes in the availablity and distribution of both media and ideas brought about very recently and to very extreme degrees by advances in technology (specifically recording and production of audio/video and distribution of same). Remember it has been just the past 10 years...maybe 5 that Internet access has just rounded the corner to being widely available in the US. That is a VERY short time. Issues like Privacy and Defamation are just two issues that have been radically affected and the wave that is affecting them has not even ebbed yet. People still believe that what they read is true. One used to have a lot of credability and expertise to get a book published.... now anyone with a word processor can have their ideas available for sale and/or download at Amazon.com.  Digital production allows virtual seemess editing and even the  most sophisticated layman would not be able to ID a  modified audio or video file (if modified well). And those "modifications" can now be accomplished on software systems that used to cost $250,000.00 and now similar features are available for $2500.00,,, And it's getting cheaper.... and better... quickly.

It will get harder and harder to credentialize video and audio evidence because of this alone. The threat to privacy is astounding... for instance did you know that THIS VERY FORUM is scanned by reporting agencies who associate the email address you use in your registration (if you show it publically on this forum) and then they merge that with other databases to get your personal information and associate it with your name and other activities. tHEY THEN ASSOCIATE YOUR FORUM PEN-NAME WITH YOUR ACTUAL NAME AND YOUR ADDRESS AND YOUR CREDIT HISTORY..... i;LL STOP THERE. BTW, when I said THIS forum I meant THIS ONE. And that isn't unusual... they scann all message boards.

we have aLONG way to go.

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G M
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« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2010, 08:30:39 AM »

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/what-i-saw-at-the-lakers-riots/?singlepage=true

I don’t know when this peculiar custom began, but it is one I hope — in vain, surely — to see ended someday.

I refer to the bizarre practice of some sporting fans who, on the occasion of their favored team having achieved some triumph on the court, field, or ice rink, choose to celebrate the event by running amok in the streets, looting businesses, breaking windows, tipping over automobiles, and setting fire to garbage cans, cars, and, occasionally, the unfortunate passerby.
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stilljames
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« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2010, 06:56:46 AM »

First off, let me say that I respect the majority of LEOs.  I have an application in with the Chattanooga PD.  I've helped teach DT to police officers.  I hold a profound respect for what I would call natural law and a certain amount of respect somewhat less than total for societal law.  I will also say that I was commissioned in the USAR a long time ago.  That caveat is so that people understand that I look at things from the POV of a trained leader.

A couple of classic videos about talking to the police and not doing it.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865#

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912#

One thing that I constantly tell people who get upset at LEOs is that LEOs are human beings, too.   That means they do good things and bad things, smart things and foolish things.  And are just as vulnerable to things like peer pressure, mob mentality and the Group Monkey Dance syndrome as the rest of us.

Repeatedly, I see that many events that end in tragic overreactions are contributed to by the officer who should have been in charge failing to act in that manner.  LEOs act in chaotic situations.  The more variables, ie people, in a situation, the more chaotic it is.  A senior officer's job is to stay as calm as possible and try to navigate the chaos and restore order.  On more than one occasion, officers questioned after an exhange of fire, when asked why they were firing at a vehicle, responded with something along the lines of:  Because the man next to me was shooting.

One of the hardest lessons for  NCOs and Officers in the military to learn is that shooting is for privates.  Supervisors should fire only when they must do so.  As a platoon leader, if I am shooting, I control one weapon.  If I am managing, I control 30 of them.  Plus artillery and air support.  When you have 3 or more officers, someone needs to step back and be in charge.

This is also true of civilians on the workplace, etc.   

This is my view of how to protect yourself from unreasonable search and seizure and no-knock warrants, etc.  Someone earlier in the topic  mentioned blending with the sheep.  I mostly agree.  It's called the passive defense.  Or as Guru Crafty has said:  Avoid doing stupid things in stupid places with stupid people.  It protects you from villains.  But it also keeps you from being mistaken for a villain.   It is a very common human tendency, for good reason, to think that, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and hangs around with a bunch of other ducks, it is probably a duck.  It is pattern recognition that aids survival.

The first guideline:  Try not to do anything illegal.  This is actually impossible in our society.  Our patchwork of a legal system with the emphasis on lawyers and hair splitting means that almost anyone can be charged with some sort of crime at any time.  Just try to drive the speed limit in a city.  Even if other drivers do not rear-end you in a fit of road rage, the police notice you.  DEA Officers have admitted, in news interviews, that they view anyone driving the speed limit as suspicious.

Second guideline:  Do not do anything to attract attention more than necessary.  Keep your vehicle reasonably clean.  Keep your registration and tag sticker current.  Keep your city and county stickers current if you need to have them.  Keep headlights, tail lights and break lights in proper working order.  All of those are cheap and easy to fix.  If you can afford to buy a handgun or medical marijuana or a bottle of scotch or DVDs or dinner for 2 at a restaurant, you can afford to have them working properly.

Keep your vehicle interior reasonably clean and neat.  If you have locking boxes, keep them shut and locked.  Have a locking box in your trunk and keep it locked with a sturdy lock.  Don't have empty or opened containers of alcohol in your vehicle even if you have not had a drink in 2 or three days.  Dress neatly.  It doesn't have to be expensively.  Just neatly.  If you have a beard or goattee, keep it trimmed.  Even if you have long hair, keep it maintained.  Talk respectfully.  Look respectfully.  Smile.

If stopped by an officer, be calm and polite.  Remember that the officer is probably at least a little scared of you.  If you can calm the officer down, it can only help you.  Pop hazard lights, pull over as soon as it is safe, kill the ignition and leave your hands on the wheel.    If it is at night, turn on the overhead light.  Do not fumble for license, registration or anything else.  Do not even roll down the window if it is up.  Wait for instructions from the officer.      Smile. 

Politely refuse the search if asked.  Don't be confrontational.  If pulled over incorrectly, don't attempt to hold court on the side of the road.  Hold court in the courthouse. 

Personal story  I was pulled over by an LEO for running a red light.  I thought this was improbable because I had been behind the officer at the traffic signal and had not had to drive around or through him.  I told the officer this.  He said, not politely, that I had indeed run the red light.  I immediately smiled and said, thank you.  I took the citation.  I showed up in court.  There was no officer.  I spoke with the judge.  I discovered that the officer had suffered a heart attack later that evening.  In all likely hood, the officer was in pre-cardiac arrest, was not thinking clearly, and genuinely believed I had run the traffic light.  So, when  you are pulled over, remember that you may not be cuffed, but detaining you is an arrest.  Act like it.  And you don't know if the officer is sick with the flu, suffering heat stroke or otherwise impaired.

If an officer attempts comedian of the year award with you or starts harassing  you, swallow your pride, take the verbal and psychological hits with a smile and let your lawyer hit him back later, in court. And remember that verbal judo works both ways.  If the officer attacks you, well, you'll have to make the decision on how to act for yourself.  I'm not going to make it for you because I probably won't be there. 

As far as your residence goes, follow similar guidelines.  A generally neat and weill maintained house or apartment.  Have good windows and doors with sturdy locks.  The heavy duty, insulated doors and windows that lower heating bills can also stop criminals.  And, should the police show up at the wrong address to serve a no-knock warrant at 3am, the delay in gaining entry because of security doors and windows, buys you time to wake up and analyze the situation.

If you have firearms, have a secure storage device.  Gun safes are not THAT expensive.  If the police decide they want to seize your firearms during an arrest, all you have to do is invoke your right to remain silent and to have legal counsel and wait.  They might get your ready shotgun and handgun.  But the rest of the collection is behind a 15 minute determined entry attack lock.  Hopefully, by the time the police get the equipment needed and can break into the safe, your lawyer will have been notified by someone and can check to see if they've followed procedure.

The best line of defense we have is our brain that helps us make wise choices. 

Without advocating illegal activities, look at it this way.  Smoking marijuana, drinking beer, etc, is a choice.  Doing either of those things while driving is also a choice.  A stupid and unsafe choice.  Honestly, eating fast food while driving is stupid and dangerous.  So is talking on our phones, swapping CDs, browsing through the iPod, etc.   

As an aside, I remember a lady I met complaining that bicycles frustrated her when she was driving.  They took up her lane and slowed her down.  She just wanted to run them over.  With a smile, I asked her, "Is your time so valuable that 10 minutes of it is worth killing someone over?"  As soon as I put it to her like that, she backpedaled.

The point of that digression:  Are we that strapped for time that we can't hold off on the phone call from Mom for 2 minutes.  That we can't  wait a bit before eating so we can stop and just eat?  If you are the sort of person who can't wait 10 or 15 minutes to get home to have a drink of beer or smoke marijuana, then you do not need to be doing those things at all.   If our time for any of those things is THAT short, we probably need to re-evaluate how we are spending our time and what our priorities are.

As Terry Pratchett wrote in a novel:  Rules are meant to make your think before you break them.

The important part is that we do think. 

When we deal with police officers, do we really want to die because we got caught up in the barking ego dance?

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stilljames
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2010, 07:35:45 AM »

A personal example of not thinking that almost got me into trouble last night because I failed to blend in.

I suddenly remembered that it was a friend's birthday.  I'd been at the gym and was tired.  I went home and grabbed the first set of clothes off the pile I had taken from the drier before going to the gym.  I grabbed my easiet set of shoes to put on.  I grabbed his birthday present and drove to his home.  All reasonable, right?

Let's give the outside details a bit more.  I showed up at a trailer park in rural Tennessee and got out of a plain brown SUV wearing black BDU pants, a plain back t-shirt and black Bates zipper-sized combat boots with a 5.11 ball cap in my hand.  The cap was a present for my friend who had seen one and said he'd like one.  In about two seconds, I realized what I had done.   There were about 2 dozen residents staring at me.  two-thirds of them were obviously getting ready to either run or attack.

Many of these people had met me before.  but always in jeans and running shoes.   but I'd failed to think about what I looked like and where I was going.  and showed up on a weekend when a bunch of my friend's neighbors were drunk or stoned or both.  It gets even worse because I have a medical condition that means I cannot drink at all.  So when someone comes over to find out who I was and offer me a drink, I had to turn it down.   A dozen or so knives clipped to belts all over.  People nervous.  A recipe for trouble. 

So, I took off my shirt, gave my friend his hat, had some cake and got the hell out as soon as I could without inspiring them to chase me. 

An example of how simple, innocent decisions get us in to trouble.  In a hurry, I failed to think about what I was doing and almost got into a scrap with people that I've met before and know are pretty much only a danger to themselves, aside from the occasional rough and tumble fistfight                                                                 
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