The Atlantic: Why Police Don’t Need Warrants to Snoop With Drones

The Atlantic: Why Police Don’t Need Warrants to Snoop With Drones by Conor Friedersdorf:

A 1989 Supreme Court case gave police free rein for aerial surveillance, but California lawmakers want to limit how drones can be used.

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WaPo: Morning links: Police and SWAT lobby fires up in Washington

WaPo: Morning links: Police and SWAT lobby fires up in Washington by Radley Balko:

● Police lobbying groups are ramping up their presence in Washington in a fight to keep their military gear.
● Denver police are also now moving to body cameras.

● Federal prosecutions in police shootings are rare.
● The Tacoma City Council can’t seem to remember voting to authorize police to use Stingray surveillance.

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MA: Reasonableness of GPS monitoring for sex offense probation not adequately developed so undecided

“This court concluded that the imposition of global positioning system (GPS) monitoring as a condition of probation imposed on a defendant convicted of a qualifying offense under G. L. c. 265, § 47, did not violate the defendant’s constitutional right to due process, where a rational basis existed to support the Legislature’s determination that GPS monitoring must be imposed as a condition of probation even for those sex offenders convicted of noncontact offenses, however, this court did not reach the question whether imposition of GPS monitoring in such a situation violated the defendant’s constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, where the record was too sparse to permit an adequate assessment of the claim.” [summary by the court] Commonwealth v. Guzman, 2014 Mass. LEXIS 704 (August 25, 2014)*:
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ID: Any objective basis for stop controls despite subjective intent

The objective basis for the stop controls, no matter what the officer’s subjective intent. The state constitutional argument is deemed abandoned for not properly arguing it. State v. Spies, 2014 Ida. App. LEXIS 89 (August 22, 2014):
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Cal: Indicia warrant was proper

The search warrant seeking personal property on the premises that would identify defendant as having control over the property was not overbroad. It was necessary for the prosecution to establish defendant’s connection to the property. People v. Bryant, 2014 Cal. LEXIS 6110 (August 25, 2014):
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Posted in Overbreadth, Particularity | Comments Off

Reuters: California Senate approves measure banning warrantless drone surveillance

Reuters: California Senate approves measure banning warrantless drone surveillance:

The California State Senate passed legislation on Tuesday imposing strict regulations on how law enforcement and other government agencies can use drones, a move supporters said will protect privacy and prevent warrantless surveillance.

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NYTimes: How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops

NYTimes: How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops by Erwin Chemerinsky:
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CA9: “brutal and physically invasive” warrantless rectal search in jail should have been suppressed

In a “brutal and physically invasive” warrantless rectal search in jail, the motion to suppress should have been granted. He was handcuffed, Tased, and surrounded by five officers, and exigent circumstances were lacking. United States v. Fowlkes, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16387 (9th Cir. August 25, 2014):
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Posted in Emergency / exigency, Excessive force, Special needs, Strip search | Comments Off

S.D.Fla.: Where subject of SW is cash, it was reasonable here to conclude it was in defendant’s home

In a white collar case involving receipts of large sums of cash, it was reasonable for the USMJ to conclude on the totality that evidence, like cash, would be found in defendant’s home. United States v. Martinez, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118760 (S.D. Fla. August 26, 2014). [Note the parallel to cases saying that where one's home is a base of operations for drugs, it's reasonable to infer drugs and cash will be found in the home.]

No exigent circumstances exception was shown for a warrantless BAC in this case. The state argues that the compelled test is mandated in every DUI case because of the implied consent statute, but that’s contrary to McNeely. State v. Fierro, 2014 SD 62, 2014 S.D. LEXIS 95 (August 20, 2014).

Defendant was the subject of a CI’s report, which was corroborated by surveillance for two weeks. When he was stopped, the car smelled of marijuana. The frisk of the person was justified. United States v. Watson, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117486 (E.D. N.C. August 22, 2014).*

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Posted in Drug testing, Probable cause, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off

D.D.C. USDJ reverses USMJ on refusal to grant particular email warrant

The government successfully appeals one of USMJ Facciola’s orders denying an email search warrant. In the Matter of the Search of Information Associated with [Redacted] That Is Stored at Premises Controlled by Apple, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117040 (D. D.C. August 7, 2014):

The government challenges an order by Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola denying its second application for a search warrant under § 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-12. The magistrate judge denied the government’s application on the ground that the requested warrant amounted to an unconstitutional general warrant due, in large part, to the procedures set forth in the application for executing the requested warrant. Following the magistrate judge’s denial of the search warrant application and the government’s subsequent challenge to that decision, the Electronic Frontier Foundation moved for leave to file an amicus brief. Because the government’s application complies with the Fourth Amendment and the specific procedures for executing the warrant are permissible under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 and controlling case law, the magistrate judge’s order will be vacated, and the government’s application for a search warrant will be granted.

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TX14: Frisk doesn’t have to stop just because knife was found; officer can keep looking

The officer had reasonable suspicion defendant was involved in an assault and was armed. In the frisk a knife was found. The officer was not obligated to stop with that, and he could continue the frisk. Pills were found, but they weren’t immediately apparent to be contraband, but it was apparent they were pills. Clark v. State, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9317 (Tex. App. – Houston (14th Dist.) August 14, 2014).*

Defendants’ stop for potentially being involved in an armed robbery was with reasonable suspicion. They were heading in the direction the robbers would be going and generally matched the description. A leaf raker saw the car, too, and reported its direction. Nobody else was around. “Just minutes had elapsed since the robbery when the suspects, who mostly matched the description, were encountered just an eighth of a mile from the crime scene, heading in the expected direction. There were, moreover, no other persons afoot in the area. Taken in the ensemble, these facts were sufficient to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that the appellant and his companion were the robbers.” United States v. Arthur, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16240 (1st Cir. August 22, 2014).*

Defendant was stopped with reasonable suspicion, and the record supports the trial court’s findings of consent to the BAC test. State v. Miller, 2014-Ohio-3605, 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 3543 (10th Dist. August 21, 2014).*

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Posted in Consent, Reasonable suspicion, Stop and frisk | Comments Off

OH6: Reaching only for glove compartment not a “furtive gesture”

Only reaching toward the glove compartment is not a “furtive gesture.” The police secured defendant in the back of a police car and later searched the glove compartment, and it was not a lawful protective frisk of the car under Long. Defense counsel’s failure to move to suppress was thus prejudicial because it likely would have been granted. City of Toledo v. Powell, 2014-Ohio-3627, 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 3569 (6th Dist. August 22, 2014):
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Posted in Protective sweep, Stop and frisk | Comments Off

IL: Going to back door for knock and talk violated curtilage

The ability to conduct a knock and talk does not sanction police officers to go to all doors of the house to wait and see what happens. Here, officers going to the back door violated the curtilage. The alleged plain view in the backyard violated the Fourth Amendment. People v. Kofron, 2014 IL App (5th) 130335, 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 603 (August 20, 2014).

On the totality of circumstances, the questions to the defendant were nonconfrontational and did not amount to a seizure. Finally, defendant consented to a frisk. State v. Wabinga, 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1115 (August 20, 2014).*

Defendant was a known drug dealer, and a state’s CI reported a drug deal, although it was his day off from being a CI. Officers also saw the hand-to-hand transaction which was consistent with a drug deal. That was probable cause, and the suppression order is reversed. State v. Lucas, 2014 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 815 (August 21, 2014).*

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Posted in Consent, Curtilage, Probable cause | Comments Off

AZ: Visitor’s purse can be searched under SW for premises

“[A] warrant authorizing the search of a home also authorizes police to search a purse found there but belonging to a person not named in the warrant.” State v. Gilstrap, 2014 Ariz. LEXIS 142 (August 20, 2014):
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Posted in Overbreadth, Warrant execution | Comments Off

FL2: Holding on to DL usually turns consensual stop into a nonconsensual

During a voluntary stop, holding onto a person’s DL can make it nonconsensual. Here, the officer was holding defendant’s DL when he asked for consent. Under Horne v. State, 113 So. 3d 158 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) and other authorities, that means it was mere acquiescence and not voluntary. Lane v. State, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 12983 (Fla. 2d DCA August 22, 2014).

Under Plymouth Sedan, the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule applies to civil forfeiture proceedings.
Garcia-Mendoza v. 2003 Chevy Tahoe, 2014 Minn. LEXIS 407 (August 20, 2014).

Officers had reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop based on a CI who gave information to get out of jail and set defendant up. State v. Pope, 2014 S.C. App. LEXIS 212 (August 20, 2014).*

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Posted in Consent, Exclusionary rule, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off

Baltimore Sun: More police departments considering the use of drones

Baltimore Sun: More police departments considering the use of drones by Jessica Anderson:

Uncertainty about regulations and privacy concerns keep many from adopting technology.
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MN: No inventory permitted when defendant not being physically arrested

Because defendant was not being arrested for a minor drug offense, it wasn’t proper then to impound her car for an inventory. State v. Rohde, 2014 Minn. LEXIS 406 (August 20, 2014).

The 52 page affidavit for the search warrant in this case showed probable cause, and defense counsel was not ineffective for not challenging it. United States v. Halbert, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116049 (E.D. Wash. August 19, 2014).*

Defendant’s specific Fourth Amendment claim is a “moving target” because it keeps changing. Nevertheless, there was reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop. United States v. Doss, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116404 (M.D. Pa. August 21, 2014).*

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Posted in Inventory, Probable cause | Comments Off