Ars Technica: New law permits North Dakota cop drones to fire beanbag rounds from the sky

Ars Technica: New law permits North Dakota cop drones to fire beanbag rounds from the sky by Cyrus Farivar:

To pass new warrant requirement, lawmaker compromised to allow less-than-lethals.

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NYTimes: After a Killing, Body Cameras Are Expanded in San Antonio

NYTimes: After a Killing, Body Cameras Are Expanded in San Antonio by Manny Fernandez:

One day after a bystander’s cellphone video was released that appeared to show sheriff’s deputies fatally shooting a Hispanic man who had his hands raised in surrender, officials here voted Tuesday to finance additional body cameras for deputies in the field, as federal authorities said they had opened an investigation into whether the man’s civil rights had been violated.

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WA: PC for intoxication is what must be shown, not particularly drug or alcohol

In a felony DUI case under, probable cause to suspect drug intoxication did not have to be identified separately from probable cause to suspect alcohol intoxication, and the affidavit for the warrant was sufficient. The warrant had sufficient particularity to authorize blood testing. The warrant was supported by probable cause to believe that defendant’s blood contained evidence of DUI, and it authorized not merely the drawing and storing of a blood sample, but also the toxicology tests performed to detect the presence of drugs or alcohol. The search did not exceed the bounds of the warrant when a sample of defendant’s blood was extracted and tested for intoxicants. State v. Martines, 2015 Wash. LEXIS 896 (August 27, 2015).

Even though defendant signed a consent form, the court finds the consent involuntary. “The undersigned finds that, while this is a close question, Defendant’s consent was not voluntary based on the totality of circumstances, and grants Defendant’s motion to suppress the physical evidence seized from the apartment residence.” The government did not meet its burden. United States v. Hernandez, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114979 (W.D.N.C. July 28, 2015).*

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AJC: Officer, homeowner shot when DeKalb police respond to wrong house

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Officer, homeowner shot when DeKalb police respond to wrong house by Ben Gray and Alexis Stevens. They entered solely because of an unlocked, not open, door:

A DeKalb County police officer was critically injured, a homeowner injured and dog killed in a shooting Monday night.

Three officers were responding to a report of suspicious person, but instead went to the wrong home in the 1500 block of Boulderwoods Drive, near Bouldercrest Road, Cedric Alexander, director of public safety, said late Monday. Officers weren’t given a street address, but went to a home matching the description given by a 911 caller, Alexander said.

When officers got to the rear of the house, they found an unlocked screen and unlocked door and believed an intruder was inside, according to police. Officers announced their presence, but it wasn’t known how it escalated to gunfire.

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CA9: Court ordered DNA collection permissible solely to exclude persons from an investigation

A Phoenix officer was shot and killed on duty. “More than 300 public safety personnel, the chief of police, and the mayor quickly converged on the scene. Roughly 100 people entered the area where Sergeant Drenth’s body was discovered, including the three plaintiffs, who were assigned to canine search teams.” Male DNA was found at the scene. All but five voluntarily contributed DNA to exclude them. The five weren’t suspects, but they needed to be excluded. They steadfastly refused to provide DNA, so the PPD applied for a court order to get it. After it was obtained they sued for nominal damages, a declaratory judgment, and to have it destroyed. A court order, a warrant, to obtain evidence does not require that the person from whom it is obtained be a suspect in a crime. DNA can be collected by court order to exclude people from an investigation. Bill v. Wheeler, 13-15844 (9th Cir. August 31, 2015):
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The Hill: Supreme Court pressed to rule on police access to cellphone data

The Hill: Supreme Court pressed to rule on police access to cellphone data by Lydia Wheeler:
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Dallas News: [Texas] Invasive body cavity searches will now require a warrant

Dallas News: Invasive body cavity searches will now require a warrant by Brandi Grissom:
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ND: Officer who had no authority to move things in car conducted a search, so it wasn’t a valid plain view

The officer only had permission to move defendant’s vehicle. Inside, he moved around something to get a better look at a bag and searched it. The motion to suppress should have been granted because this was not a valid plain view. State v. Zacher, 2015 ND 208, 2015 N.D. LEXIS 233 (August 25, 2015).

Officers observed what could only have been a hand-to-hand drug deal with the defendant acting as lookout. That gave them probable cause to stop and arrest and conduct a search incident. State v. Haynes, 2015-Ohio-3432, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 3336 (1st Dist. August 26, 2015).*

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CA5: Ptfs’ failure to show lack of PC doomed § 1983 case

There was no effort on the part of plaintiffs to show that their arrest was without probable cause. They submitted city recall petitions, but some of the names were friends and relatives of the persons being recalled. The recallees hired a private investigator to interview signers, and found that most of those interviewed said either that they didn’t sign it or that they were lied to about the purpose of the recall. Warrants for arrest were obtained for the recallers, but the county grand jury “no true billed” the charges. They didn’t attempt to undermine the probable cause in their § 1983 case, and there was thus qualified immunity. “On appeal, Plaintiffs do not present a coherent theory of liability, making it difficult to evaluate their claims.” Only the Fourth Amendment claim considered on appeal. Navarro v. City of San Juan, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15299 (5th Cir. August 27, 2015).

Consent to search a bag on a train was voluntary. “No one factor is dispositive, and this Court will not reach a conclusion about the nature of Cheun’s encounter with Agent Small by simply counting factors. See Thompson, 546 F.3d at 1226. Nonetheless, the totality of circumstances points to a consensual encounter. Agent Small asked Cheun to consent to a bag search three times during the encounter and received an affirmative response to each request. The record indicates Agent Small did nothing that would lead a reasonable person to believe he was not free to terminate the encounter.” Three times during the encounter, defendant was able to shut the door of his sleeper car. United States v. Maddaleni, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184649 (D.N.M. October 3, 2014).*

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Journal Sentinel: Report shows deep racial disparity in arrests in Madison

Journal Sentinel: Report shows deep racial disparity in arrests in Madison:

A black person in Madison is over 10 times more likely than a white person to be arrested, according to an analysis published Sunday by the Wisconsin State Journal.

The newspaper reviewed two years of Madison Police Department arrest data and found police arrested whites at a rate of 2.6 arrests per 100 white residents annually, compared to arresting African-Americans at a rate of 27.6 arrests per 100 residents. Hispanics also were more likely than whites to be arrested.

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NPR: Why Utah Is The Only State Trying To Track And Limit SWAT-Style Tactics

NPR: Why Utah Is The Only State Trying To Track And Limit SWAT-Style Tactics by Martin Kaste:

The phrase police militarization conjures up an image of cops wrapped in Kevlar, barging into homes with semi-automatic weapons. But familiar as that image is, we don’t know how common it is. There are simply no good statistics on police tactical operations in America. The federal government doesn’t keep track, and neither do the states — with one exception: Utah.

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OH9: A challenge to evidence under the rules of evidence is brought by a motion in limine, not a motion to suppress

A challenge to evidence under the rules of evidence is brought by a motion in limine, not a motion to suppress. That’s for constitutional grounds. State v. Johnson, 2015-Ohio-3449, 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 3327 (9th Dist. August 26, 2015).

One defendant’s cell phone was subjected to a warrantless search and there was no objection at trial to the incriminating text messages. Riley was decided after conviction, and there is no plain error viewing the case from the perspective of harmless error. There was plenty of other evidence of guilt of the conversations besides the text messages. Without some error, it can’t be plain error. [No mention of good faith in reliance on older law.] United States v. Blackman, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15280 (6th Cir. August 27, 2015).*

The government’s motion to reconsider the granting of the motion to suppress is a rehash of its prior argument already rejected. United States v. Silva-Rentas, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114823 (D.P.R. August 27, 2015).*

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D.N.M.: Gov’t fails to show consent for search of person; body recording doesn’t back it up

Defendant did not consent to a search of her person on a stop on a train. Defendant’s alleged “okay” on the body recording made by the officer and shown on the government’s transcript is an incoherent mumble, and not clear and positive proof. [And the court notes the officer was 17-5 going into this one.] United States v. Amezcua-Aguirre, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114935 (D.N.M. July 24, 2015) (citing Treatise § 12.5):
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MD: Dragnet search of 21 apts looking for a shooter was unreasonable

For an exigent entry into a dwelling, probable cause is required. Here, police intended to search every apartment in two buildings looking for a shooter, and there was no probable cause as to any particular unit. They searched 21 apartments before the shooter was found. Plain view doesn’t work for the state here because the entries were invalid, so the view wasn’t “plain.” Peters v. State, 2015 Md. App. LEXIS 108 (August 26, 2015):
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TX1: Cell phone was properly seized incident to arrest because def was attempting to leave the place of detention

Defendant was stopped after coming out of a bathroom when a 13 year old boy told his mother that a man in the bathroom flashed something shiny at him under the stall wall. When the officer confronted him, he was fidgety and wouldn’t keep his hands out of his pockets. The officer seized defendant’s cell phone and got consent* to look through it. Because the officer had probable cause that something was awry and he was attempting to leave, the seizure of the phone was reasonable. Child porn was found on the phone. [*Consent is admitted in the defense brief on appeal. Otherwise, the opinion looks like it was an invalid search incident. The appellate court didn’t do a good job of explaining for a published decision.] Meiburg v. State, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 9066 (Tex. App. – Houston (1st Dist.) August 27, 2015).

Defendant was a known burglar with a distinct MO, and his car was seen in town after a rash of burglaries while one officer was at the scene of one of them. His stop was with reasonable suspicion. After he got out of the car, two pieces of paper fell from his waistband, and he tried to kick them under the car. That was an act of abandonment. State v. Edwards, 2015 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 693 (August 27, 2015).

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OR: It’s the state’s burden to argue any exceptions to the warrant requirement

It’s the state’s burden to argue any exceptions to the warrant requirement. State v. Maciel-Figueroa, 273 Ore. App. 298, 2015 Ore. App. LEXIS 1027 (August 26, 2015) (under submission 2½ years).

Defendant was unconscious at the hospital, but there were no exigent circumstances justifying taking his blood without a search warrant. State v. Ruiz, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8961 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi – Edinburg August 27, 2015).

A factual dispute on whether the officer knew that there was an order of protection against the plaintiff precluded summary judgment for the officer for unnecessarily handcuffing him. al-Lamadani v. Lang, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15235 (6th Cir. August 26, 2015).*

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N.D.Cal.: Some wiretap records are unsealed on request from press

The press sought unsealing of wiretapping related materials, and the parties are asked for their positions. The court orders partial release. United States v. Chow, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114802 (N.D.Cal. August 28, 2015):
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