The court of appeals thinks that the officer having the driver close the windows and turn on the heater for a dog sniff is a search, but the state supreme court disagrees, and the court is bound by it. Also, the wait for the sniff was only 5-7 minutes and that didn’t unreasonably prolong the stop. People v. Thomas, 2014 IL App (3d) 120676, 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 750 (October 27, 2014).*
Defendant was stopped for jaywalking. Because he was in a high crime area with a recent shooting, defendant was asked about whether he was armed and he admitted it. A frisk was thus reasonable. State v. Moorer, 2014-Ohio-4776, 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 4641 (10th Dist. October 28, 2014).*
Police received information of a drug deal going down on a McDonald’s parking lot between two identified cars. The officer was able to walk right up to them and observe defendant doing heroin. The order to put his hands on the dashboard was a stop, but it was all with reasonable suspicion. State v. Rudnitskyy, 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1490 (October 29, 2014).*
The search of defendant’s prosthetic leg was reasonable as a search incident. Heroin was found. The officers did not have to take the leg first to the courthouse to x-ray it. United States v. Thomas, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152531 (E.D. Mich. October 28, 2014).
Asking defendant about the marijuana the officer could smell was not a seizure requiring reasonable suspicion. To the extent it might be a seizure, it was with reasonable suspicion. United States v. Garcia, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152029 (D. Mont. October 27, 2014).
Plaintiff’s civil rights action fails. PC was not needed for the search of his house because it was a parole search. Kelly v. Hocking, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20608 (7th Cir. October 28, 2014).*
The Guardian: FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance by Ed Pilkington:
Agency requests rule change but civil liberties groups say ‘extremely invasive’ technique amounts to unconstitutional power grab
The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement that would grant it significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.
Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the fourth amendment of the US constitution, as well as violating first amendment privacy rights. They have protested that the FBI is seeking to transform its cyber capabilities with minimal public debate and with no congressional oversight.
Slate: Search Party by Nathan Freed Wessler:
A 30-year-old loophole increasingly gives police officers a pass when they violate the Fourth Amendment.
It used to be that when police violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights through an unconstitutional search, evidence derived from the search would be thrown out.
Increasingly, that’s not the case.
NYTimes: Crime Dips in New York as Misdemeanor Arrests Rise, Report Says by J. David Goodmanoct:
Two decades ago, New Yorkers were more likely to be arrested in the middle of Manhattan for a misdemeanor than in any other neighborhood. Then, as crime fell, minor arrests in the heart of the city went down too.
A threatened suicide is an exigent circumstance for an entry, following other circuits. Rice v. Reliastar Life Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20581 (5th Cir. October 27, 2014):
The Rice Plaintiffs argue that the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement does not apply in this case. They point out that Arnold entered Rice’s home before Rice ever fired his gun, and so, at the time Arnold entered, no exigencies excused his warrantless entry. The Rice Plaintiffs also argue that Arnold violated departmental regulations in entering Rice’s home and that Arnold and the other deputies should have established a perimeter and waited for a special response team before engaging with Rice.
This is not the first time we have encountered a tragic factual scenario like the one present here: a police officer, in an attempt to aid a potentially suicidal individual, entered without a warrant and killed the person the officer was trying to help. Continue reading
CBP x-rayed bags of passengers flying between St. John’s and St. Thomas VI during Carnival between 7 am and 5 pm. A gun was found in defendant’s carry-on bag. It was not a flight involving Customs, as flights from and to the U.S. mainland are. The purpose of the x-raying was to indict firearms coming to Carnival. The search was unreasonable and violated the Fourth Amendment. Like the intermediate border checkpoint rejected by SCOTUS in Torres, this search cannot be justified merely by crime control. The CBP officers had to know, or at least should have known, that the search was illegal, and suppression is the proper remedy. United States v. Rivera, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151950 (D. V.I. October 23, 2014):
A suspicionless supervised release search condition was not properly justified by the district court, and it’s reversed. United States v. Hinds, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20651 (7th Cir. October 27, 2014):
The search and seizure condition, special condition five, can be disposed of quickly. At oral argument, the government conceded that this invasive condition is no different from the one struck down in Farmer. See 755 F.3d at 854 (vacating a search condition that required “no suspicion, reasonable or otherwise,” to justify a search). The government also conceded the special condition deserved to be vacated and remanded.
Atlantic: California Can’t Police Its Own Cops Stealing Nude Photos of Women by Conor Friedersdorf:
Local authorities are investigating a highway-patrol scandal, but their perverse incentives mean federal authorities need to step in.
The story the court documents tell is alarming.
After an automobile crash, a young woman suspected of drunk driving was getting checked out for injuries. A California Highway Patrol officer, five-year veteran Sean Harrington, had her cell phone. He found a photo of her in a bikini. So he allegedly sent the image to his own phone, and then, though already guilty of criminal conduct, he forwarded the image to another California Highway Patrol officer. “Taken from the phone of my 10-15x while she’s in X-rays,” he texted. “Enjoy buddy!!!”
WaPo: Lanier addresses concerns over police stops; says new way needed to fight drugs by Peter Hermann:
Addressing complaints that officers unfairly detain people, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Monday she understands that traffic stops and other routine interactions can become “pressure points” causing rifts between residents and law enforcement.
NYTimes: Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S. by Ron Nixon:
WASHINGTON — In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.
The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.
Defendant entered a county courthouse and emptied his pockets for the metal detector. He left an aspirin bottle in the tray which the officer shook. He concluded it contained something other than aspirin. Defendant wasn’t detained but the bottle was. Cocaine was found and he was later arrested. The search of the aspirin bottle was reasonable as an area entry search to be sure nothing noxious or a weapon was coming in. This courthouse had three chemical weapons scares in the past, and there was a sign warning of searches of belongings. Commonwealth v. Gillespie, 2014 PA Super 245, 2014 Pa. Super. LEXIS 3941 (October 27, 2014).
The district court denied the motion to suppress before trial, and a motion for new trial on the same grounds is denied for the same reason. United States v. Myers, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151714 (S.D. Miss. October 27, 2014).*
A resident on a cul-de-sac called the police because a car that seemingly didn’t belong was driving around a few times. The police were called and stopped the car. Defendant was arrested for DUI. The stop lacked an objective basis because there was nothing to show that the occupant of the vehicle did anything wrong. It was late, and it was suspicious, but there wasn’t any fact that supported that criminal activity was afoot. State v. Willis, M2014-00252-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. October 27, 2014).*
Defendant and his wife had separated, and she needed information off a computer hard drive for tax purposes. She found apparent child pornography and told her divorce lawyer who took possession then called the police. The police search didn’t exceed the private search except with a search warrant. United States v. Kaszynski, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151687 (M.D. Fla. September 25, 2014).*
Defendant fled rather than talk to the police, and he discarded a gun in flight. That was abandonment. He was not seized he fled. United States v. Suttles, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151733 (E.D. Tenn. September 16, 2014).*