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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Category Archives: Stop and frisk
NJ: Officer had RS def was armed; refusal of patdown justified exigent strip search at station house
The officer had reasonable suspicion that defendant was armed, and he attempted to perform a frisk, which defendant refused. This led to a warrantless strip search which was justified by the Fourth Amendment exigency exception and by state statute and … Continue reading
The facts supporting reasonable suspicion to stop defendant were enough for probable cause, and add to that the fact defendant slowed down and tossed a baggie of marijuana from the car. Mention in a search warrant of a Nevada drug … Continue reading
Chicago Sun-Times: Trump wants Chicago cops to have more stop-and-frisk power; bad idea, says Rahm by Lynn Sweet, Frank Main, Fran Spielman:
N.D.Ill.: Shots fired 911 call and citizen report led to car; protective sweep of back seat was permissible
Chicago police officers received a man on the street report (treated as anonymous but reliable) that shots were just fired from a particular vehicle. There were also 911 calls about the shots. The vehicle was shortly seen, and that was … Continue reading
NYLJ: NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Litigation Plaintiffs Say Confidentiality Order Would Erode Transparency by Andrew Denney: Plaintiffs in the stop-and-frisk litigation against the New York City Police Department said that a federal monitor’s proposed confidentiality order would hide key data, such as … Continue reading
Police received a 911 call 1:21 am about a potential prowler, but the caller didn’t look because she was afraid to. She also didn’t ask the police to come by. The officer was dispatched, and he did a drive by … Continue reading
ACLU Blog: Stop-and-Frisk Settlement in Milwaukee Lawsuit Is a Wakeup Call for Police Nationwide by Nusrat Choudhury: In a banner day for police reform, the city of Milwaukee has entered into a settlement agreement to end practices amounting to a … Continue reading
The odor of marijuana coming from defendant’s hotel room was reasonable suspicion for his later stop and frisk in the hallway. “Appellant’s brief could also be read to assert that the police lacked reasonable suspicion to patrol the motel hallway. … Continue reading
Today, Sunday, June 10th, is the 50th Anniversary of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals opinion is also noteworthy, drawing on common law and whatever recent authority there was, considering the court of … Continue reading
Philly.com: The solution to stopping stop-and-frisk problems in Philly: Abolish it | Opinion
The search of defendant after a patdown which included something “squishy” in her bra was unreasonable because it could not be a search for weapons. State v. Broom, 2018 ND 135, 2018 N.D. LEXIS 143 (June 5, 2018):
Washington City Paper: Civil Rights and Activist Groups Sue Bowser Over Stop-and-Frisk Data Collection
Washington City Paper: Civil Rights and Activist Groups Sue Bowser Over Stop-and-Frisk Data Collection by Matt Cohen: ACLU-DC, Black Lives Matter D.C., and the Stop Police Terror Project D.C. want the mayor and MPD to comply with the two-year-old law.