- CA9: Excessive search of car 20 years ago was relevant to show officer “would have taken any means necessary to secure” plaintiff’s wrongful conviction
- WaPo: In horrifying detail, women accuse U.S. customs officers of invasive body searches
- CA5: Microsoft’s checking photos uploaded to cloud for CP is a private search
- S.D.Cal.: Cell phone was validly searched under border search exception; obtaining passcode was likely unlawful, but government isn’t going to use it
- SC: Refusal to sign a second consent form wasn’t withdrawal of the first consent
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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: Excessive force
Legal Insurrection: “ACLU Effect” — Profs find reduction in Chicago Stop and Frisk led to hundreds of additional killings
Legal Insurrection: “ACLU Effect” — Profs find reduction in Chicago Stop and Frisk led to hundreds of additional killings by William A. Jacobson:
CA9: Pro se ptf’s allegation that the officers “beat the crap out of” him was not too vague and conclusory to support an excessive force claim
“[T]he allegation that the officers ‘beat the crap out of’ plaintiff was [not] too vague and conclusory to support a legally cognizable claim. The panel held that plaintiff’s use of a colloquial, shorthand phrase made plain that he was alleging … Continue reading
D.Utah: Shooting of def in court attempting to stab witness on stand with a pen was reasonable use of force
The CSO shooting plaintiff’s decedent in the courtroom was reasonable under all the circumstances as a matter of law, shooting him four times in quick succession after he came over the rail around the witness box. Decedent grabbed defense counsel’s … Continue reading
CA9: Officer putting gun to head of handcuffed compliant suspect and threatening to kill him was excessive force, but QI applied
“Examining the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the non-moving party on summary judgment, the panel assumed that the police officer did indeed point his gun at plaintiff’s head and threatened to kill him. The panel held that … Continue reading
“Although the factors [on CI reliability] go both ways, on balance they support the CI’s reliability. Most significantly, the deputies corroborated the CI’s story with their own investigation by conducting surveillance and executing a controlled buy.” United States v. Haynes, … Continue reading
HuffPo: Tennessee Sheriff Said ‘I Love This Shit’ After Ordering Deputies To Shoot Suspect: Video by Hayley Miller Sheriff Oddie Shoupe told officers that he would rather they use deadly force than risk damaging patrol cars, according to bodycam footage.
Plaintiff’s takedown by the officer was reasonable under the circumstances and not excessive, even if she was otherwise compliant. “Even assuming that Horn was totally compliant with Officer Barron, he was allowed to use some force in effecting her arrest. … Continue reading
WaPo: A police officer fatally shot a man while responding to an emergency call now called a ‘swatting’ prank
WaPo: A police officer fatally shot a man while responding to an emergency call now called a ‘swatting’ prank by Eli Rosenberg and Herman Wong
NYLJ: Admissibility of Expert Testimony on Police Use of Force by Martin A. Schwartz:
CA10: Officer’s firing gun at car fleeing after traffic stop wasn’t seizure; driver’s “momentary pause is not submission”
“Oriana Lee Farrell and her five children claim that Defendant Elias Montoya, while on duty as a New Mexico state police officer, violated their Fourth Amendment rights when he fired three shots at their minivan as it drove away from … Continue reading
Officers had an arrest warrant for plaintiff and a reasonable belief he’d be at home at 11 pm in February when it would be presumed one would be home. He’d listed that place as his address during a prior arrest, … Continue reading
Rare.us: Horrific new bodycam footage shows what happens when a police K9 gets out of an officer’s control
Rare.us: Horrific new bodycam footage shows what happens when a police K9 gets out of an officer’s control by Patrick McMahon: