Plaintiffs are California Sexual Violent Predators who sued their keepers with a Fourth Amendment claim that alleged that defendants' policies, practices and customs subjected plaintiffs to unreasonable searches, searches as a form of punishment, degrading public strip searches, improper seizures of personal belongings, and the use of unreasonable force and physical restraints. But there was no allegation of a specific policy implemented by defendants or a specific event or events instigated by defendants that led to these purportedly unconstitutional searches, so the district court properly granted judgment for defendants. Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2012).*
A juvenile hanging around in the backyard of an abandoned house was reasonable suspicion of a trespass. As the officers approached, he abandoned a handgun. State in Interest of P.L., 81 So. 3d 983 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2012).*
Las Vegas ATF received information from The Gun Store [the one that advertizes it has a machine gun range on taxicabs] that defendant had bought a bunch of assault rifles with cash on a Sunday, and that the store tried to call ATF about the purchase as a “suspicious transaction” on Sunday but couldn’t raise anybody. They gave their surveillance video and paperwork on defendant. A couple of days later, they had a call that defendant was inquiring at another store about buying a 50 caliber Special Forces-type sniper rifle for $10,000 in cash. The purchase didn’t happen, but defendant was on the phone with somebody while looking at the gun, a fact indicative of a straw purchase. Then he showed at another store which called ATF about a suspicious transaction in the offing, and they stalled him until ATF arrived, and defendant was stopped in the parking lot. Defendant was detained on suspicion of being a straw purchaser to ship guns to Mexican drug cartels. He consented to a search of his car. That a reasonable explanation might exist does not negate reasonable suspicion. United States v. Carranza, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100951 (D. Nev. August 5, 2011),* motion granted on remand from district judge United States v. Carranza, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151259 (D. Nev. October 28, 2011) (no reasonable suspicion for a stop under Nevada law and presence in a high crime area alone not reasonable suspicion). Posted originally here.
Defendant approached a closed gate of Wright Patterson Air Force Base and started to make a U-turn when he was stopped by air base security officers. After the stop, they learned he was driving on a suspended license (for which he was cited and released). Nevertheless, the motion to suppress is granted. United States v. Adams, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4048 (S.D. Ohio January 12, 2012)*:
Although this Court fully understands Sedon's sincere testimony regarding his duty as a law enforcement officer to keep WPAFB safe, there was no testimony elicited at the suppression hearing to indicate Sedon believed the vehicle being driven by Adams was being operated in an unsafe manner. Sedon never testified that he witnessed the vehicle swerve or otherwise move erratically, impede traffic in any way, or that he believed the driver may be having a medical emergency, falling asleep, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In fact, Sedon very clearly testified that he did not witness any traffic violations committed by Adams before initiating the traffic stop.
In addition, while it is understandable that a heightened level of security may exist around a military base, the vehicle's movements, as well as the actions of its occupants, did not provide a reasonable basis for Sedon to believe Adams or his passenger were, or were about to be, engaged in any sort of criminal activity. For example, Sedon did not testify the vehicle attempted to evade him, was previously witnessed in the area, or had otherwise appeared to be taking photographs of the base or involved in some type of surveillance. Sedon also did not testify that any intelligence or other reason existed to believe the type of vehicle, or the occupants therein, posed a specific security threat or concern to WPAFB. In addition, when the vehicle pulled up to Gate 1A, which closed at 6 p.m., none of the occupants emerged from the vehicle, nor did the vehicle stay there for any longer than would have been necessary to switch gears and complete a u-turn. Likewise, because the gate was closed and no guards were present, it is clear that Adams did not make the u-turn in front of the gate as a way to avoid the need to identify himself to, or otherwise have contact with, law enforcement personnel.
NPR: Drones: Coming Soon to a Sky Near You? On the Media:
The Federal Aviation Administration is preparing to announce new regulations for small camera-equipped drones, versions of which you can already buy at your local mall. Lots of people are eager to hear the FAA's decision, from energy execs and environmentalists to police and protesters. Brooke talks to Matt Waite, founder of U. Nebraska's Drone Journalism Lab, about some of the 'cool' and 'creepy' ramifications of drone technology. Also, check out this blog post for some cool examples of journalistic drones in action.
I'm on a Tea Party list serv that had drones and posse comitatus as its weekly outrage that selling police military style drones violated the law. They chose to put their head in the sand about raw capitalism making drones available to anybody. See posts here, here, and here about drones.
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
"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
—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
—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!”
—Pepé Le Pew
"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
"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."
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)