CA7: Not following state and local laws on strip searches doesn’t make one unreasonable

“Shaw raises three responses, but they are unavailing. First, he contends that the officers did not follow Wisconsin and local laws that instruct officers to obtain written authorization from a supervisor before a strip search. But a violation of state law or local policy is not itself a constitutional violation. See Virginia v. Moore, 553 U.S. 164, 176, 128 S. Ct. 1598, 170 L. Ed. 2d 559 (2008). Second, Shaw argues that the search was improper because it was based on statements from his passenger that were false. But the constitutionality of the officers’ actions ‘does not depend on the witness turning out to have been right.’ Gramenos v. Jewel Cos., 797 F.2d 432, 439 (7th Cir. 1986). As long as reliance on the witness was reasonable, as it was here, it does not matter if the witness was wrong. See Askew v. City of Chicago, 440 F.3d 894, 895 (7th Cir. 2006). Third, Shaw contends that, after the visual strip search revealed no drugs, a body-cavity search was unnecessarily intrusive. But the police had a warrant for the body-cavity search, and that warrant was based on reliable grounds to suspect that Shaw hid drugs in his body after a visual search did not reveal them. Thus, the body-cavity search, which occurred in a private, secure setting, was reasonable in order to preserve potential evidence of a crime and protect public safety. See Campbell, 499 F.3d at 716-18.” Shaw v. Gordon, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 8264 (7th Cir. Apr. 5, 2024).

Defendant doesn’t dispute that there was reasonable suspicion for the stop. The question was whether there was reasonable suspicion for a frisk, and there was. United States v. Womack, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 8234 (4th Cir. Apr. 5, 2024).*

Defendant asserts that an unsigned warrant was executed. At best the record only shows that defendant’s copy was unsigned. People v. Smith, 2024 Mich. App. LEXIS 2625 (Apr. 4, 2024).*

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