4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism

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4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism Empty 4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism

Post  renodraws on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:13 am

As we all should know, the 4th Amendment protects our right to be free of unreasonable search and sezuires.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
As we know the consitution does not stand on it's own. Supreme Court Decisions shape how our consitution is interpreted which is the reason that the SC is so important but often given a back seat in Civic Class or in news stories.

The Exclusionary rule is an important partner for the 4th Amendment because it states that if evidence was obtained by an unwaranted and/or unreasonsable is must not be permitted to be part of a criminal trial. It's reasoning is if the police know that they will not be able to use evidence obtained illegally they will not do things to illegally obtain evidence.

One of the most recent SC decisions on the fourth amendment is Hudson vs Michigan. The case was about whether the evidence obtained by a illegal knock and announce raid (the original prosecutor admitted that rules had been violated) should be excluded. The knock and announce raid is when the police knock, shout "police" and kick down the door. I looked at the rule via Michigan's Legislature site and it seems to me that the police can only breakdown a door when they have been "refused admittance". When does the refusal occur? Does it happen only when someone shout from the house "You will never take me alive coppers" or someone not answering the door in 3 to 5 seconds. Three to five seconds are all that the police force, in this case, was required to give according to the police policy.

The defendant wanted the SC to order a new trial with all of the evidence gained from a search that was executed contrary to the states rules on serving warrants excluded from his prosecution because that evidence was gained while breaking rules regarding searches. The State had admitted that it broke rules in the search.

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion for the majority that stated that evidence shall not be excluded simply because the police force did not follow its own rules on how to do these search warrants. He stated that the knock and announce rule is in place to (1) protect officers from startled homeowners, (2) protect private property from damage, (3) protect privacy and dignity of citizens. And NOT to shield stuff from the government's eyes. I agree with all this, but how is this rule enforced if there is no penalty? The evidence being thrown out is the best deterent to police violating their own rules.
Also, if the time is too short between the knock and entry all of the things that announcing is meant to protect goes right out the window. (1) If you are asleep, you never hear POLICE. So you feel you have the right to defend your home, also in Dekalb Co., there were some robbers who dressed up like SWAT to enter a house. (2) Not waiting until someone answers means that door must be breached or destroyed. (3) The dignity was discussed in Oral Argument about people being in states of undress. I know it takes me more than 3 seconds to answer the door if I don't have pants on.

Scalia says that all of the previous exculusion, and the whole exculsionary rule was not as needed as it once was because of a new breed of "police proffesionalism" made it not as important because the police department took action on officers which violated citizens rights and a civil case could be brought. Does anyone believe that police do not often protect their own from criminal prosecution?

My Fav writer, Radley Balko, stated in one of his articles for Cato, that in all his research that, "I’ve never — not once — seen a police officer convicted of even a misdemeanor for shooting an innocent civilian in a botched raid. Very few are even subject to internal discipline." LINK

Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, said he concurred but would reverse if it could be shown that police routinely disregard the knock announce rules. That is hopeful. The disstenters stated that the removal of the possiblity of the case being thrown out would encourage other deparments to rountinly flout the rule. Also, civil cases against the police are well sheilded against Torts unless an officer was extremely reckless.

Is the knock and announce rule an appropriate rule for dealing with drug crimes?
Put aside for a second that the drug war is screwed up. If we must arrest people that have the major evidence of their crimes in their homes and it could be destroyed in some manner (flush or fire), what is the best way to arrest the person and search the house for the evidence? It has often been put forth that the suspect could be arrested outside of the house (like getting out of their car to go in), and then the house could be searched with no evidence been possibly destroyed.

Is knocking and yelling police at 4 o'clock in the morning any different than just kicking down the door?
Most people involved in the police raiding in the middle of the night state that they never heard "Police". Maybe this is because they were asleep until the door comes crashing down.

And what is this about Police Profesionalism. It seems to be lacking more and more in our police departments as officers kick down doors of the wrong house, Taser people who don't deserve it, and use information from liars trying to get out of trouble to kick down the door of an old lady, shoot her, and let her die while you plant drugs in her house. This is the Katherine Johnston case in Atlanta that caused the entire narcotics squad to be fired or reassigned. Or shooting an man that is on the ground and you are standing over because he moved . Or police shooting family dogs when the police came on to property for reasons other than serving warrants. Or cops dropping tickets for sexual favors LINK. Officer stealing a laptop from a woman's car Link. Or Officers buying steriods while on duty LINK.

Please post links to other stories of police misconduct.

These decision is ongoing to a trend for the police to kick more doors down and frighten citizens with the amazing power and force that it holds over them through a "war" based not on definable obtainable goals but an impossible idelogical goal of wiping out drugs.

renodraws

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4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism Empty Re: 4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism

Post  OG PooPiN on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:38 am

Of course you wouldn't make it to the door within 3 seconds. With my pants on, fully awake, and sitting on the couch closest to the door it would take me that long- probably earning me a door getting kicked into my face as I checked to see what was outside....

With as many mistakes as they make as to which door they're supposed to be kicking in, there are too many easier, smarter, and SAFER ways to go about raiding houses or serving warrants in any way. I used to not blame the POLICE themselves so much, but they have too much power, period. It should be MANDATED that all police actions be recorded, audio and video, at all times. With PUNISHMENTS for anyone off camera at any time. While this obviously isn't going to happen, the knowledge that anyone could review what happened would cut down on A LOT of the problems we find in police brutality and stupidity.

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4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism Empty A Postive Story

Post  renodraws on Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:35 pm

The following is a positive story for everyone but the people involved in it.

In Austin, TX, a police officer has been dismissed because he REFUSED to Taser an old man who was not resisiting arrest. He said that would be an escalation of force and it was his consitutional duty to use the leasts amount of force necessary. After his refusal, he was transfered to the night shift and was assesed by a department psychologist. He then was deemed a unfit cop because of his high moral beliefs were too strong to serve. I want our police officers to have high morals. This means that they are able to stick to their guns over things that they think are wrong.

The only reason that the police department should be able to fire somone over religion is if the officer defers to his religious beliefs to overrule the department's rules. In this case, he followed them by not commiting an act of violence against a citizen that the police wanted to detain.

LINK TO ORIGINAL STORY

renodraws

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4th Amendment and New Police Profesionalism Empty Another Good Cop

Post  renodraws on Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:35 pm

Original Story

A Seattle area police department has an officer who is fighting back against being fired.
He held a view that drug prohibition was a waste of taxpayer's money because he saw how the deparment arrested addicts and let traffickers slip through. He was a member of LEAP(Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and thought that marijuana should be decrimilized. He also made his opinions open, but
He claims that he came under fire by his department's drug task force. And an incident occured where a woman called to say her ex husband had a plant in his house. The officer stopped by and just warned him, didn't arrest him. This is against department policy, but officals said that normally an officer would just be reprimanded, not fired.

renodraws

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Post  OG PooPiN on Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:11 am

thank god....sometimes you're reminded that there are SOME cops that are logical people. BUT, of course, that's against the rules and everything they signed up for. I can't stand the idea that they SHOULD taze people. They quite obviously OVER USE this method- we could never use this as a PUNISHMENT because it causes extreme pain and paralyzes people and would be considered cruel and unusual- so how could they use this as a way to make people lay down and stay still. I've seen too many videos where they're tazing WOMEN and YOUNG KIDS.....that's retarded.... and most of all it's SAD that a grown man TRAINED to restrain people has to use this when someone like ME who has little to NO training in restraining someone wouldn't even have to do that....This shit makes me SICK!

OG PooPiN
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