Search and Seizures

San Francisco Police Will Record Video During Searches

Thanks in part to a grant, 50 plainclothes officers will be hitting the streets with video cameras attached to their chests, at a $1,000 per instrument. Police Chief Greg Suhr claims that the implementation of this new method of conducting searches and serving warrants will eliminate any ambiguity or argument when it comes to whether someone has given permission for a search. Additionally, this use of technology is also meant to keep individual citizens from claiming that they were treated in an unfair or unlawful manner.  Shur insists that it is the police who will be in the spotlight, but will this really...

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Oakland’s Operation Ceasefire Draws Criticism

Mayor Jean Quan has determined to take a different approach to the rising problem of violent crime in Oakland, one that has garnered a great deal of criticism and is simply unconstitutional.  Operation Ceasefire is a simple plan: officers trick suspected gang members into meeting with them in order to offer them certain social services, and then threaten them with arrests if they do not straighten out. One of the key issues with this particular method is that it has led to at least 15 secret arrests.  In other words, Oakland governmental officials and law enforcement agents have continually refused to...

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UC San Diego Student Wins $4.1 Million Suit Against DEA

When we see news items concerning the Drug Enforcement Administration, there’s usually a positive spin.  For example, though Californians have been embroiled in a bout with the federal government for some time over the legitimacy of medical marijuana, and its legality (SB 420 & Prop 215) the DEA continues to make busts in the state – without respecting voters’ wishes.  Now, however, Californians can chalk at least one more thing up in the negative column when it comes to this particular federal agency. And it involves a 23-year-old man named Daniel Chong. In April of 2012, the DEA conducted a drug raid...

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Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights in Los Angeles County

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one that many people are familiar with – it is the portion of what is known as the “Bill of Rights” that prohibits searches and seizures that are not reasonable.  It also requires probable cause for the issuance of warrants.  Part of the Fourth Amendment (the portion on unreasonable seizures) includes arrests.  An individual cannot, for example, be placed in custody in the back of a law enforcement vehicle for minor violations or infractions. Yet, this is exactly the type of thing that has become routine in some desert cities on the...

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