Monday, April 14, 2014

Oregon Appeal Court: Frisk that Found Pistol Unconstitutional

When I was being trained as a peace officer, the subject of searching or "frisking" citizens was addressed several times.   Some of the training seemed to be  more about how to finesse the legal boundaries than the necessity of respecting citizens' rights.   I vividly remember one instructor saying: "I have never heard of a judge throwing out a case where a weapon was actually found."

The pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way. From AP at
The judges ordered that the officers' discovery of the loaded pistol carried by Diego Rodriguez-Perez be suppressed as evidence and sent the case back to trial court.
 This reinforces the Supreme Court decision in Florida v. J.L. (2000) 529 U.S. 266:
Finally, the Court dismissed the state’s argument for a blanket “firearm exception” to the Terry reasonable suspicion requirement. Under such an exception, an undetailed and uncorroborated “tip alleging an illegal gun would justify a stop and frisk even if the accusation would fail standard pre-search reliability testing.” (Id. at 272.) The Court reasoned that this would allow wrongdoers to engage in harassment of other individuals by falsely asserting that they were carrying firearms. (Ibid.) Moreover, there is no logical way to limit any such public policy exception merely to tips involving firearms; any exception would quickly be expanded to drug-related tips and beyond to any tip reporting dangerous or threatening criminal behavior. (Id. at 272-73.)
 While this is a Oregon Appeals Court, it none the less signals a movement back toward some limits on government and police power.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Rodriguez-Perez were white, I doubt that this mess would have ever made it to court.
I'm just waiting for someone to claim that "It's part of our culture to carry illegal concealed weapons".