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Join the conversation! There are now 15 comments on “Police vs Privacy pg 96
  1. Kirk Schobert says

    Her Honor is a bit flirty with the drawn poses ;-)

  2. Anonymous says

    The judge seems to be dismissing both the question of pursuit and the question of privacy regarding unrelated crimes. Maybe there’s more to come and I’m just jumping the gun though… :)

    Obviously the police can take reasonable actions that might violate general privacy while in hot pursuit, but does that give them the authority to look for completely unrelated crimes in areas that would otherwise be protected? Couldn’t that be abused to justify many unrelated searches?

    For example, suppose a criminal flees a crime scene and drives through a neighborhood. Do the police then have the right to seize all the cell phones in that neighborhood in case they had a camera photo of the car, the suspect, etc.?

    Or to provide a more real context: in the recent DC situation of Oct. 3, 2013, could the police have legally seized all of the cell phones of anyone in the area that day since the devices /might/ contain evidence or details of the suspect? In this case, of course, there would be little need but my question is whether they legally could have made the seizure.

    And if they did, could they dredge the devices for evidence of unrelated crimes? I imagine that in DC there could be quite a few juicy tidbits that would surface in such a dragnet.

    • I don’t think it’s broad enough to entail the police gathering any possible evidence of a crime, but only to enable them to pursue an individual (or individuals) for the purpose of making an arrest (not for the purpose of gathering evidence to use in the court case against them). In the case of yesterday’s issue, if the woman had fled her car and run into an office building then the police would have the right to search through that building until they found her, and any evidence of any crime they found while looking for her would be fairly gathered.

      The issue, I think, isn’t one of whether the police can gather evidence of a crime but to catch the actual suspect, but I’m not a lawyer.

  3. Anonymous says

    WTF? Is the judge masturbating?

  4. Y. Exeter says

    Just wanted to come back to this over a news story that recently came to light: Back in 2012, police from Aurora, CO stopped/detained ~30 people at an intersection for 2.5 hours while chasing down an armed bank robbery suspect. They eventually did manage to find the suspect among the group via tracking device and, according to the chief of police, only the suspect’s car was searched.

    Now, two years later, 14 of them are now filing a lawsuit against the Aurora police because they claim their 4th Amendment rights were violated.

    Judging by the facts of the case and the “Emergency Exception” outlined above and on the last page, a stop like this would be well within the rights of the police, assuming they had definitive knowledge or proof that the suspect would be at that intersection, and the lawsuit will fail. Would that be an accurate read of the situation?

    • The exception detailed is about following people into houses. To extrapolate from that to the cops being able to detain everyone in the area in the name of catching someone would seem extremely tenuous.

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