Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

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Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Drumheller769 » Tue May 17, 2011 4:09 pm UTC

So if the police come around and mistake your place for a criminal's hideout, you better not have a loud movie on.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 6878.story

(If someone has a better title go ahead and change it)
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

Doesn't that fall under the "probable cause" criterion? I mean, it's idiotic that the laws are related to marijuana, but given that it's illegal, is this really news?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

This means that even if the "cause" turns out to be bullshit, they can still use evidence acquired.

So, much like a cop only needs to drop something near your feet and claim it was yours or say after the fact that you were "moving furtively" to have an excuse to search your person, they can now claim they "thought they heard something" to lawfully search your house.

"Oh, what did you think you heard, officer?" "Eh, turned out to be nothing. Just like the other 20 times. But look at all this stuff we found."

But, I mean, to be fair to the cops, respecting peoples' constitutional rights is haaaard. Some potheads might get away and that makes them feel inconsequential and sad. Like their whole career of pursuing meaningless crimes with arbitrary force and absurd consequences was all for nothing. Really pulls the heartstrings.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby broken_escalator » Tue May 17, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

I'm waiting for the inevitable audio/videotape put online of this. Stories about police officers always get much more exciting when they discover they've been recorded, and then proceed to charge the person with anything and everything they can.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

Because like the police are so fond of saying, if you have nothing to hide...

Wait.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
This means that even if the "cause" turns out to be bullshit, they can still use evidence acquired.


Oh. That's bad. But wait, if there is evidence there doesn't that mean the cause wasn't bad? That they were correct in their interpretation?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm UTC

Uhh. No. That would render probable cause meaningless.

Who says it's evidence even related to what they thought they heard? Who says they don't "think they heard" something at every house on the block over a one-month period? (And who wants to guess which neighborhoods that would happen in. Hint: it wouldn't be the one with the guarded gates and the themed street-names)

Why don't we just search everyone's bodies, cars, and houses whenever we feel like it, then declare retroactive probable cause when we find stuff?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby podbaydoor » Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm UTC

Oftentimes the "cause" is totally unrelated to whatever they found.

Though, unlike some, I'm aware that cops do sometimes do things other than persecute the innocent potheads.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Uhh. No. That would render probable cause meaningless.

Who says it's evidence even related to what they thought they heard?

If it's not related then they didn't have probably cause (assuming that their reasons were poor for breaking into the house or car or whatever).

Who says they don't "think they heard" something at every house on the block over a one-month period?

Well obviously this is a problem but I don't think it's a particularly new or suddenly newsworthy problem.

podbaydoor wrote:Oftentimes the "cause" is totally unrelated to whatever they found.


But if they found evidence unrelated to what they thought they were looking for, then assuming that their explanation of probably cause isn't that good, didn't they not have probable cause?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

No. Once they're legally searching your house, anything they find, even if it's unrelated, can be used against you. They don't have to announce their suspicions and then throw out anything that pertains to different crimes.

Therefore, anything that lets them make up a flimsy excuse to get in the door is a bad thing.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby broken_escalator » Tue May 17, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

I'm just going to casually insert this into the conversation. Probable cause is like magnets, how does it work?

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:No. Once they're legally searching your house, anything they find, even if it's unrelated, can be used against you


Oh. That's bad.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Angua » Tue May 17, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

Isn't there a law about using illegally obtained evidence, no matter how relevant in court? poisoned fruit or something (I've seen it on tv shows...)

If so, then it shows we already have a system in place that is supposed to stop this sort of thing, and that policemen making up a cause will hopefully be stopped?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 5:06 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Isn't there a law about using illegally obtained evidence, no matter how relevant in court?


Err, yes, but what they're doing is making evidence obtained in these kinds of entry "legally obtained".
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Angua » Tue May 17, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Angua wrote:Isn't there a law about using illegally obtained evidence, no matter how relevant in court?


Err, yes, but what they're doing is making evidence obtained in these kinds of entry "legally obtained".
Yeah - I was just hoping that this would mean that there is at least room to argue that this shouldn't be allowed, and hopefully it could be argued in court that it wasn't legally obtained or soemthing.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby stevey_frac » Tue May 17, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

In Canada, it's illegal for a Cop to search your trunk without probably cause.

However, I heard a retired police sargent say to my face, that he would search vehicle, and find the reason afterward. He also said that, 'I thought I smelled pot' was a valid reason. I was incredibly furious. Almost threw him out of my house.

Basically, cops aren't shinning beacons of humanity, making the world a safer place. They're government sponspored bullies with the right to carry concealed firearms.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Tue May 17, 2011 5:21 pm UTC

Potentially tangential but related:

1999: In Denver a "No Knock" warrant was issued based on flawed information, and the homeowner was shot and killed after the police broke in his door -without- announcing themselves.

The aftermath of conflicting reports has effectively prevented anyone from knowing what happened in that home, who fired first, or if the police even identified themselves as they bust in the door.

Ismael Mena did not possess any drugs, nor had he used any. The actual address intended by the informant was behind a neighboring home.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 5:21 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:Basically, cops aren't shining beacons of humanity, making the world a safer place. They're government sponspored bullies with the right to carry concealed firearms.


How about we avoid making generalizations about a broad and diverse group of people?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby stevey_frac » Tue May 17, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:Basically, cops aren't shining beacons of humanity, making the world a safer place. They're government sponspored bullies with the right to carry concealed firearms.


How about we avoid making generalizations about a broad and diverse group of people?


Just as soon as a cop treats me with a spec of decency.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby broken_escalator » Tue May 17, 2011 5:26 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:However, I heard a retired police sargent say to my face, that he would search vehicle, and find the reason afterward. He also said that, 'I thought I smelled pot' was a valid reason. I was incredibly furious. Almost threw him out of my house.

Why was a retired police sgt. searching your stuff?

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 5:28 pm UTC

broken_escalator wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:However, I heard a retired police sargent say to my face, that he would search vehicle, and find the reason afterward. He also said that, 'I thought I smelled pot' was a valid reason. I was incredibly furious. Almost threw him out of my house.

Why was a retired police sgt. searching your stuff?


Think the english got a bit mangled there, but I understood it to be a retired sgt describing to stevey frac his procedures in dealing with other people. Possibly over dinner or something. Or while peeing in his sink.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sillybear25 » Tue May 17, 2011 5:30 pm UTC

It seems that in Indiana, the police don't even have to go to the trouble of making up a bullshit cause.

And an Indiana Sheriff pulls the old "Well, if you have nothing to hide, you have no reason to be afraid of police randomly searching your house."

The fucking Bill of Rights, how does it work?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Lostdreams » Tue May 17, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

broken_escalator wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:However, I heard a retired police sargent say to my face, that he would search vehicle, and find the reason afterward. He also said that, 'I thought I smelled pot' was a valid reason. I was incredibly furious. Almost threw him out of my house.

Why was a retired police sgt. searching your stuff?


He doesn't know yet. He'll tell you when he's done.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby broken_escalator » Tue May 17, 2011 5:32 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Think the english got a bit mangled there, but I understood it to be a retired sgt describing to stevey frac his procedures in dealing with other people. Possibly over dinner or something. Or while peeing in his sink.

Oh okay, that would make a lot more sense. Especially the throwing out part.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:Just as soon as a cop treats me with a spec of decency.


That's not how this works. You don't get to make judgments about whole groups of people because of the behaviour of a few of its members. When people do that with race it's called "racism."
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Lostdreams » Tue May 17, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

broken_escalator wrote:
Belial wrote:Think the english got a bit mangled there, but I understood it to be a retired sgt describing to stevey frac his procedures in dealing with other people. Possibly over dinner or something. Or while peeing in his sink.

Oh okay, that would make a lot more sense. Especially the throwing out peeing in your sink part.


FTFY
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby stevey_frac » Tue May 17, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

Yes, sorry. The english parser wasn't working very well there.

We had him over at our house with a bunch of other people. Ended up on the topic of searching car trunks somehow, as it related to the ministry of natural resources (which in Canada, does not need a warrant to do all kinds of things, including searches, but then, they can only charge you with things under the wildlife act)

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby stevey_frac » Tue May 17, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:Just as soon as a cop treats me with a spec of decency.


That's not how this works. You don't get to make judgments about whole groups of people because of the behaviour of a few of its members. When people do that with race it's called "racism."



If by whiskey much?

And, yes, I do get to make those judgments. It doesn't mean they're correct in every case. However, so far, it's been a pretty damned good model of the world I live in.

Mark my words. Never play "Who's the biggest asshole" with a cop. You'll lose.

Edit:

Your racism comment isn't even true.

If I say black people earn less money, That generalization is true, even if it's not true for every single individual in the group. The fact that they earn less money is the result of racism, not the statement of the generalization that they earn less.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:When people do that with race it's called "racism."


I am not 100% down with the generalizations made (there are good cops, and okay cops, you just don't need very many bad ones to ruin everything, and the former two will generally side with the latter anyway). But there's a vast difference between generalizing against a race, into which people are born at random, and against an organization which has policies, practices, governing bodies, induction criteria, and an enforced culture. The comparison of one to the other is not helping your point.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 5:39 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:And, yes, I do get to make those judgments.

No, you don't. You don't get judge an entire group of people by the behaviour of a few of its members. You have no way of knowing whether your sample size is representative of that group and it's unfair to whatever number of cops are decent people.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Plasma Man » Tue May 17, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

From the article:
officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.
Though it turned out not to be the apartment of their suspect, they pounded on the door, called, "Police," and heard people moving inside. At this, the officers announced they were coming in and broke down the door.
the sounds of people moving and perhaps toilets being flushed could justify police entering without a warrant.
So what they're saying is that if the police knock on your door, don't get up to answer it, because that would be the sound of movement, which would justify them breaking in. Just sit there on your arse and do nothing.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Angua » Tue May 17, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:From the article:
officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.
Though it turned out not to be the apartment of their suspect, they pounded on the door, called, "Police," and heard people moving inside. At this, the officers announced they were coming in and broke down the door.
the sounds of people moving and perhaps toilets being flushed could justify police entering without a warrant.
So what they're saying is that if the police knock on your door, don't get up to answer it, because that would be the sound of movement, which would justify them breaking in. Just sit there on your arse and do nothing.
Don't be silly - that would mean they'd break in anyway.

Obviously, you are expected to develop either telekinesis or silent teleportation in order to open the door.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby stevey_frac » Tue May 17, 2011 5:45 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:No, you don't. You don't get judge an entire group of people by the behaviour of a few of its members. You have no way of knowing whether your sample size is representative of that group and it's unfair to whatever number of cops are decent people.


... Uhm, Watch me?

Every single cop i've come across, without exception (now that the cop i know personally has come out as an ass) has behaved poorly. Furthermore, every time I see a cop out in my area, they are speeding, or driving agressively, or tailgating, or something. It's infuriating. They all act as though they are somehow above the law.

So I have a large enough sample size to say what the local cops here are like at the very least. Which is all I really need to my model of the world to jive with. At the very least, it's a safe assumption.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby skeptical scientist » Tue May 17, 2011 5:57 pm UTC

This is a bullshit ruling, but I understand how the court went along with it. Our current court has never particularly cared about the rights of citizens. What I don't understand is how it ended up 8-1.

Police should need a warrant (or an invitation) to enter someone's home, period, unless they have cause to believe that someone's life is at risk.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Lostdreams » Tue May 17, 2011 6:02 pm UTC

Loss of privacy is generally bad and like Belial said, the cops already have existing "ins" for collecting evidence. This just lets them run free.

I cannot speak for the attitudes of all cops but I've met almost all of my city's police force (a couple are even friends of mine), a couple county sherriffs and several state troopers. I also have never been accused of a crime other than speeding(which I was) and have never been harassed by a cop.

I've heard them speak both in public and behind closed door about themselves, criminals, and citizens in general. After spending a couple years around them I've found that 2/3 of the city cops I know are dicks. The 1/3 that aren't will cover for the 2/3 that are as soon as they are asked to. I'm told sheriffs are worse but have only met a couple and one was, one wasn't. I have never met a state trooper that wasn't a complete prick.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Tue May 17, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

Lostdreams wrote:Loss of privacy is generally bad and like Belial said, the cops already have existing "ins" for collecting evidence. This just lets them run free.


And as dauric points out, obliquely: Cops carry guns and are empowered to use them basically whenever they think they sortof might be in danger. Further, nothing you can do gives you 100% control over when a cop feels threatened, or might say s/he does. Which makes any interaction with a cop a life-threatening one. Especially the kind of interaction where they're already kicking your door in.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 17, 2011 6:13 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:No, you don't. You don't get judge an entire group of people by the behaviour of a few of its members. You have no way of knowing whether your sample size is representative of that group and it's unfair to whatever number of cops are decent people.


... Uhm, Watch me?

You don't get to judge people like that morally and fairly. (The last bit is usually implied in these situations)

Every single cop i've come across, without exception (now that the cop i know personally has come out as an ass) has behaved poorly. Furthermore, every time I see a cop out in my area, they are speeding, or driving agressively, or tailgating, or something. It's infuriating. They all act as though they are somehow above the law.


Selection bias?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby jakovasaur » Tue May 17, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Stop being such a Derailing Darryl.

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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Lostdreams » Tue May 17, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

Spoilered for less derailing
Spoiler:
Belial wrote:
Lostdreams wrote:Loss of privacy is generally bad and like Belial said, the cops already have existing "ins" for collecting evidence. This just lets them run free.


And as dauric points out, obliquely: Cops carry guns and are empowered to use them basically whenever they think they sortof might be in danger. Further, nothing you can do gives you 100% control over when a cop feels threatened, or might say s/he does. Which makes any interaction with a cop a life-threatening one. Especially the kind of interaction where they're already kicking your door in.


P1: I know!
P1: they should use tazers instead of guns.
P1: that way no one dies.
P2: tazers can still cause you to go into cardiac arrest.
P2: but... that's still better than being shot!
P2: and because it's "non-lethal" there's a better chance of them choosing to taze you.
P1: shit


sourmìlk wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:
Every single cop i've come across, without exception (now that the cop i know personally has come out as an ass) has behaved poorly. Furthermore, every time I see a cop out in my area, they are speeding, or driving agressively, or tailgating, or something. It's infuriating. They all act as though they are somehow above the law.


Selection bias?


Thats's why I chimed in after. If anything I should have personal bias in the other direction and I have met more cops than he has. (I'd be interested in a poll on here, just for SaG, to see other people's sample sizes/crappyness percentage)



Like every other law we make, the bottom line isn't what this law is, it's how it will be used/abused.
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:But, I'm still curious, did no one else ever learn about creationism in science class at some point, at least those who went to public school?

Sorry, we just learned science.

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Vaskafdt
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Vaskafdt » Tue May 17, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:No, you don't. You don't get judge an entire group of people by the behaviour of a few of its members. You have no way of knowing whether your sample size is representative of that group and it's unfair to whatever number of cops are decent people.



you can form an opinion about an entire group of people by the behaviour of a few of its members. those opinions are sometimes right.. most often they are not.

but to compare it to racism? most people who find themselves with authority are changed by it. it takes a really strong character to be in a position where you can do almost whatever you want without punishment.. and not abuse it. all this guy really implied is that there are very few strong willed people choosing the low pay high hazard employment of law enforcement.
those that do, usually get promotions.. so you don't see them on a day to day basis.. what you get searching you are usually jerks on a power trip.

btw.. I get searched often. that's the law here, if a policeman sees you, and he has a suspicion that you might be doing something illegal.. he can search you without a warrant. you can officially refuse, but after it's noted you still get searched, I find that not breaking the law and (this is the important part) being calm and polite, usually gets you done with them faster. still annoying tho..


also, people are generally bastards to each other.. that's why we have wars and crime and all kinds of crap all over the world.. why should cops be the exception?
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