Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

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

Postby Zcorp » Wed May 18, 2011 5:24 am UTC

M.C. wrote:What's with all the "don't tread on me, po-lice' crap?
They do a job that noone else wants to do, that exposes them to the worst elements of society, to protect people who don't give a damn about anyone other than themselves and won't thank them?

If you want to bitch about how the police infringes on your rights, then you should look yourselves for taking the good cops for granted. People tire out too, and the good cops will retire if they aren't treated right, leaving the people on a power trip in charge.

In summary - be nice to police, and police will be nice!

Um no, beyond that many people do want to be police, it pays quite well in for a government job and they frequently get thanked and attention for the tasks they do well. Police are there to enforce a system, if they don't enforce that system their job security is threatened and police choose to enforce that system and retain their jobs despite how incredibly broken and inefficient the system is.

They, unlike say teachers, are paid pretty decently have actual power and often are given raises and perceived to be good at their jobs for hurting society rather than helping it.

We can look at even the most basic things in our legal system like traffic enforcement. When the system is built around making money even at the expense of citizen lives and it becomes quite hard to respect the people making a living, getting bonuses, overtime and raises for enforcing not only exploitative but deadly laws.

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

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 5:48 am UTC

Zcorp wrote:We can look at even the most basic things in our legal system like traffic enforcement. When the system is built around making money even at the expense of citizen lives and it becomes quite hard to respect the people making a living, getting bonuses, overtime and raises for enforcing not only exploitative but deadly laws.


The law being unreasonable does not give you license to break it, nor does it give the officer license to not arrest you when you do. Blame the people whose fault it is.

In any case, the specific claim the court is making here is actually kind of reasonable. If you smell pot outside someone's door, and the response you get to knocking is the way that every person in the world, ever gets rid of contraband, it's hard to argue that a reasonable person doesn't suspect that evidence is being destroyed in there, noting that Kentucky has not legalized medical marijuana. That said, I agree with Justice Ginsberg. It's pretty obnoxiously abusable.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Soralin » Wed May 18, 2011 6:46 am UTC

I'd say something like a mandatory always-on camera attached to every police officer would work out well, anything that isn't recorded, doesn't count towards probable cause. I mean, you could just slip a flat camera with a fisheye lens and audio recording, into a front pocket with a hole in it, without too much trouble or expense. Although storing all the data might take a bit more. But think how much easier things would be with all the evidence that it would provide. There still could be ways around it, every camera just happening to get covered or facing away at a convenient time, but at least they should be a bit more obvious.

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

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed May 18, 2011 7:10 am UTC

M.C. wrote:In summary - be nice to police, and police will be nice!

That's an extremely naive attitude. I believe that most people become cops for good reasons: they honestly want to help society by catching criminals and protecting citizens. The problem is that the very act of joining a police force leads to an us vs. them mentality, especially since cops are put in situations where they under very real threats to their lives. Furthermore, because our justice system is imperfect, they sometimes see the people they risked their lives to put behind bars go free, sometimes because of what they can reasonably consider "legal trickery". So it's rather inevitable that some cops, even going in with the best of intentions, naturally become jaded. I don't begrudge them this.

But consider the results of the Stanford prison experiment. Ordinary people, randomly assigned to "guard" and "prisoner" groups, devolved completely, with prison guards degrading the prisoners and many displaying genuine sadistic tendencies, according to the researchers. Natural human psychology can lead to genuinely awful behavior in these situations, where certain people are placed in positions of authority, and then set against another group.

The solution is not to simply trust that police will not abuse the power that they are given. The correct solution is twofold: first, ensure that they receive careful training so that they can judge when force is justified and when it isn't. Cops need to be able to make these sorts of decisions in a split second, so it needs to be drilled in thoroughly. Second, make sure there is oversight of cops, so that cops who abuse their power will be taken off the streets, and all cops know that abuse of power carries consequences.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby mb2612 » Wed May 18, 2011 10:17 am UTC

Add my voice to the chorus of people who like the police, I've never had a bad experience with them.

Also don't see how this is a problem:

We trust that the police do not make up rubbish to search peoples houses, because typically they don't. Furthermore, If they find evidence of unrelated criminal activity of course it should be admissible. People getting off on crimes because the evidence was found in an odd way is a rubbish way to run a legal system. If you commit a crime, you should be punished, and the aim of the police is to catch you.

Can you imagine the outrage if this was illegal and the police were standing on the doorstep of a house while a mass murder was happening inside, yet couldn't stop it because they didn't have a warrant.

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

Postby folkhero » Wed May 18, 2011 10:25 am UTC

mb2612 wrote:Add my voice to the chorus of people who like the police, I've never had a bad experience with them.

Also don't see how this is a problem:

We trust that the police do not make up rubbish to search peoples houses, because typically they don't. Furthermore, If they find evidence of unrelated criminal activity of course it should be admissible. People getting off on crimes because the evidence was found in an odd way is a rubbish way to run a legal system. If you commit a crime, you should be punished, and the aim of the police is to catch you.

Speak for you self.

And I'm not even going to get into the difference between, "hearing something that may or may not be the disposal of contraband," and, "have reasonable evidence that someone's life is in jeopardy.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby podbaydoor » Wed May 18, 2011 11:10 am UTC

The ruling is misguided and BS, yes. But the thread isn't so much about that as general police bashing.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 18, 2011 1:14 pm UTC

I think we should have a more adequate response after three pages.

What can we do about this? This is a Supreme Court ruling, right? So technically, we just need to change the law that (the Supreme Court claims) granted this power to the Police. What are the legal details of this law?

I find it strange that they'd consider this law above the 4th Amendment, but there may be some weird shit going on with the legal details.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Plasma Man » Wed May 18, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:The ruling is misguided and BS, yes. But the thread isn't so much about that as general police bashing.
Okay, let's presume, for the sake of argument, that the police consists of a mixture of people. Some are dedicated, caring professionals, some are average people doing a job and have good days and bad days, and some - maybe a very small minority - are going to abuse their position. What this ruling does is open up a massive loophole that can be abused, and where there is practically no chance of being able to catch those that abuse it; it will always be possible for the cop in question to claim that they thought they heard / smelled / spider-sensed something.
Now this ruling hasn't come out of nowhere, the police had to actively pursue the case. I don't think it's unreasonable to be suspicious of an organisation that has actively and successfully sought to establish a rule that allows members of that organisation to abuse their position with practical impunity.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Drumheller769 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:55 pm UTC

Apparently there is precedent for this, going back a few decades at least. My wife studied forensic science in college and was able to reference some of the cases for me. I don't remember them right now, but Ill see if I can dig anything up.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Wed May 18, 2011 2:03 pm UTC

Consider as well: Not all police forces have the same hiring standards.

I had a roommate who used to be a police officer in New Orleans, apparently getting a job as an officer there is about as difficult as getting any other white-collar job. However in the city where I live there are fairly stringent physical requirements, as well as a mandatory training period at a police academy before they ever get their badges and actually start drawing pay. (I believe Denver used to have hiring practices similar to New Orleans before the 1999 Ismael Mena shooting, but since then they've raised their standards... somewhat. Denver is still having some fairly public controversies lately.)
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby engr » Wed May 18, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

Zcorp wrote:They, unlike say teachers, are paid pretty decently


http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos160.htm#earnings
Police and sheriff's patrol officers had median annual wages of $51,410 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,850 and $64,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,070, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,680.

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos318.htm#earnings
Median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in May 2008; the lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280; the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby DSenette » Wed May 18, 2011 2:53 pm UTC

Kag wrote:
Zcorp wrote:We can look at even the most basic things in our legal system like traffic enforcement. When the system is built around making money even at the expense of citizen lives and it becomes quite hard to respect the people making a living, getting bonuses, overtime and raises for enforcing not only exploitative but deadly laws.


The law being unreasonable does not give you license to break it, nor does it give the officer license to not arrest you when you do. Blame the people whose fault it is.

In any case, the specific claim the court is making here is actually kind of reasonable. If you smell pot outside someone's door, and the response you get to knocking is the way that every person in the world, ever gets rid of contraband, it's hard to argue that a reasonable person doesn't suspect that evidence is being destroyed in there, noting that Kentucky has not legalized medical marijuana. That said, I agree with Justice Ginsberg. It's pretty obnoxiously abusable.

hypothetical: you live in an apartment complex. you live next door to a pothead. you legally own several guns and just recently got back from the shooting range. you have a room mate.

ok, so you're at home, just got back from the range and you're sitting on the sofa cleaning your gun. pothead neighbor just sparked up, cop walks down the hall and knocks on your door and says he's coming in. at this moment your roommate flushes the toilet. cop busts your door down, sees you with a gun in your hand and shoots you in the face.

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

Postby Dauric » Wed May 18, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Kag wrote:
Zcorp wrote:We can look at even the most basic things in our legal system like traffic enforcement. When the system is built around making money even at the expense of citizen lives and it becomes quite hard to respect the people making a living, getting bonuses, overtime and raises for enforcing not only exploitative but deadly laws.


The law being unreasonable does not give you license to break it, nor does it give the officer license to not arrest you when you do. Blame the people whose fault it is.

In any case, the specific claim the court is making here is actually kind of reasonable. If you smell pot outside someone's door, and the response you get to knocking is the way that every person in the world, ever gets rid of contraband, it's hard to argue that a reasonable person doesn't suspect that evidence is being destroyed in there, noting that Kentucky has not legalized medical marijuana. That said, I agree with Justice Ginsberg. It's pretty obnoxiously abusable.

hypothetical: you live in an apartment complex. you live next door to a pothead. you legally own several guns and just recently got back from the shooting range. you have a room mate.

ok, so you're at home, just got back from the range and you're sitting on the sofa cleaning your gun. pothead neighbor just sparked up, cop walks down the hall and knocks on your door and says he's coming in. at this moment your roommate flushes the toilet. cop busts your door down, sees you with a gun in your hand and shoots you in the face.

sound good?


I lived in a complex where my door was immediately next to my neighbors. How are they going to know the right door? The apartments weren't even all that airtight, my neighbor was a cigar smoker and I would routinely smell his smoke in my apartment, followed shortly by me opening a window. The entire justification that "Human being smells X, so we have probable cause" is bullshit. Trained tracking dogs are one thing, but humans are orders of magnitude not trained tracking dogs.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Sounds like it probably wouldn't hold up.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Heisenberg » Wed May 18, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:...at this moment your roommate flushes the toilet.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to flush. Everyone knows that only potheads flush.

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

Postby Zcorp » Wed May 18, 2011 3:01 pm UTC

Kag wrote:The law being unreasonable does not give you license to break it, nor does it give the officer license to not arrest you when you do. Blame the people whose fault it is.
It is the 'fault' of lots of people, however only a few of the people at 'fault' have the direct power to do something about it in the short run. Those would be the people who enforce the law. Beyond the concept of civil disobedience my post was in response to the idea that "In summary - be nice to police, and police will be nice!" which is simply not true, especially when we get to a dense areas of population or when their own oversight prevents them from making judgement in the situation. Police end up having to act according to the law (even if it is entirely counter-productive to the intent of their job) or they have their job security threatened. Talking to police can only harm you (with very few exceptions for when police are willing to go against their job description). Of course one shouldn't be intentionally mean to an officer but being nice doesn't change that as soon as you are interacting with an officer you are perceived as the one that is harming society despite that in a great many circumstances the police are the thugs enforcing and perpetuating laws that are hurting it.

Being nice to an officer can only hurt you, shutting up and silently cooperating is pretty much the only thing that can help you. From there it is quite hard for most people to respect a career path and the people who take it when the average interaction with an officer relates to them enforcing exploitative and destructive laws. It's hard to respect a group of people who are either ignorant of the effect the system they are protecting creates, are ambivalent to the effect or think the system is efficient and working.

In any case, the specific claim the court is making here is actually kind of reasonable. If you smell pot outside someone's door, and the response you get to knocking is the way that every person in the world, ever gets rid of contraband, it's hard to argue that a reasonable person doesn't suspect that evidence is being destroyed in there, noting that Kentucky has not legalized medical marijuana. That said, I agree with Justice Ginsberg. It's pretty obnoxiously abusable.
Behind my apartment is a high school, a few times a week the kids at the school smoke up behind my apartment. With relative frequency I can smell pot as I walk up the steps to my door. It would not be reasonable to bust down my door.

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

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 3:05 pm UTC

Oh right, I forgot the important part of the story: and an informant also directs the police to your apartment, specifically, for a drug offense.

Otherwise, they probably can't make a reasonable claim as to where the smell is coming from, and therefore don't have probable cause.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Wed May 18, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

Kag wrote:Oh right, I forgot the important part of the story: and an informant also directs the police to your apartment, specifically, for a drug offense.

Otherwise, they probably can't make a reasonable claim as to where the smell is coming from, and therefore don't have probable cause.


Ahem...

Dauric wrote: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.


Informants can be great leads as long as it's followed up on by professional investigators using proper tools of the trade to gather actual evidence. Hearsay is not evidence though, and informant information has to pass pretty rigorous standards before it stops being hearsay.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Zcorp » Wed May 18, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Ahem...

Informants can be great leads as long as it's followed up on by professional investigators using proper tools of the trade to gather actual evidence. Hearsay is not evidence though, and informant information has to pass pretty rigorous standards before it stops being hearsay.


And even just the case in question...
The Kentucky case began when police in Lexington sought to arrest a man who had sold crack cocaine to an informer. They followed the man to an apartment building, but lost contact with him. They smelled marijuana coming from one apartment. 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. Instead of the original suspect, they found Hollis King smoking marijuana and arrested him. They also found powder cocaine. King was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 4:01 pm UTC

Police have to prove the informant is reliable to use the information, but also can't travel through time to the future to see if he was mistaken. This isn't really a 4th amendment issue, though.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Wed May 18, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

Kag wrote:Police have to prove the informant is reliable to use the information, but also can't travel through time to the future to see if he was mistaken.


No but you can stake out a house, tap phone lines, even rummage through garbage cans for evidence. Of course all that requires a warrant and a police force willing to do the work necessary to get a warrant and to set up surveillance, instead of taking the quick and cheap way of busting in a door on hearsay.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:instead of taking the quick and cheap way of busting in a door on hearsay.


Well, what an informant says almost certainly will not justify entering a home without warrant. Whether or not it's sufficient to obtain a warrant depends on the judge.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Zcorp » Wed May 18, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

Kag wrote:
Dauric wrote:instead of taking the quick and cheap way of busting in a door on hearsay.


Well, what an informant says almost certainly will not justify entering a home without warrant. Whether or not it's sufficient to obtain a warrant depends on the judge.

But now, what an informant says plus the smell of pot apparently legally justifies breaking down your door. Warrants are no longer an issue in this circumstance.

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

Postby Kag » Wed May 18, 2011 4:20 pm UTC

What an informant says plus the smell of pot constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is smokin' dope in there. Hearing someone rush to get rid of it (which is a judgment that could or could not be reasonable, we don't know, it probably should be recorded) is what constitutes the emergency circumstances that allow police to enter a home without warrant.

Actually, do we know if this guy was actually flushing his drugs down the toilet?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Wed May 18, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

Kag wrote:What an informant says plus the smell of pot constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is smokin' dope in there. Hearing someone rush to get rid of it (which is a judgment that could or could not be reasonable, we don't know, it probably should be recorded) is what constitutes the emergency circumstances that allow police to enter a home without warrant.

Actually, do we know if this guy was actually flushing his drugs down the toilet?


Did you not notice the posts where I mentioned that I could smell my neighbor's cigars in my apartment, or the one where Zcorp mentioned that high-schoolers at the campus behind his apartment routinely smoke around the back-side of his building? Smelling marijuana smoke may be legally permissible evidence in most states (the exception is in someone's linkage above but I forget which), but in circumstances where innocent and uninvolved people face a real possibility of being shot and killed by Law Enforcement I think the standard of evidence and the protocol for issuing warrants needs to be higher than that.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Vaskafdt » Thu May 19, 2011 12:34 am UTC

Kag wrote:What an informant says plus the smell of pot constitutes...

should constitute as reasonable cause for a warrant.. if you don't want him to flash his stash.. knock after you get the warrant...

in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby sourmìlk » Thu May 19, 2011 3:58 am UTC

Vaskafdt wrote:in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.


Without thinking about it too much so far, I'm inclined to agree. The possibility that somebody is doing drugs shouldn't warrant the police to break into their house with guns pointed. If the person is flushing the evidence then whatever, he's getting rid of the drugs. That's basically what the police wanted anyways, right?
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Prefanity » Thu May 19, 2011 4:57 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Vaskafdt wrote:in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.


Without thinking about it too much so far, I'm inclined to agree. The possibility that somebody is doing drugs shouldn't warrant the police to break into their house with guns pointed. If the person is flushing the evidence then whatever, he's getting rid of the drugs. That's basically what the police wanted anyways, right?


I sort of work under the assumption that cops want to punish evildoers.

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

Postby sourmìlk » Thu May 19, 2011 5:02 am UTC

Prefanity wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Vaskafdt wrote:in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.


Without thinking about it too much so far, I'm inclined to agree. The possibility that somebody is doing drugs shouldn't warrant the police to break into their house with guns pointed. If the person is flushing the evidence then whatever, he's getting rid of the drugs. That's basically what the police wanted anyways, right?


I sort of work under the assumption that cops want to punish evildoers.


Punishing people is a means to the end of having people not do bad things.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Jahoclave » Thu May 19, 2011 5:53 am UTC

Prefanity wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Vaskafdt wrote:in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.


Without thinking about it too much so far, I'm inclined to agree. The possibility that somebody is doing drugs shouldn't warrant the police to break into their house with guns pointed. If the person is flushing the evidence then whatever, he's getting rid of the drugs. That's basically what the police wanted anyways, right?


I sort of work under the assumption that cops want to punish evildoers.

I work under the assumption that punishing evildoers isn't their job. You know, because it isn't.

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

Postby Prefanity » Thu May 19, 2011 5:57 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Prefanity wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Vaskafdt wrote:in my opinion only life threatening situations and pursuit of a runner, are cause to barge into someone's house.


Without thinking about it too much so far, I'm inclined to agree. The possibility that somebody is doing drugs shouldn't warrant the police to break into their house with guns pointed. If the person is flushing the evidence then whatever, he's getting rid of the drugs. That's basically what the police wanted anyways, right?


I sort of work under the assumption that cops want to punish evildoers.

I work under the assumption that punishing evildoers isn't their job. You know, because it isn't.


Oh, certainly. I suppose my use of "evildoer" was ultimately still too subtle a jab at the police.

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

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu May 19, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Okay, I see comments about the police existing to enforce 'explosive and destructive' laws, and given the general anti-police (or anti-police-as-they-are-now), I have to ask what laws are being thought of here.

Also why the general anti-police attitude in general (although I have some clues as to this attitude, such as mentioning the ability to potentally abuse power).

Edit - Fuck you autocomplete, I wanted 'explotive', even if it makes my post better.

And in regards to the OP, that is a bullshit law. I don't see the cops as being 'state sponsored bullies' as one user put it, but I sure as hell refuse to give them that kind of power.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby skeptical scientist » Thu May 19, 2011 6:37 am UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Okay, I see comments about the police existing to enforce 'explosive and destructive' laws, and given the general anti-police (or anti-police-as-they-are-now), I have to ask what laws are being thought of here.

In this case, drug laws in general, and anti-marijuana laws in particular. There is no justifiable reason for a society to prohibit private behavior that has no (or only very minor) effects on anyone besides the user. Crack and meth are one thing, as they have significant negative externalities. But the fact that marijuana continues to be illegal after decades of concerted effort to change the law mystifies me.

Also why the general anti-police attitude in general (although I have some clues as to this attitude, such as mentioning the ability to potentally abuse power).

I suspect many of us have had bad experiences with the police, or know people who have. Personally I haven't, but I've heard many stories from my (civil rights attorney) father. This is especially true for minorities and people who live in certain areas, who often are assumed to be guilty because of their skin color or where they live, and face police bullying for no better reason than the circumstances of their birth.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby iChef » Thu May 19, 2011 6:50 am UTC

Here's a good one for this topic.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/03/derek_copp_is_name_of_grand_va.html

I live not very far from where this happened so let me fill in a couple blanks. This 20 year old college student was living with a guy that sold weed. Not huge amounts he was small time, quarter ounce, dime-bagger type. An informant turns on him. The guy who actually sold the weed wasn't home when the police showed up. His roommate went up to the door to see who was pounding on it. When he got to the door the police shined a flashlight in his face. When he went to put his hands up to shield his eyes and show he was unarmed they shot him in the chest. Thankfully he lived. Basically the police shot him because his roommate sold a very small amount of weed to an informant.

Also for anyone who isn't exactly sure how informants work and how reliable they are you should do some research. Drug informants are people who get busted for drug offenses. The police get these people to bring an officer with them undercover to buy more drugs with police money. The informants are just regular people off the streets, who usually aren't too fond of police themselves. People usually turn over either to get revenge on people they don't like who they know have drugs,or try to get a better deal for themselves (this never works I have never met a lawyer who said informing was a good idea). Basically Informants are no better and often times worse than the people they are ratting out.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu May 19, 2011 6:57 am UTC

Thank you, SS, for the info. A couple of thoughts...

1) As has been mentioned, though, it is the job of the police to enforce those laws whether they like those laws or not. The key here is to change the laws if they are indeed stupid (which I feel to be the case with Pot Use).

2) However, the police treating minorities poorly is a huge problem and one that will need to be dealt with. I can recall hearing of a study conducted in Toronto that indicated Black Citizens were more likely to be arrested than White Citizens for crime, mainly because police cars were patrolling mostly Black suburbs over mostly White suburbs (please let me know if any of that sounded wrong or politically incorrect).

I guess the thing is that police officers are given special powers and authority over other citizens, and as such they should be held to a higher standard in regards to ethical conduct.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Belial » Thu May 19, 2011 11:54 am UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:1) As has been mentioned, though, it is the job of the police to enforce those laws whether they like those laws or not. The key here is to change the laws if they are indeed stupid (which I feel to be the case with Pot Use).


And, again, when the police fight for the right to become even more ridiculous in the pursuit of enforcing those laws, "we're just following orders" no longer stands up as a reason.
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Re: Police can enter without a warrant if they feel like it

Postby Dauric » Thu May 19, 2011 12:53 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:1) As has been mentioned, though, it is the job of the police to enforce those laws whether they like those laws or not. The key here is to change the laws if they are indeed stupid (which I feel to be the case with Pot Use).


And, again, when the police fight for the right to become even more ridiculous in the pursuit of enforcing those laws, "we're just following orders" no longer stands up as a reason.

The police fight for the right to become even more ridiculous because there's politicians armed with public opinion polls are demanding they be -effective- enforcing -ridiculous- laws, or police officers can lose their jobs.

Garbage in, Garbage out.

The Drug-War laws demand ridiculous things from the police that the only way they can possibly achieve those goals is to be ridiculous and engage in increasingly ridiculous behaviour in order to achieve the ridiculous goals set down by ridiculous laws.
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