Saturday, August 23, 2008

Searches & Seizures

An article dated yesterday on MSNBC announced that 'Wire' actress, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson had been arrested on a drug charge. Actually, that was the headline. The tagline was that police wanted her to cooperate in a murder trial in which she is to be a witness.

I'll let that settle in.

Okay. So, the police had a warrant to take her into custody because she wasn't wanting to testify at a murder trial. I can't say that I blame her. I wouldn't want to testify in a murder trial unless I was absolutely sure that I would be safe. If you don't know what I mean, see this article.

Granted, there is no way that you can get out of testifying. To my knowledge. You can refuse all you want, but if they summon you, you have to go. Do I agree with detaining an American citizen so they will testify? No. But, I'm not the one that makes the laws in this country. Probably should be thankful for that. I'll have to create The Rogue Assassin's Commandments sometime...just to see how fast the country would whine and complain.

Anyway, Ms. Pearson was served a warrant for her detention until the trial September 16. While they were serving the specific warrant, they decided to search her home. Let me remind you, loyal readers, that is illegal. In her bedroom, they found a couple of cigars that they thought might contain marijuana, so they arrested her for a minor drug charge.

Um. No.

See, we have this wonderful thing in this country called The Constitution. Attached to the Constitution is a little thing called The Bill of Rights. In this little Bill, the Fourth Amendment gives us the following information:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
So, the fact that they had a warrant for her detention does not nor did not give issuance to "probable cause" to search her house. And, even if it did, they would have had to go back for a SECOND warrant to search her bedroom. I don't understand what runs through law enforcement's brains when they pull bone-head moves like this. Lawful Anal is not a real alignment--no matter how much you wish it was. Just because you have a gun and a badge doesn't give you the right to trounce my rights.

And cops wonder why lawyers hate them...

Cop: "You let this hardened criminal get away?!"
Lawyer: "What part of 'illegal search' do you not understand?"
Cop: "Oh, sure! Blame me for not following the law!"
Lawyer: *has already left this conversation for a much needed tequila shooter*

There've been numerous reports of cops being shot and killed because they don't announce themselves when they burst into a house. Burst into my house unannounced and you won't be shot. You may find yourself down a limb or a head, but I won't shoot you. I don't like guns. Swords on the other hand...

These amendments are in place to keep the government in check. Without specific warrants, police could come into your home at any time and arrest you for no apparent reason. OH! Here's an example. My SO and I were walking to a movie theatre near our apartment. A police officer saw us near a smarmy motel. We didn't have many options of not being near said smarmy hotel since, oh, it's on the way to the theatre? We could have been on the other side of the street, but...why? The theatre was on the side of the street we were walking on. They followed us and stopped us in the parking lot of the theatre to find out where we lived and what we were doing and what we were planning, etc. Had I not been on my phone, I probably would have been arrested for non-compliance. What was their probable cause? Neither my SO nor myself look like criminals. Both of us were dressed casually, but not scummy. Neither of us have tattoos or facial piercings. In fact, we don't even look like we would have come out of that hotel.

Apparently, there's a lack of crime in Los Angeles and they were bored.

No comments: