Apparently the 4th Amendment Isn’t Quite Dead

Though it seems like police would like to assume that it was completely dead. Judge rules to suppress search of Port Arthur murder suspect’s home, portion of interrogation recording.

Judge West ruled that in going to the backdoor without a warrant police actually “trespassed in violation of the Fourth Amendment as well as established case law.”

In the ruling West explained that the Fourth Amendment and case law hold that an officer without a warrant has the right to approach a home and knock “no more than any private citizen might do.”

West also explained in the ruling that case law also holds that typically any visitor is permitted to “approach the home by the front path, knock promptly, wait briefly to be received, and then (absent an invitation to linger) leave.”

There’s more on the requirements for recording an interview with a suspect.

Now you would think that cops would know what they can and cannot do under the 4th Amendment. And maybe they do. But they don’t seem to care, and they don’t seem to expect to be called to account on it. Because in the War on (Some) Drugs™ anything goes, even if it destroys our rights.

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A Cop Behaving Badly, A Coverup, And Whistleblower Suit

A cop behaving badly toward other cops. Jury awards nearly $2M to former cop who was retaliated against after reporting misconduct.

A former Chicago police officer who sued the city for retaliating against her when she reported misconduct involving a co-worker was awarded nearly $2 million by a Cook County jury this week.

So a guy was an asshole to a woman at work. They both happen to be cops. She tries to report it. Twice. Supervisors are “too busy.” Tell her to “don’t embarrass” the higher-ups. She goes to IA, and even though IA agrees with her, she gets a shit assignment.

But within two weeks, Kubiak had been reassigned to a patrol shift, despite having medical issues that would prevent her from being able to perform the job, O’Malley said.

So she got a lawyer (O’Malley) and tried to negotiate something, and then sued. The settlements she was asking for were much less than the award by the jury.

“Look at the amount of tax money that went into fighting this,” O’Malley said. “[The city] had the opportunity to avoid all of this.”

O’Malley hopes the jury’s verdict and award will encourage the city to take protecting officers who report misconduct more seriously.

Not holding my breath over here. The book about the late Mayor Daley of Chicago, was titled, Don’t Make No Waves… Don’t Back No Losers. The machine in Chicago doesn’t like bad PR.

Because Shooting a Homeowner Thru the Window of His Home is SOP

Because that is just how the cops work. Deputy who shot SC homeowner through front window cleared by internal affairs.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Officer of Professional Standards conducted an internal investigation to see if Deputy Kevin Azzara violated any written policies during the incident. The investigation concluded and found that no agency policies were violated, spokesman Lt. Ryan Flood said Wednesday.

Because shooting a homeowner, in his own home, without announcing you’re police, because at midnight, that homeowner is armed when he comes to the door is just good police work. Or something.

I said that the cop would face no repercussions.

Cop Sent to do “Welfare Check” Kills Woman

Because he apparently doesn’t know all the rules of safe gun handling. “Be sure of your target, and what is beyond,” is an important one. Body-cam footage shows Arlington officer fatally shooting woman as he fires at dog.

I would say he also needs some marksmanship training, but he won’t get it. He won’t be fired, or fined, or endure anything more than a few weeks of “administrative leave” (what most people call paid time off) or “modified duty” where he sits on his ass in the office. At least he won’t be a menace to the public for a while. Not long enough.

SWAT Raid On The Wrong Address

Cleveland, Tennessee. SWAT raid on wrong house leads to lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, the incident occurred at approximately 6 a.m., on May 22, 2018. The Bradley County SWAT team assembled to serve felony arrest warrants on purported gang members who were wanted for first-degree murder and multiple drug offenses.

However, the SWAT team burst through the door of the neighboring house, where a family was sleeping.

You would think that this is a terribly rare occurrence, but you would be wrong.

A nearly identical incident happened in Boston. This story is from March. Boston SWAT Team Raided Wrong Home: ACLU.

So you can’t say, “Well, Cleveland, Tennessee is a small town, this would NEVER happen in a metropolis.”

To say this amounts to a truly epic fail, totally misses the point. They cause damage with flash-bangs, they threaten people at gunpoint, they destroy property. All because they can’t read a map, or whatever. These guys shouldn’t be dogcatchers, let alone SWAT team members.

“Flash-bang first, ask questions later” is Not a Good Policy

JusticeWhy send a SWAT-team to serve a knock-and-announce warrant? Federal appeals court criticizes SWAT teams who ‘flash-bang first, ask questions later’.

They had a warrant to search a place where the suspect, already in custody, hadn’t lived in years. When someone came to the door with keys, and was trying to open the door, the cops forced their way in anyway, even though they had a knock and announce warrant. Then they threw a flash-bang which set drapes on fire.

When the Keystone brigade finally figured out what house needed to be searched, they didn’t send SWAT. Because the bad guy was not a risk. (He was already in lockup.)

The majority opinion noted the obvious carelessness and disregard for the safety of the occupants of the house. It pointed out that when the police actually identified the correct house, they simply sent some uniformed cops to search the premises, a pretty good indication that the SWAT theatrics were unnecessary to begin with. Furthermore, the police later discovered that the suspect they had arrested actually had not committed the murder. So they had raided the wrong house based on an assumption about the wrong suspect. When they identified a new suspect and obtained a search warrant for that suspect’s residence, they didn’t just send uniformed officers instead of a SWAT team, they actually notified a member of the suspect’s family that the search was coming. The majority also pointed out that flash-bang grenades are inherently dangerous, that the SWAT team deployed the flash-bang grenade recklessly, and that this inflicted needless harm on the innocent people inside the house.

Definitely cops behaving stupidly, from top to bottom.

The War on (Some) Drugs™ Claims 2 Innocent Lives

And another lying cop, who has more than 1000 cases being reviewed, is behind the mess. ‘No One Will Hurt You,’ a SWAT Officer Promised an Hour After Houston Cops Killed a Couple Falsely Accused of Selling Heroin.

Oh, and the whole SWAT team seemed to have realized it was a “mistake” because they seem to have gone to tremendous lengths to spin things.

The 2 “suspects” (innocent people who were killed in their own home doing nothing) were reported “down, at about 5PM. They were declared dead at 5:15. At 6:09, some cop starts a “negotiation” over a bullhorn, because that would be good theater. Too bad everyone who isn’t a cop (and their dog) were dead by then.

The lie that lead to the death of 2 people…

Among other things, Doyle wants to ask Follis and Todd about the “supervision and monitoring” of warrant applications and the use of confidential informants. Those are crucial issues in this case, since the raid that killed Tuttle and Nicholas seems to have been based on a “controlled buy” of “black-tar heroin” that never happened, carried out by a C.I. who does not exist.

And the lying liar who put the whole thing in motion?

Goines had a history of questionable testimony and affidavits. In February, KHOU, the CBS station in Houston, looked at 109 cases in which he was involved. “In every one of those cases in which he claimed confidential informants observed guns inside,” it reported, “no weapons were ever recovered, according to evidence logs Goines filed with the court.” In the Harding Street case, Goines likewise said his C.I. had seen a gun, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, that was never found. The district attorney’s office has dismissed a bunch of pending cases that Goines handled and is reviewing 1,400 more, along with 800 cases involving Officer Steven Bryant, whom Goines cited in his affidavit as verifying that the “brown powder substance” supposedly purchased from Tuttle was black-tar heroin.

So his lie, set a SWAT team in motion that resulted in the death of 2 innocent people. How is this different (aside from him being a cop) to the SWATting case that was in the news awhile back that was a disagreement between 2 gamers? I don’t expect this guy to be charged with murder, or manslaughter, or conspiracy or even jaywalking, because he is a cop. I’m not sure they will fire him. (If the do, the union will appeal.) Because nothing is more important the The War on (Some) Drugs™ and getting enough arrests.