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The SCOTUS UNANIMOUSLY (that's a strong opinion, folks) grants cops even more power to search unreasonably.

Expressing considerable confidence that trained drug-sniffing dogs are reliable, and showing specific respect for one Florida police dog — Aldo — the Supreme Court on Tuesday made it quite easy for police officers to search a car or truck for drugs once a canine snooper has “alerted” to a smell on the vehicle.   If the police offer evidence that a dog has been trained, or got a certificate from a training agency, that may well be enough to give police permission to turn an “alert” into a search of a vehicle, the Court said in a unanimous decision written by Justice Elena Kagan (Florida v. Harris, docket 11-817).

The Court specifically rejected a very detailed checklist of proof of a dog’s reliability that the Florida Supreme Court had drawn up before a court could treat a dog’s signaling of the presence of a drug odor as the equivalent of “probable cause” to search.  In place of such a checklist, the Court set up a “reasonably prudent person” test — that is, a common-sense review of all of the facts about a dog’s alert, to see if such a prudent person would think that a search would turn up evidence of illegal drugs.  “A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test,” Kagan cleverly summed up.

Did your buddy leave a roach in your ashtray? Do not pass "GO", go directly to jail. Loaned the car to your kids and "a friend" smoked a joint in it? You'd better hope your spouse didn't leave a prescription container in the glove box, cuz buddy, that ain't yours and you're now guilty of illegal possession of drugs.

BTW, I'm amazed by anyone who's currently calling for the cops to outgun citizens. Especially when there's shit like this going on, too.

If you want to disarm citizens, go ahead and see if the votes are there to institute "reasonable" limits on magazine capacity.

Just don't expect us to all go along when you make an exception for cops. Their lives aren't worth more than mine, or my wife's, or my child's, or my grand-childs...

Any limit on guns should apply to cops equally to the rest of us.

Poll

When it comes to the police

0%0 votes
0%0 votes
64%27 votes
21%9 votes
4%2 votes
9%4 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:51:47 PM PST

  •  legalize marijuana (7+ / 0-)

    Anyone who uses meth I hope is caught. Meth destroys people.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:10:36 PM PST

    •  Caught and helped, right? n/t (6+ / 0-)

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:38:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Using meth is a symptom (0+ / 0-)

      Not a cause. If someone is getting carried away with meth, they are depressed and/or overwhelmed with their lives. They are already being destroyed, they are trying to treat the problem with the meth.

      Anyone who thinks that drugs are the problem doesn't know the reality of why people use drugs.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:19:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then fix the health care system and access to it (0+ / 0-)

        so people aren't motivated to self-medicate.

        There is no street equivalent for the diabetes meds I have to take, or for the testing equipment I have to use.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:20:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with fixing the health care system (0+ / 0-)

          But if drugs are illegal then people will not seek help for fear of being arrested. I have seen it happen over and over again -someone tries to get help and ends up in jail or prison.

          Having certain drugs be illegal is the problem, not using them. If they were all legal, then information about what to look for to avoid addiction would be available to all, just as it is when it comes to alcohol. People would get help far sooner, and wouldn't live in fear of getting help.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:14:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the update, I missed this "development" (9+ / 0-)

    on the news on MSN's homepage.

    The Supreme Court did say the police couldn't arrest you miles from your home, where a search warrant had been issued.

    Go figure they wouldn't tell us all the gory details.

    So, if a court issues a search warrant for your house, the police can't follow you for miles then "detain you" AND since a "police dog" is trained to do what his handler tells them, NO warrant is necessary when you're on the street.

    UGHhhhhhhhhh!

    Something's very wrong with this picture.

    Thanks anyways, as I crawl back under my covers.

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:26:18 PM PST

    •  Gerrilea: the case was over a dog's ability (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      to detect meth.

      Look at the details -- there's another diary about it.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:21:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, thanks the idea that the dog can smell any (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        drug was immaterial to my original thoughts.

        The dog is trained and controlled by its handler.  The handler tells the dog what to do.  There is nothing that can convince me the dog wouldn't or couldn't just do what it's told, ie act like its got a drug hit.  Thus complying with this new arbitrary standard of "reasonable cause".

        I'd then have to question the handler's ability to interpret correctly what the dog, if truly independent, actions revealed.

        The police are not above lying or making things up.  That's my biggest issue right now.  I have co-workers that routinely get pulled over by the NFTA (Niagara Frontier Transportation "security guards), for no other reason than Driving While Black.

        Most recently one of my co-workers rented a car, from me directly, and not even 5 minutes afterwards was pulled over and the "security police" demanded to know if he had a gun on him???  It's been truly bizarre recently up here in Buffalo.

        From my perspective its another nail in the coffin of our Constitution. They don't need a reason it seems or one that just give meaningless platitudes to the 4th Am. Reasonable is anything they say it is, shamefully.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 01:51:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, I'm going to take a different view (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          having worked around military drug and bomb dogs....you've almost got it backward.

          The dogs end up training their handlers .... find somebody in a K-9 unit and ask 'em what a "push-button dog" is.

          For my money, the fact that this guy had all the stuff to cook meth with in his truck and the dog sussed it out ... well, it probably smelt like meth.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:44:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can the dog not be told what to do? (0+ / 0-)

            That's a very real question that needs to be answered.

            Can the dog give the appearance by command to act like there's a drug hit?

            I have a family member working for the government that says the dogs are good but they miss about 6 out 10 times AND can give false hits.

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:54:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Unintended Consequences (7+ / 0-)

    As a general rule, I'm never in favor of new laws restricting rights, because who knows which innocent civilian is going to be hurt by something our legislators couldn't imagine, when the drafted the law.

    High school Principal Alan Robbins told the board that these searches, involving a dog, happen four to six times year. The dog is trained to smell drugs, alcohol and gun powder. Students are not allowed to leave during the searches.

    DeReu thought she might have accidentally left the rifle in her car after a weekend hunting trip with her family over Thanksgiving break. She told the board that a teacher had previously explained to her that if something like this happened, she could inform the office and either move her car off school property or take the gun home.

    Since the school was in lockdown, DeReu said she contacted the school officials about her predicament. She told the board she was escorted from the classroom, “where I was told I would be expelled.”

    h/t to Patrick Costighan for the link.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:50:40 PM PST

  •  Wasn't there a horse called Clever Hans, who (7+ / 0-)

    amazingly, could add and subtract.     If you asked Hans how much three plus five was, Hans would paw the ground eight times.  The trick was , Hans was responding to an imperceptible cue from his owner to stop pawing when the desired number was reached.  I really think a dog could be trained to sit  down, or bark, or howl, in response to a  signal from his handler, just as Hans was trained.

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:59:29 PM PST

    •  Good Point (4+ / 0-)

      Nothing (that I can see) in the opinion stops an officer from giving the dog a cue when he wants to search a vehicle.

      Clever Hans

      "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

      by Timbuk3 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:02:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not much stops a cop (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        from planting evidence either, so unless you are just going to say we will never trust cops, that line of argument isn't very fruitful.

        •  The phrase is "flaked" and it's done all the time. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk3, phonegery, ER Doc

          Simple matter for a glassine, folded foil, or similar to slip into the car... and wait for the dog to arrive in the K9 unit.

          Simpler still for the officer to walk around the car looking for motor vehicle law violations and have a substance to trigger the dog on his glove, and swipe across a taillight while checking for broken lenses.

          "Aldo... Find it boy, find it."
          ^
          ^
          ^<<<< right THERE!!!!

          "The bill's sponsor has a better chance of being the next Pope" ~ attributed to Rep. Eric Burlison of Missouri

          by 43north on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:20:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  so in your opinion (0+ / 0-)

            we should do what with this?

            Assume all cops do it? Most? Do we just say no searches at all without a warrant? How do we know the cops don't lie about the information that gets a warrant? So do we just say no searches ever?

            What's the alternative to approaching this as most cops aren't crooked, while recognizing some are which is what we have now.

        •  well, qazplm, Kossacks overwhelmingly don't (0+ / 0-)

          trust -- or like -- cops.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:23:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's fine (0+ / 0-)

            but since it's hard to ever have any searches at all without cops, if we are going to draft criminal law that allows cops to search at all, then it's probably not going to be based on a, but don't believe anything a cop says because they lie standard.

      •  This can easily be an unintended cue. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north, Timbuk3, phonegery

        Horrible decision. I suppose they are setting up a precedent for the hand-held "suspicious thought" detectors of the future.

        The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

        by Ignacio Magaloni on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:40:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your amplification. (0+ / 0-)

        I had no idea that Hans rated as large an article in Wikipedia as he did, and does.

        Time is a long river.

        by phonegery on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:08:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I fucking KNEW they were going to do this (6+ / 0-)

    But I didn't think Kagen would write the opinion.

    It's no trick at all to teach your dog to alert any damned time you want it to. Bingo -- all searches all the time.

    Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit.

    I want my Fourth Amendment back. I want people in Congress who GIVE A SHIT about what has been done in this decision.

    And this and a nickel will not even buy me a senior coffee at McDonald's.

    Dammit.

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:01:37 PM PST

  •  Seems like a reasonable ruling to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    Paranoia is one of the possible side effects of marijuana, right?

    •  So I've heard. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north

      Never had that problem myself.

      In this case, what the dog alerted on was...we don't know.  They suspect meth.  And in the truck were the ingredients for making meth.  And the guy was jittery (what I read earlier, anyway)...

      Well, if you've got the works to make meth in your truck and the cops pull you over, you might well be jittery.  If you actually use meth, you are definitely jittery -- cops or no cops.  That's what meth does.

      I don't think the cops should be allowed to let the dogs scent without a probable cause -- in this case, I think the driver's nervous behavior could (arguably) be enough for probable cause.  He was acting guilty -- or so the cops thought.

      Look: at work, I've discovered the same thing.  If they act like they are stealing from you, leave a note for the boss to check the cameras b/c they ARE stealing from you.  The tapes prove it, every time.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 12:05:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, paranoia is a side effect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, 43north

      of marijuana being illegal.

    •  Snort! (0+ / 0-)

      Oh shit, I mean....  !

  •  What are the laws on seizure, again, as related (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, 43north

    to drug busts?

    Any bets on an uptick in K9 units on the street?

  •  If you have a facebook account... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, 43north, BlackSheep1

    you have ceded your 4thA rights, essentially. LE can use any information gleaned from publicly available info to conduct raids on your premises.

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:27:36 PM PST

  •  They didn't say cops can search unreasonably (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, 43north, Timbuk3, ER Doc

    they said that cops can decide for themselves whether searches are reasonable or not.

    Please get it straight.  ;)

    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

    by happymisanthropy on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:44:01 PM PST

  •  So presumably if a cop lies about what a dog (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3

    indicates, the dog can be called to testify about the fact that the cop is full of shit?  Or did we also throw that whole thing about facing your accuser out the window along with reasonable search and seizure?

    A slaver says: "Work for me or I'll kill you." A corporate executive says "Work for me or I'll take away your means of survival." Is there a difference?

    by Troubadour on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:58:33 AM PST

  •  I think we're griping about the wrong thing. (0+ / 0-)

    The real issue is concern over the integrity of our cops.

    If the cops are acting with professional integrity, a properly trained dog alerting IS probable cause. If either the cops integrity or the dogs training is lacking, it is not.

    That integrity issue is MUCH more significant than splitting hairs over something like this. Ultimately, if a cop is looking for something to bust you for, or is crooked enough to manufacture that reason, they are going to bust you anyway.

  •  Legalize all drugs except antibiotics. (0+ / 0-)

    Every.  Single.  One.

    Widely publish recommended safe dosages, and urge monitoring by medical personnel.

    Then, let evolution take over.

    2-3 generations later, no problem.

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