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Disgusted by SCOTUS's decision in Strieff

FourTrouble
Posts: 12,757
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6/22/2016 10:36:31 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Opinion found here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov...

Implications are pretty fvcked up. Police can now illegally stop you, ask for your ID, and if you have an unpaid parking ticket, search you, even if you are doing nothing wrong.

This isn't a minor "inconvenience" (the majority's word), and Sotomayor rightfully calls this bullsh!t out:

This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you. When we condone officers' use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens. Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more.

The indignity of the stop is not limited to an officer telling you that you look like a criminal. If the officer thinks you might be dangerous, he may then "frisk" you for weapons. This involves more than just a pat down. As onlookers pass by, the officer may "feel with sensitive fingers every portion of [your] body. A thorough search [may] be made of [your] arms and armpits, waistline and back, the groin and area about the testicles, and entire surface of the legs down to the feet."

The officer's control over you does not end with the stop. If the officer chooses, he may handcuff you and take you to jail for doing nothing more than speeding, jaywalking, or "driving [your] pickup truck . . . with [your] 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter . . . without [your] seatbelt fastened." At the jail, he can fingerprint you, swab DNA from the inside of your mouth, and force you to "shower with a delousing agent" while you "lift [your] tongue, hold out [your] arms, turn around, and lift [your] genitals." Even if you are innocent, you will now join the 65 million Americans with an arrest record and experience the "civil death" of discrimination by employers, landlords, and whoever else conducts a background check. And, of course, if you fail to pay bail or appear for court, a judge will issue a warrant to render you "arrestable on sight" in the future.


She concludes:

This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be catalogued. We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are "isolated." They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,268
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6/22/2016 3:50:23 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/22/2016 10:36:31 AM, FourTrouble wrote:
Opinion found here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov...

Implications are pretty fvcked up. Police can now illegally stop you, ask for your ID, and if you have an unpaid parking ticket, search you, even if you are doing nothing wrong.

This isn't a minor "inconvenience" (the majority's word), and Sotomayor rightfully calls this bullsh!t out:

This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you. When we condone officers' use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens. Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more.

The indignity of the stop is not limited to an officer telling you that you look like a criminal. If the officer thinks you might be dangerous, he may then "frisk" you for weapons. This involves more than just a pat down. As onlookers pass by, the officer may "feel with sensitive fingers every portion of [your] body. A thorough search [may] be made of [your] arms and armpits, waistline and back, the groin and area about the testicles, and entire surface of the legs down to the feet."

The officer's control over you does not end with the stop. If the officer chooses, he may handcuff you and take you to jail for doing nothing more than speeding, jaywalking, or "driving [your] pickup truck . . . with [your] 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter . . . without [your] seatbelt fastened." At the jail, he can fingerprint you, swab DNA from the inside of your mouth, and force you to "shower with a delousing agent" while you "lift [your] tongue, hold out [your] arms, turn around, and lift [your] genitals." Even if you are innocent, you will now join the 65 million Americans with an arrest record and experience the "civil death" of discrimination by employers, landlords, and whoever else conducts a background check. And, of course, if you fail to pay bail or appear for court, a judge will issue a warrant to render you "arrestable on sight" in the future.


She concludes:

This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be catalogued. We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are "isolated." They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives.

Didn't the surveillance give him probable cause?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,268
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6/22/2016 3:53:56 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Seems like this is typical Sotomayor... ignoring the fact that the detectives had reasonable cause for suspicion... and just going on a rant about how police have too much power and do not care about the public....
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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6/22/2016 3:54:41 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/22/2016 10:36:31 AM, FourTrouble wrote:
One of the disadvantages of modern technology is the over-information about individuals available from background checks. I think only convictions should be on public record, not arrests. I agree with Sotomayor for the most part.
FourTrouble
Posts: 12,757
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6/22/2016 4:16:25 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/22/2016 3:53:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Seems like this is typical Sotomayor... ignoring the fact that the detectives had reasonable cause for suspicion... and just going on a rant about how police have too much power and do not care about the public....

lol no... you don't know what you're talking about... you should read the opinion before weighing in on things you know nothing about...

The issue in the case was not whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff based on seeing him enter a house and then leave the house. As a threshold matter, the Court assumed that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff (i.e. the stop was unlawful). The entire reason the Supreme Court granted cert was to determine whether the exclusionary rule applies to cases where the police want to stop someone for investigatory purposes but lack reasonable suspicion, unlawfully stop the person anyway, knowing the stop is unlawful, and then proceed to ask the person for ID, check them for outstanding warrants, find something stupid like a parking ticket, and then proceed to search them.

In general, the 4th Amendment protects us from this sort of intrusive behavior. I, for one, don't want to live in a society where the police feel free to stop me at any moment, feel free to search me, to check for warrants, and so on. I want to live in a society where the police only have the right to stop me, to intrude on my rights, when they have some reasonable basis to do so (i.e. reasonable suspicion for an initial stop, and probable cause for an extended seizure or search). The Supreme Court generally has agreed with that. So, to protect our rights, and to deter police from unlawful conduct, there's something called the exclusionary rule, which says that any evidence seized after an unlawful stop is inadmissible. This protects our rights by deterring the police from doing whatever the fvck they want (i.e. it encourages police to do things through the proper procedures, lest crucial evidence be deemed inadmissible). Except the Court has just destroyed any deterrent effect the exclusionary rule has because now evidence is admissible as long as there was an outstanding warrant on the person (i.e. a parking ticket, or something idiotic like that), which encourages police to stop anyone anytime, for investigatory purposes, on a mere hunch (not reasonable suspicion), because they're more likely than not to find a warrant that justifies the admission of any evidence they subsequently find. It's really kinda an idiotic decision, when thought about properly.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,268
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6/22/2016 4:55:07 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/22/2016 4:16:25 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 6/22/2016 3:53:56 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Seems like this is typical Sotomayor... ignoring the fact that the detectives had reasonable cause for suspicion... and just going on a rant about how police have too much power and do not care about the public....

lol no... you don't know what you're talking about... you should read the opinion before weighing in on things you know nothing about...

The issue in the case was not whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff based on seeing him enter a house and then leave the house. As a threshold matter, the Court assumed that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff (i.e. the stop was unlawful).

yah that part wasn't exactly clear. All it said was he had an anonymous tip about drug trafficking, and that he found the number of people going in and out of the house to be suspicious.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,268
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6/22/2016 5:05:31 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Look this just does not seem as cut and dried as the common charge of police in general making unreasonable stops searches and seizure.

The detective had to pursue the anonymous tip that there may be drugs sold in that house, and he has a right to stop and question people going in and out of that house to investigate a possible crime.

Was asking for his ID which led to the discovery of an outstanding arrest warrant violating his 4th amendment? Maybe, seems difficult to judge.