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LEGAL BRIEFS: Two Cases Strengthen Rights on Searches and Self-Incrimination; One Weakens Privacy Rights

In an Oregon Court of Appeals case, judges sided with Weston Young, who claimed his Fourth Amendment rights were violated (Oregonian, January 28). Arrested for having 12 bags of marijuana in his backpack, Young, 19, was searched by Cornelius police officer Miguel Monico after the car he was in broke down. The officer asked what was wrong, but when the driver stepped out of the car and reached down toward the floorboard, Monico drew his gun and told the driver and passengers he would shoot them if they moved. Smelling marijuana, the officer searched the car and backpack and found the pot. Young was found guilty, but appealed, maintaining he was illegally searched. The court determined the officer was not justified in seizing the backpack and overturned the conviction. Monico was hired by the Washington County Sheriff when Cornelius got rid of its police department but was fired after a federal jury found he'd fabricated evidence in a separate case.

According to the Portland Tribune (December 26), the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a decision that a Hillsboro man convicted of robbery should get a new trial. The justices ruled Celso Avila- Nava's statements were not admissible because he invoked his right to silence. After having his rights explained, Avila-Nava said he would not be responding, but continued to answer questions asked by the police. The court determined those statements had to be excluded.

In February, the Oregon Court of Appeals found a houseless man did not have a right to privacy in a structure he made from a shopping cart and tarps because it was not a legal residence. It was a temporary shelter that stuck out two feet onto a Portland sidewalk. Therefore, when the police looked in and saw Gregory Tegland smoking methamphetamine, they were within their rights to arrest him. Convicted of possession of meth and erecting a structure on public property, Tegland appealed, claiming police had conducted an unlawful search and seizure, thus violating his rights. However, the court determined that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a temporary shelter on public property unless the government has allowed it (Oregonian, February 12).

  People's Police Report

May, 2015
Also in PPR #65

Police Kill Houseless Man
  +1-2 Other Shootings

  5 Years, 111 OR Deadly Force Cases
Pdx Re-Joins Terror Task Force
DOJ Oversight Off to Rocky Start
Review Board Turnover;
  Auditor Exposes "Union" Interference

Other Cities Oversee Shootings
Review Board Report Limits Info
O'Deas of Our Lives 65
Updates PPR 65
  • Body Cams and Copwatching in OR
  • Policy Changes Remain Obscured
New Profiling Data Show Bias
Houseless Lives Still Bleak
Some OR Rights Strengthened
Quick Flashes PPR 65
  • "Senseless" Force on Tasered Teen
  • Police Association in the Media
  • Your Rights and the Police Trainings
Rapping Back #65

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

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