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Fruit of Poisoned Tree OK'd by Supremes

In Utah v. Strieff, the Supreme Court decided in a 5 to 3 decision that officers who find evidence during an "illegal" stop can use that evidence in court "if the officers conducted their searches after learning that the defendants had outstanding arrest warrants" (New York Times, June 20). Joseph Strieff was stopped by a police officer with no probable cause, but the officer who stopped him discovered a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. This deeply disturbing decision means the police can stop you for no reason and then use anything they find upon searching you against you if you have outstanding warrants. Moreover, the police can stop you without cause to check if you have outstanding warrants.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a"scathing" (The Nation, June 20) and "fiery" (New York Times, June 20) dissent. She said "The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer's violation of your Fourth Amendment rights." She went on to say "it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined in her dissent.

Appeals Court Delivers Blow to Phone-Privacy Advocates

The May 31, the Intercept reported that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia upheld what is known as the "third-party doctrine." This legal theory says if a consumer shares information with a third party, she gives up her right to privacy because she doesn't have an expectation of privacy. This means police do not need a warrant to ask a company for cellphone records to track location data in an investigation. Circuit courts do not consider this a search under the Fourth Amendment due to the "third party" theory. Though similar decisions have been made in the 5th, 6th, and 11th Circuits, experts told the Intercept they believe the issue will have to be considered by the Supreme Court due to rapid changes in the digital age.

Louisiana: Blue Lives Really Matter

It's a first. National Public Radio reported on May 24 that the Louisiana Legislature expanded hate- crime laws to include protections for police and other first responders. So now police, firefighters and medical crews are added to the protected classes of race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry and organizational affiliation. This will allow prosecutors to ask for harsher penalties for crimes in which first responders are intentionally targeted. Since being a police officer is a job, not a belief or an immutable characteristic, many hope this law will be overturned. Similar "Blue Lives Matter" laws are being proposed at the state and national level.

  People's Police Report

September, 2016
Also in PPR #69

Police Shoot At, Miss One
  Other Oregon Shootings--2 Per Month
DOJ Staff, Board Ask for Divorce
Chief Shoots Friend, Steps Down
Review Board Faces Changes
Police Oversight Report Has Less Info
May Day 2016: Small Police Presence
Sheriff Staton Hits the Trail
Profiling: "Gang" Arrests, Stop Data
Cops Plan More Homeless Sweeps
Training Council Recommendations
Mayor Secretly Negotiates Contract
PPB Policy Review at Slow Crawl
Updates PPR 69
  • PPB May Let Cops See Body Cam Footage
  Police Use Pole Cameras
  Copwatchers Receive Settlements
  Entrapped Man Appeals Terror Ruling
Legal Briefs: Evidence, Phones, Cops
Quick Flashes PPR 69
  Officer in DUI Flips Car in Crash
  Cop Sprays Dog Walker
Rapping Back #69

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.

People's Police Report #69 Table of Contents
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