Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Virginia v. Moore upheld the use of evidence seized during arrests that are illegal under state law. It’s a terrible ruling to be sure, but it’s hardly the deathblow to our 4th Amendment rights that some may assume. As always, we hope concerned citizens will take a moment to learn what the ruling does and does not do and remember that asserting your constitutional rights during police encounters remains the best choice. … Continued
A couple weeks ago Scott and I joined the National Capitol Area ACLU for a door-to-door outreach effort in Southeast D.C. warning citizens about a “knock and talk” program the DC Police Department threatened to implement.
This short video, which was my first behind-the-camera creation, tells the story:
I couldn’t have scripted this much better: At about 1:35 into the video, a woman mistakes us for the police and eagerly invites us in to search her home. It’s funny, but it proves our point about why this information is needed. (For all she knows, someone could have left some marijuana under her couch cushion for an officer to find and get her and her family kicked out of public housing.)
Responding to the unexpected public backlash generated through such community outreach, DC Police Chief Lanier recently announced that her so-called Safe Homes initiative would be scaled back. Under the new plan, police will not go door-to-door requesting consent. Citizens wishing to be searched must instead call the police and invite them into their homes.
In other words, the good guys won, and Chief Lanier was left to take the blame for her hare-brained initiative.
For a refresher on how to refuse home searches, watch this.
We’ve got some more required reading for all you “4th Amendment is dead” fools who keep farting on our freedom parade. I know, there’s no shortage of police, judges, and prosecutors who can’t find big enough boots to trample your rights with. Believe me, I know. But the law evolves over time, as does the behavior of our public servants. This month brought a couple examples of the ability of State Courts to set a high threshold of 4th Amendment protection for the citizens they serve. … Continued