No thanks, Officer. I’m not interested in your free home search offer

This Saturday the National Capital Area ACLU is organizing a training day to educate the community on how to prevent warrantless police searches of their homes. Scott Morgan and I will be there representing FyR, and I’ll try to get some interviews with my new video camera that I’ll post online.
Continued

Videotaping Police Should Never Be a Crime

Radley Balko, one of our favorite fellow constitutional fetishists, has an informative FoxNews.com piece on the legality of videotaping police encounters. For those of you who are unsatiated by our FAQ about videotaping police, this should hit the spot.

I wonder: Aside from law-breaking officers, who benefits from laws prohibiting the videotaping of police officers?

Continued

Illinois v. Caballes: Dog Sniffs & You

Illinois v. Caballes
543 U.S. 405 (2005)

In Illinois vs. Caballes, the Supreme Court ruled that police do not need reasonable suspicion to use drug dogs to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop.

This decision stems from the case of Roy Caballes, who was pulled over for speeding and subsequently arrested for marijuana trafficking after a drug dog was brought to the scene and alerted on his vehicle. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction, finding that a drug sniff was unreasonable without evidence of a crime other than speeding.

In a 6-2 ruling, the Court held that the Fourth Amendment is not implicated when police use a dog sniff during the course of a legal traffic stop. Justice Stevens wrote the Opinion of the Court, finding that since dog sniffs only identify the presence of illegal items — in which citizens have no legitimate privacy interest — the Fourth Amendment does not apply to their use. Justices Souter and Ginsburg dissented, pointing to studies showing that drug dogs frequently return false positives (12.5-60% of the time, according to one study).

What this ruling means:

Continued