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April 23, 2007


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Scott Greenfield

Shucks, you're giving the cops way too much latitude. They had no PC to begin with. They made a common law inquiry, and the driver appropriately responded. From there, the cops' testimony smells.

For no reason, he reaches toward the center console? For no reason, they suspect he might be reaching for a weapon? Furtive gestures? Nervous? This is the same amorphous crap they throw up to justify a search whenever there's no objective basis. If all the cops have to do is mumble "furtive" and "nervous", then search and seizure becomes a joke.

Being the old timer that I am, I remember all too well the dropsy cases. Every time there was a street encounter, the police would claim that the perp tossed the drugs to the ground, abandoning it as they watched, thus eliminating the search issue as well as nailing the perp on the charge. It took a long time for the courts to figure out that this was a scam designed to defeat the Constituion, what police perceived as particularly problematic thing that only served to protect the guilty from justice.

We're about due for another round of judicial cynicism. But then again, we've been due for about 20 years.

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