Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Madisonville requires written consent for police searches at traffic stops

Reports the Bryan-College Station Eagle. See prior Grits coverage on this topic.


Anonymous said...

Looks like this may become the norm around the country. I for one like it! But at the same time I believe LEO who attempt to force acceptance of a search with " if you refuse I'll just call for the K-9 unit "!!! They as well should be required to VERIFY UNDER OATH their probable cause for the threat and intimidations as well as any probable cause for actual request for K-9 units made!

Myself being an ex-K-9 trainer and handler stand against using a K-9 on the outside of any vehicle or as a method to confiscate money! I have often wondered why these issues have never made it before the highest court in our land? Never have I heard of a question raised in this manner as to vehicles searches. First off ones vehicles outside can be accessed BY ANYONE. If your setting at the store and a person smoking pot get out of a car beside you and puts his hand on your vehicle, that scent will remain there at 70 mph for over 24 hrs. If the person servicing your vehicle has smoked pot they will contaminate your vehicle inside and out depending on where all they come in contact, FACT! If our LEO and government can claim drugs are so prevalent in our nation and use this as evidence to circumvent our constitutional rights. Then how can the deny the possibilities of your vehicle being contaminated by others????

As for money, 90+% of the money in this country is ALREADY contaminated with drug scent , no matter if you get it from a bank or store not matter where, FACT! If a person is smoking pot and cashing their pay check from work , how does that automatically become drug money??? Or taking money out of the bank for a vacation, car loan or what ever, THE MONEY IS ALREADY tainted if the person touches it or not! What happened to proving guilt being the burden of the court, and innocent until such??? If you walk a K-9 into any bank they will alert on that money, how come it isn’t confiscated? Because no drugs were present right, what if a bank employee or a customer is busted, how much is taken then? Or if the bank is found to be holding drug money or laundering drug money, is it all taken??? If you give a friend a ride or even a stranger, and then get stopped and they are found to have drugs on them, why is your money automatically drug money???

This is one of the biggest RAPING AND ROBBING of our people by our system and those sworn to uphold our laws, FACT! Example: Victim leaves New York with 5000 cash for a vacation, along the way a friend smokes pot in the car and leaves the roach in the ash tray. They get stopped for speeding, the officers sees the roach or asked for permission to search and finds it. Then finds the money, has a K-9 alert on the money and confiscates it! All parties go to jail, set for weeks because they can’t use the money for bond or a lawyer. Then their either offered a plea or a trial “ with the threat of maximum time WHEN found guilty! Are you going to spend 10,000+ or the time lost from work to come back and get 5000 and possibly hard prison time??? BINGO you have just been RAPED BY THE SYSTEM!!! And this happens daily across this nation! Millions and Millions are stolen, yet where does it go? Do we the tax payers get a reduced budget next request, NO! Do we know how much and where it goes, NO!

And people wonder why NOBODY with any common sense trusts or respect LEO and this system???

Anonymous said...

Uh ... I don't think I get it. The Madisonville city council approves written consent for searches at traffic stops and the ACLU and black councilmembers opposed it?! Say whaaaaaaat?

What am I missing? The criticisms offered seem minor.

elvez1975 said...

I think the point of the criticisms might be that the form needs to better communicate the fact that:
1) the driver can refuse; and
2) that thew refusal cannot be used against the driver.

Talking to people who did not want to give consent to search (guilty and innocent), the number one thing I hear is that if they had known they could have refused, they would have. So perhaps the ACLU/Community leaders just want the form to reflect that in a situation where a person is not sure about the decision.

Anonymous said...

I don't actually think the vote was an "insult to the community," as one ACLU activist said. Clearly it was responsive to the community, and especially impressive for a small, rural town like Madisonville to pro-actively address the issue. Even the Mayor who voted for the proposal over public objections said he was willing to revisit language folks didn't like.

I agree with elvez1975 those are likely the justifications for ACLU's opposition. But the perfect is the enemy of the good, and this ordinance improves the status quo - personally I'm glad it passed even with ACLU's opposition.

elvez1975 said...

I think the ACLU is probably pissed because they know it needs to be right the first time as it's unlikely to be changed once the policy goes into effect.

The form needs to be clear through bold language or through the title of the document itself. Otherwise, people who are nervous, scared, and unsure will not be able to make a decision rationally. For God sakes, we have developed similar rules to protect consumers from waivers of warranties and other important contractual rights. I don't think that it's too much to ask for similar protections when it comes to waiving Constitutional rights.