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    The Law of Citizen Contacts and Stop and Frisk

    On a daily basis police officers have contacts with citizens that are consensual and thus do not implicate the Fourth Amendment. These contacts do not require the police to have any level of suspicion to justify the contact. Since police do not justify the stop based on some level of suspicion, the police have no authority to force a non-willing citizen ...
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    Some words for police officers who were on the front lines of terror

    9/22/01 Like most Americans I watched in horror as we experienced this centuries Pearl Harbor. This was an unprovoked attack to the very heart of our values and what we hold dear. There is no way that I as a therapist who has worked with hundreds of "stressed out" police officers can offer much sage advice to readers who have suffered ...
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    Unreasonable Frisk May Lead to Liability

    In Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the United States Supreme Court authorized police officers to stop and detain individuals where the officer had reasonable suspicion (some facts and circumstance but less than probable cause) to believe that the person to be stopped was involved in criminal activity. Officers were authorized to use force, short of deadly force to accomplish ...
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    Training at the Speed of Knots

    With the recent updates in funding in Homeland Security, one can only help wonder how evenly the funds will be distributed. Currently upgrade to the maritime port security initiative have stepped up with awesome and new technology however, we must begin to prepare for old history that tends to show itself over again. In this day in age, the piracy in ...
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    The Subject Specific Interview Approach

    In recent years several behavioral science experts have focused their research efforts on reviewing hundreds of investigative interviews and interrogations. There have been two goals of some of these studies. One has been to determine how successful the interviewers are at accurately identifying and analyzing the behavioral signs of deception. The second has been to gain greater insight into the investigative ...
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    U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Exclude Statements of Foreign Nationals where Vienna Convention is Violated

    Under Article 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a person who is detained by a foreign country has the right to request that the consular post of his country be notified. The article further provides that a person from another country who is detained must be informed of these rights. The impact of Article 36 on local ...
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    There Is a Way

    Hello, and welcome to February and the Chaplain’s Corner. February brings some mixed emotions for me this again this year as it seems it does every year. I’ll hit 57 on the 28th. For some reason, sixty doesn’t seem near as elderly as it did in the last century. “Last century!” Now that WILL make one feel old… “When were you ...
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    Justice Department Findings in Regards to Illegal Immigrants
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    Trial to Decide if 1st Grader is Fully Aware to Assume Risk Monkey Bars Claim Another Victim

    A jury should decide whether a six-year-old assumed the risk of injury when he fell off a piece of school playground equipment and was injured, the Supreme Court of New York has ruled. The plaintiff, a first-grader, was injured in October 2001 when he fell from his school’s monkey bars during recess. The pupil was one of 25-30 first-graders on the ...
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    Vehicle Checkpoints

    Over the past decade the United States Supreme Court has decided three cases dealing with law enforcement checkpoints involving car stops by police officers without individualized suspicion to believe that the operator of the vehicle had done anything wrong. In Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the Court approved of Sobriety Checkpoints where the police were acting pursuant to set ...
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    TASER® Draper v. Reynolds Review of Incidents—Recommendations for Use

    Over the past few years, the use of Tasers® (electronic restraining/compliance device) has become more common among law enforcement agencies nationwide. As the use of Tasers® becomes more prevalent, law enforcement agencies can expect claims to be made regarding their use. As with any use of force, courts will look at three factors in determining if a particular use of force ...
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    Preparing a Defense in Law Enforcement Litigation: A Formula for Law Enforcement

    Any significant law enforcement event has the potential to develop in a claim made against the agency and the officers involved. The likelihood of a lawsuit is enhanced when individuals involved in the event are injured or claim a violation of their rights at the outset. Depending upon the nature of the event and the public interest involved, the media may ...
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    The Aftermath….of Easter?

    Hello, and welcome to the May 2009 edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. I’ve decided to be good and not address the country’s “goin’ south.” Actually this month’s title and idea came as I was sitting in church this morning, listening to the sermon about “Doubting Thomas.” I think it’s interesting that just last night I told my wife that I needed ...
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    Police Involvement Does Not Always Invalidate Search

    An issue that is often raised in school search cases is the question as to what level of police involvement will require that a search be supported by probable cause rather than the reasonable suspicion standard allowed for school officials. A case on point was decided by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently. In the Interest of A.D., 844 A.2d 20 ...
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    Take it like a man - where the sun don't shine

    Women in the United States live on average 7.2 years longer than men. Men working in high stress jobs like law enforcement, where they are subject not only to police stress but to maintaining a veneer of self-reliance come hell or high water, die on average even sooner. If you take to heart what I'm about to write, it is more ...
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    Seizure at Gunpoint

    Robinson v. Solano County, 278 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2002) In Robinson v. Solano County, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had an opportunity to review whether a police officer’s pointing of a handgun at a citizen without actually pulling the trigger may violate the Fourth Amendment under some circumstances. The plaintiff in this case was James ...
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    Shooting At Non-Threatening Fleeing Vehicle May Violate 4th Amendment

    In Flores v. City of Palacios and Officer Kalina, 381 F.3d 391 (5th Cir. 2004), the United States Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit considered a case where an officer shot at a vehicle that refused to stop upon his command. Officer Kalina was on patrol when he shined his spotlight toward a vehicle that was parked on the wrong ...
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    Presence of SRO Does Not Invalidate Interrogation

    J.D. v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2004 Va. App. LEXIS 31 (Va. Ct. App. 2004). Following a clear trend the Court of Appeals of Virginia recently ruled that the presence of a School Resource Officer while a school official conducts an interrogation does not invalidate the interrogation. J.D. was identified as a possible suspect in some thefts occurring at his school. J.D. ...
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    State Law May Impact Claims Based on Pursuits

    The law regarding the liability, under state tort claims, against an entity and public officers varies from state to state. Law enforcement officers are protected by various immunities under state laws. These immunities are not limitless shields but instead provide limited protection for officers and the agencies they work for. Many states limit the liability of officers when they are undertaking ...
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    US Supreme Ct Anticipatory Search Warrent United States v. Grubbs

    United States Supreme Court: Anticipatory Search Warrant Valid Though Triggering Event Not Included in Warrant The United States Supreme Court held that an anticipatory search warrant, that described the triggering event for execution in the affidavit, but not the warrant or the attached schedules that were given to the suspect at the residence, still met the particularity requirement of the 4th ...
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