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    Hostages and the Legal Duty to Protect

    _Ewolski v. City of Brunswick_ provides an example of how decisions made by police officers and impacting the lives of hostages will be viewed by courts considering a duty to protect type claim.i The claim in Ewolski stemmed from the suicide of John Lekan and the homicide of Lekan’s son by John Lekan as a SWAT team moved in attempting to ...
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    Retention of ID During a Consensual Encounter

    The Supreme Court of Florida recently decided an important case regarding consensual encounters. In Golphinv. Florida, two police officers were on patrol in an area of Daytona Beach that is known for prostitution and narcotics traffic. The police officers were specifically in that area to conduct field interviews with individuals in that area. The officers observed a group of approximately five ...
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    Tasered Spectator Has Potential Case of Excessive Force and Unlawful Arrest

    Following a day of watching races at the Gateway International Raceway, Christopher DeSalvo was watching guests of the Holiday Inn do “burnouts” with their vehicles in the rear lot of the hotel. Approximately 100-150 guests were gathered for the show. The gathering and the vehicle “burnouts” prompted the response of the police. Officer Krug, upon responding a second time to the ...
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    Scary Drawings—Difficult Decisions Scary Drawings—Difficult Decisions

    “This case highlights the difficulties of school administrators charged to balance their duty to provide a safe school with the constitutional rights of individual students when violence in schools is a serious concern,” wrote a federal appellate court judge in a Louisiana case, the appeal from which, the Supreme Court recently declined to hear. At the age of fourteen, and in ...
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    Police NOT Liable in Drowning Death of Handcuffed Escapee

    Hermann v. City of Louisville, 114 Fed. Appx. 162 (6th Cir. 2004) involved the death of Louis Hermann following his escape from police while handcuffed. Louis was arrested after being disruptive at a free outdoor concert in Louisville’s City Park, which is adjacent to the Ohio River. Louis had been acting up at the concert and was asked by an officer ...
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    Reasonable Suspicion In School Drug Cases

    In establishing reasonable suspicion to conduct the search of a student, school officials and police officers assigned to schools should provide complete details of the facts which justified their decision to search. A case from the State of Washington provides a good example of the detail which will support such a search. State of Washington v. Huff, 2004 Wash. App. LEXIS ...
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    Strip Search Filmed By Media Rendered Search Unreasonable

    A search conducted by members of the Indianapolis Police Department was found to be unreasonable and unprofessional based upon the presence and filming by a camerawoman. In Thompson v. State, an Indiana Appellate Court examined a strip search which occurred during an undercover operation. The operation, being conducted by a policewoman, was being filmed by a television camerawoman who was filming ...
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    Student showing propensity for violence can be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation

    Demers v. Leominster School Dept., 263 F.Supp. 2d 195 (Dist. MA 2003). Michael Demers and his parents filed a federal lawsuit against school officials after he was suspended from school following his refusal to undergo a psychiatric exam. The suit alleged among other things, a violation of Michael’s due process rights. School officials sought to have Michael psychiatrically examined after he ...
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    Training Liability & Use of Deadly Force

    Any time a law enforcement officer uses deadly force, the likelihood that a lawsuit will follow is almost a certainty. Most of these lawsuits are brought in the federal courts as civil rights claims based upon the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. These actions are brought under a federal statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 which creates civil liability when ...
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    Training/Documentation “Major Lesson Plan”

    As part of the Liability and Risk Management Institute’s continued effort to further manage the risk and reduce financial losses through lawsuits, each edition of the legal update will include a major lesson plan. This major lesson plan may be used as a method to conduct and document training. How does it work? Supervisors are provided with the legal update for ...
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    US Supreme Court Argument - Scott v. Harris (Ramming During High Speed Pursuit)

    On Monday February 26, 2007 the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Scott v. Harris, a case stemming from a high-speed pursuit in Coweta County Georgia. Harris, the motorist was speeding through Coweta County which drew the attention of law enforcement. Officers attempted to stop Harris, at which point he fled at high-speed. Deputy Scott of the Coweta County ...
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    US Supreme Ct - Randolph v. Georgia

    Police Cannot Use the Consent of a Co-Occupant to Make Entry in Order to Search for Evidence to be used Against the Opposing Occupant who Is Present and Objects to the Entry. Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. ___, slip op. 04-1067 (3/22/06). The United States Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding consent searches in homes in Randolph v. Georgia, decided ...
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    Understanding the Attorney-Client Privilege in Criminal Investigations

    Throughout history, the United States Judiciary has generally endeavored to balance the need for enforcement of law and criminal code against the broader goals society. While the maintenance of law and order is integral to the functioning of our society, so is the maintenance of trust between members of society who share certain personally or professionally intimate relationships, such as family ...
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    Use of Force-Policy and Training Considerations

    The law enforcement community has been scrutinized and criticized on a regular basis for incidents involving use of force. Perhaps part of the lack of understanding on police use of force comes from the fact that most people get their perspective on police use of force from television. The reality of police use of force is that it is not the ...
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    U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Privacy Interests of Passenger

    You may also find this article on the web at http://www.patc.com/weeklyarticles/passenger.shtml The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in April on another case impacting law enforcement operations. *1 The case concerns whether a passenger in a vehicle which has been unlawfully stopped can challenge the basis of the stop when evidence is discovered relative to the passenger. ...
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    Arrest Reasonable Despite Mistaken Identity

    Rodriguez v. Farrell, 280 F. 3d 1341 (11th Cir. 2002) Chapman v. City of Atlanta, No. 05-15505, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 20767 (August 14, 2006) On January 20, 2002 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that, when the police have a valid warrant to arrest someone, but mistakenly arrest someone else due to a misidentification, there is no constitutional violation, ...
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