Training >> Browse Articles

Browse Legal & Liability Articles

  • +12

    Terry Frisks and the Totality of the Circumstances

    Many officers are of the belief that if they have the legal right to detain a suspect, they can automatically frisk that suspect “for officer safety.” However, in 1968, the United States Supreme Court held that an officer may conduct a limited search (frisk) of a suspect for weapons when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect, who is detained pursuant ...
    Rated +12
  • +10

    Handcuffing as Excessive Force

    Handcuffing as Excessive Force
    An area of liability that is sometimes given very little attention is handcuffing. Clearly, handcuffing is a frequently recurring law enforcement task, but is it a high-risk critical task? There can be little question that handcuffing is a high-frequency/high risk critical task. Consider two cases reported in the media. The first involved a Florida neuro-surgeon, Angelo Gousse. Dr. Gousse was visiting ...
    Rated +10
  • +10

    Officers Granted Immunity Under Garrity Ruling

    Officers Granted Immunity Under Garrity Ruling
    Most grants of immunity occur under the jurisdiction of a court in accordance with a statute. See E.g. 18 U.S.C. 6002. One type of immunity that developed in the context of investigations of public and government employees is that is commonly referred to in the law enforcement setting as a “Garrity” interview. “Garrity” interviews and “Garrity” warnings derive their label from ...
    Rated +10
  • +9

    Hidden Compartment in Motor Vehicle Can Provide Probable Cause for Search

    United States v. Concepcion-Ledesma, 447 F.3d 1307 (10th Cir. 2006) Just the Facts… On May 16, 2006 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the above case, held that the presence of a hidden compartment in vehicle, taken with the totality of the circumstances, provides probable cause for a warrantless search. In this case, a Kansas State Trooper observed a group ...
    Rated +9
  • +6

    Supreme Court to Hear Incident to Arrest –Vehicle Case

    Supreme Court to Hear Incident to Arrest –Vehicle Case
    *Does the Fourth Amendment require the suppression of evidence obtained incident to an arrest that is based upon probable cause, where the arrest violates a provision of state law?* On September 25th (2007) the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in which a person and a vehicle were searched incident to an arrest. The arrest was for operating ...
    Rated +6
  • +6

    Scott v Harris - The Final Word on State Claims

    In 2007, the United States Supreme Court decided Scott v. Harrisi, which vastly limited Fourth Amendment liability arising from vehicle pursuits. This case began in 2001, when Victor Harris was clocked traveling 73 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. Harris fled the traffic stop and caused a pursuit that lasted approximately 10 miles. During the pursuit, he sped through a ...
    Rated +6
  • +3

    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 ...
    Rated +3
  • +3

    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 ...
    Rated +3
  • +3

    Companion with Gun May Provide Reasonable Suspicion for Pat-Down

    In Rajaee El-Amin v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2005 Va. LEXIS 17 (2005), the Supreme Court of Virginia considered the authority of a police officer to conduct a pat-down of a subject based upon their association with a subject found to be in possession of a firearm. While the court declined to adopt an "automatic companion" rule, the court found that the ...
    Rated +3
  • +2

    Proving Constructive Possession of Illegal Drugs

    Officers from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department executed a search warrant at the home of Dale Ann Harris, where she lived with her children. When the police made entry, they found Harris and two other women inside the apartment; all were handcuffed and detained. Officers searched the kitchen and found jars, vials, tin foil, and spoons which contained suspicious liquid ...
    Rated +2
  • +2

    Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Discrimination

    *+The Need for Policy and Training+* Utilizing the Walker formula previously cited: Does the policy-maker and/or trainer know to a moral certainty that officers will face situations that may involve sexual harassment, discrimination or misconduct in the law enforcement profession? Would an officer be better equipped to deal with these situations if trained and directed by policy? Is there likely to ...
    Rated +2
  • +2

    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, ...
    Rated +2
  • +1

    The Shocking Truths about Lightning Deaths

    In the aftermath of a severe mid-summer thunderstorm, a rookie police officer is dispatched to the scene of a dead body. A citizen walking his dog has discovered the corpse of a young adult female in some bushes near a sidewalk. The woman appears to have been beaten and her clothing violently torn. The young officer believes he has encountered his ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    The Shocking Truths about Lightning Deaths

    In the aftermath of a severe mid-summer thunderstorm, a rookie police officer is dispatched to the scene of a dead body. A citizen walking his dog has discovered the corpse of a young adult female in some bushes near a sidewalk. The woman appears to have been beaten and her clothing violently torn. The young officer believes he has encountered ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    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 ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    When Suspect is NOT in Custody, Seibert Analysis is NOT Needed

    U.S. v. Courtney, 463 F.3d 333 (5th Cir. 2006) Cherie Marie Courtney testified falsely at the trial of her boyfriend, Shawn Kilgarlin. Two EPA Special Agents conducted two interviews with Courtney. A year later she was indicted, arrested and Mirandized. She waived her rights and spoke with the Agents. She again made incriminating statements similar to her prior statements. At a ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    Witnesses: A critical element in administrative investigations

    When your law enforcement agency conducts an administrative investigation you usually have a complainant and your agency employee. Frequently, the complainant has a witness or two. Your employee often has other agency employees, such as a partner or back-up officer, supervisor and the dispatcher. Other witnesses with little or no allegiance to either the complainant or employee are commonly referred to ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    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 ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    Witnesses: A critical element in administrative investigations

    When your law enforcement agency conducts an administrative investigation you usually have a complainant and your agency employee. Frequently, the complainant has a witness or two. Your employee often has other agency employees, such as a partner or back-up officer, supervisor and the dispatcher. Other witnesses with little or no allegiance to either the complainant or employee are commonly referred to ...
    Rated +1
  • +1

    Hidden Compartment in Motor Vehicle Can Provide Probable Cause for Search

    United States v. Concepcion-Ledesma, 447 F.3d 1307 (10th Cir. 2006) Just the Facts… On May 16, 2006 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the above case, held that the presence of a hidden compartment in vehicle, taken with the totality of the circumstances, provides probable cause for a warrantless search. In this case, a Kansas State Trooper observed a group ...
    Rated +1
PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.