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Supreme Court supports the free-air sniff

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  • Supreme Court supports the free-air sniff

    I hope this wasnt already posted somewhere else already (I looke around and didnt see it) but I thought it was worth mentioning.....

    "SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court sided with police Thursday in a case testing a unique type of drug-dog search of vehicles.

    In a 4-3 decision, the high court overruled an Adams County judge’s decision that said motorists can’t be ordered to assist officers in conducting dog sniffs of their own cars and trucks, even if the police don’t have probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

    The case stems from a 2006 traffic stop in Quincy, in which Cheryl Bartelt was stopped after a police officer observed she was parked illegally.

    A second officer arrived at the scene with a police dog and, although he had no probable cause, ordered Bartelt to roll up her windows and turn on the interior blower fan. Air being pushed out from within the vehicle alerted the dog to the presence of drugs inside. Bartelt was arrested.

    The circuit judge sided with Bartelt that the evidence should be suppressed because it was obtained in violation of a person’s right to unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth District Appellate Court disagreed.

    In siding with the police, the high court majority cited a decision in a Florida drug arrest in which Drug Enforcement Administration agents “prepped” the suitcases of two drug suspects by pressing the suitcases lightly with their hands in order for drug-dogs to sniff any drug-laced air being emitted from the suitcases.

    Justice Lloyd Karmeier noted that the Quincy police action “was not sufficiently intrusive.”

    But, a minority dissent noted the case raises questions of whether a police officer’s order to a driver to help “set up” a drug sniffing procedure constitutes an unreasonable seizure.

    “It is my view that it is,” Justice Charles Freeman wrote in the dissent."

    Some of the comments on this story have been rediculous! One person went so far as to ask "since when can police officers just search your vehicle because they feel like it?"

  • #2
    After reading the comments on this story that the public has posted I encourage all to go and read how stupid these people are at:

    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local...?mode=comments

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by zimmerman_pm View Post
      Some of the comments on this story have been rediculous! One person went so far as to ask "since when can police officers just search your vehicle because they feel like it?"
      I don't think the controversy is ridiculous at all. I think the reason for the controversy is very clear.

      There is no PC to search the interior of the vehicle, so we will force you to take some stuff out of the vehicle for us to search?

      Personally my car makes terrible and awful sounds when I turn on the fan; I'd prefer not to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
        I don't think the controversy is ridiculous at all. I think the reason for the controversy is very clear.

        There is no PC to search the interior of the vehicle, so we will force you to take some stuff out of the vehicle for us to search?

        Personally my car makes terrible and awful sounds when I turn on the fan; I'd prefer not to.


        Correct me if I am wrong but...Under the 4th Amendment, the free-air sniff is not even constituted as a search. If the dog indicates that the vehicle may possess contraband, that in itself is the PC to search the entire vehicle.....

        Also, if you dont do drugs, dont have friends that do drugs, and have never purchased or stored drugs.....what issue is there with the police searching your vehicle?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by zimmerman_pm View Post
          Correct me if I am wrong but...Under the 4th Amendment, the free-air sniff is not even constituted as a search. If the dog indicates that the vehicle may possess contraband, that in itself is the PC to search the entire vehicle.....

          Also, if you dont do drugs, dont have friends that do drugs, and have never purchased or stored drugs.....what issue is there with the police searching your vehicle?
          I agree. The only thing I wouldn't like is the dog walking all over the seats with dirty paws and getting hair everywhere haha.
          Been chatting to a girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

          Comment


          • #6
            If this is granted cert I'll wager it's reversed and remanded.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
              I don't think the controversy is ridiculous at all. I think the reason for the controversy is very clear.

              There is no PC to search the interior of the vehicle, so we will force you to take some stuff out of the vehicle for us to search?

              Personally my car makes terrible and awful sounds when I turn on the fan; I'd prefer not to.
              PC is not required for a dog search. Any officer at any time can walk their K9 around your vehcle and if the dog shows the appropriate signals, PC is automatic. This doesn't mean that officers are walking around parking lots with dogs. Normally drug-sniffing K9s are used for drug interdiction operations or when officers believe that drugs may be present in a vehicle during a legitimate stop. I think it's funny that they're askin people to turn on their fan to exaggerate the scent. I assume that if she refused she couldn't be charged with anything. If they threatened to arrest her if she didn't comply, then I could see any evidence possibly getting suppressed. As far as the dog alert and PC itself, that will stand all day. The US Supreme Court decided on that years ago.
              I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

              Comment


              • #8
                I see it as: they asked and she complied. No harm in asking her to help. Its not much diffrent than when i ask the driver of a car im searching to open their trunk or hood for me. They can always say no.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by zimmerman_pm View Post
                  Correct me if I am wrong but...Under the 4th Amendment, the free-air sniff is not even constituted as a search. If the dog indicates that the vehicle may possess contraband, that in itself is the PC to search the entire vehicle.....
                  And that was the controversy; is it a "free-air" sniff if the air has to be forced out of the vehicle?

                  Originally posted by zimmerman_pm
                  Also, if you dont do drugs, dont have friends that do drugs, and have never purchased or stored drugs.....what issue is there with the police searching your vehicle?
                  Originally posted by Exodus259
                  Maybe it's just me, but I don't do drugs, nor do I allow them in my car EVER. I've had police search my car twice (due to funny circumstances), and I always told them go ahead. They won't find anything, so I have nothing to worry about. They were respectful. Besides, it makes things easier, lol
                  As you should know well, the old "if you've got nothing to hide" argument doesn't hold much ground. Now that the legal side of things is covered, here are some issues with police searching my vehicle: it takes a long time, they will mess everything up and not worry about putting it back, and finally my car is a disaster and it's embarrassing sometimes ;-) I don't really want any random stranger to go through my belongings, LEO or not.

                  Originally posted by SgtScott31
                  I think it's funny that they're askin people to turn on their fan to exaggerate the scent. I assume that if she refused she couldn't be charged with anything. If they threatened to arrest her if she didn't comply, then I could see any evidence possibly getting suppressed.
                  As I read it, that's what happened. That's what I thought the issue at hand was. Of course this is the journalist's wording but in the OP it said she was "ordered" to do it. Another article I read said that she was "told" to do it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yet another thing we can't do.
                    Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Was the ticket issued before the sniff? What reason did the officer have to "order" the driver to roll down the window and turn on the blower? There has to be more to this story.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by badge17 View Post
                        I see it as: they asked and she complied. No harm in asking her to help. Its not much diffrent than when i ask the driver of a car im searching to open their trunk or hood for me. They can always say no.


                        Yeah, She could have said no. But then that would have given the officers the PC. She should have asked what PC they had....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While I may or may not agree with ordering someone to nail themselves, the argument of "if you've done nothing wrong..." is the refuge of the indefencible.

                          Also, if you dont do drugs, dont have friends that do drugs, and have never purchased or stored drugs.....what issue is there with the police searching your vehicle?
                          avoid it at all costs and use points of substance, please.

                          At the risk of triggering Godwin's Law, swapping in other "things" into that argument shows how insubstantial it is. "Also, if you aren't a Jew, dont have friends that are Jews, and have never had anything to do with Jews.....what issue is there with the Gestapo searching [fill in the blank]?"
                          Last edited by Bounce; 03-31-2011, 08:42 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LLee7104 View Post
                            Yeah, She could have said no. But then that would have given the officers the PC. She should have asked what PC they had....
                            I must have a gross misunderstanding of PC because I am pretty dang sure that declining a search of any kind does NOT constitute probable cause for the search to proceed anyway.

                            However, many times the search request is made even when PC already exists (just as another layer of CYA).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LLee7104 View Post
                              Yeah, She could have said no. But then that would have given the officers the PC.
                              Umm, no it wouldn't.
                              Originally posted by kontemplerande
                              Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                              Comment

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