Blogging in Berkeley. Notes on news, politics, law, and technology in the US and China. [This blog is inactive. I am now staying busy and having a great time at UVA Law.]
Saturday, April 29, 2006
  Deputies' feelings trumped her rights

This is totally unacceptable...

Deputies' feelings trumped her rights: "I'm pretty sure we all have a right to close our blinds and lock our doors to keep police from peeking or barging in without a warrant, at least when there is no emergency going on.

A garage door was still open. Lutz stood where he could block the safety beam to prevent it from closing. He heard the closer activate but the door stayed open.

By then, another deputy had arrived. When Cynthia Coffin came out to her garage to complain, the deputies threatened her with arrest if there was 'further resistance,' [TO LETTING THEM INTO HER HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT!!!] the report says.

When she turned to walk away, 'the deputies feared she was going to enter the residence and lock the door,' according to the report, and so, 'to avoid further obstruction' they 'grabbed her arms to place her under arrest.'

How the heck is that legal?

The deputies had no legal basis for entering a home without permission, and no power to demand help from Cynthia Coffin even if she could have made her husband come out.

She, on the other hand, had every right to lock her doors to make it clear the deputies were not invited in. Good idea, actually, since the deputies apparently had no concept of her rights in her own home, which police in America are supposed to respect.

The report says she pulled away when the deputies grabbed her, so they forced her to the ground to handcuff her.

The legality of that notwithstanding, it was an effective ploy. Those deputies now had the man's wife on the ground as bait.

Sure enough, he came right out."

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