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Tag: illegal search and seizure

Washington Times Sues Homeland Security for Confiscating Reporter’s Notes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Washington Times has sued Homeland Security after federal agents seized a reporter’s notes, the Associated Press reports.

The suit accuses federal agents of illegally seizing the materials during a search warrant over a gun and potato launcher allegedly possessed by the reporter’s husband.

Now the newspaper wants the notes back and said they were not covered by a search warrant.

Column: Homeland Security Exposes Constitutional Loop Hole to Conduct Searches

Dale McFeatters
The Eagle-Tribune

The Founding Fathers valued privacy enough to specify in the Fourth Amendment that the people had the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures unless a warrant was issued.

Among other items, they specified “papers.” In a rare moment of shortsightedness, they failed to specify laptops, cellphones and thumb drives. The feds, if they had any clue that these electronic devices might contain incriminating information, could of course go to court and obtain a warrant.

But the Department of Homeland Security has found a way around that constitutional technicality, as in the recent case of David House, who came to the feds’ attention for having raised funds for the defense of secrets-leaker Chelsea Manning, formerly Pfc. Bradley Manning. No telling what secrets House may have had, but it apparently wasn’t worth the hassle of going to court to find out.

Instead, according to the Associated Press: “U.S. agents quietly waited for months for House to leave the country, then seized his laptop, thumb drive, digital camera and cellphone when he re-entered the United States. They held his laptop for weeks before returning it, acknowledging one year later that House had committed no crime and promising to destroy copies the government made of House’s personal data.”

To read more click here.

Colorado Woman Sues ATF for Entering Home without a Warrant, Pointing Guns at 8 Year Old

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Linda Griego of Colorado has filed a lawsuit against the ATF for entering her home without a warrant and threatening her and her 8-year-old  son, Colby Frias, reports the WND.

Griego was already cautious about opening the door to her apartment due to a restraining order against her estranged ex-husband when a SWAT team came knocking, early on the morning of June 15, 2010, pulling Griego out of the shower and her son out of bed. The WND recounts that the agents were looking for a previous tenant who Griego explained didn’t live there anymore.

The SWAT team allegedly cuffed Griego, restraining her from comforting her child, and seemed to ignore her efforts to identify herself while they busted down the door of the child’s room.

In the meantime, Griego said they held her son at gunpoint with laser sights visible on his body. She says that two years later, he is afraid of all police and startles easily, often sleeping in her bed out of fear.

The agents finally let them go after emptying Griego’s purse and finding her ID. They left without apology.

The Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” Though admitting it was dismissing hundreds of years of Supreme Court decisions and the Magna Carta, it said, “We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.”

To read more click here.