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Tag: unreasonable searches

NYT Editorial: ICE Agents Ran Amok in Suburban New York Raids

New York Times
Editorial

In a series of raids in suburban New York in 2006 and 2007, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement burst into private homes in the dead of night, without warrants, looking for undocumented immigrants, often in the wrong houses. They pounded on doors, terrorized innocent residents, ineptly drew guns on police officers who were supposed to be their partners, and found hardly any of the gang members they were hunting. It was a stunning display of aggression and incompetence.

It took six years, but the lawsuit filed after the raids finally ended last week, with a settlement approved by a federal district judge in New York. Under the agreement, ICE agents will now have to honor some elementary norms of the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches. Its agents will be forbidden to invade private homes without “a reasonable, articulable suspicion of danger.” When they have no warrant and need consent to enter a private home, they will have to ask permission in a language the resident understands, “whenever feasible.” They must also get permission to enter yards and other private areas adjoining homes. The federal government will pay $1 million in damages and fees, including $36,000 to each of 22 plaintiffs.

To read more click here.

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs, Citing an Unreasonable Search

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Police who use drug-sniffing dogs outside of homes to detect crimes without a warrant are violating the ban on unreasonable searches, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday, the New York Times reports.

In this case, a police dog detected the odor of marijuana outside a Florida house, and authorities used the retriever’s signal to obtain a search warrant.

The Supreme Court ruled that the dog amounted to an unreasonable search barred by the Fourth Amendment. “To find a visitor knocking on the door is routine (even if sometimes unwelcome),” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. “To spot that same visitor exploring the front porch with a metal detector, or marching his bloodhound into the garden before saying hello and asking permission, would inspire most of us to — well, call the police.”