Rudy Giuliani

Courts Tell Cops to Step Away From the Vehicles

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The California Supreme Court has invalidated ordinances across the state that allow local police to seize the cars of johns and drug buyers. (When he was mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani championed a similar policy for people suspected, but not necessarily convicted, of drunk driving.) Don't get too excited: The ruling, which grew out of a challenge to Stockton's "nuisance vehicle" policy, was based not on due process or property rights concerns but on the court's conclusion that such local ordinances conflict with state law, imposing punishments beyond those authorized by the state legislature. In Stockton, for example, someone trying to buy less than an ounce of pot, possession of which is "a low-grade misdemeanor warranting only a $100 fine and no jail time" under state law, could lose a car worth tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the forfeiture could be completed based on a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, as opposed to the proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" required to impose the much lighter punishment prescribed by the state legislature.

In other vehicle-related legal news, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that looking through the car of a man who has already been arrested and handcuffed does not count as a "search incident to an arrest."

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  1. Hey, it’s a start. I’ll take it.

  2. “””Police departments across the state, working with the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and the Arizona Law Enforcement Legal Advisors’ Association, filed briefs urging the court to uphold the conviction and hinting they would adopt different arrest procedures — perhaps not handcuffing suspects until after a vehicle search — to be able to continue the practice.”””

    Pretty much sums up the law(less) enforcement mentality. If the judge disagrees, they will skirt the law.

    To many cops, your rights and privileges are obstacles and not something to cherish.

  3. w/ regard to the AZ ruling:

    up is down
    black is white
    freedom is slavery

  4. innominate one –

    What exactly makes the AZ ruling so crazy? Did you even click the link?

  5. Once again, the police demonstrate why their profession so richly deserve the scorn, ridicule, derision, and disrespect they occasionally receive.

  6. Police departments across the state, working with the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and the Arizona Law Enforcement Legal Advisors’ Association, filed briefs urging the court to uphold the conviction and hinting they would adopt different arrest procedures — perhaps not handcuffing suspects until after a vehicle search — to be able to continue the practice.

    Hmphh – started a sincere, heartfelt response, then was struck by the image of an officer brandishing his handcuffs closer and closer to a detainee as his partner tosses the detainee’s car, repeating in a mocking singsong, “I’m not cuuffing youuuuu”…

  7. Re: AZ ruling

    “When the justifications [for a search incident to arrest] no longer exist because the scene is secure and the arrestee is handcuffed, secured in the back of a patrol car, and under the supervision of an officer, the warrantless search of the arrestee’s car cannot be justified as necessary to protect the officers at the scene or prevent the destruction of evidence,”

    No brainer.

    Arizona law enforcement was not happy about the ruling, and some agencies suggested they would find ways to skirt it. Police departments across the state, working with the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and the Arizona Law Enforcement Legal Advisors’ Association, filed briefs urging the court to uphold the conviction and hinting they would adopt different arrest procedures — perhaps not handcuffing suspects until after a vehicle search — to be able to continue the practice.

    I’m don’t want wish death on a cop, but if one gets shot doing this, it will be deserved.

  8. Carjacking with a badge.

    Let’s call this police activity what it is.

    And Giuliani ia a carjacking advocate; see how a sometime commenter here squares that with the view that he is libertarian.

  9. And Giuliani ia a carjacking advocate; see how a sometime commenter here squares that with the view that he is libertarian.

    Careful, dude…speak of the DONDEROOO and he may appear…

  10. HEY

    Before any of you criticize Giuliani, just remember WHY he had to have people’s cars seized.

    9/11

    It’s why and how he does anything at any time forever.

  11. I’m sure this upset Nacy Grace.

  12. I’m don’t want wish death on a cop, but if one gets shot doing this, it will be deserved.

    I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but when a cop gets shot doing this, the jackass who instituted the policy should be fired.

    Government employees (and frankly any private company employee for the most part) sees his job as the MOST IMPORTANT THING. So a cop sees getting convictions to be the most important thing. So anything getting in their way isn’t seen as a reasonable protection of peoples’ privacy, but a technicality that lets VERY BAD PEOPLE get away. Hence they don’t even think of this as intentionally violating peoples’ rights, they see this as getting bad guys. The 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amdendments are just problems to be solved, not fundamental pillars of a fair justice system.

    Capitalization used in lieu of scare quotes.

  13. “When the justifications [for a search incident to arrest] no longer exist because the scene is secure and the arrestee is handcuffed, secured in the back of a patrol car, and under the supervision of an officer …”

    So if the arrestee is handcuffed, but not in the back of the patrol car, OK to search?

    Or handcuffed, secured in the back of a patrol car, but not being supervised by an officer because he is handcuffed in the back of a police car with no door handles to open and a metal barrier preventing access to the front seat and thus can’t possibly escape, OK to search?

    Did the judge who wrote this opinion deliberately set up to make it so specific that any cop could run a truck through the loopholes created? Or this there some explanatory text left out of the quote above?

  14. The scary part about the AZ decision is that it grants broader rights than those granted under the US Constitution. The US Supreme Court has held that such a search is permissible under the federal constitution.

  15. The scary part about the AZ decision is that it grants broader rights than those granted under the US Constitution.

    And this is scary why? If true it means that the judges in Arizona want the citizenry to be better treated than the Federal Supreme Court judges say they have to.

    If that’s scary to you, do you faint in fear when someone holds a door open for you?

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