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Denver Cops Escape Federal Charges In Beating

DENVER – A 23-year-old man who was beaten by three Denver police officers after he questioned their authority to search the trunk of his car says the Justice Department has decided not to charge any of the officers with civil-rights violations stemming from the case.
Alexander Landau tells The Denver Post that representatives of the department and the FBI told him Friday there was insufficient evidence to bring federal charges.
Yup, that sure looks like insufficient evidence to me.

For their part the cops involved claimed that this guy made a grab for one of their guns. For that they beat him with fists, flashlights and radios.
Then they tried to cover up the beating…because it was justified (or something).
Oddly, a jury didn’t agree and awarded the victim nearly $800,000.
Here’s some facts found at a law enforcement website: You don’t have to give police permission to search your car. You have the option to give limited permission to only search those parts ofthe car you specify.

Consent Searches

Extracting the rules from 17 Supreme Court decisions.

Warrantless searches are presumed to be unreasonable (Katz v. U.S.), but the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that a warrantless search may still be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if it falls within the guidelines of one or more of a limited number of exceptions. The standard exceptions include public or officer safety, search incident to arrest, fleeting targets, border search, booking search, inventory, probation and parole search, and consent.
“A search conducted pursuant to a valid consent is constitutionally permissible. One of the specifically established exceptions to the requirements of both a warrant and probable cause is a search that is conducted pursuant to consent. In situations where the police lack probable cause to arrest or search, a search authorized by a valid consent may be the only means of obtaining important and reliable evidence.” (Schneckloth v. Bustamonte)

If the cops say “Fine, we’ll just wait here until we get a warrant, or we’ll come back with a warrant” that’s coercive and even if you give permission at that point, the search is unlawful and anything they find is inadmissible as evidence. What they should say is “Ok, we’ll try to get a warrant and if we succeed, we’ll conduct a search then.”
On the other hand, if you have nothing to hide and don’t want to risk ending up looking like this guy, just let them do their search. There is nothing to be gained by standing on principle. I mean, it’s not like you got any Constitutional rights anymore.


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