Kristeen Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe Follow @OurVoicesEcho
Probable Cause Vs. Reasonable Suspicion
PROBABLE CAUSE is a reasonable belief a person has committed or will commit a crime. For probable cause to exist, a police officer must have sufficient knowledge of facts to warrant a belief that a suspect is committing a crime. The belief must be based on factual evidence, not just on suspicion. Probable cause to search for evidence or to seize evidence requires that an officer is possessed of sufficient facts and circumstances as would lead a reasonable person to believe that evidence or contraband relating to criminal activity will be found in the location to be searched. As with an arrest, if an officer cannot articulate the facts forming the basis for probable cause, the search and seizure will not hold up in court.
REASONABLE SUSPICION is a standard established by the Supreme Court in a 1968 case in which it ruled police officers should be allowed stop and briefly detain a person if, based upon the officer’s training and experience, there is reason to believe the individual is engaging in criminal activity. The officer is given the opportunity to freeze the action by stepping in to investigate. Unlike probable cause which uses a reasonable person standard, reasonable objectively justifiable suspicion is based upon the standard of a reasonable police officer.
Reasonable suspicion is sufficient to justify brief stops and detentions, but not enough to justify full search or grant a warrantless arrest which may be legitimate in situations where a police officer has a probable belief a suspect has either committed a crime is a threat to the public security to prevent the suspect’s escape or preserve evidence within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment occurring when police conduct communicates to a reasonable person the circumstances surrounding their detention is not free to ignore police presence and leave of his/her own free will.
“Reasonableness” of use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene. “Reasonable” is not synonymous with “typical.” A “reasonable police officer standard” establishes concrete, durable limits of lethal force sanctioning police to protect themselves as well as the public without pointlessly taking lives or infringing on constitutional rights.
However habitual *Typical* police (mis)conduct appears to be the norm. The inappropriate, illegal actions taken by police officers in conjunction with official duties leading to miscarriage of justice involving racial, income and gender discrimination and Obstruction of Justice ~ 18 U.S. Code § 1503 “Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede.”
It used to be police officers took pride in claiming they’ve never had to draw their weapon let alone use it. Nowadays it’s on their bucket list. Police are government-sponsored street gangs whose only functions are to funnel people into an increasingly for-profit justice system, extort funds beyond the scope of taxes and reasonable fines, and force civilian compliance with police and governmental measures regardless of constitutionality with threats or use of violence, and are not held to the same standards as civilians. Police operate under policy not law which is the difference between legal permitted by law, and lawful in accordance with the law.
Police raid wrong houses shooting residents, killing bystanders with stray bullets, shoot first and ask questions later, inflict brutality and great bodily injury or death. They speed hitting pedestrians and causing major accidents killing or maiming passengers because no matter how grave and allegedly regrettable, it’s deemed collateral damage by officials; thereby reducing and/or justifying the perception of culpability. Police commit murder and walk away with impunity, exempt from punishment, free from the consequences of their actions.
Where is the objective reasonableness of those actions? There isn’t any objective reasonableness, it’s the self- entitlement of dishonorable police officers to dispense “street justice” largely because US Citizens have historically displayed a highly collective tolerance for government-authorized police violence/killing, and when good cops keep quiet it makes every “good cop” a bad cop.
Police shouldn’t get to be “Individuals” when they wear the uniform and badge to commit murders. They are part of a SYSTEM. If they want to be seen as individuals, let them commit these crimes OUT of uniform and see how protected they are. Whether it’s through emotional immaturity, tactical incompetence, outright belligerence or the inability to separate personal problems from their job, they’re the ones creating situations and circumstances in which people are being deprived of their constitutional rights.
Police love it when you don’t know your rights, so get to Know Your 4th Amendment Rights Here
1. an officer’s actions were reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting him, without regard to his underlying intent or motivation.
1. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts
2. unbiased by an objective opinion
3. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings
1. having sound judgment; fair and sensible
2. as much as is appropriate or fair; moderate.
3. capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person
4. governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking
5. a reasonable solution to the problem
6. being within the bounds of common sense
THE REASONABLENESS STANDARD
1. a test which asks whether the decisions made were legitimate
2. designed to remedy a certain issue under the circumstances at the time.
1. requires absolute certainty and can consider facts that were discovered with hindsight, or takes into consideration the legal standard used by the Supreme Court of the United States and human performance limitations
1. strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement
2. coercion or compulsion, especially with the use or threat of violence
3. make a way through or into by physical strength; break open by force
4. make (someone) do something against their will
1. the least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required
2. smallest or lowest
1. required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential
2. determined, existing, or happening by natural laws or predestination; inevitable
USE OF FORCE
1. to gain control of an unruly person or situation
2. involves the use of physical restraint usually by a member of a law enforcement agency
1. being in accordance with reason
2. not extreme or excessive.
STRIP SEARCHES and ILLEGAL CAVITY SEARCHES
There is nothing more private than one’s own body and being required to rearrange your clothing exposing your naked body or being strip searched is a fundamental violation of your bodily integrity. A strip search must be supported by reasonable suspicion before a police officer can perform one. This means the police must reasonably suspect the person is engaged in some form of crime which would require them to be strip searched. A strip search is considered to be inappropriate if it is performed:
Without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity
By an officer of the opposite sex
In the presence of persons of the opposite sex
In a manner that exposes the person’s body to the public
In a manner that is degrading, insulting, offensive, or overly intrusive
An officer can only do a strip search with a warrant or the person’s consent. Any physical intrusion also requires either a warrant or consent and MUST be PERFORMED by a MEDICAL DOCTOR.
A strip search is perhaps one of the most intrusive forms of police procedures. They should ONLY be performed when absolutely necessary. If you feel your rights have been violated during a strip search, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer can assist you in investigating the incident, and if necessary, can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
FOURTH AMENDMENT – SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
TENNESSEE V. GARNER 471 U.S. 1 (1985)
GRAHAM V. CONNOR 490 U.S. 386 (1989)
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)