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Inadvertent Recording Of Calls On Police Line Does Not Violate Wiretap Laws

In November 2016, the Grand Rapids Police Department dispatched an officer to a car accident site. The driver of the car, a Kent County assistant prosecutor, drove down a one-way street and struck a parked car. The on-scene officer called Lieutenant Matthew Janiskee on a recorded, public line – Line 3604 – and explained the accident; Janiskee responded that the officer should hang up and call him on a…

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Detroit Sergeant Was Not Illegally ‘Seized’

Johnny Strickland is a sergeant with the Detroit Police Department. In the early morning hours of January 22, 2017, Officer Casey Schimeck and her partner, Officer Lawrence Ballinger, responded to a call at a gas station regarding a suspicious package. The package turned out to be a grenade on the ground near the gas pumps. Strickland was off duty at the time and pulled into the gas station lot…

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Officer Cell Phone Search Case Heading To Trial

On August 22, 2014, the 113th class of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) graduated from police academy training. On that day, all of the graduates became probationary police officers in the PAPD. The following day, some of the officers organized a post-graduation event at a beer garden in Jersey City, NJ. Following that event, approximately 95 officers and several academy instructors continued to an after-party at the Texas…

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An Order Not To Leave – When Is It A Fourth Amendment ‘Seizure’

An issue arises from time to time as to whether an order forbidding an employee from going home or requiring the employee to remain in a particular location so that an investigation can be conducted amounts to a “seizure” for Fourth Amendment purposes. The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently followed the decisions of a number of other courts and concluded that such orders rarely amount to a…

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Search, Arrest Warrants On Police Chief Violated Fourth Amendment

Paul Armijo was the Police Chief of the Village of Columbus in New Mexico. The local District Attorney’s office began investigating Armijo on allegations of improper evidence handling, inventory problems relating to both police equipment and evidence, and the mishandling of City funds and impounded vehicles. The most prominent allegation against Armijo was that he may have misappropriated two firearms. Based on its investigation, the District Attorney’s office sought…

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