Monday, December 15, 2008

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Check this out:

Bradley Ralko has more here:

To clarify just a bit, according to Cooper, there was nothing illegal going on the bait house, just two evergreen trees and some grow lamps. There was no probable cause. So a couple of questions come up. First, how did the cops get turned on to the house in the first place? Cooper suspects they were using thermal imaging equipment to detect the grow lamps, a practice the Supreme Court has said is illegal. The second question is, what probable cause did the police put on the affidavit to get a judge to sign off on a search warrant? If there was nothing illegal going on in the house, it's difficult to conceive of a scenario where either the police or one of their informants didn't lie to get a warrant.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I have the deepest respect for law enforcement. My brother's a cop and my roommate is a prosecutor. Rooting out the use of illegal tactics and corrupt police officers preserves and protects the moral authority that law enforcement needs to be effective.

As much as I hate § 1983 suits, this is one that I wish I could assist on.

1 comment:

Chris said...

If his bait lamps were using a lot of electricity, the police might have been tipped off by the electric utility.

One time, at an ACLU meeting in Eugene, a lawyer showed us a court document which indicated law enforcement used a national security letter to get someone's electric bill, and then used that to get a search warrant to find a marijuana growing operation. (The theme of this meeting was that national security letters were being used for vice prosecutions rather than fighting terrorism.)