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Old 04-03-2012, 07:50 AM   #21
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I agree, and followed by this also made me angry: ....

It took SIX DAYS for him to get a hearing in which all the charges got dismissed? It scares me that this can happen to anyone. If the letter was good enough to be let go previously after being stopped, whywasn't it good enough this time?

...

I hope he sues and wins.
I hope my earlier comments weren't taken by anyone as defending the process. It's more just the fact that we can't judge much from what passes as 'journalism' these days, and few of us have experience form both sides of this, there may be other forces at work (regarding the search).

I am also deeply troubled by the 6 days of incarceration over a mistake. If this reflects reality, I hope he does take it to a court and the court deals with it appropriately.


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Old 04-03-2012, 08:26 AM   #22
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I dunno, in some ways the ruling can seem like airline TSA procedures on steriods.
That was my thought as well. For me, profiling and common sense make more sense in situations like this one and for TSA searches vs everyone must be treated identically regardless of the circumstances.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #23
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I suppose I should read the dissents to see what my fellow liberals had to say on this practice but overall it doesn't surprise me or alarm me. Local jails didn't used to do this decades ago but after problems with drugs, knifes taped up along butt cracks and whatever some of them got pretty aggressive. If I got locked up for whatever -- DUI, multiple unpaid tickets -- I would expect to go through whatever the routine search was be it pat down, strip search, cavity search. The jails are safer applying the process to everyone rather than trying to guess who are the bad, bad guys. I can imagine lots of improper profiling claims if discretion is in play.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #24
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I am also deeply troubled by the 6 days of incarceration over a mistake. If this reflects reality, I hope he does take it to a court and the court deals with it appropriately.


-ERD50
To me this seems to be the real issue. A consistently applied set of rules in the jailhouse to ensure safety and security for all the people there which includes invasive searches looks reasonable. The process that allows an innocent man to be arrested, incarcerated and subject to all that is a problem that needs to be addressed.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #25
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It seems like more and more suits are getting fast-tracked to the US Supreme Court. I think the lower courts should be doing more work on this. Seems everyone wants to dump on the Supreme Court. What about the state laws and their enforcement in issues like this? Easier to change a state law than to let the Supreme Court rule and that precedent becomes the law of the land forever.........
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #26
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I hope he sues and wins.
The problem is that the "pound of flesh" is usually not extracted from the individuals who were responsible, but the "deep pockets" (i.e. the taxpayers) instead.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #27
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This is pretty scary to me. From the article...

"In this case, Albert Florence's nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the circumstances of the arrest were of little importance. Instead, Kennedy said, Florence's entry into the general jail population gave guards the authorization to force him to strip naked and expose his mouth, nose, ears and genitals to a visual search in case he was hiding anything."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/story/2012-04-02/supreme-court-strip-search/53945028/1
I am curious to know how one winds up in jail for speeding or a seat belt offense. There has to be something more serious involved here.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:41 AM   #28
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The problem is that the "pound of flesh" is usually not extracted from the individuals who were responsible, but the "deep pockets" (i.e. the taxpayers) instead.
True, but then again it is up to the taxpayers (i.e. voters) who elected those who wrote the laws and appointed the top police brass to throw them out and demand change so these things don't happen again.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:43 AM   #29
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Agreed. Plus, the system might be in place to protect people like this. Imagine the next guy they bring in sneaks in a weapon, and uses it against the guy caught for speeding (and held because they thought he had other open violations). Then the news would be "innocent man killed by fellow prisoner while held in County jail, charges were false, leaves widow and child behind".
And then the estate of the decedent would bring suit against the jail/prison system claiming negligence in searching prisoners to prevent exactly this kind of foreseeable hypothetical injury to inmates.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:44 AM   #30
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It seems like more and more suits are getting fast-tracked to the US Supreme Court. I think the lower courts should be doing more work on this. Seems everyone wants to dump on the Supreme Court. What about the state laws and their enforcement in issues like this? Easier to change a state law than to let the Supreme Court rule and that precedent becomes the law of the land forever.........
The case referenced in the OP took place in 2005 and followed the normal process through appellant courts before it reached the US Supreme Court.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #31
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It seems like more and more suits are getting fast-tracked to the US Supreme Court. I think the lower courts should be doing more work on this. Seems everyone wants to dump on the Supreme Court. What about the state laws and their enforcement in issues like this? Easier to change a state law than to let the Supreme Court rule and that precedent becomes the law of the land forever.........

I have not looked to see how quickly this one got to the SC... but if they think a lower court got it wrong they would want to fix it...
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #32
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I do think that it is a decision that should be addressed by the SC since there is an amendment about unreasonable search and seizure...

Like others, I am a bit concerned that it took the system 6 days to get the guy out of jail...

I also am concerned that he was arrested in the first place... if his only 'crime' was a speeding ticket, then I do not think he should have been arrested in the first place... if he had multiple tickets outstanding, that is different, but one? To me this was a police officer who wanted to show power over the guy...

But I also agree that when you start to treat people different when putting them in jail it can lead to a disaster... or lead to a way that inmates can get drugs into a prison...

Even though I do not like the decision, I do think from a legal point of view it is correct... IOW, leave it to the state or local police to determine the correct way to handle this.... if it is not done appropriately, then the citizens can vote for change.... even though I know that most would not even know this happens or care one way or the other....
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #33
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I do think that it is a decision that should be addressed by the SC since there is an amendment about unreasonable search and seizure...

Like others, I am a bit concerned that it took the system 6 days to get the guy out of jail...

I also am concerned that he was arrested in the first place... if his only 'crime' was a speeding ticket, then I do not think he should have been arrested in the first place... if he had multiple tickets outstanding, that is different, but one? To me this was a police officer who wanted to show power over the guy...

But I also agree that when you start to treat people different when putting them in jail it can lead to a disaster... or lead to a way that inmates can get drugs into a prison...

Even though I do not like the decision, I do think from a legal point of view it is correct... IOW, leave it to the state or local police to determine the correct way to handle this.... if it is not done appropriately, then the citizens can vote for change.... even though I know that most would not even know this happens or care one way or the other....
And there needs to be a way to check police officers (and the system in general) who go on these power trips and arrest people who need not be arrested. For the officer who did the arresting, he may need to be suspended/terminated/lose his pension. For his superiors, they may need to be suspended/demoted. For the elected officials who hired them, they may need to be voted out of office. Adn for the man who was needlessly arrested, he may need to be compensated via a civil suit so the pols get the message and clamp down on those under them.

Without any consequences, this behavior will continue, as even bad publicity won't be enough to prevent this from happening again.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #34
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For the officer who did the arresting, he may need to be suspended/terminated/lose his pension..... Adn for the man who was needlessly arrested, he may need to be compensated via a civil suit ...
I propose just giving the cop's pension to the guy who is wronged. Then the person who caused the problem IS the one forced to suffer the financial damages, and the person who was wronged still does get compensation. And the taxpayer isn't held liable for any more than they already were anyway.

Not this this will ever happen, and yes, this is tongue-in-cheek, but...
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #35
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And there needs to be a way to check police officers (and the system in general) who go on these power trips and arrest people who need not be arrested. For the officer who did the arresting, he may need to be suspended/terminated/lose his pension. ....
Aren't you jumping to conclusions, and maybe you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing the police of here?

It sounds like the police report showed he had some open warrants or something, and it sounds like SOP to bring the guy in. The arresting officer would not have known if there was an error or not, it appears he was diligent in doing his job. For that he should lose his pension?!

It sure sounds like something (several things?) went wrong, but we don't have all the facts. I hope level heads figure it out and correct any problems. If the guy was wrongly held for 6 days, I sure think he deserves some compensation. I'd be furious. But w/o the whole story, we can only speculate.

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Old 04-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #36
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It sounds like the police report showed he had some open warrants or something, and it sounds like SOP to bring the guy in. The arresting officer would not have known if there was an error or not, it appears he was diligent in doing his job. For that he should lose his pension?!
We have to find the source of the problem. If a rank and file police officer was following SOP, and the bad policy was encouraged by superiors, then it is those superiors who are more responsible than the rank and file cop. But if the cop "went rogue" then it's all on him, provided superiors took appropriate action once notified of the situation.

And if it's a systemic problem, go all the way up to the top, up to the police chief if necessary and appropriate. And yes, for *substantial* malfeasance where a lawsuit would otherwise likely come into play, maybe the person most responsible *should* lose some or all of their pension to pay for the damages. If putting the taxpayer on the hook for a lawsuit is supposed to be acceptable because it might force taxpayers to demand changes, why wouldn't a direct financial hit to the person actually responsible do the same?
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #37
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From the linked article (empahsis mine):

"In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip searched in two county jails following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

Florence, who is African-American, had been stopped several times before, and he carried a letter to the effect that the fine, for fleeing a traffic stop several years earlier, had been paid.

His protest was in vain, however, and the trooper handcuffed him and took him to jail."

As I mentioned before, the officer's failure to even attempt to verify the letter or the fact that he had already paid the fine to me is what makes im worthy of being punished, as the bogus arrest began the chain of events which led to his being falsely incarcerated and strip searched. One phone call would have straightened this out pretty quickly. Isn't the job of the police to not arrest people they can easily determine do not need to be arrested?

Florence needed to be given a speeding ticket and sent on his way, the same way anyone else who gets a speeding ticket is handled.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #38
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From the linked article (empahsis mine):

"In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip searched in two county jails following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

Florence, who is African-American, had been stopped several times before, and he carried a letter to the effect that the fine, for fleeing a traffic stop several years earlier, had been paid.

His protest was in vain, however, and the trooper handcuffed him and took him to jail."

As I mentioned before, the officer's failure to even attempt to verify the letter or the fact that he had already paid the fine to me is what makes im worthy of being punished, as the bogus arrest began the chain of events which led to his being falsely incarcerated and strip searched. One phone call would have straightened this out pretty quickly. Isn't the job of the police to not arrest people they can easily determine do not need to be arrested?

Florence needed to be given a speeding ticket and sent on his way, the same way anyone else who gets a speeding ticket is handled.

Agree with your post except that from what I read it was his wife who was speeding.... not him... but then she is also probably named Florence...
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:11 PM   #39
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Egads, he wasn't even the driver! The surname is Florence, so could her name be Flo Florence? So Mrs. Florence needed to be given a speeding ticket and all 3 Florences needed to be sent on their way.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #40
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Egads, he wasn't even the driver! The surname is Florence, so could her name be Flo Florence?
If so, I think I would have kept my maiden name.
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