What Reasonable Person WOULDN'T Avoid the Cops?by Will Grigg
Jul. 04, 2013
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Why do we even pretend that the Fourth Amendment exists, when the federal government conducts all-encompassing warrantless surveillance, and local police routinely conduct searches without warrants or probable cause?
In 2000, the US Supreme Court ruled that warrantless narcotics checkpoints in Indiana were unconstitutional. Police in at least two states have responded by setting up fake checkpoints, and then stopping motorists who seek to avoid them. Two years ago, the Genessee County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office began deploying a pickup truck towing a large sign announcing a narcotics checkpoint one mile ahead. Deputies would then stop any driver who took last-minute evasive action.
Police in Mayfield Heights, Ohio are now using the same tactic by placing “Drug Checkpoint Ahead” signs in the express lanes of Interstate 271. Although such checkpoints are illegal, observes Professor Ric Simmons of Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, lying about one is not, because police “can lie to anybody.”
As former Texas prosecutor Robert Guest points out, a police officer who asks to search your car “is telling you that he wants to arrest you. He just has not found or planted a reason to arrest you yet.” What reasonable person would not take action to avoid an encounter with a professional liar who has that objective?