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Search And Seizure

January 27, 2009
The U.S. Supreme Court has again undermined the only realistic protection against illegal searches and seizures: the ban on using tainted evidence at trial. The 5-4 decision in an Alabama case is doubly ominous for California, where misguided ballot initiatives have forbidden state courts from adopting stricter standards for the use of illegal evidence than federal courts require. The justices upheld drug and gun charges against Bennie D.
December 19, 2008 | Richard Winton and Cara Mia DiMassa
Los Angeles police officers face significant restrictions on how they search and detain people under a settlement announced Thursday in a long-running case involving the rights of the homeless on skid row. The agreement comes 18 months after a federal judge found that the Los Angeles Police Department was unconstitutionally searching homeless people in the skid row area as part of Chief William J. Bratton's crackdown on downtown crime.
November 20, 2008 | Steve Hymon
Passengers at Union Station were subjected to a search of their bags Wednesday afternoon before boarding Metrolink trains. Sheriff's deputies and Transportation Security Administration officers were conducting the searches. Metrolink received a federal grant earlier this year to do the searches and left fliers for passengers telling them that they would begin soon. At the time, agency officials said that the searches were not in response to any specific threats, but instead were being done as an overall push to tighten security, as other rail carriers have done.
October 16, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The board of the Del Mar Fairgrounds has approved pat-down searches at reggae concerts after complaints about marijuana and tobacco use during a Ziggy Marley show earlier this year at the San Diego County Fair. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday that the fairgrounds' board of directors voted to approve the searches only at reggae concerts. It also approved a ban on smoking at the fair. The 22nd District Agricultural Assn., which governs the state-owned fairgrounds, also approved restricting reggae shows to adults 21 and older and requiring reggae artists to sign a contract prohibiting the promotion of drugs while at the fairgrounds.
June 26, 2008 | Tim Reiterman, Times Staff Writer
Raids this week on a massive commercial marijuana operation with indoor growing facilities and thousands of acres in Northern California's pot belt have netted 10,000 plants worth up to $60 million, $160,000 in cash and 30 firearms, authorities reported Wednesday. A force of 450 officers from numerous agencies Tuesday served dozens of search warrants. Officials said Wednesday they still were searching almost 2,000 acres in Humboldt and Mendocino counties that belonged to the targets of the 2-year-old investigation.
March 11, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Mexican police searching for drug gangs seized a cache of automatic weapons and grenade launchers at a luxury apartment in the Caribbean resort of Cancun, near hotels full of foreign tourists. Tipped off by an informant, police found 22 guns, 14 grenades and about 500 rounds of ammunition at an exclusive beachside golf course development, a spokesman said. They also found police hats and car stickers with official police insignia.
February 26, 2008 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule on whether police officers are free to search a parked vehicle whenever they arrest a driver or a passenger. Prosecutors, including Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, asked the high court to set "a clear, bright-line rule" that permits officers to search a vehicle whenever an arrest is made, even if the handcuffed person has been taken away.
January 23, 2008 | Hector Tobar, Times Staff Writer
Local police were relieved of duty Tuesday in the border cities of Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros and Reynosa as army troops disarmed the officers and searched for evidence that might link them to drug traffickers. In Nuevo Laredo, soldiers surrounded police headquarters at 8 a.m. and ordered officers to remain inside. Federal troops conducted a similar operation in Tijuana last January, at the beginning of an offensive against Mexico's drug cartels and their allies in the police.
December 12, 2007 | Adriana Leon and Patrick J. McDonnell, Special to The Times
Former President Alberto Fujimori was convicted of abuse of power Tuesday and sentenced to six years in prison after a judge found him responsible for an illegal search at the home of the wife of his onetime intelligence chief. It was the first conviction in a series of criminal charges Fujimori has faced since being extradited from Chile in September. Human rights advocates have hailed the multiple cases against Fujimori as blows against impunity.
November 27, 2007 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
County welfare officers may conduct routine searches of the homes of welfare recipients to combat fraud under a ruling in a California case that the Supreme Court let stand Monday. The justices refused to hear a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, which contended that San Diego County's policy of requiring home searches without a warrant violated privacy rights. The 4th Amendment to the Constitution forbids the police to search a residence without a warrant.
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