police abuse





Police Officers Overstep Their Rights When Searching People
One of the main powers law enforcement officers carry is the authority to make citizens involuntarily give up their rights. Most people when confronted by police get mild to moderate panic reaction, can become nervous or anxious, and do as much as possible to limit the time spent with the officer. Due to the difference in power between a citizen and a police officer, citizens often unknowingly, give up their constitutional rights when an officer acts tough or bullies them (Guidelines…1).
A common and almost everyday occurrence of this situation is the traffic stop.
The common routine for this is as follows: A person is pulled over for speeding. The officer approaches the car and after checking the license and registration asks if they have any illegal weapons or drugs in the car. When the citizen answers “no” the officer asks in the strongest most intimidating language that if he can check that for himself. The officer may say “why don’t you step out of your car” or “then you would not mind if I took a look in your trunk?” Many people simply comply with the requests because they do not really realize that they have the right to say no (Guidelines…1).
Numerous court cases have been held regarding the matters of not only police searching a car but searching your person, the bus or train a person is on and even that persons personal belongings such as a purse, cigarette cases or wallet without a warrant. A warrant is an absolute must to enter into your car home or property. These types of

Police Officers Often Misuse and Overuse their powers when it comes to Conducting Searches on Persons or Property
cases very often prove that officers may take their power to far and often on purposes (Search Warrants Explained 1).
The following is an example of what could happen. A cop stops a speeding car, without a search warrant but suspicion the policeman demands that the driver opens his trunk. Upon doing so he discovers the corpses of a woman and two children. The man later walks out of court scot-free because the evidence was inadmissible. The Fourth Amendment had been violated (Reynolds 59).
Just this past year the Supreme Court of Iowa ruled nine to nothing that officers could not search a person when only writing them a traffic citation. This came across in a case in which an Iowa man was arrested after an officer pulled him over for speeding. Without the individuals consent, the officer looked through his car. (Under the drivers seat the officer found a small amount of marijuana and the man was ordered 90 days in jail.) The case was first tried in the Iowa Supreme Court where the court ruled in favor of the officer five to four. The case was then appealed to the United States Supreme Court where the nation struck down Iowa’s ruling. The Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated “No further evidence of excessive speed was going to be found either on the person or in the car.” Hopefully this will keep officers from overstepping their boundaries in Iowa but only in Iowa (Epstein 1).
Officers many times like to intimidate citizens perhaps because it makes them feel good or they think they will not get caught. Jean Benson is a 61 year-old grandmother from Florida. She was driving through Louisiana when she was pulled over


Police Officers Often Misuse and Overuse their Powers when it comes to Conducting Searches on Persons or Property
by a policeman. “Pop your trunk.” Were the officer’s words? He brought out a piece of paper that “said” he had a right to search her car and that she was signing it voluntarily.
She then told him that she did not want him to look through any of her personal belongings. To this he replied, “you will sign that piece of paper and we will search your car.” The policeman searched her car and found nothing. The elderly woman was so shaken by the incident that she cried for the next 100 miles (Hallinan 1).
The following is an example of what happened just outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania. A motorist by the name of George Karnes was pulled over by state trooper