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Supreme Court Limits Powers of Police In Decision With Major Implications For Black Community

 

policestopIn an enormous decision important for the Black community, the Supreme Court yesterday ruled that it is a constitutional violation for police to prolong a traffic stop to try to find evidence of illegal activity if it means the stop will take longer than the time necessary to complete the issuing of a routine traffic ticket.

 

The court’s 6-3 decision means that police who are tempted to go on fishing expeditions when they pull over Black drivers will be severely restricted by time parameters, and any evidence they gather during a prolonged search could be inadmissible in court. Once police pull over a motoris, they cannot detain him without reasonable suspicion that he has done something worse than violate a traffic law.

 

“We hold that a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg wrote for the majority. “A seizure justified only by a police-observed traffic violation, therefore, ‘become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission’ of issuing a ticket for the violation.”

 

Since statistics in almost every jurisdiction across the country indicate that Black drivers are much more likely to be stopped than white drivers—what has popularly become known as “driving while Black”the court’s ruling provides greater protections for Black drivers when they haven’t obviously broken any laws. The decision is especially pertinent in drug cases, which are by far the vast majority of situations where police try to extend the encounter with drivers long enough to ascertain whether there might be any drugs in the car.

Drug possession stemming from a traffic stop is one of the most common forms of arrests in the nation. According to statistics provided by the ACLU, nearly 900,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010—which comes out to one arrest every 37 seconds.

 

Though studies have shown that Black people and white people use marijuana at roughly the same rate, the ACLU found that Blacks in 2010 were about four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession—and an astounding eight times more likely in Washington, DC.

 

These racial disparities largely begin at the traffic stop, where police use every means at their disposal to determine whether Black drivers are in possession of illegal drugs. But the Supreme Court yesterday just made that part of their job more difficult.

 

The case, called Rodriguez v. United States, stemmed from a traffic stop that occurred in Nebraska in March 2012, when police officer Morgan Struble observed driver Dennys Rodriguez swerve onto the shoulder of a state highway shortly after midnight, then jerk the car back onto the road. Struble, a K-9 officer with the Valley Police Department, pulled Rodriguez over and asked him why he drove onto the shoulder. Rodriguez responded that he had swerved to avoid a pothole. Struble then gathered Rodriguez’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, and asked Rodriguez to accompany him to the patrol car. Rodriguez asked if he was required to do so, and Struble answered that he was not. Rodriguez decided to wait in his own vehicle.

 

After he had completed a records check on Rodriguez and the passenger in the car, a man named Scott Pollman, Struble began writing a warning ticket for Rodriguez for driving on the shoulder of the road. After he gave Rodriguez the written warning, the officer asked for permission to walk his dog around Rodriguez’s vehicle. Rodriguez said no. Struble then instructed Rodriguez to turn off the ignition, exit the vehicle, and stand in front of the patrol car to wait for a second officer to arrive. Rodriguez complied.

 

Nearly a half hour after Rodriguez had first been pulled over, a deputy sheriff arrived. Struble got his dog, who was named Floyd, and led him twice around the vehicle. The second time around, the dog detected the presence of drugs—about seven or eight minutes after Struble handed him the written warning. A search of the vehicle revealed a large bag of methamphetamine. Rodriguez was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He tried to get the evidence suppressed, but a judge denied the motion. So Rodriguez took a plea and was sentenced to five years in prison.

 

But the Supreme Court decision yesterday ruled that the evidence was inadmissible and should have been suppressed.

 

“Like a Terry stop, the tolerable duration of police inquiries in the traffic-stop context is determined by the seizure’s ‘mission’—to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop,” Ginzburg wrote. “Because addressing the infraction is the purpose of the stop, it may ‘last no longer than is necessary to effectuate th[at] purpose.’ Authority for the seizure thus ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—or reasonably should have been—completed…An officer, in other words, may conduct certain unrelated checks during an otherwise lawful traffic stop. But contrary to Justice Alito’s suggestion, he may not do so in a way that prolongs the stop, absent the reasonable suspicion ordinarily demanded to justify detaining an individual.”

 

The court majority ruled that bringing in a sniffing dog is not an ordinary action during a traffic stop, but rather is an extra measure intended to detect criminal activity—and is therefore illegal if the officer has no evidence that criminal activity is afoot.

 

This majority ruling didn’t sit well at all with Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the dissension, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy.

 

Rather incredibly, Thomas wrote that because there was a strong scent of air freshener in the car and the passenger in the car appeared nervous, the officer had enough reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver was trying to hide the presence of drugs.

 

The views of the court majority on police overreach were summarized by Justice Sonia Sotomayor during the January 2015 oral argument in the case.

 

“We can’t keep bending the Fourth Amendment to the resources of law enforcement,” Sotomayor said. “Particularly when this stop is not incidental to the purpose of the stop. It’s purely to help the police get more criminals, yes. But then the Fourth Amendment becomes a useless piece of paper.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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“We can’t keep bending the Fourth Amendment to the resources of law enforcement,” Sotomayor said“Particularly when this stop is not incidental to the purpose of the stop. It’s purely to help the police get more criminals, yes. But then the Fourth Amendment becomes a useless piece of paper.”

 

 

 

--I love Justice Sotormayor....she understands the situation that people of color are in.  I wish we had a Black Man on the court, like we did when Thurgood Marshall was there

Sooo how are they gonna enforce this or this is more bullshit from the Supreme Court and US Gov't.

 

I mean at a certain point we just gonna have to call bullshit and none of these damn laws do us any favors. All it is loose talk, platitudes and cliches. 

 

I mean we gonna have timers now? How long is too fucking long? First we need cameras, now we need timers.

 

At a certain point, either the USA gov't, Satan himself, gonna need to have a sit down with Black people and talk openly.

 

"What is your problem with us? We want a solution to this issue you have so we can move the hell on with our lives."

 

We need to ask directly some hard questions.

 

Like a Malcolm X articulated so many times, if you are a citizen of a country, you don't special laws (or decisions) like this to ensure your security. We obviously not citizens of the USA.

 

I am not interested in laws that don't do shit and just further proves how much of a citizen I am not. Most of these laws are like Emancipation Proclamation, it's just nice sounding shit that can't be enforced.

 

We have had laws against all discrimination and racial oppression since the freeing of slaves and none of them stopped a damn thing. Ain't stopped us from being poor, under-educated, murdered, beaten, raped, imprisoned, and put under gov't supervision. While White people are free and rich. Asians are free and rich.

 

Like I'ma depend on a law that prevent traffic stops from going over 30 mins. 

 

I can see it now...

 

"Officer you can't keep me here pass 10:25..."

 

"Shut up nigger I can do whatever I want, you were driving suspiciously, I have probable cause. Take this breathalyzer test and we gonna search your car."

 

 

Last edited by GoodMan

We need a "White People Leave the African Alone Under All Circumstances" Law.

 

We need a law, "Every person that kills an African Anything" will be sued immediately for 5 million dollars.  The way these white men and black men are killing us, we may be extinct in 5 to 10 years.  That's called "Hatred Off the Charts for No Damn Reason."

 

It's obvious to anyone that's not deaf, dumb and blind, that these ex-Europeans do not like the fact Africans are living in this country with them. If they considered us "citizens", they wouldn't treat us the ways in which they do.

 

Whatever "CITIZENSHIP" is, it does NOT INCLUDE US and NEVER HAS. What they have with us in their minds is OWNERSHIP and they're forever beating, killing and thoroughly disrespecting our behinds. 500 years and counting...

Last edited by Norland

"Sooo how are they gonna enforce this or this is more bullshit from the Supreme Court and US Gov't."

****************************************************************

 

 

It's really b.s., and here's why:

 

Once police pull over a motoris, they cannot detain him without reasonable suspicion that he has done something worse than violate a traffic law.

 

The phrase, "reasonable suspicion" is the clandestine 'out', and therefore, sanction for police to continue doing exactly what they are doing now with complete impunity.  

 

After all, isn't that what cops have been using as an excuse to harass, "Stop and Frisk", illegally and  unconstitutionally approach, detain, handcuff and arrest Black people in the first place.  

Last edited by sunnubian
Originally Posted by sunnubian:

"Sooo how are they gonna enforce this or this is more bullshit from the Supreme Court and US Gov't."

****************************************************************

 

 

It's really b.s., and here's why:

 

Once police pull over a motoris, they cannot detain him without reasonable suspicion that he has done something worse than violate a traffic law.

 

The phrase, "reasonable suspicion" is the clandestine 'out', and therefore, sanction for police to continue doing exactly what they are doing now with complete impunity.  

 

After all, isn't that what cops have been using as an excuse to harass, "Stop and Frisk", illegally and unconstitutionally approach, detain, handcuff and arrest Black people in the first place.  

 

Which is why I roll my eyes at this shit.

 

I am at the point where maybe we should just elect police officiers as a community because all these laws and solutions don't get rid of the problem.

 

That there is some ingrained narrative and consciousness in the world where they just have a great need to oppression and subjugate African people.

 

So I wanna get away from these motherfuckers so we can do us and be peaceful. Like fuck the cameras, fuck timers, fuck all these laws, leave us alone. 

 

We know this crap is stupid and there are loopholes and the pigs gonna do what pigs do no matter if they Black, White, Asian, or Latino.

Last edited by GoodMan

9 folks telling 300 million how to do the do, what's legal and what's not legal.  9 folks; one having roots in Italy and the black man having major kickability on the Coon Train makin' the rules and regulations for us all. The "supremes" of the "Superiors".  "White" folks always have 'slammin' names for themselves, don't they???

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