Court Rulings
Privacy concerns ignored E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

In Maryland, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin has ruled that the county’s plan to record conversations in police cruisers does not violate the state’s wiretap laws or infringe on the privacy of police officers. “There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in an officer’s patrol car,” Rubin said in his ruling, issued just a month ago.

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The Federal court gamble E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

Newly analyzed data from federal court records show that workers bringing employment discrimination lawsuits increasingly fare poorly in the federal courts, according to a groundbreaking report published by the Harvard Law & Policy Review. “We are pleased to release this significant new study that raises serious questions about the administration of justice,” ACS Executive Director Lisa Brown said in a press release.

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State's attorney won't prosecute cases with DEA E-mail
Written by Cynthia Brown   

In Florida, State Attorney Willie Meggs has told state and local law-enforcement agencies that he will no longer prosecute cases that involve federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Meggs' controversial decision follows recent grand-jury hearing in which DEA agents were not allowed to testify voluntarily in the Rachel Hoffman case. Hoffman became a police informant after a raid where local authorities found small amounts of marijuana and MDMA in her residence.

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No "Hands Up" For Pants Down E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
According to a report by the Associated Press, a judge in Florida has decided a local law banning sagging pants is unconstitutional after a teenager spent a night in jail.

 

Julius Hart, 17, was charged recently after an officer said he spotted the teenager riding his bicycle while exposing and estimated 4 to 5 inches of blue-and-black boxer shorts.

The youth was determined to be in violation of the law’s clause on acceptable underwear visibility and arrested on the spot.

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Death for cop killers E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that a person found guilty of murdering a law enforcement officer is eligible for the death penalty, even if the killer did not know the victim was an officer at the time. The 5-2 ruling was issued before the fast approaching trials against Antron Dawayne Fair and Damon Antwon Jolly, who are accused of killing Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Whitehead in 2006. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against both men.

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Noose display now a felony E-mail
Written by apb staff   

The act of displaying a noose as a threat now is a felony in New York under legislation signed recently by Gov. David A. Paterson. The new crime will be punishable by up to four years in prison. “It is sad that in these modern times there remains a need to address the problem of individuals who use nooses as a means of threat and intimidation,” Paterson said in a statement.

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High Court backs cops E-mail
Written by APB staff   

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police can conduct searches and seize evidence after arrests that may have violated state law. The high court ruling comes from a case out of Portsmouth, Virginia, where city detectives seized crack cocaine from a motorist after arresting him for a minor traffic offense. David Lee Moore was pulled over for driving on a suspended license.

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Shameful inequality persists E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

James Booker doesn’t have to look too far back to remember the bad old days. There was still a “whites only” sign hanging on the precinct house water fountain in 1964 when James Booker joined the suburban College Park Police Dept. But it wasn’t just the water fountain that was off-limits to Booker. Until 1976, black officers were prohibited from joining a state-supported supplemental police retirement fund. Now white officers who entered the fund before that year are taking home hundreds of dollars more every month in retirement benefits than their black colleagues.

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F.O.P. sues sheriff, seeks clarity E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

In an unusual move, the union representing deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Bob White and the County Commission. The FOP’s lawsuit seeks to get a ruling on who has the final say in an impasse – the County Commission or the Sheriff. Trouble started back in 2006 when Pasco deputies voted to join the Fraternal Order of Police. The vote came with the expectation that they would now bargain for a contract.

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Do "POBRA" protections apply to officers? E-mail
Written by Michael P. Stone and Freda Lin, Esq   
Van Winkle Court Distinguishes Dicta In CCPOA v. State of California, Holding That POBRA Is Inapplicable To "Solely Criminal" Investigations

What Was At Stake In this Case?

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Indictments could be huge E-mail
Written by Cynthia Brown   
A chief and his lieutenant have been indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges after a mentally ill woman was shot and killed by police officers. The commanders were not on the scene and did not fire the shots. Experts say it's the first time in our nation's history where commanding officers are facing prison terms for something they didn't do.
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