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Civil Rights Victory in Indiana

Congratulations Hoosiers… due to a state Court tof Appeals ruling, the police can no longer point a gun at you for no reason:

“Reinhart gave no indication that he was armed or dangerous,” Crone wrote. “Nevertheless, with the laser sight of Deputy’s Coney’s gun prominently fixed on him, Reinhart was ordered first to kneel with his hands behind his head for a period and then lie face down on the ground for an additional period of time while waiting for the second police officer to arrive. Reinhart was then handcuffed before he was searched twice. We believe that a reasonable person in Reinhart’s position would not have believed himself to be free to leave but instead would have considered his freedom of movement to have been restrained to the degree associated with a formal arrest.”

They threw out his conviction because his arrest was unlawful, and the subsequent evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree. I’m happy to note, also, that this was a unanimous decision. Good. It would have been kind of scary if any judge thought it was fine for the police to wave guns around willy nilly at the citizenry.

5 Responses to “Civil Rights Victory in Indiana”

  1. Sterling Archer says:

    It is refreshing that a Judge would actually side with a citizen against the police. I am getting tired of hearing that “Officer safety” somehow trumps the U.S. Constitution.

    My attitude towards police who are terrified of the citizenry and who are hostile to our rights (100% of LEOs) is to GET A NEW JOB!!!!!

  2. Jim Manley says:

    “We believe that a reasonable person in Reinhart’s position would not have believed himself to be free to leave.”

    Ya think?

  3. Joe Mama says:

    Don’t laugh Jim. There was a case in Georgia where a guy was cuffed and the jury determined he was still free to go.

  4. Alpheus says:

    I used to think that evidence obtained illegally should still be admitted. After all, if the person’s guilty, he’s guilty, right?

    Now that I know how difficult it is to prosecute a police officer for illegal things (heck, it’s sometimes ridiculously difficult to convict these guys for murder, if they do it in the course of their work!) I’ve come to realize that this is one of the only ways to “punish” officers for illegally obtaining evidence.

    That, and as I’ve learned about all the flimsy warrants SWAT teams act on, we need every advantage we can get!

  5. Sendarius says:

    Here in Oz, a 16 year old boy was arrested, cuffed, and forced to lie down in the middle of a busy road, while the arresting officers “did other things”.

    He was hit by a car and killed. This happened in February, 2009, and we still don’t know the identities of the officers involved. There has been no charge laid, and no trial.

    This information came out at the inquest held almost 18 months after the event.

    I wonder if he felt that he was free to leave?

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