Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Liar, liar, pants on fire Award: Officer Patrick Pogan

Officer Patrick Pogan of the New York Police Department was on duty during a bicycle ride in of some sort and left his position to body check and slam a cyclist to the pavement. The cyclist was held 23 hours and charged with attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Pogan stated in a deposition that the cyclist was causing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their direction to avoid hitting him. All of this would have gone unnoticed except guessed it....the camera was rolling.

The object lesson is clear-the camera's always on. The only thing that's worse than lying is lying under oath and getting caught at it.

Contraband Inside a Teddy Bear

State v. Kruip, no. 07-1675 (Iowa Ct. App. July 30, 2008).
ISP Trooper Ward stopped Leiah Kruip, a Las Vegas, Nevada resident, in Cerro Gordo county for speeding in the rental car she was driving. Kruip offered that she was en route to Minneapolis with an overdue rental which sort of explained why she was speeding.
Trooper Ward obtained consent to search the vehicle and in the trunk he uncovered a large Teddy Bear and baby wipes. He asked Kruip what was inside the bear, and informed her that the bear might have to be cut open. She said that police could not. The bear had the appearance of being inartfully restitched together. Trooper ward cut the bear open and retrieved packages of marijuana. Kruip was subsequently charged with possession with intent to deliver and failure to affix a tax stamp.
Kruip moved to suppress evidence, arguing that continuing detention after the traffic summons was completed rendered her consent to search involuntary, she withdrew her consent to search before the trooper cut open the teddy bear, and that Ward did not have probable cause to forcefully squeeze the bear without a warrant. This motion was overruled.
The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the fact that the rental agreement had expired a month previously created a reasonable suspicion that she was operating the vehicle without the owner's consent, justifying Ward's taking the time to contact Avis and clarify the matter. The Court also found that her consent to search the vehicle was voluntarily given and not rescinded.
The Court agreed with the district court when it found that consent to search could not include cutting open personal possessions, and thus the search of the toy's innards had to come under another exception to the warrant requirement besides consent.
When Ward felt the bear, he detected a hard bricklike shape within it and knew that marijuana is sometimes packed that way. He asked another officer to confirm his observations, and noticed that the neck of the bear had been inartfully reattached. Because of the mobility of the vehicle and thus exigent circumstances, Ward had probable cause to make a small incision to determine whether the bear contained contraband.

Ridin' The Dog: Stranger Than Fiction

Note: This is an original work of art by Nolde Banziger titled "Dante's Headsman".

From the Great White North, that usual paragon of civic virtue and all things good and true, the National Post reports this day that 36 passengers on a Greyhound en route from Edmonton to Winnipeg were stunned to watch as a passenger drew out a knife and stabbed a sleeping man next to him.

Apparently not content with this unprovoked attack, the headsman-because that's who he turned out to be-decapitated his hapless victim.
Confined to the interior of the Scenic Cruiser by horrified passengers and the driver, the man proceeded to remove the victim's head from his shoulders and wave it around in a true furor teutonicus.

You can read about it here, lest you think yr fearless editor is making this stuff up.

You just never really know, do you?

Bon appetit, y'all.