Thursday, August 7, 2014

Connecticut Court Says Cops Can Detain You For Being Near Someone That’s Getting Arrested

Connecticut cops can detain citizens for no other reason than the suspicion they hold for another person, all in the name of "officer safety." According to a recent ruling from the state's highest court, if you are in a public place with a person who the cops want to arrest, they can detain you also—even if they have no reason to suspect you of doing anything wrong. On its face the ruling is not all that grandiose, but in a passionately written dissenting opinion Justice Eveleigh explains why this verdict tramples on citizens' Fourth Amendment rights:
I agree with the majority that the police have a legitimate interest in protecting themselves. There must be, however, some restrictions placed on the intent. In my view, there are several potential unconscionable ramifications to the majority opinion. For instance, if a suspect with an outstanding warrant is talking to his neighbor's family near the property line, can the police now detain the entire family as part of the encounter with the suspect? If the suspect is waiting at a bus stop with six other strangers, can they all be detained?

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