Another Victory for Personal Privacy

I was glad to see the SCOTUS bar searches of cell phones by police. I was amazed that it was a 9-0 vote.

The police/NSA/FBI surveillance programs are antithetical to our freedom in this country. Our jurisprudence is based on the concept of innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of that proof of guilty is on the state, not the individual.

There are too many instances of a traffic stop resulting in the wide ranging search of an individuals possessions (you see this on the highway constantly), with little accountability for the police doing the searching. For every cited case of a drug dealer being found this way, I would guess that there are many, many more cases where nothing is found. That would be information the police would not want to have publicly known.

I do understand that the police would need to check to make sure that they are safe during these stops (although in the vast majority of stops, the cops are the ONLY ONES with guns), but rooting around in a persons wallet or their phone does nothing to advance that safety argument.

The police need to do their jobs the way they were intended to: if someone is suspicious, start an investigation, get warrants, and find evidence.

This is related to another story yesterday about a SWAT team raiding a house (IIRC, the major crime being looked at was a nephew of the house occupants was suspected of having what the story described as a small amount of drugs). The SWAT team came in with automatic weapons, and a flash-bang grenade ended up in a crib, critically injuring an infant. The nephew was not even there. Overwhelming deadly force, and completely no intelligence (and I use this for both the cops knowing where the nephew was, and their general brains), were a terrible mix here. The injury to the baby was far out of proportion to the supposed crime here. The increasing militarization of the police just feeds on the worst fears of government, and will increase the reaction of those who already fear some sort of police state.

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