A college student was arrested by Utah police and forced to undergo a catheter insertion. The police suspected him of being a marijuana user.
No trace of any illegal drug was found.
He and some friends were smoking cigarettes in a car. Police approached the car and searched it. They had no search warrant. Did they have probable cause?
It may cost the department’s insurance company $11 million to find out they didn’t.
The police claimed they could smell marijuana. Their sense of smell was apparently more acute than their eyesight. They found none.
But, following in the tradition of Barney Fife, they didn’t let this stop them. They called in a pot-sniffing dog. Its sense of smell was less acute than the cops’.
One fop popped the trunk and found . . . a glass pipe. That was evidence enough for him and his peers. They took the student to the police station. Actually, they asked him to drive there.
Yet they thought he had been smoking marijuana. Is it a good idea to let potheads under the influence drive?
Then the fun began.
He was put in a holding cell.
He was forced to take a drug test.
He asked for an attorney. (Smart kid.)
They got a search warrant instead. Some judge issued it. This allowed them to take him to the hospital for a urine test. Anyway, that’s what the department’s attorney now claims. It’s called “blame the judge.”
Then they took him to jail.
He is now suing the department and the hospital for $11 million in federal court.
If he gets anywhere near $11 million, the department will find it wise to find other ways to protect the public.
The judge who issued the warrant may think twice next time. He may choose not to be snookered again, and left holding the catheter bag.
if he wins the money the authorities are not the ones that will be punished by paying the fine, its the taxpayer that will be paying andf considering that the sheeple won in wisconsin they no doubt reelect those in office that caused this
I would sue them for false arrest.
I was unaware that voters in Wisconsin could elect political leaders in Utah.
Are you one of those Rosie O'Donnell types who was upset that Alberto Gonzales "fired federal judges"?
That's probably what the charge is and seeing how the police found no evidence until they illegally searched the car, and the dog came up with nothing, it's going to be a hard sell on the part of the defense.
Okay, lilbear, why don't you go and have a catheter shoved up your ? and see how you like the humiliation and emotional distress. But then again, you might be one of those weirdos who enjoy that sort of thing. Taxpayers pay to keep criminals in prison–by your reckoning, we ought to do away with those as well.
Most likely this will be settled out of court with an "undisclosed amount" tacked onto the news brief. The young man has every right to sue. As for the judge, he apparently did not ask the appropriate questions re probable cause, etc; he is as much to blame as the rogue officers are. I hope the offending officers are fired for what they did.
Bravo young man. The Police state in America must stop. I keep reading the confiscation stories they can take your stuff and sell it IF they believe it is from crime. They sell the belongings to pay their fat pensions.
the glass pipe is NOT, prima facie, drug evidence. Many people use these for tobacco, herbs, etc. No trace of controlled substances were found anywhere. The cops HAD no probable cause. Popping the boot was unwarranted, no permission, no warrant, no probable cause. Any cop can "smell" marijuana, just like they can see the drug dogs "hit" when they don't. LIars, all. The judge is not to blame, he merely reviewed the presentation by the lying cops and signed. I hope this kid does not settle out of court, presses for the whole amount. Maybe the local taxpayers need to get slapped hard, to awaken them to the corruption of the locals. The police state corruption MUST end, else we're in worse shape now than the Colonists ever were under King George 3 and his runaway Parliament, Thomas Gage, and all the rest. Back then, the line in the sand was the keeping of their arms for defense against tyranny. When Gage moved to disarm them, they stood fast. What will WE do? Do we REALLY love liberty more than our lives? Would we REALLY rather live free or die? Those cops need to be found in the soup lines downtown, they being debarred from ever "serving" the public again, and also debarred the use of arms… incarcerating an innocent man on their whimsy under colour of law, and at the point of a gun, is no different than a street corner mugging, a kidnapping, and their arranging the catheterisation against the man's will is assault, most likely of a sexual nature. I know if I went about capturing boys and ding that to them, I'd be locked up for a long time and forced to register my "perversion" for the rest of my days.
The police went too far. I do believe in enforcing the laws we have in place, but to force this young man to have a very uncomfortable procedure done (I am a retired nurse, so I know what I am talking about) is uncalled for. If there was no evidence (the smell alone will tip you off), they should have left the young man alone. It looks and sounds like the police had a personal beef with this individual. Now because of the unprofessional, not too bright, moron police with their lack of brains; have cost the tax payers lots of money. By FORCING this young man to have a catheter, against his will, is physical assault. If I had forced a patient to be catheterized with out their consent, I would have been fired that day. But just remember people, there are always a hand full of rotten apples in the barrel to botch it up for everyone else. Not keen on making the tax payers pick up the tab for a couple of thuggish stupid policeman, but I feel the two law enforcers should pay the money.
So are you arguing that qualified civil immunity should be weakened in the case of searches with clear, less intrusive alternatives (ie just wait)? In that case, fine, as an additional reform. But the voters set up this idiot system. They need to have more care in who they put in these offices.
The only way to stop this police nannny state is to sue for mega millions and bankrupt the city. The stupid people of the town and state should elect better officials. Maybe bankrupting them will get their attention and the rest of country where everyone now thinks they can follow the dictator in Washington and be another dictator discarding our constitution.
Has the man admitted to possession of the pipe? I know that cops use knives as "throw downs", so who's to say that they don't plant a pipe or other paraphernalia when they're in a pinch?
This man has no choice but to sue, IMO. We must stop taking this abuse from policemen and judges and the whole corrupt criminal justice mafia circus. However it is most unfortunate that police departments do not actually generate revenue with which to pay a judgment fine. Tax payers are always the losers in our current system. Always.
My question is, why should the young man have to sue, that is, go through civil court channels? Why can't he press criminal charges and really put those two thugs in jeopardy? What do they care if they lose a lawsuit–it won't come out of their pockets anyway. But if they're sent to jail and find themselves at the tender mercies of inmates who find out who they are and why they're there–well, use your imagination.
Fire the cops, IMPEACH the judge. Then let them pay the $11 million.
"I was unaware that voters in Wisconsin could elect political leaders in Utah."
It's your world. The rest of us just walk around in it. Two thumbs up!
This is the kind of price citizens pay for allowing themselves and their servants to be ruled by fear. Living in fear causes knee-jerk reactions like this. Too many Americans have willingly abrogated their liberties for a false sense of security and Benjamin Franklin was right when he said that those who do so deserve neither.