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Police officers don't have to give a reason at the time they arrest someone, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a ruling that shields officers from false-arrest lawsuits.
The justices, voting 8-0, threw out a suit against Washington state police officers who stopped a motorist and then told him he was being arrested for tape-recording their conversation. Although the recording was legal, the high court said the arrest was valid because the man could have been arrested instead for impersonating a police officer.
In an opinion for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said the officers didn't have to provide a reason for arresting the man at all, as long as they had probable cause to do so.
"While it is assuredly good police practice to inform a person of the reason for his arrest at the time he is taken into custody, we have never held that to be constitutionally required," Scalia wrote.
The decision was one of five issued by the court today in Washington. In a second unanimous ruling, the court said the Florida Supreme Court was wrong to set aside a death penalty verdict on the grounds that the defense lawyer didn't obtain explicit client authorization to concede guilt and focus on the penalty phase of the trial.
Originally posted by CountFranklin
Habeus Corpus, isn't that the right to have an explanation for arrest?
the seatle times link
In a pair of victories for law enforcement, the Supreme Court yesterday made it harder to sue police for wrongly shooting a fleeing suspect or for arresting a motorist on charges that later fall apart, so long as officers had a second, valid reason for the detention.
On Feb. 21, 1999, Officer Rochelle Brosseau of Puyallup shot Kenneth Haugen as he fled in his Jeep to avoid being arrested on drug charges and for questioning in a burglary in Puyallup. Haugen pleaded guilty to fleeing police but filed suit claiming a civil-rights violation.
During the traffic stop, Alford told the officers he had case law showing the taping was legal, but police arrested him anyway — partly for the separate reason, which they did not tell him, that he appeared to be impersonating a police officer.
The 9th Circuit said the arrest was improper, ruling that the separate charges were not sufficiently "closely related" to the initial offense for which he was arrested
Under Washington state law, officers are not required to state the reasons for an arrest
From that what I know in many European countries you have to have given good reason for arrest. Which countries are you talking about?
Originally posted by Kakugo[Like most of Europe now the US enjoys an all-powerful police force
Originally posted by Nygdan
[Any confirmation on this outside of rense?
Originally posted by jazzgul
Thanks kozmo - it cleared everything to me - it is good to hear some expert opinion
BTW you have very scary avatar - do you really stand for it? And who is going to use nukes