Thursday, February 17, 2011

Police Obtain Warrant to Search “All Persons” Who Enter Apartment Parking Lot Where Drug Selling Commonly Occurs

From The Volokh Conspiracy:
In Sarasota, Florida, a vacant lot next to an apartment building has become a vibrant open-air drug market. The police are having trouble cleaning it up. So the police tried something they had never tried before: The applied for, and obtained, a warrant to search “all persons” who parked or set foot in the apartment building parking lot.
During the two-hour raid, a dozen people were searched and, even though officers justified the wide search by telling a judge no “innocent persons” congregated in the abandoned lot, only four people were charged with drug crimes. An 80-year-old man was among those detained, then released, during the operation
I haven’t seen the actual warrant, and all we have is a press report, but it sounds pretty plainly unconstitutional to me.

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