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NCJ Number: 158328 Find in a Library
Title: Protective Sweep--Limitations On
Journal: Crime to Court Police Officer's Handbook  Dated:(November 1995)  Pages:1-16
Author(s): J C Coleman
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 16
Type: Policy/Procedure Handbook/Manual
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This police officer's handbook describes procedural and legal aspects of a case involving a protective sweep in a warrantless search incident to an in-home arrest, conducted without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
Abstract: In 1992, a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a call from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., informing him that the homicide unit had a warrant for the arrest of an appellant who had shot a man after he and several accomplices robbed the man of cocaine. The special agent and five police officers arrived at the apartment of the appellant's mother and told the appellant he was under arrest. Although the bedroom from which the appellant emerged had little furniture, the special agent proceeded to conduct a search. He found live ammunition, money, and crack cocaine in a mattress and discovered a .45 caliber handgun on the window sill. The appellant was charged with possession of and intent to distribute cocaine base, the use of a firearm in a drug trafficking offense, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The trial judge ruled that the special agent conducted a legitimate protective sweep and that the evidence was admissible. The appellant was found guilty but appealed the court's determination that the bedroom search was permissible under the protective sweep doctrine. Legal aspects of the case are examined in terms of reasonable police searches and the U.S. Supreme Court's approval of warrantless protective sweeps. The author concludes that the special agent's search under the mattress and behind the window shades went beyond the narrowly confined protective sweep doctrine and violated the fourth amendment. 8 photographs
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): District of Columbia; Drug law enforcement; Drug law offenses; Police policies and procedures; Probable cause; Protective sweep doctrine; Reasonable suspicion; Search and seizure; Warrantless search
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