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Old 09-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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'Now we had unwritten orders that if a Van with long hairs, or Blacks, or a luxury car with young blacks in it, the dog WILL alert. Now I was the only African American in the Narcotic dog unit.'

That's wrong. I don't care if it's state, federal, county or military. It's wrong and it's illegal. If I knew one of my handlers caused the dog to respond, I would do everything in my power to ensure that person never worked a dog again. The end does not always justify the means. You served the same as I. Part of the oath we swore was to defend the constitution. Violating a persons rights with malice of forethought is about as wrong as you can get.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"There is still very little scientific evidence as to how exactly dogs detect odors. Then proving that a dog is 100% accurate on its detecting is just as tough."

I think there is a lot more scientific evidence about how dogs detect odor than you may know. Secondly, no where in any court decision is 100% required. A dog establishes probable cause, which is a lesser standard than absolute.

I will always state; you determine proficiency by documentation. If you keep accurate records they will speak for themselves. Too many handlers, with inadequate training, inadequate supervision and virtually no documentation cause the bad case law. I've been qualified as an expert and have have testified in both state and federal court. Well kept and complete training records stand tall combined with a professionally trained officer will prevail.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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DFrost, I agree with you 100%. Part of why I let the van go was because I hated that directive. It's kinda hard to protest in the military as opposed to in civilian life. Closed society, not way to get your complaint to outside, pretty much no way for outside to review your complaint...retaliation is certain to occur and nobody to intercede. This was seventies, in Ga. In a military police company. Just had to grin and bear it.
There's a big difference in a misread, and a purposeful false alert. We could make the passive sit dogs alert any time we wanted by jumping from the search command to the praise command for alerting while the dog was searching....seen it done too many times in training and on missions.
I'm not saying this is something that is routinely used by LE....far from saying that.....but I do understand both sides.
Btw, on our missions the dog had to be certified at a certain level and maintain that level to constitute probable cause....we also has an officer from the Staff Judge Advocate office on site to authorize the search.
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So what you are all saying is that it should be okay for a police officer on a normal traffic stop for just a regular traffic violation to be able to call in a K9 unit to sniff around a vehicle? And the probable cause to do that would be what? The guy looks like he could be high or selling drugs? Now...its fine if there are actual drugs in the car and the dog works. But what if I get detained for an extra 30 minutes while the K9 officer takes his time to get to the scene and then finds nothing? Or the dog false alerts and the officers find nothing? Oh well...that quick little speeding ticket just turns into a 2 hour stand off. And for what? Because I'm x, y, or z and at higher risk for having drugs?

Why not just have dogs walk around every single concert, or public gathering sniffing people then? I mean...air is free right and the people shouldn't expect any right to privacy when they're just shopping or enjoying some music.

I understand what you mean by having paperwork, but just that initial decision to either call in or use a K9 should always be questioned. Why isn't 100% required? No more beyond a reasonable doubt? I'm not trying to argue against law enforcement, but I'm sure things like Cliff's story still happen, I've watched K9 shows where I'm shocked at what some of the officers have said on camera. On one he just clearly said, "There was a robbery in the area, there are two black males in that vehicle, and the vehicle is leaving the area, so I pulled it over." Somehow...there was no description of the getaway vehicle and they were just pulling over any vehicle with black males inside of it that night. The two vehicles they showed on the show were a huge conversion van and then a small Chevy coupe...explain to me how witnesses couldn't get a good enough description of a vehicle that your range goes from the smallest car on the road to the biggest? What is the REAL reason those cars are getting pulled over?

It happens...there are people with less than stellar ethics and ones that don't trust anyone. The law can't just allow for those people to do whatever they please.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My example was of dogs used on a military base....big difference from the deployment in open society.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I will always state; you determine proficiency by documentation. If you keep accurate records they will speak for themselves. Too many handlers, with inadequate training, inadequate supervision and virtually no documentation cause the bad case law. I've been qualified as an expert and have have testified in both state and federal court. Well kept and complete training records stand tall combined with a professionally trained officer will prevail.DFrost

Worth repeating......
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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So what you are all saying is that it should be okay for a police officer on a normal traffic stop for just a regular traffic violation to be able to call in a K9 unit to sniff around a vehicle? And the probable cause to do that would be what? The guy looks like he could be high or selling drugs? Now...its fine if there are actual drugs in the car and the dog works. But what if I get detained for an extra 30 minutes while the K9 officer takes his time to get to the scene and then finds nothing? Or the dog false alerts and the officers find nothing? Oh well...that quick little speeding ticket just turns into a 2 hour stand off. And for what? Because I'm x, y, or z and at higher risk for having drugs?

Why not just have dogs walk around every single concert, or public gathering sniffing people then? I mean...air is free right and the people shouldn't expect any right to privacy when they're just shopping or enjoying some music.

I understand what you mean by having paperwork, but just that initial decision to either call in or use a K9 should always be questioned. Why isn't 100% required? No more beyond a reasonable doubt? I'm not trying to argue against law enforcement, but I'm sure things like Cliff's story still happen, I've watched K9 shows where I'm shocked at what some of the officers have said on camera. On one he just clearly said, "There was a robbery in the area, there are two black males in that vehicle, and the vehicle is leaving the area, so I pulled it over." Somehow...there was no description of the getaway vehicle and they were just pulling over any vehicle with black males inside of it that night. The two vehicles they showed on the show were a huge conversion van and then a small Chevy coupe...explain to me how witnesses couldn't get a good enough description of a vehicle that your range goes from the smallest car on the road to the biggest? What is the REAL reason those cars are getting pulled over?

It happens...there are people with less than stellar ethics and ones that don't trust anyone. The law can't just allow for those people to do whatever they please.
Probable cause isn't needed to have the dog sniff the exterior of a vehicle that has been stopped for an infraction.

Big difference between sniffing "people" and sniffing "vehicles".

Not even doctors are held to a 100% standard. Probable cause is not 100% nor is it "beyond reasonable doubt". It's a legal definition not one made up by canine handlers or law enforcement. It means, basically, it's more likely than less likely or better than chance. If you knew you would win 8 out of 10 times you put a quarter in a slot machine would you continue to play that machine. You aren't guaranteed, it isn't 100%, but it is more likely that you will win than lose.

Didn't see the show you are talking about, but I can tell you from personal experience the wide range of descriptions you get from "eye" witnesses is beyond belief.

I don't know if there are situations such as Cliff described, still going on. I can say, they don't go on around me.

You say the initial decision to use the dog should be questioned. You tell, if I walk a dog around the outside of your vehicle if I've stopped you for a legitimate reason what, the intrusion is. As you clearly stated, the air outside your vehicle is free. People and gatherings are different and addressed by the court differently. Don't mix apples and oranges in a discussion.

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Old 09-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My understanding on this case was whether or not the front door was public and a sniff would be allowed since that is a public area. To my civilian mind, logically, it is unless the property is posted.

I guess, perhaps, the deal here is that it is not routine to take dogs up to sniff the air around someones front porch even though it is at a traffic stop or in public places like airports, so perhaps they should have expected more privacy in the air around their home.....I don't know it is interesting.

----------------------

I can say that I certainly know black folks in the South who have been pulled over and harrassed for what they jokingly call a "DWB" (Driving while black). I think it depends on where you are but you get into rural parts of SC and it is like a third world country. If you don't believe it watch "corridor of shame" about schools in the I-95 corridor.

I did sit in a courtroom in the early 80s where the white frat boys who were drunk, trapped an officer in the middle of a parking lot and were doing donuts around him, got a boys will be boys lecure, and let off. The old black man in the next case who, , did have a suspended license on a DWI but was sober when he made a decision to drive his car to work when his ride did not show up (and if a no show - he would be fired - no unions around these parts) got called "boy" by the judge and got a heavy fine and his license revoked.

My white grandfather was a "functioning" alcholic. My grandmother begged them to impound his car but they would just drive it to his house and park it and drop him off the next morning so he could get to work (they also brought him pot from drug raids, when he got cancer towards the end of his life-small town rural life to ease his suffering..)

That was in the early 80s but it opened my eyes. "DWB" easily in the past 2-3 years. I think there will always be police and judges who abuse the system and are bullies. All of my personal interactions with police, even when I have (oops) been caught speeding have been very polite and professional both ways.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You say the initial decision to use the dog should be questioned. You tell, if I walk a dog around the outside of your vehicle if I've stopped you for a legitimate reason what, the intrusion is. As you clearly stated, the air outside your vehicle is free. People and gatherings are different and addressed by the court differently. Don't mix apples and oranges in a discussion.
Great...now I have to look up precedent about what air is free. I guess the air around my home isn't free, the air around my vehicle is free, but the air around me as I walk in a public place isn't free? I'm not arguing right or wrong with you...I'm pointing out the confusion in all this. I'm also saying it makes no sense that a law enforcement officer can decide to use a tool...that isn't easily available to the public, that INTRUDES into a person's personal property, whenever they feel they want to.

And its great that things like what Cliff described don't happen under you, you're one of how many K9 officers (I'm assuming you are one). I also want you to know that I would have no problem with an officer using a dog, I think its a great tool...but the law just isn't clear on these issues, its very situational, which it shouldn't be.

Also...assume this...if the air around me in a public area isn't free for your dog to sniff...can I get out of my vehicle and follow your dog around and claim that it is invading my personal space? Or would a gun get drawn in .5 seconds and I'd get told to get back into my vehicle because that air isn't truly free.

The show I was talking about is called K9 Cops I believe, it follows a squad of K9s in the St. Paul/Minneapolis PD I believe. It's quite interesting, and shows how useful K9 officers are and all they do...it was just that one quote from the officer that was shocking. It made it sound like a robbery in the "area" allowed the cops free reign to pull over anything that moved out of the "area."
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Great...now I have to look up precedent about what air is free. I guess the air around my home isn't free, the air around my vehicle is free, but the air around me as I walk in a public place isn't free? I'm not arguing right or wrong with you...I'm pointing out the confusion in all this. I'm also saying it makes no sense that a law enforcement officer can decide to use a tool...that isn't easily available to the public, that INTRUDES into a person's personal property, whenever they feel they want to.

And its great that things like what Cliff described don't happen under you, you're one of how many K9 officers (I'm assuming you are one). I also want you to know that I would have no problem with an officer using a dog, I think its a great tool...but the law just isn't clear on these issues, its very situational, which it shouldn't be.

Also...assume this...if the air around me in a public area isn't free for your dog to sniff...can I get out of my vehicle and follow your dog around and claim that it is invading my personal space? Or would a gun get drawn in .5 seconds and I'd get told to get back into my vehicle because that air isn't truly free.

The show I was talking about is called K9 Cops I believe, it follows a squad of K9s in the St. Paul/Minneapolis PD I believe. It's quite interesting, and shows how useful K9 officers are and all they do...it was just that one quote from the officer that was shocking. It made it sound like a robbery in the "area" allowed the cops free reign to pull over anything that moved out of the "area."

You have limited exposure obviously. I am not going to explain highway drug interdiction 101 to you in a public venue, however. We dont waste our time running a dog on a bunch of traffic stops for fun. There are many things involved such as interviews and observations that precede the decision to run the dog. And NO there are not k9 cops running rampant forcing their dogs to false alert. Little thing called the in car video now thanks to racial profiling laws. Plenty of paid expert witnesses for the defense out there to view the video and testify that the dog was cued. Even an idiot can tell if the dog is really working, in odor, etc. We have to have probable cause for the stop to begin with.Also, ANY contact with the public MUST be documented hence the in car video. Stats are kept with regard to racial profiling too. You are wrong we have parameters and the law is clear. And there are clear laws with regard to when,how etc to deploy a scent detector dog. A dog sniff of a vehicle is not considered intrusive.
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