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Thread: Question of privacy

  1. #1

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    First a little background before the question.

    About a month ago I received a long awaited arrest warrant for one of our local jokers. I decided that before we busted into his house to arrest him I would try out one of our new gadgets, a thermo-imaging camera. For those of you who dont know what a TIC is, it allows the user to look through the gadget like binoculars and it shows sources of heat. Thus allowing you to look into a house and see how many and where the occupants are located. This was the reason I was using it, first to see if there were other people in the house with him and where they were all located to make the effecting of the arrest warrant a safer process. Well he eventually sued the Police Department saying that we violated his constitutional right to privacy, because I did not have a search warrant. The issue is now going to court and we will see soon if the judges believe that a search warrant is required for the use of a TIC. I was just wondering if you would feel as if your right to privacy was infringed upon in this situation?
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  2. #2
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    Hmmm........
    While it is probably safer to be able to remove "jokers" and to do it you must be smarter and faster than them. I have to admit I think it is a bit of a violation though i don't know exactly where the law stands on such an issue. If you think of it like watching people in a restroom it would deffinately be a violation of privacy. So I have to say that I think it was a violation of privacy even though the city is most likely better of with certain persons out of the way.

    I'll be waiting to see what Copper has for an opinion.

    Joe
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    Normally I would, but I don't think so if you are serving an arrest warrant. At that point, like you say, it's a safety issue for the police, unless perhaps there was no likelihood of violence by the offender. So it would depend on the situation, but it sounds to me like it's good in this case. And this is coming from a solid anti-authority lefty. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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  4. #4
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    Oh, You did have a warrant for search at the time of TIC observation? If that is the case then I would say that you were ok.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  5. #5

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    Negative I did not have a search warrant only a warrant for his arrest. I TIC'd his residence a few minutes before serving the arrest warrant to verify his location in the house and to see if there were other people inside, in order to enter the house at the safest possible entry point. I am looking forward to what the judge puts forward as precedence in this case. I belive that he will say that it was fine in the manner that it was used in this case, but he will probably also enforce that it would be a violation of privacy to randomly TIC houses w/o probable cause.

    Capslock - You did catch me a little bit off guard I would have expected to get negative feedback from a 'solid lefty' like yourself. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
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  6. #6
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    well, I can say as a staunch conservative, that in this instance, I have no problem with the use of a TIC.

    I would have a problem if say, such technology was mounted on a helicopter and used to passively canvass a neighborhood for things such as marijuana growers and so on. Why?

    That's casting a pretty wide net and I definately don't want some of the things that occur in my home to be witnessed... bathroom usage, uh.. marital obligations... so on so forth...

    I think also it is hillarious that some departments will look up power consumption and use TIC type technology to confirm pot growers... in about two months I will have over 1500 watts of metal halides, T-5's, pumps, and chillers running on my reef tank, that's going to be major power consumption and quite the heat signature as well. Many people that run reef tanks have had cops come looking through windows and so on because these technologies and practices led them to the wrong conclusion.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  7. #7
    Metal King
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    Nother "solid lefty" here, and a Canadian one at that....

    Seems to me that if you had enough on the guy to get an arrest warrant, and were in the process of serving it, you should be in the clear- I mean, if you hadn't used the gadget, would you still have served the warrant I imagine that would be the case.... it is pretty silly to even think that the "joker" (is that the new, PC "Bad guy" [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]) would have a leg to stand on, really, a good friend of mine is an RCMP officer (Mountie, like Dudley Doright) and I know how hard it is for him to get warrants- you pretty much have to prove a whole lot before one is issued up here, at least, and if that had already taken place.......

    I am really surprised that this is even an issue, I hope the suit gets tossed out of court for being ludicrous, especially since you only used the thermal imaging in a direct lead-up to a warranted arrest, and wre not "fishing for crimes" as Rampuppy decribed... if that were the case I would fall on the other side as well
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  8. #8
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I gotta ask; What are the technicalities of an arrest warrant? I know you can go to his home to arrest him but if he refuses to let you in can you enter if you know he is there? While arresting him say in his house would you be allowed to "take a look around"? I think if you would lawfully be prohibited from looking around his house with just an arrest warrant then using the TIC is not right either. However with a search warrant I see "Who cares?" if you can look around anyway. Like RAm said many things in house that is nobodys' business.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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