News

What is “Training?”

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It’s been a little more than a year since I retired from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia and embarked on a new path training law enforcement officers as a commercial training provider.  It has been a real eye-opener. I was immediately confronted with a situation I was not expecting after […]

News

PowerPoint is NOT a Lesson Plan!

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You’ve been tasked to teach a 2-hour lesson on Officer Liability.  You’ve spent 15 years as a patrol officer and you’ve been certified as an instructor by your academy, so you feel comfortable with the subject matter.  When you ask for the lesson plan, the person tasking you says: “Don’t worry … I’ll send you […]

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United States v. Carpenter – The Beginning of the End?

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On June 22, 2018 the Supreme Court of the United States (USSC) issued their long-awaited decision in Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___ (2018).  The majority opinion and four separate dissenting opinions cover nearly 119 pages.  The purpose of this article is to frame the issue and briefly summarize the decision with an emphasis […]

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Hensley v. Price – A Warning About Warnings

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On November 17, 2017 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued the opinion Hensley on behalf of North Carolina v. Price (876 F.3d 573).  The plaintiffs in this §1983 federal civil suit alleged that two sheriff’s deputies used excessive force when they shot and killed David Hensley outside his home on […]

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Emerging Law of the Use of Drones for Law Enforcement

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The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” by law enforcement has significantly increased as the technology rapidly evolves.  Historically, the law regarding the use of technology has typically lagged the technology.  This has not been the case with the development of drone technology.  Many states have enacted statutory restrictions governing the use of […]

Cases

Pagan-Gonzalez v. Moreno   1stCIR   22MAR2019

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Key Phrases: Consent, Deception, Qualified Immunity, Search Back in October of 2013, ten federal Special Agents went to the door of the plaintiff Pagan- Gonzalez who lived with his parents in Puerto Rico.  One of the agents told the plaintiff that they were there because a modem or computer in the house was “sending a […]

Cases

Sebastian v. Ortiz   11thCIR   14MAR2019

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Key Phrases: Qualified Immunity, Use of Force, Handcuffs In this 42 USC 1983 civil suit for excessive use of force, the plaintiff alleged that police officers intentionally applied handcuffs too tight for the purpose of inflicting pain and that this use of force was gratuitous and excessive because he was under control and was obeying […]

Cases

Cruise-Gulyas v. Minard   6thCIR   13MAR2019

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Key Phrases: Traffic Stop, Seizure, First Amendment, Free Speech, Qualified Immunity “Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule. But that doesn’t make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure.” In this case, an officer gave a driver a break when he cited […]