Cops Tackle a Parapalegic in His Wheelchair, THEN Violate His Rights

John H. Phillips

John H. Phillips

Above the Law has this story, with an in comparable headline: “Cops’ Fear Of Handcuffed Paraplegic Turns Out To Be Unreasonable.” In short, after tackling the guy, they proceeded to search his home without a warrant. There are few exceptions to allow a warrantless search of a home. Apparently, the court did not accept the state’s argument that the cops were justified by the exigency exception for officer safety. However, the court found that the cops really needn’t have been concerned for their safety, since they had already tackled the paraplegic out of his wheelchair. I recommend you check out the full article from Elie Mystal at ATL, and the sharply worded judicial opinion on the case.  In dicta, Judge Steven Dankof comments that the fourth amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure is “under almost constant seige” and declines to contribute to further denigration of this constitutional right. Kudos Judge Dankof.


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