The recent epidemic of police violence aroused my interest in the law. My interest peaked when I noted specific instances of police officers making medical decisions. In reviewing the law, in particular, probable cause, I found nothing granting law enforcement medical licensure or the right to practice medicine. Therefore, I went deeper into what probable cause is and the Fourth Amendment, which has been forgotten in the midst of justifications for multiple warrants, police violence, and murders, as well as unlawful detention of innocent people.

What is probable cause?

Probable cause is the the burden of proof police officers and courts must demonstrate to make an arrest. Judges sign arrest warrants before an arrest, but often do so within 48 hours after the arrest to prevent unreasonable delay and not be in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Probable cause is based on suspicion that an accused person is more likely to have committed a stated crime based on information gathered. Videos suggest there is no information gathering, and police officers have overstepped their bounds tremendously. Law Enforcement no longer abides by the rules of the law or the Constitution.

The following images around the web suggest police often have no probable cause for many arrests and also document their excessive use of force. More often than not, this force is violent, and it causes irreparable physical harm, mental disabilities, and even death.

Law enforcement professionals are violating Americans’ Constitutional rights. At minimum, they have opened themselves up to additional liability by making medical decisions. So, why is there not more outrage being expressed by our politicians? Where are the checks and balances of American government—the lifestyle that we arrogantly ram down the world’s throat?

There are many cases in which families seeking help for their loved ones who struggle with mental illness end up seeing those loved ones incarcerated or murdered by local police on arrival to the scene.

What probably cause existed  for this officer to repeatedly punch this middle age woman in the face?  Or taser a baby? Or murder Eric Garner? Or repeatedly shoot and murder an acutely suicidal unarmed teenager? Or shoot Mike Brown when his hands were in th air?


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References:

FOURTH AMENDMENT

Fourth Amendment

All the activities in this section are based on the Fourth Amendment.”The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

FOURTH AMENDMENT

http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/get-involved/constitution-activities/fourth-amendment.aspx



What is a probable cause hearing?

Justification for Arrest

The Fourth Amendment requires courts to confirm that an arrest is supported by probable cause either before or shortly after officers take a suspect into custody. A judge or magistrate’s signing an arrest warrant serves this purpose, but most arrests don’t involve warrants.

No Unreasonable Delay

As a general rule, a probable cause determination within 48 hours of arrest satisfies the Fourth Amendment. (County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991).)

of an arrests, if not the fourth amendment was violated.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-probable-cause-hearing.html



Investigating rape crimes, Part 2: Evidence collection and analysis

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/investigation/evidence-management/articles/139768-Investigating-rape-crimes-Part-2-Evidence-collection-and-analysis/

However, even if investigators know the victim’s assailant and make an arrest shortly after the crime based on probable cause, it’s still critical all evidence protocols described in this article be followed. Arrest only requires probable cause. Conviction in court requires a much higher standard: proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Experienced investigators know the variables under which an arrest is initially made can change for various reasons: the evidence does not support the initial claims of the victim or witnesses, people change their versions of what they initially say occurred, the perpetrator claims sex was consensual and so on. Our system of justice relies heavily on tangible evidence, because emotion or perception does not affect it and logical conclusions can be drawn from the science supporting what the evidence represents.

For Full Article:    Investigating rape crimes, Part 2: Evidence collection and analysis

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/investigation/evidence-management/articles/139768-Investigating-rape-crimes-Part-2-Evidence-collection-and-analysis/



The Evidence Needed Before a “‘True
Bill” May Be Voted
It is the responsibility of the grand jury to
weigh the evidence presented to it. This
is usually done without any explanation
offered by the person being investigated
by the government, in order to determine
whether this evidence persuades that
there is probable cause to believe that
a crime has been committed and that
the person being investigated was the
person who committed it. Remember
that the grand jury is not responsible for
determining whether the person being
investigated is guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt, but only whether there is sufficient
evidence of probable cause to justify
bringing the that person to trial. Only the
evidence presented to the grand jury in
the grand jury room may be considered in
determining whether to vote an indictment.

grand-juryhandbook

seizure of property