Open Thread

bullet image We’ve been making fun of Patrick Kennedy here, for good reason. This doesn’t help. It’s a well-intentioned-sounding piece unless you know what Patrick is spending most of his time these days doing, in which case the irony is unbearable. And no, Patrick, you are not your uncle.

bullet image The New York Times editorial board has come out with a powerful and scathing editorial: Racially Biased Arrests for Pot

Regardless of laws in individual states, federal officials and local police departments need to abandon policies that evaluate officers based on numerical arrest goals, which encourage petty arrests, along with illegal stops that violate the Fourth Amendment.

This also means restructuring a main federal program that finances state and local efforts to enforce drug laws so that petty marijuana arrests are no longer counted as evidence of effective police performance. Beyond that, law enforcement agencies need to put an end to what is obviously a widespread practice of racial profiling.

bullet image Interesting little court case in Illinois with the silly title traditional in forfeiture cases: THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS v. $280,020 in UNITED STATES CURRENCY. This was one of those cases where police were tipped off that someone bought a one-way bus ticket in cash, searched the luggage, found a bunch of cash, had a drug dog sniff it and dutifully alert, and seized the money. The court ruled that buying a one-way ticket isn’t probable cause, and without the owner’s consent to search, the officers had nothing and must return the money. Good call on the profiling, and good reminder to never consent to a search.

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