The gulf widens


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Intune
July 18, 2003, 08:14 PM
Sigh:

Police Protected In Illegal Searches
July 15, 2003 By LYNNE TUOHY, Courant Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court has rewritten the rules on when a person may be prosecuted for a crime committed in response to an illegal entry or search by police of the person's property.

In its ruling released Monday, the court tempers the right of a person to object to an illegal search with the need to protect law enforcement officers from physical harm and threats of harm.

"Although wrongfully on the premises, officers do not thereby become unprotected legal targets," Connecticut Justice Joette Katz wrote for the unanimous court, quoting from an Oregon ruling.

"Indeed, there is a great risk of escalating violence when citizens are
permitted to use, or threaten to use, force to respond to unlawful police
conduct," Katz wrote. "This concern is especially true considering that law
enforcement officers typically are equipped with firearms, and that a violent
response to an illegal search may well result in a tragic outcome."

The court's ruling carves out a new exception to an exclusionary rule that
generally bars law enforcement officials from using evidence obtained through an illegal search or seizure, including evidence of criminal behavior committed by a person while resisting an illegal search.

The court now says such behavior could constitute a new crime, beyond the
protections of the exclusionary rule.

In a 1983 case, the Connecticut Supreme Court applied the rule in reversing the conviction of a man who raised his fist to an officer who had entered his home under false pretenses. The court based its 1983 decision on the common law right to resist "an unlawful, warrantless entry into one's home."

The court Monday overruled a significant portion of its 1983 ruling and rulings arising from it.. "This departure from our well established precedent is both marked and unpredictable," Katz noted.

For that reason, the East Hartford man at the center of Monday's ruling will not be subject to its provisions.

The court stated that to apply its new philosophy retroactively would violate the constitutional rights of Anthony J. Brocuglio.

Brocuglio was convicted of two counts of interfering with a police officer and sentenced to a year in prison and a $1,500 fine in an incident at his Church Street home Sept. 27, 1996. Two East Hartford police officers were on Brocuglio's property at the request of the mayor's office to ticket unregistered and abandoned vehicles but without an administrative or criminal search warrant.

Brocuglio threatened to release his dog on the officers and yelled profanities at them.

He was walking down the back steps of his house, moving toward the officers with his hand holding his dog's collar, when one officer yelled that he was under arrest.

An altercation ensued. One officer wound up with scratches on his face;
Brocuglio suffered a shattered eye socket.

The Appellate Court ruled that Brocuglio's conduct constituted an ongoing
resistance to the illegal search, and therefore his threats to the officers
should have been barred from evidence. Prosecutors argued, and the state Supreme Court has agreed, that Brocuglio's conduct rose to the level of a new crime that should not be afforded the protections of the exclusionary rule.

Connecticut joins nearly two dozen other jurisdictions - state and federal - in adopting the new crime exception to the exclusionary rule. Those jurisdictions have done so for a number of reasons.

The one Connecticut's Supreme Court found most persuasive was to remove from citizens the shield of "an unfettered right to threaten or harm police officers in response to the illegality" of the search or entry.

Quoting a ruling from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Katz wrote, "If the rule were applied rigorously, suspects could shoot the arresting officers
without risk of prosecution.

An exclusionary rule that does little to reduce the number of unlawful seizures, and much to increase the volume of crime, cannot be justified."

Katz added, "Moreover, from a public policy standpoint, issues arising from
illegal entries are best remedied in the courtroom."

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Mitchell Brody said the court "is saying we don't countenance this species of self-help, which is potentially violent. You can't resist an illegal police entry by committing a crime."

Brocuglio's case has been sent back for a new trial, at which prosecutors
presumably would not be able to use evidence of his threats to police because they occurred prior to the Supreme Court's adoption of the new crime exception.

"There is no evidence that [Brocuglio] assaulted the police officers conducting the search; to the contrary, the jury acquitted him of that very charge," the court noted.

Attorney Jon Schoenhorn, who represented Brocuglio, said the court's ruling for him "is a home run.

"What this says is that in the future, people can't start raising weapons to
officers, even if they enter illegally," Schoenhorn said. "My advice to them is
to keep their mouths shut, and think about the money they'll earn in a lawsuit for blatant civil rights violations down the road."

Schoenhorn has such a suit pending on Brocuglio's behalf.

A federal judge already has ruled that the presence by police on his property was illegal, and the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month rejected the town's appeal of that ruling.

The state Supreme Court left intact the common law right to offer "reasonable resistance" to an illegal entry or search by police, "not rising to the level of an assault."

The ruling does not define just what conduct will be tolerated.

"It is unnecessary at this juncture to state precisely the scope and nature of permissible conduct. We leave those issues for another day," the court explained in a footnote.
http://www.ctnow.com/news/local/hc-sc0715.artjul15.story

We say when and how high. All you have to do citizen is jump. Bah!
:barf:

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bjengs
July 18, 2003, 08:27 PM
The state Supreme Court left intact the common law right to offer "reasonable resistance" to an illegal entry or search by police, "not rising to the level of an assault."
Since tort law holds that merely acting in a threatening manner can constitute "assault," I would say the State Supreme Court left jack sh*t intact.

KC
July 18, 2003, 08:54 PM
"Quoting a ruling from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Katz wrote, "If the rule were applied rigorously, suspects could shoot the arresting officers without risk of prosecution.

An exclusionary rule that does little to reduce the number of unlawful seizures, and much to increase the volume of crime, cannot be justified."


A crime is a crime. An illegal entry is still that, no matter who the perpertrator is.



"an unfettered right to threaten or harm police officers in response to the illegality" of the search or entry."

Yet again, it's "Do as thou art commanded, peon. Do not ape the mannerism of your masters."


"My advice to them is to keep their mouths shut, and think about the money they'll earn in a lawsuit for blatant civil rights violations down the road."

If you are still alive. If 'evidence' has not been manufactured. Why not just reply, "If you don't have anything to hide, if you haven't done anything illegal, what are you worried about? Just let them in."

This is disgusting.

Standing Wolf
July 18, 2003, 10:14 PM
Yeah, but we're not a police state.

KC
July 18, 2003, 10:19 PM
"Yeah, but we're not a police state."

Keep telling yourself that. Hopefully, it will keep the Ministry of Internal Security/Bureau of Homeland Defence away.

faustulus
July 19, 2003, 03:21 AM
Yeah, but we're not a police state.
Let me know when we cross that line so I can be worried then.

SkunkApe
July 19, 2003, 03:27 AM
I think Standing Wolf speaks with tongue in cheek.

Mikul
July 19, 2003, 03:43 AM
When someone knocks down your door in the middle of the night while wearing all black and a facemask, you should first discern whether or not he is a police officer.

1) Ask for ID.
2) Call the local office to confirm if the officers should have their boot on your neck or the pedophile's next door.
3) Ask to see a copy of the warrant while they pin you to the floor and handcuff you because of their own mistake.

The fact is, even if they are police, a person has broken into your home and threatened you with deadly force. There is only one way to respond. Ask the police. They'll tell you the same thing. Of course, if it is police, and you live in Illinois, and you survive, you'll need to head for Costa Rica.

The judge's statment pretty much says that it's illegal for the police to enter your home without a warrant, but if they do it anyway nothing will happen to them.:cuss:

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 08:37 AM
If a Police Officer breaks into another citizen's house without a legal warrant, he's no longer a Police Officer, but a thug, and should be treated as such.

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