NJ high court: Noise complaint didn’t justify search and arrests – ‘A high-crime area, does not mean… residents… have lesser constitutional protection’

(By AlexLMX/Shutterstock.com)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) 02/05 — Police officers responding to a noise complaint at a motel weren’t justified in conducting warrant checks and physical searches of the room’s occupants, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in dismissing weapons charges against two men who were in the room.

Neptune police arrested Deyvon Chisum and Keshown Woodard in 2014 after responding to reports of loud music in a room at the Crystal Inn Motel.

When they arrived, the woman who had rented the room agreed to lower the volume. The officers didn’t issue a summons for a noise violation, but checked the IDs of about 10 people in the room to see if any had outstanding warrants.

Chisum had an outstanding warrant and was arrested, and officers found a gun in his possession. A subsequent search found a gun on Woodard, who didn’t have any warrants. Both men pleaded guilty to a weapons charge.

A lower court ruled the officers were justified in conducting the checks and the searches in part because of safety concerns due to the motel’s reputation as a location where criminal activity took place. An appeals court upheld that ruling, and agreed with the state’s arguments the search was a legitimate outgrowth of the noise complaint.

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court disagreed and wrote the officers shouldn’t have detained and searched the room’s occupants after the noise complaint was resolved and no summons was issued.

“Because the officers exercised their own discretion and declined to issue a summons for a noise violation, they essentially concluded that the occupants of Room 221 were not engaging in any criminal activity,” Justice Faustino Fernandez-Vina wrote. “Moreover, there is no evidence in the record that any occupants in Room 221 were about to engage in some form of criminal activity, particularly once the noise was abated and the mission of the noise complaint was completed.”

Fernandez-Vina added “just because a location to which police officers are dispatched is a high-crime area, does not mean that the residents in that area have lesser constitutional protection from random stops.”

https://www.apnews.com/1950fb41c3434e5da88ba0e853e7474f

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Posted in: Appeals, Arrests, Civil Rights, Court Rulings, Crime & Criminals, Crime Prevention, Firearms, Judges, Police, Policies & Practices, Prohibited Person/Felon in Possession, Public Safety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 − six =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.