Aurora Colorado Police Stop And Handcuff 40 Innocent Motorists

June 6, 2012

AURORA, COLORADO – If you can’t beat them… handcuff all of them? That may not be how the expression goes, but it was the theory put into practice by Aurora police, over the weekend during a search for suspected bank robbers.

According to ABC News, on Saturday police say they received a “reliable” tip that the suspect behind an armed robbery that had occurred earlier at a Wells Fargo bank was stopped at a red light at the intersection of E. Iliff Avenue and S. Buckley Road.

The only problem was this: the police didn’t have a description of the suspect, the vehicle or anything that would help them narrow down their search. So, rather than let their man get away, the cops barricaded the area, trapped about 25 cars and pulled each and every occupant out of their car at gunpoint and ultimately handcuffed 40 adults.

Sonya Romero, one of the handcuffed drivers, told 7News about the incident, “Cops came in from every direction and just threw their car in front of my car. We didn’t know if we were in the line of fire or what the hell was happening.”

The operation lasted around two hours and ended when police found two loaded firearms, the evidence they were looking for, in the final car that was searched and apprehended the bank robbery suspect. And although none of the 40 people handcuffed complained, the department has received about five complaints from people not involved in the operation.

Aurora police Chief Dan Oates defended the department’s unusual decision to handcuff all the adults at the scene to the Aurora Sentinel saying, “No question we inconvenienced citizens, and I feel badly about that.” But says he backs up the decision to proceed with the unusual method, “I can’t find fault with the decisions that were made.”

But, removing 40 people from their cars at gunpoint, handcuffing and detaining them? That seems extreme. Oates went on to state that although he was sorry for detaining innocent people, he felt the ends justified the means, “The law is clear that investigative detentions are lawful for a reasonable period of time. Reasonableness is determined by the facts and circumstances at issue, and the facts and circumstances were the suspect was in one of 19 cars,”

Appeared Here

Michigan State Police Conducting Illegal Warrantless Searches Of Cellphones After Motorists Are Stopped For Minor Traffic Violations – Demand $544,000 To Tell ACLU Why And How

April 19, 2011

MICHIGAN – The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

“Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide,” ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. “No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure.”

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device’s capabilities. “The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps.”

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

“With certain exceptions that do not apply here, a search cannot occur without a warrant in which a judicial officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity,” Fancher wrote. “A device that allows immediate, surreptitious intrusion into private data creates enormous risks that troopers will ignore these requirements to the detriment of the constitutional rights of persons whose cell phones are searched.”

The national ACLU is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security for its policy of warrantless electronic searches of laptops and cell phones belonging to people entering the country who are not suspected of committing any crime.

Appeared Here