I have written before about when an officer can search one’s car: 1) With probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and the evidence is in the car; 2) With a warrant signed by a judge based upon an affidavit showing the car is likely to contain evidence), and 3) With one’s consent.

One thing I appreciate about this video is this young man being conscious enough to object to the search. Good cops will respect such an objection. Of course, good cops won’t ask to search without probable cause.

This video shows the kind of behavior I have heard dozens of clients describe over the years. Some prosecutors, judges and especially juries don’t like to acknowledge or believe this sort of behavior goes on. It has been a dirty secret among those in the legal field. The advent of camera phones is changing the playing field.

I favor all officers wearing video cameras on their uniforms and having all police stations be under surveillance. This will protect the good cops (and they do outnumber the bad) from false allegations, and it will protect the public from behavior like this officer is exhibiting.

I hope this video sparks interest in 4th Amendment rights. The informed citizen is the first bulwark against abusive government.

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