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The War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs v. the 4th Amendment

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Ken White has the warrant in the case of the New Mexico man who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by police officers and medical personnel in New Mexico.  In addition to the criminal behavior by said police and medical personnel, the magistrate also completely failed to do his or her job:

It really comes down to three things:  (1) subjective officer impressions that Eckert looked nervous, (2) a dog alerting on his seat, and (3) an unnamed cop making an unspecific claim that he had previously hidden drugs in his anus.

Particularly since the drug-sniffing dog apparently wasn’t certified — and even if they were certified, the reliability of the dog’s alleged finding of drugs would be highly dubious — this basis for a warrant is a joke, even before we get to the increased burden that should have been required given the extremely intrusive nature of the search. It’s not close to the “probable cause” the 4th Amendment requires to issue a warrant. But as we’ve seen again and again, the logic of the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs is that the 4th Amendment is a luxury we can no longer afford. We don’t know if the police and the medical personnel would have refrained from sexually assaulting Eckert had the warrant properly not been issued. But they might have, and that’s enough to make the magistrate fully morally complicit in these horrors.

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