Officer threatens suspect that he will search his backpack in violation of the 4th Amendment, Part 1

In this case, a highway patrol officer announced he was going to search a suspect’s backpack. That search would have violated the Fourth Amendment, because the officer did not have a warrant to search the backpack, and no exception to the warrant requirement applied at the time the officer made his announcement. In response to the officer’s threat, the suspect confessed to being a felon and having a gun in the backpack. The government has now charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. But the government may not use in court evidence that an officer obtains through a threat to violate the Fourth Amendment. Kentucky v. King , 563 U.S. 452, 462–63, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 179 L.Ed.2d 865 (2011) ; United States v. Saafir , 754 F.3d 262, 266 (4th Cir.2014). Therefore, the evidence the officer obtained as a result of his threat (specifically, the confession and the gun) must be suppressed.

Full case here: United States v. Howard, 156 F. Supp. 3d 1045 (N.D. Cal. 2016),

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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