Fourth Amendment? What Fourth Amendment?

Cemetery, of Cemetery’s Gun Blob*, recently had his car searched by the police based on a police dog “alerting” to a scent.

Bring on the dog then I said, was told ok, but if the dog gets to happy, it’s too bad about any potential damage.

Nice right? Do what we want or your car gets trashed basically.

Out comes the dog, a male German Shepard, who don’t give two shits about my car. And anybody with a brain could tell he was just happy to get some fresh air and chase some squirrels.

So of course the LEO says the dog likes my car, and now comes the fun.

They didn’t give two shits about the guns, they just wanted to search for narcotics.

This reminded me of a damning article I found a couple of months ago regarding drug dogs giving false positives.

The results? Dog/handler teams correctly completed a search with no alerts in just 21 of the 144 walk-throughs. The other 123 searches produced an astounding 225 alerts, every one of them false. Even more interesting, [the search points designed to trick the handlers (marked by the red slips of paper) ]were about twice as likely to trigger false alerts as the search points designed to trick the dogs (by luring them with sausages).

emphasis mine – Jake

That study got false positives in 84% of the searches. What makes this truly disturbing is that the use of drug dogs to get probable cause for a warrantless search has become routine across the country, and the courts in most states have ruled that this is acceptable. We can see from the results of this study that the dogs are picking up on the handler’s expectations or desires and giving false alerts

In other words, the dogs are not reliable for what they are being used for, and a dog’s alert should not be sufficient on its own to constitute probable cause for a search. This practice needs to be ended, now.


[Source: Post at Cemetery’s Gun Blob, retrieved 11/3/11]
[Source: Article from The Economist, published 2/15/11, retrieved 11/3/11]

(h/t Weer’d Beard)

*Added to the blogroll as of today.

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