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Old February 6, 2012, 11:56 AM   #54
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,946
Originally Posted by MTT TL
Yeah, that like doesn't work. That means every time a cop makes a mistake he loses his qualified immunity. Unless you know someone who does not make mistakes and then we could make him the police.
Mistakes such as raiding an incorrect address OR putting an incorrect address in a warrant application (or getting one that's typed wrong and not verifying that it was issued for the address requested) are not spur-of-the-moment decisions. They are processes involving days, weeks, even months of investigation and several steps along the way, each of which steps is in place for the express purpose of ensuring that warrants are NOT "served" on the wrong person at the wrong address. It's a very different situation from an "exigent circumstances" decision made on the street in the midst of a rapidly unfolding event.

I have been a material witness in a couple of Federal cases and I know first hand how carefully the warrant application was prepared and how precisely the location to be searched was described. Any time a warrant gets served at an incorrect address, there are several people in the chain who screwed up, and they SHOULD lose qualified immunity because it can only mean that they didn't do their jobs.

Take, for example, cases (and there are such in real life) where the police raid a house only to discover that the guy they're looking for has not lived there for six months or more, and the current occupants BOUGHT the house two months ago. Hello? The police are so hot on the guy's trail that they don't even bother to keep track of where he LIVES? That's just like Operation Fast & Furious, in which the BATFE didn't bother to keep track of all the guns they were allegedly "tracking."

How about the ones where the raiding party goes to the right street number on the wrong street? (Yeah, these have happened, too.) Seriously -- to get the warrant they have supposedly had the place under observation long enough to be able to swear on an affidavit that they have probable cause to believe there criminal activity. After all this observation, they can't even find the right street when it comes time to make the raid?

Gimme a break.
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