Friday, December 27, 2013


Trimet police can be charged with 'color of law' violations
Let's presume that Lane Jensen is guilty as charged. The police arrested him and threw him in jail and seized his phone for evidence. They police have in their possession information which they themselves used in the report that describes the methods by which this 'crime' was committed, namely using a cell phone and a text messaging application. But the Trimet police also seized his computer, knowing that the 'crime' was not committed with that computer. The only reason this could have happened would be as a clumsy attempt to get Lane to stop blogging in violation of his first amendment rights.  There is a federal law that specifically prohibits this sort of police activity:
The Supreme Court has interpreted the United States Constitution to construct laws regulating the actions of the law enforcement community. Under "color of law", it is a crime for one or more persons using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, state or federal), to willfully deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. 
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right against unreasonable searches or seizures. A law enforcement official using authority provided under the color of law is allowed to stop individuals and, under certain circumstances, to search them and retain their property. It is in the abuse of that discretionary power—such as an unlawful detention or illegal confiscation of property—that a violation of a person’s civil rights may occur Civil Rights Division Home Page

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