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Old 05-09-2011, 18:25   #1
phred119
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Road block case law help

I'm looking for case law on police road blocks, not check points, road blocks. I believe Brower v. Inyo County involves a case where bad guy was fleeing form pursuing officers in a stolen car. The police blocked the roadway using an 18 wheeler, putting the truck around a curve, and "blinding" the bad guy with the headlights from a police car. This was ruled a a "seizure" under the 4th amendment, and was considered by the court to be "unreasonable" because the bad guy couldn't see the obstruction and stop. Bad guy crashed into the truck and died

I'm looking for a case that I heard about in a class a year or two ago. This one involved a bad guy fleeing, police blocking the road on a straight section of road, with a clearly visible roadblock. Bad guy crashes into the road block and dies. This was ruled reasonable, because the bad guy could see the obstuction, and could have chosen to stop, but bad guy, instead chose to crash.

If anyone can point me in the right direction here, and give case law citations, I would really appreciate it. I'm trying to put some stuff together to propose some changes to our pursuit policy, but I need case law to back it up.
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Old 05-09-2011, 19:57   #2
Patchman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phred119 View Post
I believe Brower v. Inyo County involves a case where bad guy was fleeing form pursuing officers in a stolen car. The police blocked the roadway using an 18 wheeler, putting the truck around a curve, and "blinding" the bad guy with the headlights from a police car. Bad guy crashed into the truck and died. This was ruled a a "seizure" under the 4th amendment, and was considered by the court to be "unreasonable" because the bad guy couldn't see the obstruction and stop.
This can be the basis of a great bedtime story.

Sorry can't help you with your search. But it seems to me between the 2 cases you cited, the general rule(s) is pretty clear. Or see your agency's lawyers and ask them to shepardize the above case. That will produce more recent Federal and state cases.
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Last edited by Patchman; 05-09-2011 at 20:00..
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:20   #3
MeefZah
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Also no caselaw cited here, but I can tell you our policy, and the policy of every agency I've worked for, is that roadblocks cannot be used except in extreme situations, and if used, there has to be an "out" afforded to the suspect.
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