Kitsap County Prosector Chris Casad is uncomfortable with the notion of Constitutional protection of individual rights, partly because he feels his cops are incapable of doing their jobs if they have to do it, you know, legally.
This is in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Gant, which says that if a person is in custody and isn’t near the car, and the arrest isn’t for a charge that would suggest searching the car, and if the officer doesn’t have probably cause, that he has no authority to search the car without a warrant (which would seem to be pretty damn obvious in a plain reading of the fourth amendment).
The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s office has expressed concern about a Supreme Court decision that narrows the definition of vehicular searches, saying that it will change how policemen do their jobs while forcing the dismissal of several criminal cases.
“There is no upside to this,” said Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Casad of the decision. “Unless you are a criminal, and trafficking in stolen property or drugs.”
No upside? What if you’re, say, a citizen who wishes to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures?
Casad feels that the decision “was made by people who don’t know what it means for police officers to do their jobs,” which is to have the ability to react quickly in potentially dangerous situations.
So “reacting quickly” means searching your car, and “dangerous situations” are when you have the driver in custody away from the car? These cops must really be incompetent.
Police can no longer search a car for drugs or guns, if the offense is driving with an expired license. And they cannot execute a search if the driver is not in proximity to the car.
Casad objects strenuously to this, saying that it endangers the officers’ safety.
“If the suspect knows there is a gun in the car he can grab it and shoot the officer,” Casad said.
For a while now, activists and patients within the medical marijuana community have been referring to Kitsap County as ‹Kidnap County.Š Now we have a better idea why. The state‰s medical marijuana laws are not being honored by the Prosecutor‰s office. Patients who try to grow their own plants have been arrested, presumed to be drug dealers, and forced to prove otherwise to a jury – often at great personal expense. This is not how the law is supposed to work, and I hope that Kitsap County residents remember that the next time they vote for their county prosecutor.