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State: UT

County: Salt Lake County

People:

Man#1=Protagonist
Woman#1=WitnessOne (Life Partner)
Woman#2=WitnessTwo (Friend)
Woman#3=Antagonist (Fellow employee)
Employer=HotelChain

Events:

During a mutual separation of "Protagonist" from "HotelChain", "Antagonist" made a false report to localPD in attempts to persecute "Protagonist" stating that "Protagonist" was walking around the halls threatening people with a gun. "Protagonist" owned guns but never did as stated by "Antagonist" which is backed by signed, notarized affidavits filed with the clerk of the court and were made by "WitnessOne" and "WitnessTwo." There was a search conducted of "Protagonist." Right before the search began, "Protagonist" asked if he was being detained to which the officer replied, "No. I just want to search you before I put you in my cruiser." Then "Proragonist" replied emphatically, "I do not consent to any search of my person for any reason..." but was searched anyways. Upon being searched there was found contraband resembling narcotics found in the pocket of "Protagonist."

During the three days spent incarcerated the charge of "Threat of Violence - F3" and the various narcotics charges were on record and could be viewed on the government webpage for incarcerated individuals. Once "released on own recognizance" was posted (viewed by WitnessOne with screenshots to validate, btw) on the third day via web browser the "Threat of Violence - F3" charge remained. There was a bench warrant for a traffic violation that needed to be paid before release, it was paid. IMPORTANT FACT Then after release several hours later the webpage was viewed again and the "Threat of Violence - F3" was no longer listed as a charge against "Protagonist." Do recall, the entirety of their ("Protagonist" & LEO's) coming into contact with one another on the day in question was this "Threat of Violence - F3" allegedly made against "Protagonist" by "Antagonist."

Issue:

Question_One: "If the initial factor, the entire reason behind law enforcement making contact with "Protagonist" on the day in question["Threat of Violence - F3"] can be proven to be farcical in nature (meaning it never happened and this was a false claim altogether) then would that invalidate the rest of the encounter?"

Question_Two: "If the initial factor, the entire reason behind law enforcement making contact with "Protagonist" on the day in question["Threat of Violence - F3"] is no longer on the list of charges after release but was listed hours prior and "released on own recognizance" was posted as well at the same time "Threat of Violence - F3" was still on list of charges but was changed thereafter (My assumptions are that their witness that made the call "Antagonist" didn't want to sign a statement or go on the record as telling the truth but I'm uncertain as to actually why the charge was removed) Then wouldn't that suggest that the police had zero reason to make contact, draw SWAT/TacticalForces with weapons hot, and then detain "Protagonist" at all in the first place? Ultimately, with no reason to be there (without securing signed testimony either that day(preferable) or soon thereafter) they are unable to use that charge as a pretext to making contact with "Protagonist" which would mean they violated the protections afforded to everyone by the fourth amendment to the Constitution, right? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation...."

2 Answers 2

2

Law enforcement does not need to secure signed testimony for their bases of action.

Even anonymous tips can give an law enforcement officer “a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity.” Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. 393 (2014).

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  • Also: Terry v. Ohio
    – Trish
    Apr 2, 2023 at 17:08
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Q1

No. There was reasonable suspicion because the police do not need to verify the claim of a crime before they act on it. They got the report, thought the witness was at least credible, and thus secured a warrant to search the person. As such, the search of the person would have been following Terry v Ohio, and even Stop-Search would be allowed.

During the search, new evidence came up that rose reasonable suspicion for a different crime, which warranted arrest. As a result, Navarette v. California can be applied besides Terry, as there was a reasonable interest in searching him and they found evidence of a different possible crime.

Only during the following investigation, it turned out that there was malicious act by someone that is not the police that rose the suspicion for the stop. But that does not invalidate that the witness did appear credible in the first moment thus the stop was conducted properly, and the evidence found is admissable.

Q2

No. It doesn't take a signed witness statement for the police to act. They assess credibility based on the story told. As an example, calling Police and telling them "My neighbor is butchering a green martian in his cellar" would get you laughed at. But the following story is much more believable:

"My neighbor Caine invited Abel last night. An hour later I heard a fight and then saw him strike down his brother in the backyard, after which he dragged him down the flight of stairs to the cellar. Today I saw Caine dig up a large hole in the backyard. I believe he has killed him and is trying to bury the evidence under the roses."

Only after investigating the story the whole thing comes up as obviously made-up stuff. The problem with your argument is, that you take the result and plug it into the beginning of the equitation to verify the result. However, that is not how it works.

Police only needs a reasonable suspicion based on anything that is known before the search, then anything found during the search is admissable. If that results in the police realizing they were mistaken, the search still was reasonable in the moment it was conducted.

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