Has someone you know had a police officer enter their home under false pretenses?
How far should police go in protecting you?
As law abiding citizens, we want our police officers to protect us. What happens when a police officer engages in behaviors that clearly do not protect us and even put our rights at risk?
In this article, we will be taking a look at two different cases in the United States where the behavior of the police officers cause the trial to be dismissed and the charges dropped.
Durham, North Carolina Police
It was during a trial when a police officer gave a surprise testimony. The police officer admitted to lying to a resident to gain access to their home in search of person believed to be there with an outstanding warrant.
The officer said that there had been a 911 hang up call when he arrived at the resident’s home. After gaining entry under false pretenses, the officer found two marijuana buds and a marijuana grinder.
Officer A.B. Beck reported that he intended to obtain a search warrant for the home, but never actually produced one.
The judge ended up dropping the marijuana charges against the women because of the false pretenses.
However, even more surprisingly, Beck the officer in question, also reported that this tactic, saying a fake 911 call was placed is a common tactic. According to The Raw Story, this is a tactic that is permitted in cases of domestic violence.
This testimony has caused an uproar in the Durham Police Department. When the Chief of Police was informed, he sent out the following statement in a memo,
It has recently been brought to my attention that some officers have informed citizens that there has been a 911 hang-up call from their residence in order to obtain consent to enter for the actual purpose of looking for wanted persons on outstanding warrants.
Effective immediately no officer will inform a citizen that there has been any call to the emergency communications center, including a hang-up call, when there in fact has been no such call.”
Citizens have their right to privacy and now an investigation is under way to find out if any other police officers are using this tactic.
In Atlanta, undercover cops were drinking shot after shot according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when they raided a bar. The police raided the bar because of reports that men were engaging in sexual acts while others looked on. Eight people were arrested during the raid.
The judge ended up dismissing 3 of the cases and the prosecutors dropped the rest.
It’s Called Entrapment and it’s a Defense Tactic
Entrapment is a defense that can be used when,
- A police officer employs a tactic that is not allowed and causes a law-abiding citizen to break the law.
- A police officer engages in a behavior that cannot be permitted.
In the above cases, you can see why the cases were either dropped or dismissed.
Entrapment is more commonly used in Michigan as a defense in undercover drug deals. While it can be a difficult defense to use, it can be successful.
A Few Key Elements to an Entrapment Defense
- One of the biggest pieces to this defense is showing that the police officer conducting himself in a way that causes a citizen to break the law when normally he or she would not.
- The government attempts to build a trusting relationship.
- Pressure made by police to help increase criminal exposure.
- Targeting in an investigation.
While entrapment can be hard to prove, it is possible. The best thing you can do if you believe an entrapment defense is appropriate is to contact an experience criminal defense attorney. Please call our office today.
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000