Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Officer Safety Reasons"

I'm getting sick of people going to jail for CDSA offences because of quasi-lawful searches. The police have found a loophole---namely, R. v. Mann---by which they can search anyone whom they suspect might be carrying drugs, but whom they have no reasonable grounds to search: those people might be carrying knives or guns that could put the officer's life in jeopardy, so they must be searched for "officer safety reasons".

Perfectly reasonable, right? What about when it's a seventy-five-year-old man who was pulled over for failing to come to a complete halt at a stop sign? Is it really likely that the officer feared for his safety? According to the file I'm reading right now, one did.

In fact, I fully expect that the officer knew the accused, knew that he would be carrying drugs and was following him until the guy made the slightest traffic error. Which he did -- really the slightest traffic error conceivable. And this file is far from the only one of its kind.

I'm sure pretty that soon the courts will likewise have had enough of this and the loophole will be closed. But until then, don't commit any HTA offences, because you look like you could be a cop killer.


Edit: that old bastard turned out to have a bunch of flick knives on him. Serves me right for getting all hot and bothered.

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