Saturday, March 05, 2011

One Guy's Drug Dog Story

I thought this guy's story about getting stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol and searched for drugs was a fun read in some ways. His point wasn't so much about the dog brought to sniff his car for drugs but the widely practiced fishing expeditions that are carried out routinely in the border states.

I've seen it myself on those real life cop TV shows and, while I'm sympathetic to the police side in many instances having somewhat of a mickey mouse law enforcement type background myself, some of the ways the cops intimidate drivers into having their cars searched without probable cause burns me up at times.

My question in this case was about search procedure in regards the dog:

The dog supposedly signals drugs in the car. The cops consider that probable cause to search so they go inside the car and search it both inside and out. If the dog can locate drugs, why didn't they have the dog go inside the car and pinpoint the drugs he supposedly smelled from the outside of the car? Seems to me that would have saved considerable time.

My guess is that it gives the cops more leeway in searching the vehicle if they keep the dog away from the car after signaling. If the dog finds the drugs right away, I'm guessing that may cause problems with them wanting to go through the rest of the car. I'm not sure but it probably has to do with something along that line.

This should concern us all, especially with the reliability of the drug dogs themselves coming into question now. Thanks to Radley Balko for the link to the story above.


At 3:33 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

The dog may signal on the one drug that it is trained to sniff out, and if there is one drug, there is likely more drugs. The big thing that they are looking for is the money, so that means that they will have to seach everything. The dog is just in the way after it says "look here".

You must have been real bad at being a cop. (wink)


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