Defense-oriented law — a case for reversal
This October, Judge Gerald Harris of the New York City Criminal Court ruled in People v. Vincent Cooper that a police officer’s forcible pinching of a motorist’s cheeks to determine if evidence is being destroyed “is an intrusive action” and a “violation of a defendant’s Fourth amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.” This despite overwhelming admitted direct and circumstantial factual evidence to the contrary.
This decision can and should be overruled, as the police acted well within the limits of Fourth Amendment protections. The legal reasoning on which the suppression of evidence was based is part of an ever-growing trend of defense-oriented legal reasoning that seeks to prevent even minimal and reasonable use of force by the police. And, as important, Judge Harris’s decision is dangerously ignorant of the realities facing joint police and community efforts to eradicate drug dealing in New York City...