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Laws of the State and the State of the Law: The Relationship Between Police and Law (From Policing and the Law, P 1-23, 2002, Jeffrey T. Walker, eds. -- See NCJ-193352)

NCJ Number
Jeffrey T. Walker
Date Published
23 pages
In this chapter, the progressive movement by the courts and lawmakers to incorporate the Bill of Rights to the States making it applicable to Federal police agencies is presented, especially as they apply to Supreme Court decisions.
Since the beginning of the 20th Century, many changes have occurred within policing in terms of both restrictions placed on officers and restrictions removed from them. Many of the legal restrictions and freedoms placed on the police came from the Supreme Court. In many cases the Supreme Court overturned State or other laws governing police behavior. In this chapter, the changes in restrictions placed on officers are addressed under probable cause and searches and seizures, the exclusionary rule, and Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment issues. Until the Boyd vs. United States decision in 1914, there were few restrictions on what the police could do in terms of searches. The exclusionary rule also placed more and more restrictions on the police in terms of what kind of evidence could be excluded if improperly seized. However, what was reduced was the level of surety that police officers needed to establish probable cause, and the number of instances when reduced probable cause was required for a search steadily increased. When evidence was discovered in a vehicle, there was little that police officers couldn’t do, the restrictions were minimal. Yet, when an offender refused to speak without a lawyer present, the police are powerless in speaking to the offender.