Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Takes Aim At Police Officers' 'Training And Expertise' Assertions
It doesn't happen often, but it's always good to see a federal court push back against claims of "training and expertise." This phrase is often used to excuse rights violations and horrendous judgment calls -- somehow asserting that the more cops know, the less they should be held directly responsible for their acts.
The case being handled by the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court deals with some drug warriors and their willingness to work backward from their assumptions to something they sincerely wanted to believe was probable cause for a search. But the Appeals Court sees no "training and expertise" here. Instead they see officers motivated by hunches, which are not synonymous with probable cause, much less reasonable suspicion.