Supreme Court to Consider Extent of Police Searches
during the incident. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and added that police did not have the right to question Mena’s citizenship by searching for immigration papers. She is a Salvadorian immigrant.
The case, Muehler v. Mena, has been seen by some police officer groups as a possible way for the court to make clear that officers can handcuff and question people while searching
Search Warrant Detentions
set forth in a 1981 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court (Michigan v. Summers), reaffirmed in a 2005 ruling (Muehler v, Mena), and limited by a 2013 decision (Bailey v. U.S.). Officers need to be aware of the principles set forth in each of these cases
Muehler v. Mena
Police officers with a search warrant went to a home to look for weapons and other evidence of a drive-by gang shooting. Iris Mena, an occupant of the residence, was detained during the search, although she was not one of the suspects. During her detention, INS agents accompanying the police questioned Mena about her citizenship and asked to see her immigration
Supreme Court Reins In Ariz. Immigration Law
in the August issue of POLICE Magazine, said Monday's ruling doesn't change much for patrol officers. Two earlier court decisions—INS v. Delgado (1984) and Muehler v. Mena (2005)—already gave officers the right to check immigration status during a lawful detention.
"For enforcement officers, it really doesn't change anything," Rutledge told POLICE. "As
Holding Back Home Occupants
addressed in a 2005 Supreme Court decision.
Muehler v. Mena
Investigating a recent drive-by shooting, police in Simi Valley, Calif., obtained a warrant to search a suspected gang member's house for weapons, ammunition, and gang paraphernalia. Because of the high-risk nature of the case, SWAT made the initial entry. Four occupants, including Iris Mena, were handcuffed
No Explanation Required
Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status." (Muehler v. Mena)
Marked police cars and motorcycles are allowed to drive along public streets and highways, the same as other vehicles. As long as no colored lights or sirens are used and the police car doesn't cut off another car or block a pedestrian's route, the fact
Accent on Officer Safety
of harm to both officers and occupants." (Muehler v. Mena)
Once you're lawfully inside a residence, your articulable suspicion that there may be a potential assailant present justifies a safety sweep of the premises. "Unlike an encounter on the street or along a highway, an in-home arrest puts the officer at the disadvantage of being on his
Reasonable Execution of Search Warrants
Detention and Questioning of Occupants
As long as officers are acting reasonably and within the scope of a valid warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court has said they may briefly detain and question occupants (Muehler v. Mena) and may "routinely exercise unquestioned command of the situation." (Michigan v. Summers)
The court has been especially protective of the right of officers to take
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