The City of Miami, Florida hosted the Free Trade of America conference; as a result of the conference, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has since established a committee that is tasked with planning the entire event. The committee shall include developing a policy that recommends for the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to execute. During the planned event, Law Enforcement agencies will be tasked with an array of situations and incidents. In preparation for protestors, Major Warren has acquired a Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) in the event the crowd of protestors can be directed. The committee will have to decide whether to uphold the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and issue a protest permit to an organization or deny the permit if deemed necessary. This research paper will address many obstacles and issues while addressing the Fourth Amendment related to search and seizures in public forums during this assignment.
Keywords: First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, liability, Protest
In The United States of America, the duty and responsibility of our sworn law enforcement professionals are to dedicate their lives while protecting the community in which they serve. Due to the positional of authority and the oath one must take, law enforcement officers are expected to conduct themselves in a manner and profession during all times, whether while on duty or off duty. Regardless of their status, the law enforcement professional shall remain impartial and conduct their actions in a manner that represents their department and agency. As a community, which holds these individuals to their standard, they expect to do the right thing when tasked or faced with danger to ensure the safety of others. Through the proper planning and training programs offered to law enforcement, the officers and deputies have been given the knowledge and tools to combat the incidents. However, due to events of prior incidents where law enforcement had not been trained and properly conducted themselves, that, ultimately in the 1983 Civil Rights Claims.
During the most recent security meeting, they discussed the planned protests by Amnesty International and the Green Peace organization. In the preparatory stages and planning stages for security measures to be implemented, a suggestion was made to utilize a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) for crowd control and including the use of less than lethal compliance methods. The use of the LRAD device would allow law enforcement to give verbal commands in a loud-clear voice to disperse the crowd. However, if the crowd refuses to comply with the lawful order to disperse, law enforcement can change the settings of the device, which would increase the sound and the ability to inflict pain on the crowd. Thus, the device would be utilized as a pain compliance tool or less than a lethal weapon. The use of Long Range Acoustic Devices is commonly used in the Military, aboard Naval ships due to the events of the USS Cole, where a boat intentionally crashed into the side of the ship and detonated explosives. The United States Military rates this device as a non-lethal weapon, as the human ear can typically support sound pressure levels of 120 dB before experiencing discomfort and pain (Alecu, 2018). The sub-committee must consider the legality of the situation to ensure no rights are infringed as well as the safety of all. The sub-committee shall consider the legal concerns to make an informed decision.
The Fourth Amendment
In the United States, under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the, citizens are secure in their residence, property, and individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures (Kessler, 2010). The United States Constitution requires the government to conduct search and seizures to be supported by probable cause and a warrant (Kessler, 2010). In the case of United States v. Katz, the courts maintained that warrantless police action is considered a search if the person targeted has a clear subjective expectation of privacy and society, which acknowledges that expectation as reasonable, as explained by Justice Harlan in his concurrence (Kessler, 2010). As noted in the DRNC scenario, the area of Bayside is a public shopping area where protesters have access to the surrounding area as well as the ability to sneak different types of tools and/or weapons to either hurt civilians or police officers. Due to the public location and individuals being able to come and go freely, this would create a Fourth Amendment rights issue which would prohibit law enforcement from conducting pat-downs and searches of citizens’ backpacks without reasonable cause. Under Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S. 1 1968, later known as the “Stop and Frisk” case, that restricts law enforcement from First Amendment protected activities from intrusive or harassment from police when no criminal acts have been in committed (Thomas, 1998). In Terry, a police officer is authorized to pat down the exterior of an individual’s clothing to search for weapons that require more than “inchoate and particularized suspicion” but are justified by “specific reasonable inference” that the individual may have a weapon (Kessler, 2010, p122). The Supreme Court ruled the need to balance police activity with the citizen’s rights by establishing a standard that explains police interference by mandating increasing levels of cause and suspicion (Kessler, 2010).
Recommendation– Amnesty International
Denying the protest groups a permit to protest would not be recommended as it would be a clear violation of the Freedom of Assembly under the First Amendment. The common law recognizes that there is a fundamental right for individuals of the general public to assemble together to express their views on matters in a public form or concern; this is one of the fundamental rights of a citizen in a democracy (Mead, 2010). Due to the limited information presented, stating there is no information that indicates that any group has made any threats or posed any concern for the general public, a permit should be granted. There should be law enforcement and security regardless of the protest due to the conflicting beliefs though it should be held in a manner in which law enforcement is not presented as an enforced or infringe on Constitutional protected rights.
Recommendation- Greenpeace Protect at Shopping Mall
As a recommendation to the sub-committee, I would authorize a permit for Greenpeace at the shopping mall, which would create a legal liability if denied. There is no information that would indicate that the group would pose a threat or cause any issue to which law enforcement would need to enforce. As stated in the case study, the location in which the proposed protest would take place is a popular area that draws many people for shopping purposes due to being a mall. Sub-committee has noted the potential issue of where the protest group could congregate in areas such as streets and impede traffic flow. Due to the public area restricts the ability of law enforcement or security to conduct a pat down to check for weapons. Organizations are able to protest as long as they remain peaceful and calm.
During this DRNC scenario, it provides us with a situation where it demonstrates the necessity for understanding the importance of our rights and the safety practices that shall be required to ensure the stability and continued enforcement of the Constitution. The events that unfolded in this scenario are common and widely scrutinized in the world of law enforcement for the interaction between two opposing parties. Officers understand that each party or group has their own opinion and beliefs to, which they are granted to under the Constitution of the United States. Regardless, each individual must be respectful and work with public safety organizations and agencies to balance the need to allow individuals to participate in these events. Expressing freedom of speech is a given right to all to, which it should be expressed through the assurance of general safety to the public remains crucial.
No less than 100 words and respond to this persons discussion