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North Carolina officer dismissed after illegal search and seizure

Law enforcement agents are under careful scrutiny these days. While most police officers carry out their duties with the intent to protect and serve, others may have different agendas, bringing suspicion on all who wear a badge. A North Carolina police officer was recently fired following accusations that he performed an unlawful search and seizure.

After 17 years in law enforcement, the officer lost his job for allegedly failing to carry out his duties. The officer apparently obtained a search warrant for the property of another police officer who was suspected of being involved in a string a thefts of mowers and lawn equipment. However, the subject of the warrant maintained that the warrant was obtained under false pretenses, and the search resulted in illegal seizures.

For example, the officer seeking the warrant waited nearly eight months to request the warrant and based his application on stale information. Additionally, the man accused of theft contended that the officer took his statements from a police interview out of context and used those statements to provide false information on the affidavit. This compelled the judge to find probable cause for the warrant.

The warrant also contained such broad language in its list of items to be seized that the court found the search unconstitutional. During the search, one officer allegedly removed weapons and silencers from closets and placed them on the bed for another officer to find. Apparently, he did this because the warrant allowed for the seizure of property only if it was in plain view.

The many problems concerning the warrant as well as the search and seizure of property in this case demonstrate how an overly zealous North Carolina police officer may overstep the law. The U.S. Constitution protects against the use of such tactics and provides for a fair trial with fairly obtained evidence. Those facing criminal charges would benefit from the advocacy of an attorney who will work assiduously to defend their rights.

Source:, "Reidsville police sergeant fired after material in search warrant appeared to be 'reckless, without basis, misleading'", DaVonte McKenith, July 20, 2017

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North Carolina officer dismissed after illegal search and seizure | Messer Law Firm