There are certain things that police do that may just seem ridiculous to the people of Washington, D.C., and it seems that this is just what happened in a recent attempt to grab a suspect. Police were looking for someone they have accused of robbery when they received a tip that their suspected bank robber was at an intersection. Though police had this information, they didn’t know which car the suspect was in or what the suspect looked like.
So they stopped every single car in the area, handcuffed every adult and searched 40 innocent people before finding the evidence they needed to make an arrest. It is true that police have some leeway in how they conduct their investigations, but there are still rules about what they can and can’t do and how they may search individuals. These rules, many of which come from the constitution, ensure that the innocent and guilty alike are protected against police abuse.
Here, officers barricaded the area, preventing cars from leaving while they cut off cars and forced adults out of their cars at gunpoint. It wasn’t until the officers got to the last of the 25 cars that they claim they found two firearms. It is unclear, however, how two guns link the individual who was finally arrested to the crime.
Thus far, five people have complained about this exercise of police power. The police chief said that he has apologized for inconveniencing the people who were stopped and handcuffed, but he does not think his officers’ actions were a mistake.
As people in Washington, D.C., shake their heads in disbelief, it remains to be seen if the officers’ search for a robbery suspect crossed the line.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Aurora Police Stop, Handcuff 40 Innocent Adults At Intersection In Search Of Bank Robber,” June 6, 2012