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Violations of the Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment gives citizens the right to be in their houses, cars, or streets, secure, prohibiting seizures and searches which are not reasonable. It also adds that any search warrant needs to be judicially sanctioned unless there is probable cause. According to Gray (2017), a search warrant must be specific on the items to be seized or place to be searched and be based on probable cause for search and seizure. Additionally, it has to be issued by a detached, neutral magistrate and be filed in good faith by a police officer. A search without a valid warrant as that Nejmeh (2012) is narrating in his video is considered unreasonable, and it violates the Fourth Amendment. City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 2000, is an example of a case where there were significant issues amounting to the violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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In 1998, Indiana Police started an operation and laid some vehicle checkpoints for drug interdiction. Many vehicles were stopped at these narcotics checkpoints for brief searches by two police officers; one would instruct a narcotics dog to search while the other would perform an open-view examination of the vehicle. Joell Palmer and James Edmond were stopped at one of these checkpoints (Ormerod & Trautman, 2017). They later filed a court case on their behalf and others who had been stopped in a similar manner, alleging that the narcotics roadblocks violated the Fourth Amendment.

The narcotics checkpoints set for drug interdiction violated the Fourth Amendment because they were not reasonable regarding seizures as provided in the Constitution. As Newton (2017) argues, these roadblocks aimed to uncover evidence of ordinary crimes. It was not distinguishable from crime control’s general interest; thus, this was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. According to Ward (2020), causality is a limiting principle of determining whether there was a violation, and this was the same situation in City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 2000. Therefore, since the barriers did not serve significant state interest, they did not meet the reasonableness standards regarding probable cause, thus, violating the Fourth Amendment.


Gray, D. (2017). The Fourth Amendment in an age of surveillance. Cambridge University Press.

Nejmeh, M. (2012). Bradley Beach, NJ |Corruption| violation of the Fourth

Ammendment, search and seizure 2012 [Video]. YouTube.

Newton, B. E. (2017). Practical criminal procedure: A constitutional manual. Aspen Publishers.

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Ormerod, P. C., & Trautman, L. J. (2017). A descriptive analysis of the Fourth Amendment and the third-party doctrine in the digital age. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.

Ward, B. (2020). Restoring causality to attenuation: Establishing the breadth of a Fourth Amendment violation. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.

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