Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Bartlett, TN
    Posts
    158

    Greyhound Bus Passenger Searches

    I've got a question, and it deals with Greyhound Bus Passenger Searches. For those who are not familiar with them, they go something like this:

    Prior to the bus leaving the station, the driver gets off and goes back inside to finish some pre-trip paperwork, and several officers (usually a Drug Task Force) come on the bus. One officer puts his knee on the driver's seat, so as not to block the exit, and the officer then identifies himself and states that the other officers with him are going to walk down the isle and talk to each passenger in turn, and will request to inspect the personal carry on baggage that the passengers have with them. As the officer gets to the passenger, the officer will ask for the passenger's destination, and will examine the passenger's ticket. Finally, the officer will ask permission to inspect the passenger's personal carry on baggage, all while carefully standing to the side of the seat so as not to give the impression to the passenger that the passenger is not free to leave.

    Ok, here is the question: If you are an officer conducting such a search, what would you do if a passenger willingly showed ID, ticket, and gave destination information, but Very Politely declined your request to search his baggage? Take into consideration that this polite refusal is in the midst of several other passengers who willingly comply with the request.

    All replies are GREATLY appreciated.

    THANKS!
    'If the grass is greener on the other side, water your OWN lawn.'

  2. #2
    ----------- ZmanCarlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Suburban Chicago
    Posts
    547
    Very interesting scenario. Now I'm not an LEO yet, so. But my feeling is if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't worry. That is the bottom line.

  3. #3
    krj
    krj is offline
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,139
    Is this something new? Or something they do only on Greyhound buses on U.S. routes? About 10 years ago in Canada I put way more miles on Greyhound buses than I like to think about, and never once experienced this scenario. Now I'm curious.

  4. #4
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,426
    U.S. Vs Drayton

    High Court Sides with Police on Bus Searches

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that police may ask passengers aboard public buses to submit to searches without informing them of their legal rights to refuse the request.

    In a case that has taken on increased significance for law enforcement in the wake of 9-11, the ruling allows police the same latitude to search suspects on a bus as they have to question individuals on a street corner or search them on an airplane.

    The case stems from a 1999 drug bust on a Greyhound bus in Tallahassee, Florida. Three local police officers boarded the bus bound for Detroit, Michigan in search of illegal drugs or weapons. The officers were dressed in plain clothes. One officer stood at the front of the bus without blocking the aisle, another stood at the back of the bus. The third officer, starting at the back of the bus, began questioning passengers on travel plans and sought to match passengers with luggage overhead. During his questioning, the officer did not block the exit path of passengers.

    The officer questioned two male passengers sitting together. Upon request to search their bag, he was told to "go ahead." The bag contained no contraband. The officer then noticed that the two men were wearing baggy clothing and asked if he could check their persons. The men agreed, and the officers found almost a kilo of cocaine strapped to their legs. According to court papers submitted by Solicitor General Theodore Olson, "The officers showed no weapons, spoke politely and quietly with the passengers and said nothing that might convey the message that cooperation was mandatory."

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that the arresting officers had violated the defendants
    Retired

  5. #5
    Frank Booth
    Guest
    If you are an officer conducting such a search, what would you do if a passenger willingly showed ID, ticket, and gave destination information, but Very Politely declined your request to search his baggage?
    You move on to the next passenger.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    226
    Excellent reply Frank! No matter what the court ruling, the 4th Ammend does not change...nor Does Terry V Ohio.....

    No reasonable Suspicion...no Terry

    No free consent.....move on to the next dude

    No PC in light of no consent....no search

    The Fourth Ammend does not change.....The Bill Of Rights Does not change.
    If you knew you would fight for you life tomorrow, would you change the way you trained today?

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    AZ USA
    Posts
    3,342
    Zman, your response surprized and depressed me. If the police come to your door at home, and are nice and polite, do you let them search? Even if you have "nothing to hide?" NOT ME! The sheeple reaponse of "if you have nothing to hide, let the Government Agents search" abandons the rights so many fought and died for.
    I used to be a Federal Agent, and I would never consent to any search by any governement agent - local, state, or Federal! I have a right to be free of 'unreasonable' searches. If you have PC, get a warrant. If you don't, leave me alone!
    Rights not exercised are soon abandoned!
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
    John Stuart Mill

  8. #8
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,426
    Originally posted by Sleuth
    Zman, your response surprized and depressed me. If the police come to your door at home, and are nice and polite, do you let them search? Even if you have "nothing to hide?" NOT ME! The sheeple reaponse of "if you have nothing to hide, let the Government Agents search" abandons the rights so many fought and died for.
    I used to be a Federal Agent, and I would never consent to any search by any governement agent - local, state, or Federal! I have a right to be free of 'unreasonable' searches. If you have PC, get a warrant. If you don't, leave me alone!
    Rights not exercised are soon abandoned!
    Sleuth,

    I couldn't have said it any better! The fact that one has nothing to hide does not justify government searches. This isn't East Germany yet!
    Retired

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,090
    If one group of federal agents came to my door, I'd be required to shut the door in their face very soon after they identified themselves.... I might let them tell me what they want before doing it, but I dunno.

    And I agree with Sleuth and Retired. No warrant, no search...
    "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

  10. #10
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    XXX
    Posts
    617
    There are limited reason why you might search a persons bag before they get on a bus or while on the bus. There are two cases involving the Port Authority Police that made it to the Supreme court. When I find them, I'll post them.

    Update.

    OK, I can;t for the life of me remember the PA cases. Maye someone else does, it involves searching bags. in 1 case the officer observes some suspicious activity in the terminal involving a bag and 2 perps. When they board the bus, the cops follows and observes more suspicious activity. He asks to search the bag, and finds drugs. The evidence was good.

    The other case was the cops observes very little suspicious activity and then asks to search the bag.

    Both cases had to do with the level of suspicion needed to ask person to search a bag.

    Anyway, here is a case on point to about coming onto a bus and doing searches:

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...s/501/429.html

    U.S. Supreme Court
    FLORIDA v. BOSTICK, 501 U.S. 429 (1991)
    501 U.S. 429
    FLORIDA v. BOSTICK
    CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

    No. 89-1717

    Argued February 26, 1991
    Decided June 20, 1991


    As part of a drug interdiction effort, Broward County Sheriff's Department officers routinely board buses at scheduled stops and ask passengers for permission to search their luggage. Two officers boarded respondent Bostick's bus and, without articulable suspicion, questioned him and requested his consent to search his luggage for drugs, advising him of his right to refuse. He gave his permission, and the officers, after finding cocaine, arrested Bostick on drug trafficking charges. His motion to suppress the cocaine on the ground that it had been seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment was denied by the trial court. The Florida Court of Appeal affirmed, but certified a question to the State Supreme Court. That court, reasoning that a reasonable passenger would not have felt free to leave the bus to avoid questioning by the police, adopted a per se rule that the sheriff's practice of "working the buses" is unconstitutional.
    Last edited by SW4747; 01-10-2004 at 01:08 PM.

  11. #11
    No Longer Active
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    XXX
    Posts
    617
    I found the other cases. I only have a PDF copy of a legal bullion on them. If anyone wants it, let me know and I'll e-mail you the file.

    The cases are not really on point to the topic stated here, but are still good ones to read. They are NY court of appeals cases.

  12. #12
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    6,426
    SW4747,

    Is this the PA info you were lookling for?

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Nixes Random Drug Searches on Interstate Buses 10/7/00
    Pennsylvania state drug investigators had a routine. They would randomly board a passenger bus at a bus depot -- the massive rest area at Breezewood on Interstate 70 on the Maryland border was a favorite target -- ask passengers to pair up with their luggage, and then ask to search the bags. If a passenger did not claim a bag, police would have the bus driver declare it abandoned property, then they would open it in search of drugs and clues to the owner's identity.

    The technique was effective, police claimed, leading to numerous arrests.

    But the state Supreme Court, ruling in Commonwealth v. Belisario Polo, has found that the random searches violate provisions in the state constitution that protect people from unreasonable or warrantless searches and seizures.

    Justice Stephen Zappala cited the court's opinion in a 1996 case, Commonwealth vs. Matos, writing that "the seriousness of criminal activity under investigation, whether it is the sale of drugs or the commission of a violent crime, can never be used as justification for ignoring or abandoning the constitutional right... to be free from intrusions upon... personal liberty absent probable cause."

    The court has nine similar cases pending before it, but state Attorney General Mike Fisher has apparently seen the writing on the wall. His office is reviewing the opinion and considering new investigative guidelines to keep drug investigators within the law.

    "We will make appropriate modifications to our ongoing interdiction efforts to adhere to that opinion," Fisher spokesman Kevin Harley told the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
    Retired

  13. #13
    Frank Booth
    Guest
    I would think that the part about having passengers "pair up" with their luggage, and then seizing any luggage that wasn't "paired up with" were the sticking points. I think those parts were unconstitutional.

  14. #14
    USCG OregonDirtbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    181
    What the heck? Is this new? I rode the grey hound quite a few times in the past 5 months. Never had this happen.. New rule? I'm sure as heck stumped...
    “The Blue Book says we've got to go out and it doesn't say a damn thing about having to come back.”

    -Captain Patrick Etheridge, U.S Life Saving Service

  15. #15
    STORM THE CASTLE! squad51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    4,496
    I would also tell the officers to pound sand.
    Happy to be here proud to serve

    "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

    Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •