9-200 Search and Seizure
9-201 SEARCH AND SEIZURE (07/01/11)
To provide employees with legal guidance in order to conduct lawful searches and seizures.
The term “officer” is used generically in this document and does not assume a level of rank, such as Patrol Officer. It includes all applicable sworn and non-sworn personnel.
Minneapolis Police Department employees shall conduct searches in as minimally intrusive a manner as possible, adhere to all MPD policies and to the rights given to persons under the United States Constitution and the Minnesota State Constitution.
Minneapolis Police Department employees shall be responsible for understanding and performing assigned duties in accordance with the MPD’s Search and Seizure Policy and the guidelines set forth in the Minneapolis Police Department Search and Seizure Guide and Training Manual, and it is hereby incorporated by reference.
III. PROCEDURES / RULES / REGULATIONS
A. Searching People
1. A full search of a person is not justified with reasonable suspicion; it requires probable cause and exigent circumstances, or other conditions outlined below. Officers can legally search people without a warrant in the following circumstances: (01/25/16)
a. Probable Cause and Exigent Circumstances; (01/25/16)
b. Search Incident to Arrest;
c. Medical Emergency/Life-Saving;
d. Plain View;
e. Consent Search.
2. Searching an Arrestee’s Property:
a. A custodial arrestee’s property (purse, backpack, etc.) shall be searched prior to arrival at any jail, detention center, chemical testing unit, or investigative unit.
b. A non-custodial arrestee’s property is not subject to search without consent unless reasonable articulable suspicion exists to believe that the individual is engaged in other criminal activity and the personal property may contain a weapon.
c. Items property inventoried will be searched according to protocol set forth by the Property and Evidence Unit.
3. Searching Persons of the Opposite Sex
a. When practical, persons should be searched by an officer of the same gender if such an officer is on the scene or can arrive within a reasonable period of time. If the gender of the person to be searched is in question, officers shall ask the person to identify their gender before proceeding with the search.
b. Prior to the execution of an arrest or search warrant, where a female officer is likely to be needed, a female officer shall be included in the operation if possible.
c. A strip search shall be conducted and witnessed by at least two officers of the same gender as the person being searched.
4. Strip Searches
a. A strip search includes the removal or rearrangement of clothing to permit the visual or manual inspection of any skin surfaces of a person’s genitals, buttocks, anus or female breasts.
b. Strip Searches may be conducted only in the following circumstances:
i. Officers have probable cause to believe that evidence, or contraband exists and will be destroyed or lost in the absence of an immediate strip search; or
ii. Officers have probable cause to believe that an immediate search is necessary to prevent imminent danger to the suspect, officer or others.
c. The following procedure shall be followed when conducting a strip search, whether the person has been arrested or not:
i. Supervisory approval shall be obtained before conducting a strip search. Such approval shall only be given after an on-scene assessment by the supervisor.
ii. The supervisor shall be present when the search is conducted unless precluded from doing so by the issue of gender.
aa. If the supervisor who authorized the strip search is prohibited from being present, a supervisor of the same sex as the person to be searched should be present when the search is conducted.
ab. If it is not reasonable or possible to have a supervisor of the same sex witness the strip search, the supervisor shall ensure that at least two officers of the same sex conduct/witness the search.
iii. The search shall be performed in a location that affords the suspect privacy from persons not involved in the search. Officers shall be aware that strip searches conducted in the field could require extraordinary measures to ensure the suspect’s privacy.
iv. The supervisor authorizing the strip search shall complete a CAPRS supplement articulating why the search was justified and necessary. The supplement will also explain:
· Which officers conducted the search;
· Which officers were present for the search;
· Where the search was conducted; and
· How the search was conducted.
v. Nothing stated in this policy shall preclude an officer from immediately recovering a weapon if the officer can articulate that any delay would cause imminent danger to the safety of the officer or others.
vi. Nothing stated in this policy shall preclude an officer from collecting a urine sample for evidentiary purposes (e.g. DWI).
5. Body Cavity Searches
a. A body cavity search is a search that goes beyond visual or manual inspection of skin surfaces, so that it involves internal physical examination of body cavities, and in some instances, organs such as the stomach.
b. With the exception of the mouth, body cavity searches shall only be performed by medical personnel, in a medical facility, pursuant to a search warrant or court order.
c. Exigent circumstances such as the suspect placing illegal narcotics or contraband into their mouth does not require obtaining a search warrant or court order.
d. Minimal physical force (which includes low control options such as joint manipulation, pressure points and verbal directions) may be used to recover suspected narcotics from a suspect’s mouth. Force used shall not include any strikes or any type of force which restricts breathing or blood flow in the neck.
6. Searching People – Documentation
a. Terry Stops (Investigative Detentions), Terry Frisks, and searches (to include consent searches) must be justified under the law. Officers must be able to provide the justification for any frisk(s) and/or search(es) conducted.
b. Absent exigent circumstances, officers are responsible for knowing certain facts, to include: the name of the person encountered, as well as the probable cause which served as the basis for the officer’s actions.
c. Documentation should be made via added remarks to the call in CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) or by another method, unless a CAPRS report and supplement is required.
d. A strip search of a person always requires a CAPRS report and supplement. All officers who witness and/or conduct a strip search shall complete a supplement.
B. Searching Vehicles
1. Officers can legally search a vehicle in the following circumstances:
a. Plain View;
b. Medical Emergency/Life-Saving;
c. Probable Cause;
d. Protective Weapons Sweep;
e. Search Incident to Custodial Arrest;
f. Inventory Search;
g. Consent Search.
2. Searching Vehicles – Documentation
a. If the search of a vehicle results in an arrest or seizure of evidence or contraband, a CAPRS report and supplement shall be completed and the officer must articulate in his/her supplement the legal justification for the search. The supplement shall contain all pertinent information concerning the search including:
i. Legal justification for the search;
ii. Results of the search;
iii. Any damages that occurred;
iv. Officers who conducted the search; and
v. The name and date of birth of the consenting person (if applicable).
b. If damage to property was caused during the course of a search and/or resulting seizure:
i. A supervisor shall be notified;
ii. Photographs shall be taken and property inventoried to document any known damages.
c. If the search of a vehicle does not result in an arrest, property damage or seizure of evidence or contraband, the fact that a search occurred and the legal justification for it should be documented via added remarks to the call in CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) or by another method.
C. Searching Dwellings and Buildings
1. A search warrant is always required to search dwellings and non-public areas of buildings, absent consent or exigent circumstances. Without a search warrant, officers may legally search a dwelling or building in the following circumstances:
a. Hot Pursuit;
b. Protect and Preserve Life;
c. To Prevent the Destruction of Evidence;
d. Serving an Arrest Warrant;
e. Consent Search;
2. Searching Dwellings and Buildings – Documentation
a. If the search of a building/dwelling results in an arrest or seizure of evidence or contraband, a CAPRS report and supplement shall be completed and the officer must articulate in his/her statement the legal justification for the search. The supplement shall contain all pertinent information concerning the search including:
i. Legal justification for the entry/search;
ii. Results of the search;
iii. Any injuries that occurred;
iv. Any property damages that occurred;
v. Officers who entered the property; and
vi. The name and date of birth of the consenting person (if applicable) and their relationship to the property searched.
b. If the search of a building/dwelling does not result in an arrest, property damage or seizure of evidence or contraband, the fact that a search occurred and the legal justification for it should be documented via added remarks to the call in CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) or by another method.
c. Officers assigned to a search warrant shall complete a supplement stating their assignment and actions taken if they were responsible for:
· Using force to subdue or detain individuals;
· Causing damage;
· Locating, recovering or documenting evidence; or
· When directed by a supervisor.
d. If damage to property or occurs during the course of a search and/or the resulting arrest or property seizure:
· A supervisor shall be notified;
· Photographs taken to document any known damages.
Note: If entry for a search is made forcibly to windows or interior or exterior doors, the report shall be additionally titled FENTRY.
e. When applicable, officers shall property inventory:
· Photographs documenting damages;
· Consent to Search form; and/or
· Audio and/or video recording of consent granted.
9-202 PUBLIC RECORDING OF POLICE ACTIVITIES (05/05/16)
The purpose of this policy is to acknowledge and protect the constitutional and legal rights of citizens to photograph and make audio and video recordings of Minneapolis Police Department personnel. This policy provides employees with guidance in dealing with situations in which they are being recorded.
A. The Minneapolis Police Department recognizes that members of the general public have an unambiguous First Amendment right to record police officers while they are conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity. Officers should assume that a member of the public is likely to be observing and possibly recording their activities at all times.
B. Officers shall be aware that recording of people, places, buildings, structures and events is a common and normally lawful activity. If a person is taking photographs or recording from a place where he or she has a right to be, this activity by itself does not constitute suspicious activity.
C. In areas open to the public, members of the general public have the same right to photograph and record as a member of the media. No person is required to have or display “press” credentials in order to exercise the right to record events, including police activity.
D. Officers shall not tell people that recording police activity is not allowed, requires a permit, or requires an officer’s consent.
E. The warrantless seizure of material protected by the First Amendment (photos, videos, etc.) will be strictly scrutinized in court, and has a higher standard for reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment.
F. Employees shall not erase or delete, or request any person to erase or delete any files, media or recorded images or sounds from any camera or other recording device that is in possession of any person, or that has been seized or voluntarily turned over. Such action may constitute a violation of the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Police Duties: Police duties discharged in a public setting may include a range of activities, including detentions, searches, arrests or uses of force.
Public Space/Setting: Public settings include but are not limited to: parks, sidewalks, streets and locations of public protests. The right to record also extends to an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private buildings, and any other public or private facility at which an individual has a right to be.
IV. PROCEDURES/ REGULATIONS
A. Responding to Public Recording of Police Activities
1. When an employee observes a citizen taking photographs or audio or video recording in a setting at which that person has a legal right to be present, the employee shall not:
a. Order that person to cease recording;
b. Demand that person’s identification;
c. Demand that the citizen provide a reason for recording;
d. Detain that person for recording or investigation of a recording;
e. Intentionally block or obstruct recording devices;
f. In any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording.
2. The right to record does not grant a citizen the right to interfere with police activity. A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes or otherwise interferes with a peace officer while the officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law.
a. A person’s recording of officers’ activity from a safe distance, without any action to obstruct the activity or threaten the safety of an officer, does not constitute interference.
b. If a person is recording activity from a position that impedes or threatens the safety of officers or their ability to perform their duties, an officer may direct the person to move to a position that will not interfere. Officers shall not order the person to stop recording.
c. If a person is recording activity from a position that impedes or threatens the safety of members of the public, the officer shall direct the person to move to a safe position that will not interfere. Officers shall not order the person to stop recording.
d. Citizens have the right to express criticism of the police activity being observed. As long as that expression does not jeopardize the safety of any officer, suspect or bystander, and does not violate the law or incite others to violate the law, the expression does not constitute interference.
i. Any arrest of a person who is recording officers in a public place shall be related to an objective, articulable violation of the law unrelated to the act of recording. The act of recording does not provide grounds for detention or arrest.
ii. If safe to do so, officers shall call a supervisor to the scene before any restrictive police actions are taken, and the supervisor must approve any related arrest.
iii. If an arrest is made prior to supervisor arrival due to exigent circumstances, the arrestee shall not be transported to a holding or detention facility until the supervisor is present and has approved the arrest.
iv. An arrest of a person does not provide an exception to the warrant requirement justifying a search of the individual’s recording equipment or media. While equipment may be secured incident to an arrest, downloading, viewing or otherwise accessing files or media requires a search warrant.
B. Handling of Evidence on a Recording Device
1. Citizens have a high expectation of privacy for the contents of cellular phones and other recording devices. Absent arrest of the recording party, recording equipment shall not be confiscated.
a. Officers shall not order an individual to show recordings that have been made of police activity.
b. A supervisor must be notified before an officer takes any action involving a person’s recording device, including a request for voluntary consent to search or seizure of the device.
2. If an officer reasonably believes that evidence of a serious crime has been recorded by a member of the public, the officer shall immediately request a supervisor respond to the scene.
a. With approval of the supervisor, the officer may ask the person in possession of the recording if he or she will consent to voluntarily allow the officer to take possession of the recording device or media and process it as evidence.
i. The officer shall not, implicitly or explicitly, coerce consent to take possession of any recording device or information it may contain.
b. If the individual refuses to voluntarily provide the recording or device and the officer reasonably believes that the recording will be destroyed, lost, tampered with or otherwise rendered useless as evidence before a warrant can be obtained, the officer shall notify a supervisor.
i. The supervisor will assess the situation and determine whether exigent circumstances exist to permit the seizure of the device without a warrant.
aa. Any such seizure must be a temporary restraint intended only to preserve evidence, for no longer than reasonably necessary for the officer, acting with diligence, to obtain a warrant to seize the evidence.
ab. A warrant must be obtained in order to examine or copy the recording and the chain of custody must be clearly documented.
ac. The recording or device shall be processed as evidence (see P/P 10-400) and a DIMS download station shall not be used for retrieval (see P/P 4-217).
c. In exigent circumstances when an officer reasonably believes that an immediate search of the recording is necessary to prevent death or injury, the officer shall notify a supervisor.
i. The supervisor will assess the situation and determine whether exigent circumstances exist to permit the seizure and search of the device without a warrant. The supervisor shall notify the Watch Commander if a search is approved.
ii. Photographs, videos or recordings that have been seized as evidence and are not directly related to the exigent circumstances will not be viewed until a search warrant has been obtained.
d. Any recording devices or media taken into custody shall be returned as soon as practical.
e. Employees who view or listen to a recording from a citizen, or conduct a forensic examination of the recording or device, shall undertake reasonable efforts to ensure only materials that constitute potential evidence are accessed. Employees will refrain from examining any materials not relevant to the investigation.
Last updated May 5, 2016