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Federal Judge Upholds D.C. Checkpoints

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon has denied a request for preliminary injunction from four District residents who contended that the checkpoints established by Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier in the Trinidad neighborhood were unconstitutional. Plantiffs "have neither demonstrated a substantial likelihood that this checkpoint program is unconstitutioinal, nor the necessary irreparable harm," Leon wrote.

He concluded that "to take this arrow out of MPD's quiver on such a weak showing as to is unconstitutionality would be injurious not only to MPD's ability to protect our citizens, but to the public's overwhelming need to be protected from these mobile merchants of violence."

Read the ruling for yourself here.

Kristopher Baumann, head of the police union, said the decision does nothing to address the officers' chief concern with checkpoints: whether evidence they find by chance during a vehicle check would be upheld in a criminal complaint against a driver. In other words, if a car is stopped and a dead body is found and the officer makes an arrest, will the charges be upheld in court?

"I do not think the criminal issues have been resolved," Baumann said. "I don't understand how they could sustain anything we found."

The Post's federal court reporter Del Quentin Wilber filed this story on the ruling.

By David A Nakamura  |  October 30, 2008; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety  
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Wow. Just wow. The court's opinion is that the police can decide whether you have a "legitimate reason" to drive into a neighborhood.

This is going to make a fabulous precedent.

Posted by: DupontJay | October 30, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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