Kansas City Police Lose Big in Two Drug Cases

A federal judge has found that Kansas City police illegally searched a man's home for drugs in a case that defense lawyers say raises questions about hundreds of other searches in the county. The case involves no-knock warrants. The Judge in suppressing the drug evidence held, "However, there is no blanket exception to the knock and announce requirement in a drug investigation." She cited past federal court rulings that require police to give specific reasons to justify no-knock searches, such as a suspect's violent past."

In another case, a Kansas jury returned a $2 million verdict against the Kansas City police for their actions in a drug search. The search victim's lawyer, David Smith, author of the leading text book on forfeiture laws, said the verdict "could affect many other criminal cases and result in a wave of civil lawsuits against police. The Kansas City Police Department can't circumvent the Constitution."

Our congratulations to David Smith.

Update: Check out this great investigative series in the Kansas City Star from 1999-2000 called Taking Cash into Custody : A Special Report on Police and Drug Money Seizures.

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