Category Archives: Cop Watch

Texas Police Excessive Force: Concern Isn’t Just the Police Officer, It’s the Entire Police Department

For the past two nights, there has been rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the grand jury determination not to bring charges against a police officer who used lethal force. That’s Missouri; what about police and lethal force here in Dallas and North Texas? Good question. 1. Dallas Web Site: Police Department’s Lethal…

Dallas County Opens Digital Crime Lab: DA Snoops Your Cell Phone

There was an important news update out of Craig Watkins’ office that may have been overshadowed yesterday, what with all the November 2014 Election coverage and the scoop that Watkins lost his job to Republican challenger Susan Hawk. After all, there’s lots to ponder in Dallas criminal justice circles about what Hawk’s transition into the…

Will Media Coverage Finally Stop Government From Grabbing Your Property in Forfeiture?

 Finally, the public is waking up to the wrong that is civil forfeiture laws – something that we’ve been monitoring here since April 2010. There’s still lots to be done, but there is reason to be optimistic that the government’s ability to grab your property without any criminal wrongdoing even being alleged on your part…

The Mike Brown Law: Will Police Be Required to Wear Body Cameras?

As the events in Ferguson, Missouri, continue to unfold, a proposed new law is being advanced for all law enforcement in this country, the “Mike Brown Law.” It would require all police officers to wear a camera as part of their uniform, so all their actions on the job would be recorded. The campaign for…

Seal Broken by Judge Today and Now We Know How The Police Are Eavesdropping on Public With Stingray Devices

For a long while, criminal defense lawyers along with civil rights activists as well as citizens who have been arrested by law enforcement in Police Departments all over the country have known that police have been using new technology to eavesdrop on phone calls and text messages. That’s not news. It’s been a real big…

The Forfeiture Epidemic: When the Government Just Takes Your Property and Keeps It

Many people here in Dallas and around the State of Texas naively assume that their property is theirs, protected by state laws and the federal Constitution from being taken from them without legal due process. They are wrong. There are laws on the books, passed by the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress, that allow…

Police Brutality in Texas? Robert Tolan Wins as 1983 Excessive Force Case Returned to Trial by US Supreme Court

Robert Tolan fights for justice.  How many other Texans have 1983 excessive force cases against police officers that they are afraid to file? Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court reversed the decision of our own Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court that grades the papers of federal criminal trial courts…

Privacy of Lawyer-Client Communications In Danger: The Growing Need for Greater Protections of Communications Between Attorney and Client

A couple of weeks ago, the American Bar Association (ABA) wrote the National Security Agency (NSA) about several concerns that lawyers all over the United States have (regardless of whether or not they are members of the ABA) regarding news that the NSA collecting confidential communications between an American law firm and its client, with…

The Power of the Police to Search Your Home and Property: 2 New High Court Opinions On When Police Can Search Without a Warrant in Texas

It seems like there are weekly, if not daily, news stories covering excessive force or unwarranted use of police power by law enforcement officers around the country and it is only through the criminal justice system – particularly criminal defense fights and judicial reasoning and opinion – that people can find justice from overzealous police…

U.S. Supreme Court Will Make Big Decisions on Your Privacy Rights from Police this Year: the Boundaries of Law Enforcement Intrusion

Yesterday’s State of the Union address is still the talk of many today, with many discussing the extent of the executive branch’s power and exactly what “checks and balances” means. However, for many criminal defense practitioners there’s more to be considered in 2014 than what the President or Congress may be doing up in Washington,…