Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...
Thank you, thank you for posting the facts on that particular case with the students, I just love it when people raise things like this event and purposely leave out very important details.
I have to say that The Register has done a total dis-service to this story. They make it sound like if you are stopped for anything in the US, you can be strip searched, not so but if the incident goes far enough that they are going to lock you up for some period of time, they are definitely going to search you and they have the right and the bloody responsibility to do so.
I speak from personal experience, when I was 18 I was arrested, not the first time but the first time as an adult in the US. They had to put me in a cell because the booking rooms were too busy to handle any more folks at the time. (I had an unpaid minor under consumption fine from three months previously, a drinking under age fine basically and I was hauled in after being stopped for a tail light that was out on my van.)
While they did not strip search me they did do a very complete pat down search and then locked me up for about an hour. I can totally understand why since I was being put into the city jail cells with others. It's only prudent and even at that age I understood. What if someone takes a pocket knife off me in the cell and hurts me or others, what if I'm carrying something else that ends up being used to cuase harm? Do you think I'll be held responsible? Not likely, instead someone will sue the police for not making sure I didn't bring in something dangerous or something coveted by another being held with me.
I'm 49 now, just to be clear that this has been a standard practice in the US for a very long time. This is exactly what the justices were debating too, not whether you could be strip searched at the airport, or in a public place, or strip searched outside your car on the highway. Jeez is there any common sense among folks anymore? Do we have to have knee jerk reactions to everything and every mistake a human makes?
I feel for the guy, he shouldn't have even been locked up but dang it people make mistakes and to drag in a practice like searching someone before locking them up as some nationally important event seems bogus to me.
Also what we probably don't hear here is that this guy was probably right in the cops face or something similar, I'm not saying that is the case, I don't know but neither do the others posting here. I had friends when I was younger who were oh so verdant about their rights and often got into a cops face when we were stopped while walking around the town at 3 am in the morning.
These idiots often came close to getting us all arrested over nothing but a request to see our ids. I learned a very long time ago, from a wise uncle, never, ever, piss off a cop, it's simply not smart nor is it going to get you anything but trouble. Be calm, do what they say and if you have problems with it, deal with it later if you feel so inclined. My wisdom to you younger geeks out there. Hope you're listening. :-)