‘Can Police Do That?’ teaches students Constitutional rights during police interactions


Retired criminal defense attorney, Richard Kimberly, teaches MTSU students their Constitutional rights when interacting with the police at the "Can Police Do That?" seminar on Feb. 17 in the Business and Aerospace Building.

Story by Kristina Kincer // Contributing Writer

Attorney-at-law Scott Kimberly and retired criminal defense attorney Richard Kimberly are teaching students about using constitutional rights while cooperating with police in a two-part seminar called “Can Police Do That?”

During the first seminar on Wednesday night, Scott Kimberly and Richard Kimberly explained how police are only allowed to search your person, home and vehicle if they have a search warrant, or if there is an exception involved in the situation.

“The rule on searches to take away from this, is that if there is no warrant, [or] no exception then there is no search,” Scott Kimberly said.

Some of the exceptions police use to lawfully search a person or their property include, visible contraband, given consent and emergency circumstances.

Richard Kimberly said that under any other circumstances, or without a search warrant, an officer is not allowed to complete the search.

“This is my mantra, the answer is always no, any time, no,” Richard Kimberly said.

Richard and Scott Kimberly said that police officers might try to guilt or scare a person into giving consent by threatening to arrest or detain you.

“It is a fine line between an order and a request,” Richard Kimberly said. ”

You do have to identify yourself at a traffic stop and exit the vehicle when ordered.”

The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects the search and seizure of cell phones as well.

“The Supreme Court finally recognized that a police officer, even after an arrest, can’t open and go through your cell phone. They need a specific warrant,” Richard Kimberly said.

Scott Kimberly said that people have rights through the Constitution and asserting those rights is not rude, but lawful.

The second half of “Can Police Do That?” will be Feb. 24 in BAS S-332 and will cover detention, arrests and traffic stops.

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To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com

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