You have been working as a police officer for the Centervale Police Department for two years. You are on your nightly patrol in your marked police vehicle with your partner, Edward, who has been on the force for seven years. You receive a call on the radio to respond to a domestic abuse situation requiring backup. Your partner and you are second to respond to the call. You arrive at the scene, which is in a neighborhood with a bad reputation. Upon arrival, you witness a couple, Abby and Bobby, standing outside their house, yelling obscenities at each other.
The couple refuses to calm down and speak with the officers, Christina and David, who are already on the scene. The girlfriend, Abby, is slurring her speech and seems unaware of the trickle of blood running down the side of her head. The boyfriend, Bobby, has extremely bloodshot eyes and does not appear to have slept in days. Moreover, Bobby’s speech is accelerated, and he’s breathing rapidly as if he has just sprinted from the drugstore down the block. You notice that Bobby’s hands and face have scratches all over them.
Also, the front door is open.
Your partner, Edward, has known this couple as they have been in trouble with the law before. He steps in between Abby and Bobby and begins to gather information from Abby, while you call for an ambulance.
As Edward speaks with the couple, you begin to walk around the yard, observing what you can. You look in through the front door, and while there is only one light on in the house, you observe what appears to be a bong and a baggie of marijuana on the coffee table in the front room of the house. Because Edward is standing with Abby and there are two other officers outside with Bobby, you decide to enter the house to take a closer look.
You discover that there is indeed a bong and a baggie of marijuana on the table. (Assume for this assignment that a bong and marijuana are illegal contraband in Centervale and your state.) Looking under the couch next to the coffee table, you discover a shotgun as well. You begin to wonder what other illegal items might be in the house, when you hear a yell from outside and run out to discover that Bobby is being handcuffed and put in a police car. Apparently, Bobby tried to use a weapon on Abby in front of Edward and the other officers.
He is quoted as saying, “Just because the cops are here doesn’t mean I won’t finish what I started!” as he reached for his waistband.
As Bobby is being driven away, Abby breaks down into tears and cries out after her boyfriend, “Don’t worry, baby! I’ll come bail you out as soon as I can turn a little profit with the goods!”
You tell your partner what you observed in the house. After the paramedics declare that Abby’s head injury is nothing more than a bad scratch, your partner and you drive Abby down to the police precinct for further questioning, leaving Christina and David at the scene to secure it until more investigation can be done.
What You Need to Do . . .
Utilizing APA guidelines and citing relevant case law and specific details from external sources, present a 4- to 6-page research paper that explains what you need to do next with respect to the evidence left behind at the scene. In addition, consider what you need to do with any other evidence you may discover at the precinct from Abby and Bobby or on their persons. As you consider your next steps, address the following issues:
- Do you have probable cause to arrest Abby for any crime? Explain.
- What information, if any, must you list on an affidavit to secure a search warrant for Abby and Bobby’s house?
- What actions (or inactions) taken by officers Christina and David were relevant with respect to the evidence you discovered on the scene?
- What is the scope of your warrant?
- Should you search Abby and Bobby upon their arrival at the precinct? What do you expect to discover on their persons and at the crime scene? How will you obtain evidence that may or may not be found on Abby and Bobby’s person? For instance, they may have drugs in their pockets, or Bobby may have another weapon on his person.