Michigan police can't search passengers in stops without consent, ruling finds

"Because (the driver) did not have apparent common authority over the backpack, the search of the backpack was not based on valid consent and is per se unreasonable unless another exception to the warrant requirement applies,” the court ruled.

The ruling is significant “because it cleared up an area in which the Supreme Court had gotten the law wrong,” said David Moran, a University of Michigan law professor who leads the Michigan Innocence Clinic. “…The Fourth Amendment is all about common sense and reasonable expectations of privacy and social norms. It’s just common sense that the police will now need to ask passengers: ‘Mind if I search that bag?’”

A recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling on police searches of passengers during traffic stops can give people more power to challenge such probes and is expected to affect police training in Metro Detroit and across the state, officials and legal experts say.
Read more at The Detroit News
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