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Police Powers I

Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Police Powers I – Police Foun

1. Assignment Instructions
This Assignment is designed to test your ability to quickly research case law material and
provide your opinion on a legal matter. Each of the following scenarios is taken from actual
Canadian Criminal cases that have been adjudicated before the courts; and which are a part
of case law. The names in each scenario are fictitious. You can try to search for the
specific case, or one that is similar in the Canadian Legal Information Network and that
would help you in your response.
At the end of each scenario there is a series of questions that I want you to respond to. You
will restate the question in your response and provide me with your answer. You will also
provide me with any supporting documentation you feel is relevant. Definitions, case law
referrals and your own personal opinion should be included in your response.
You need not beat yourself up over this assignment; the correct answers lie within
dictionaries, the Canadian Legal Information Network and your own sense of right and
wrong. The success in this assignment will be measured by your participation, not by
whether you achieved the correct answer; answer the question to your best ability and
exhaust your thoughts. If you have a friend that is a police officer, try the questions on
them, ask friends and family; see how much they know.
Canadian Legal Information Network https://www.canlii.org/en/
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
2. Investigative Detention
In this case, a police officer saw a lone vehicle with two occupants parked in a dark area of
the rear parking lot of a closed gas station. The time was just past midnight on a dark and
windy night. There was a 24 hour donut shop and a closed restaurant nearby. The officer
pulled up about three feet away from the passenger side of the parked vehicle which had no
lights on and was not running. The occupants did not initially see the officer, but were
shocked when they did – the police officer saw the driver Chaisson, threw something on the
floor and tried to stuff something else under the seat.
The officer asked the men what they were doing and told them to get out of the car. As the
passenger exited, the officer saw, in plain view, a large plastic bag containing marijuana on
the floor and a small piece of the drug on the seat. The driver was arrested and placed in
the back of the police car; the passenger was also arrested and held outside the vehicle.
Neither of the two were read their rights at this time.
A search turned up two sets of scales in plain view, more marijuana under the driver’s seat
and just over a kilogram of marijuana in the trunk. After the search was completed – about
20 minutes after the arrest, the driver was advised of his right to counsel, taken to the police
station and searched further, which turned up additional drug items in his pockets.
1. In this case, the police relied upon the fact that the marijuana was in plain
view; would that provide the police with the authority to seize the drug

2. Does the fact that the drug was found in the vehicle in plain view provide the
police with the authority to search the rest of the vehicle
3. Was there anything in the actions of the police that would impair the
successful completion of this investigation
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
3. Searching
In this case, two police officers responded to a homeowner’s “911” call that two armed men
dressed in dark clothing were outside his residence. The caller was frantic and police
received further information that the men were now believed to be on the roof.
The house was one of three located in an isolated area. Shots had been fired at one of the
other houses in a random, unsolved drive-by shooting two weeks earlier. The officers
parked their car nearby, walked to the house and spoke to the homeowner. The
homeowner felt that the suspects may have gone into a field, but there were no tracks in the
snow that had fallen that night. There were tracks leading up and down the driveway.
While at the scene; police officers approached a vehicle parked a short distance away from
their cruiser. The police did not hear it arrive and were concerned that the gunmen may
have returned. The two occupants matched the general description of the suspects –
males, wearing dark clothing – and were detained for investigation, ordered out of the
vehicle, placed on the ground, handcuffed and were asked what they were doing.
The driver Batzer, explained that he had been invited to come over by a resident of the
house, but got stuck in the snow as they arrived. They were patted down for weapons and
the car was searched but nothing was found. The glove compartment was checked on a
second search of the car and a zippered, nylon case with the word “Remington” – gun
manufacturer – written on the top. Police opened the case and found 22 grams of cocaine
and 13 ecstasy pills. The driver was arrested and charged with possession of drugs for the
purpose of trafficking.
1. In this case, the police relied upon the fact that the two men were suspicious in
nature in order to search the vehicle. Did the circumstances establish grounds
for the police to ask the vehicle occupants to identify themselves

2. Did the police have the authority or any grounds to search the vehicle
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
4. Passenger’s Rights
In this case, the police attempted to stop a vehicle for a violation under the Provincial
Highway Traffic Act. The vehicle driver sped off and made several hard turns to evade the
police officers. When the vehicle did stop, the occupants bailed out and fled on foot.
The passenger, whose name was Cooper, fled from the vehicle and ignored commands to
stop; he ran and hid in a nearby apartment building foyer. The pursuing officer chased the
passenger and found him huddled in a stairwell near the foyer. He was handcuffed and led
out of the building to where the other officers were standing. In their presence, the
passenger was patted down and searched for officer safety reasons. A butterfly knife was
found in the pocket of the passenger. This passenger gave a false name to the police and
was subsequently charged with weapons and criminal offences.
1. In this case, the passenger in the vehicle had not been involved in the driving
infraction and did not feel that he should have to confront the police; did the
police have a lawful reason for checking the passenger
2. Did they have legal authority to stop and search the passenger
3. Did the circumstances establish grounds for the police to conduct these
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
5. Police Trespassing
In this case, police officers were suspicious that a home owner, Mr. Hok, was growing
marijuana in his residence. On five separate occasions they went onto the neighbour’s
property, without permission, to view the suspect’s hydro meter. Late at night, the police
would creep into the neighbour’s yard and look over the fence at the suspect’s hydro meter.
The police found that the meter was spinning out of control and clearly the occupant of the
house was using a lot of hydro power.
The observations made by the police were used to obtain a search warrant that enabled
them to look for drugs at the suspects’ residence. On the evening that the police intended to
execute the search warrant they were once again observing the suspect’s home from the
neighbour’s property when the suspect came out of the door and walked to the street to see
who was snooping around his property. As the suspect got into his car the police arrested
him, patted him down and found a key in his pocket that opened the door to the grow
operation. While one officer detained the suspect, the other officer used the seized key to
enter the grow operation where he found that there were150 marijuana plants growing.
1. The police went on to private property to view the hydro meter of the suspect.
Were the police trespassing
2. If you decide that they were trespassing, can the evidence they obtained while
trespassing be used to prove their case and give them authority to enter the
grow operation
3. If you decide they were not trespassing, were the police in a legal position to
search and seize the key to the grow op
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
6. Statements and Right to Counsel
In this case, the suspect was on holidays in Jamaica when he entered a police office and
orally confessed to the murder of a friend in Canada. The suspect Thomas stated that he
had to confess to the murder because it was causing him severe medical problems with
flashbacks and headaches.
The Jamaican Police did not believe the man at first, thinking that he was unstable; however
in time they asked the man to provide a written statement of facts. The suspect was not
given the Canadian Charter of Rights caution and he was not presented with his right to
instruct counsel; he was warned that anything he did say would be used as evidence.
The man gave an oral statement that outlined his involvement in the murder and then he
provided a written statement. The man was extradited for murder; his friend had been in
fact murdered as described by this suspect.
Once back in Canada the man refuted his statements and claimed that he was innocent.
The man claimed that he had not been afforded his right to counsel under the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.

1. The question is whether the statements made to the Jamaican Authorities can
be used as evidence at trial in Canada.
2. What do you think of Thomas’ claim that he was not afforded a right to counsel
under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
7. Random Traffic Stop
In this case, a police officer was asked by a surveillance team to stop a particular vehicle
and determine who the occupants were. The officer refused to make the random stop, but
suggested that he would follow the vehicle in the event that the driver committed a violation;
at which time he would have grounds to stop the vehicle. As it turned out, the rear license
plate light was not working, so the officer initiated the stop.
When checked, the driver Mr. Yague was found to be the subject of an outstanding warrant
and he was arrested. It turned out that the passenger was the subject of a Court
Recognizance that ordered he not be in possession of cell phones or pagers; there was a
cell phone on the seat beside the passenger. The passenger was ordered out of the
vehicle; he was arrested and an officer safety search was conducted. Nothing was found on
the person of either suspect. The police searched the vehicle and found drugs and
paraphernalia in the vehicle; including a kilogram of cocaine that was inside a knapsack
sitting on the rear seat. Both the driver and the passenger were arrested and charged with
possession for the purpose of trafficking.
1. Indiscriminate and random traffic stops, by their nature violate a person rights
under the Charter of Rights; could this traffic stop be considered random in
2. If the stop was in accordance with the law, did the police have the authority to
search the vehicle
3. Could they lawfully arrest each of the vehicle occupants Did the
circumstances establish grounds for the police to conduct these duties
Police Powers I – Assignment 2
Professor Mike Clarabut February 28, 2016
8. Searching Your Bags
In this case, a Ms Campenella was attending Provincial Court on a drug related charge. As
she entered the court house she noticed a sign that directed all those attending court to
proceed through a metal detector that would ensure there were no weapons on anyone’s
person. The woman proceeded to the queue and prepared to walk through the metal
As the woman approached the screening device, she was asked to place her handbag and
jacket on the conveyor belt which led to the x-ray machine. The woman did so and then
filed through the metal detector. After passing through the metal detector, the woman went
to pick up her jacket and handbag when she was approached by a security guard and asked
permission to look in her handbag. The woman questioned the search and was told that
she would have to submit to the search or leave the building. The woman agreed to allow
her bag to be searched.
Upon inspecting the woman’s handbag, the security guard found a bag of marijuana. The
guard called the police who attended immediately and took the woman to a private security
room near the security gate. The officer searched the woman’s jacket and found a roach
clip and another bag of marijuana. The woman was then arrested, read her rights and
issued a Promise to Appear; alleging a charge of Possession of a Narcotic Substance.
1. Did the security guard have legal authority to search the handbag of the
woman involved in this case If so, why
2. Should the suspect have been read her rights before the search began

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