Resource officer's search of student backpack ruled illegal

Aug. 4, 2012
Washington State Supreme Court says officer needed a warrant to conduct search

From The Bellevue Reporter: The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that a 2009 search of a student's backpack was not legal because the school officer was acting in a law enforcement role and needed to obtain a search warrant. According to a 6-3 court decision, Officer Michael Fry's actions did not fall under an exception that allows school officials to search students without a warrant; therefore the evidence should have been suppressed at trial. Court documents say that the student was arrested in 2009 in the bathroom of Robinswood High School when the school resource officer witnessed the student handling marijuana. The officer was contracted from the Bellevue Police Department. He placed the student under arrest, and while waiting for backup became suspicious of the contents of the student's backpack. He then searched it and founded an air soft gun.

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