AOH :: SWEEPS.TXT|
Commentary on drug/gun sweeps in Chicago.
Ä  TALK.POLITICS.DRUGS (1:375/48) ÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ TALK.POLITICS.DRUGS Ä
Msg : #3640  + 5275
From : catalyst-remailer 1:2613/335 Sat 23 Apr 94 14:59
To : All
Subj : Police State Passed Into Law.
Look what we are doing. Zowie. Metal detectors in people's homes.
Knocks on your door at 4AM, or worse. Good God, save us.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate agrees with a Clinton
administration plan to conduct warrantless searches for illegal
guns and drugs in public housing projects.
Such searches, known as sweeps, were declared unconstitutional
two weeks ago by a federal judge in Chicago who said they violated
tenants' Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search
On Saturday, President Clinton announced a new plan to make
housing projects safer, which includes encouraging tenants to sign
leases consenting in advance to surprise weapons searches, much as
a standard lease allows maintenance inspections.
The new policy permits sweeps in common areas such as lobbies
and in vacant apartments, as well as apartments where people have
given permission, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry
Cisneros said Friday on NBC.
Cisneros said that people who do not give their permission would
not be denied public housing, but noted that in Chicago, ``most
people are consenting because they want their buildings to be
The Constitution provides the right to be protected from
searches but, Cisneros added, ``people have a right to be safe, to
see their children go to school safely. ...''
A non-binding resolution, offered by Senate Republican leader
Bob Dole of Kansas and adopted by voice vote Thursday, endorsed the
policy. A condition, proposed by Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., was
added saying tenants couldn't be denied housing for refusing to
agree to a search clause in their lease.
However, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, warned that even that might be rejected on
constitutional grounds because any waiver of constitutional rights
must be freely given.
``It is not beyond possibility that ... the federal courts of
this nation will in fact conclude that a lease for public housing
is not a contract freely entered into by equal partners. They are
contracts, say the critics, imposed by the state on a person who
has no real alternative,'' he said.
In addition to the searches, the administration initiative also
would authorize public housing officials to erect fences around
buildings, install metal detectors at entrances, issue identity
cards to tenants and frisk those coming into buildings and search
Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., said the administration policy
may make some tenants feel safer but does little to attack the
underlying causes of violence.
```It tries to put a Band-Aid on a bad situation, on a cancer
that's not going to be cured by taking away the dignity of people
who are poor and live in public housing,'' she said.
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