Ruling restricts warrantless 'protective sweeps'

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2011 7:21 AM
Ruling restricts warrantless 'protective sweeps'

The Arizona Supreme Court says police officers without search warrants cannot conduct so-called "protective sweeps" of premises for officer safety without some legal foundation.

The court says a sweep of an apartment where marijuana was found was legally invalid under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

The court says that a man sought for questioning in an assault case was outside the apartment before police went inside. And there was no indication that anyone else or a weapon was inside.

According to the court, a protective sweep cannot be based on mere speculation or what the ruing calls "the general risk inherent in police work."