By Jodie Gummow
Last week, an appeals court in Texas ruled that police may obtain a search warrant based on the prediction of a future crime, heightening public fears that we may be heading toward a ‘predictive policing’ era in which we see police powers rapidly growing at the cost of our constitutional rights.
The decision arose from a 2010 incident where police officers took Michael Fred Wehrenberg and some associates into custody after watching his home for about a month because of a tip-off from a confidential informant that Wehrenberg and others were “fixing to” cook methamphetamine , Raw Story reported.
Hours later, without a search warrant, officers waltzed through Wehrenberg’s front door and searched the house while he and his friends stood outside in handcuffs for an hour and half.
Before they seized the boxes of pseudoephedrine, stripped lithium batteries and materials used to make meth, the cops attempted to cover their tracks by obtaining a search warrant. However, they conveniently failed to mention the unlawful search in the warrant application and based their request entirely on the informant’s tip.