The Supreme Judicial Court today threw out drug-related evidence seized by BU police on an I-93 entrance ramp from a man they had no reason to believe had anything to do with BU.
The case involved two BU police officers who decided to "randomly" run the plate of a man they watched pumping gas near Boston Medical Center, which BU police patrol. When they found out he had an outstanding warrant (for what turned out to be a misdemeanor), they pursued him as he drove away, stopping him on the Mass. Ave. connector. They arrested him and discovered heroin and cocaine in his car's center console.
But the court ruled that because the man was not on BU property and because the outstanding warrant they uncovered in their check had nothing to do with BU, the cops had no right to follow or stop him. And because of that, the heroin and cocaine can't be used against him at his trial.
The court rejected the state's argument that the officers acted in "good faith" and that therefore the evidence should be allowed, saying the way the evidence was seized in the first place caused "substantial and prejudicial" harm to the man's rights against unreasonable search and seizure under Article 14 of the state constitution.
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