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Amtrak Passenger Upset By Early Morning Questioning (5 a.m., sleeping cars, warrantless search)
WOWT-TV Omaha ^ | March 8, 2011 | Mike Mcknight

Posted on 03/09/2011 12:05:35 PM PST by CedarDave

A Chicago-bound businessman traveling in an Amtrak sleeping car didn't expect to wake up in Omaha. That's where plain clothes Nebraska State Patrol Investigators boarded and knocked on the doors of four first-class passengers.

Greg Travis of Bloomington, Indiana said, "It was a loud knock followed by questions. 'Where are you going! Who did you visit!' They shined a flashlight and I was in my pajamas."

Travis said he saw two other groggy passengers in his sleeping car also talking to the investigators. "If I had my wits about me, I might have said, 'No I don't want you looking through my dirty underwear.'"

Travis consented to a baggage search.

Nebraska State Troopers have often entered Amtrak trains to check out certain passengers.

Lt Scott Kracl said, "It's very professional. They don't bang on doors. They identify themselves and they tell the passenger they're not under arrest they just want to talk to them."

The Patrol won't reveal what triggers a red flag to check out a passenger. Typically they are looking for drugs, weapons or a wanted person.

(Excerpt) Read more at wowt.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Nebraska
KEYWORDS: 4thamendment; amtrak; fourthamendment
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According to the poster (on another forum), they woke him and three other males in their rooms in the sleeping car and questioned them, and searched personal effects and luggage. They were in plain clothes and did not provide ID until asked.

Comments at the link compare the search to a warrantless search of registrants at a hotel. It certainly appears that it comes close if not exceeds constitutional protection.

1 posted on 03/09/2011 12:05:38 PM PST by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

“Your papers are not in order. Even if they are, I say they are not.”


2 posted on 03/09/2011 12:07:28 PM PST by Darksheare (Dear Interdimensional Monstrosity, I fear our relationship has taken a turn for the worse...)
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To: CedarDave

“Your papers are NOT in order. You have to come with me!”


3 posted on 03/09/2011 12:07:50 PM PST by AU72
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To: CedarDave
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,2411347

Date: 03/07/11 03:52 Today we were boarded (California Zephyr) Author: gregtravis -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've just spent the last hour being interrogated by the Nebraska State Police who boarded our train, the California Zephyr, at 4AM. I am in a sleeper (Car 0632, room 14) and awoke to a non-uniformed individual banging on my door, again at 4AM.

I was interrogated as to where I had boarded, where I was going, what I was doing, and had my room and my luggage searched as was the experience of all the other sleeping car occupants in my car. When we asked for identification from the officers (who were not uniformed) we were told a) They had jurisdiction and b) they would HAND WRITE individual cards.

My card reads "Richard A. Lutter", Investigator, Investigative Services Division, Nebraska State Patrol. Badge # 253.

When my fellow sleeping car riders asked why they were on the train, they said "To Search For Contraband" and that was the excuse they used to rummage through our rooms and our luggage. The train's conductor was also present and for reasons I do not understand did not throw them off the train.

This is not America.

On the forum, which is by member subscription only except for the first page of a story which is free, there are 112 comments and 5,300 views.

This is close to a violation of the 4th amendment in that he and other paying passengers had an expectation of privacy as if they were in a hotel room and the police knocked on the door and searched without a warrant. The passenger is contacting Amtrak management and a lawyer.

4 posted on 03/09/2011 12:08:16 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: CedarDave

You don’t want to be searched? Don’t give consent. If they have a warrant, then you don’t really have a choice.


5 posted on 03/09/2011 12:09:36 PM PST by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: AU72

„Ihre Papiere sind NICHT im Auftrag. Sie müssen mit mir kommen!“


6 posted on 03/09/2011 12:11:04 PM PST by edcoil (Democrat's and vampires should never be invited in your home.)
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To: CedarDave

If we only had more trains, this wouldn’t have happened.

/s


7 posted on 03/09/2011 12:14:59 PM PST by digger48
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To: CedarDave

Every day, one more reason the founders made sure we RETAINED our 2nd Amendment rights.


8 posted on 03/09/2011 12:16:11 PM PST by Wurlitzer (Welcome to the new USSA (United Socialist States of Amerika))
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To: edcoil

Transcript Of the Conversation On The Train...

“What the hell did you say to him?”

“I just told him I’d put his name on the Montgomery Ward mailing list.”

“I’m sorry. He’s just a little tired from the trip.
Normally he wouldn’t say...”

“Your attitude is being noted, Mr Rivers.”


9 posted on 03/09/2011 12:16:47 PM PST by Crcl1
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To: thefactor
You don’t want to be searched? Don’t give consent. If they have a warrant, then you don’t really have a choice.

If you don't give consent, will they take you off the train and hold you while they check you out (database search, etc.)?

Train won't wait so when they decide you've been harassed enough they let you go, but you're stuck in Omaha on your own. I can see the smirk on their faces as they let you out the door to find your own way at your own expense to Chicago.

10 posted on 03/09/2011 12:16:56 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: CedarDave

I’m waiting to see the apologists show up to defend the searches. “Hey, taking a train is a privilege. If you don’t like being searched, then fly...oh wait...”


11 posted on 03/09/2011 12:18:50 PM PST by Emo4SC (Disclaimer: All thoughts expressed here are not my own, but merely what I've been told by Talk Radio)
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To: CedarDave
Hard to compare to commercial airlines because there you have a federal inspection force, but if you were flying your own aircraft or driving your own car this wouldn't be legal. Without probable cause they wouldn't be able to search your vehicle.

I suppose AMTRAK is giving consent to search the train, but I don't think you would have to give consent to your bag. When you don't, don't be shocked if they call for a dog. Not showing credentials is odd. That is pretty non-standard.

12 posted on 03/09/2011 12:19:15 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: edcoil
Sie müssen mit mir kommen!

BANG!

Ich war schlafen!

13 posted on 03/09/2011 12:19:55 PM PST by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmit in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: USNBandit

“Not showing credentials is odd. “

If they don’t show credentials, you don’t really know they’re the police, even if they are in uniform, which these guys were not.


14 posted on 03/09/2011 12:24:35 PM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: CedarDave

Every day brings us closer to how it feels to live in North Korea, Cuber, or other Leftist utopias like the Soviet Union or East Germany from the past.


15 posted on 03/09/2011 12:25:07 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: thefactor

At least in this story there was nothing about a warrant.


16 posted on 03/09/2011 12:25:07 PM PST by DManA
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To: USNBandit

I have been on Amtrak where they will bring a drug-sniffing dog on board and have him sniff baggage on the bottom level luggage racks. But this was mid-day and not going room to room in the sleeping cars before dawn and rousting passengers out and searching WITHOUT dogs.

What the heck are you to do when they wake you up, get you up undressed, shine a flashlight in your eyes, ask you questions and then request to search your compartment and bags?? The two seem completely different.


17 posted on 03/09/2011 12:27:35 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: CedarDave

I wonder what would have happened if any or all of them had told them to get a warrant?


18 posted on 03/09/2011 12:28:15 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: CedarDave

Wow—reminds me of a train ride from Vienna to Prague. The Czech border guards were quite similar.


19 posted on 03/09/2011 12:29:50 PM PST by NautiNurse (ObamaCare uses Bernie Madoff theory of economics)
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To: CedarDave
"If you don't give consent, will they take you off the train and hold you while they check you out (database search, etc.)?

Train won't wait so when they decide you've been harassed enough they let you go, but you're stuck in Omaha on your own. I can see the smirk on their faces as they let you out the door to find your own way at your own expense to Chicago."

So how do you fight them? They didn't even provide proper ID. They could be anybody.

20 posted on 03/09/2011 12:33:01 PM PST by Truth29
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To: Crcl1

Ah, Val Kilmer’s first movie, “Top Secret” Hilarious.


21 posted on 03/09/2011 12:33:08 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
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To: CedarDave
Once they've raised gas to $20 a gallon and forced us all onto "public transportation," they can roust us any time they please.

After all, you are in a public place with no expectation of privacy.

Unless you wanted an abortion, of course.

22 posted on 03/09/2011 12:33:18 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: CedarDave
If you don't give consent, they can bring a dog, but making you miss your train would exceed their authority to conduct an investigation.

That amount of time is a grey area in the courts, but making you have to wait a day/days for another train would definitely exceed that.

I don't think the courts would dig that for a random sweep of a train. I don't know how the courts will look at a random sweep of a train.

23 posted on 03/09/2011 12:34:56 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Crcl1

Aaahhhhhh Skeet Surfin...


24 posted on 03/09/2011 12:36:53 PM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to...." ;)
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To: CedarDave

I like this as long as they are respectful. Why not see if anybody has a bomb or explosives on board. 5 am is a perfect time due to the surprise element.


25 posted on 03/09/2011 12:37:13 PM PST by napscoordinator
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To: CedarDave

I’m in Florida where I’m still trying to find out what happen to the woman thrown of the AmTrak train outside Jesup, Ga., a few months back. Maybe that’s what they are investigating.
http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/southeast-volusia/2010/09/14/report-nsb-woman-suffered-broken-neck.html


26 posted on 03/09/2011 12:37:49 PM PST by GOYAKLA (Flush Congress in 2010 & 2012)
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To: CedarDave

This is a common tactic among law enforcement in the local crack motel. My stepson and his live-in were part of a drug sting. The entire motel was rousted, all contraband and of course valuables, including cars and motorcycles were hauled away. Everyone was arrested, booked then released. The courts ruled the raid was illegal, charges were dropped, but guess what happened next? All of the valuables remained in the hands of the system. The prices were too high to redeem cars that had high fees placed on them for impound and storage. The money was called drug money, and if anyone showed an interest in getting it back, they would be subject to arrest for something. Just enough to scare these low lifes out of asserting their rights. The DRUG WAR, is a lot more about making money, than it is about saving people from criminals or themselves.


27 posted on 03/09/2011 12:39:46 PM PST by runninglips (government debt = slavery of the masses)
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To: DManA

Yes, there were no warrants and no dogs; they were on a fishing expedition, hoping to catch someone off guard by waking them up before dawn.


28 posted on 03/09/2011 12:41:26 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: CedarDave

And no badges? Something stinks in this story.


29 posted on 03/09/2011 12:44:26 PM PST by DManA
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To: CedarDave

An example of too many government employees, or incorrect priorities for government employees.

It would be reasonable to have more armed border parols, for the drugs are at that location.

But for the pay, benefits and retirements, these departments will justify what they do in congressional hearings, if asked.


30 posted on 03/09/2011 12:50:37 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: CedarDave

I don’t believe that a warrant is required on a train. I know it is not required on a boat. Not required on a car if probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed.


31 posted on 03/09/2011 12:50:41 PM PST by Captain Jack Aubrey (There's not a moment to lose.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey
I don’t believe that a warrant is required on a train. I know it is not required on a boat. Not required on a car if probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed.

That is the situation -- no probable cause. No dogs, cart before the horse. If the dogs sniffed something, that's probable cause. Here they stated they were looking for "contraband" and commenced searching "with consent" after waking you up.

32 posted on 03/09/2011 1:02:38 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: All
Everybody... this is why the Patriot Act & the TSA are bad news. The 4th Amendment wasn't just a suggestion.

Bush may have had the best interests of the nation at heart but Obama does not.
33 posted on 03/09/2011 1:17:02 PM PST by Minus_The_Bear
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To: CedarDave


(Of course the contingent of authoritarian FR JBT-lovers will show up to state this was just fine and dandy....)
34 posted on 03/09/2011 1:24:22 PM PST by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!!!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

“In a police state, the police are always busy.”

-George Orwell, “1984”


35 posted on 03/09/2011 1:27:34 PM PST by Emperor Palpatine (Tosca, mi fai dimenticare Iddio!!!)
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To: NautiNurse
...reminds me of a train ride from Vienna to Prague. The Czech border guards were quite similar.

I'll bet it was worth it though. Prague is a beautiful city.

36 posted on 03/09/2011 1:28:23 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Tyrants flourish only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.)
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To: DManA
And no badges? Something stinks in this story.

"Badges? We don't need no steenking badges!"


37 posted on 03/09/2011 1:31:28 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Tyrants flourish only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

On the subscription forum, they show a picture of several shady looking characters, uniformed police and a search dog at the Reno trench Amtrak station in December 2009. The caption says they recovered 20 lbs of MJ and a ward of cash after the dog sniffed it out. That’s the way to do it, not 4 a.m., a knock on the door, no dogs, no uniforms.


38 posted on 03/09/2011 1:32:47 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: napscoordinator

I hope I’m missing the sarcasm here.

How is rousting someone out of bed at 5 AM for questioning. - without producing ID or a warrant - “respectful?”


39 posted on 03/09/2011 1:34:58 PM PST by Malacoda (CO(NH2)2 on OBAMA.)
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To: Malacoda

Of course it was sarcasm.


40 posted on 03/09/2011 1:36:39 PM PST by napscoordinator
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To: CedarDave

Questions: Where are you going? Who did you visit?
Answer: Step off asshole............


41 posted on 03/09/2011 1:53:14 PM PST by SECURE AMERICA
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To: USNBandit
"don't be shocked if they call for a dog. "
and i do not give you dog permission to search me or my possessions either. if the dog continues, attorney and supreme court will be the next destination. If the dog works for the police, then the dog works for the government. That means that he also has to have a warrant.
42 posted on 03/09/2011 2:02:38 PM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: joe fonebone
"don't be shocked if they call for a dog. " and i do not give you dog permission to search me or my possessions either. if the dog continues, attorney and supreme court will be the next destination. If the dog works for the police, then the dog works for the government. That means that he also has to have a warrant.

I think that a dog hitting on a bag after sniffing baggage has already been determined to be legal probable cause. Heck, I've had my truck sniffed at a border patrol stop (they sniffed all vehicles passing through) and no doubt have had my bag sniffed while in the luggage rack on Amtrak.

43 posted on 03/09/2011 2:13:14 PM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: CedarDave

People, we have met the enemy, and he is us.


44 posted on 03/09/2011 2:18:58 PM PST by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey
"I don’t believe that a warrant is required on a train. I know it is not required on a boat. Not required on a car if probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed."

"I think I smell marijuana. Step out of the car please."

45 posted on 03/09/2011 2:27:59 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: Emo4SC

Driving is a priviledge, flying is a priviledge, train riding is a priviledge, boat riding is a priviledge. Pretty soon walking in public will also be a priviledge.


46 posted on 03/09/2011 4:12:47 PM PST by castlegreyskull
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To: napscoordinator

You prolly want them to extend that to private homes. Just pick a morning, 5am, and go house to house, door to door, and tear the houses apart, looking for contraband. No search warrant needed, because if they’re not hiding anything, why should they object?!

You’d love, huh?

Ed


47 posted on 03/09/2011 5:04:09 PM PST by Sir_Ed
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

Warrants are not required on a a boat? So if I’m on a boat to Catalina or the Bahamas they can search me, my luggage, pat me down, whenever they want?

Ed


48 posted on 03/09/2011 5:06:08 PM PST by Sir_Ed
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To: Crcl1

“There is sauerkraut in my lederhosen.”


49 posted on 03/09/2011 5:09:58 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Truth29
So how do you fight them?

Explaining how you fight them will get you kicked off this site. Use your imagination, and see if you can come up with a way for a free man to respond.

50 posted on 03/09/2011 5:25:47 PM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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