Drug investigators have been caught on tape playing Wii games while executing a search warrant at the home of Michael Difalco. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd lamely defends his investigators by claiming that the Wii gamesmanship would not invalidate the search. Perhaps the Sheriff should read up on the law.
The Fourth Amendment mandates that a proceeding to search with a warrant is a drastic one and must be carefully circumscribed so as to prevent unauthorized invasions of the “sanctity of a man’s home and privacies of life,” to quote a U.S Supreme Court case that has been good law for over 125 years. When law enforcement execute a search warrant in bad faith by conducting a general exploratory search, such a flagrant disregard for the scope of the warrant may therefore justify total suppression of all evidence seized as a deterrent to such police misconduct. An exploratory search is evidenced by law enforcement rummaging through game boxes and consoles, inserting computer and entertainment resources in game players and computers, and then using the equipment. Playing video games belonging to a homeowner whose house is invaded while executing a warrant clearly involves conduct completely unrelated to the scope of the warrant. Such an investigation reveals police disregard of the Court’s order, the Constitution, and the rights of the people whose home is being raided. Any astute criminal defense lawyer can tell you that Federal and state constitutional law provides ample precedent for invalidating such a search.