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'Cuffs OK'd during warranted search

UPI | March 22, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a California case holding someone in handcuffs while police execute a search warrant is constitutional.

A majority opinion written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the handcuffing did not violate the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable" searches and seizures.

Rehnquist noted the high court ruled in 1981 someone could be detained during a search, and using handcuffs when the search involved gang members was "reasonable."

Police officers raided a residence in Simi Valley, Calif., Feb. 3, 1998, looking for guns and evidence of gang membership. Iris Mena was asleep in her bed when officers placed her in handcuffs at gunpoint.

Police were looking for a member of the West Side Locos. Mena was later released.

She filed suit in federal court saying the handcuffing and interrogation of her immigration status were unconstitutional. The lower federal court agreed, but that ruling was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

There were no dissents, though four justices concurred using different reasoning.

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