Cop Spied On Woman Using Cell Phone Seized During Marijuana Bust
A Michigan woman said that a cop spied on her using a cell phone that was seized during a marijuana bust.
Megan Pearce filed charges against Hazel Park police officer Michael Emmi this week. She claimed that Emmi used her boyfriend’s phone to tap into her baby monitoring system.
Emmi seized the cell phone when he arrested Pearce’s fiance on marijuana related charges.
A short time later, Pearce was naked at home breastfeeding her infant son. She suddenly noticed the light on her nanny cam turn on.
Pearce said the only devices connected to the video monitoring system are her iPhone, her iPad, and her fiance’s cell phone.
Since she had her phone and iPad with her, she knew that the only other device that could have activated the camera was her fiance’s seized cell phone.
Pearce said she then used the “Find My iPhone” app to see exactly where her fiance’s phone was. The app traced the phone to Emmi’s home address.
“Ms. Pearce immediately tried to disable the phone’s monitoring capability, and thought she was successful,” Pearce’s lawsuit says.
“However, later on, while she was lying there nude nursing her infant son and talking to her brother on her cell phone . . . she noticed the Nest Cam light flashing again.”
Pearce told her brother, “Oh my God, someone is watching me again,” and the light suddenly went off.
Pearce and her fiance claim that officer Emmi violated Pearce’s right to privacy. They also say he broke federal wiretapping laws by using a seized cell phone to illegally spy on Pearce in her own home.
Pearce has filed a lawsuit and is asking for a jury trial.
Under civil forfeiture laws, police officers can seize the property of people suspected of committing a crime, even if they aren’t actually charged with anything.
These laws have long been criticized by people who say that civil forfeiture gives police departments a financial incentive to “police for profit.”
Many go a step further by claiming that the war on drugs gives police officers a pretext to search and seize people’s property.
A couple months ago, a couple made headlines when they said that cops stole $107,000 from them during a traffic stop. The officers said they smelled marijuana, and although they never found any cannabis in the couple’s car or officially charged them with any crime, the police were still able to keep the couple’s money.