ACLU, State Clash Over Police Surveillance In Federal Court


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Police surveillance was in the spotlight Tuesday as the ACLU and the state government made their cases before a Federal Court of Appeals.

Before the court was a case dating back to 2017, when police set up a hidden surveillance camera in a telephone pole in Lynn, pointed toward Nelson Mora's house, a man they suspected of selling drugs. Police recorded 169 days of surveillance of the front of Mora's home without a warrant.

On Tuesday, the entire bench of the First Circuit Court of Appeals was in session to hear arguments on whether the surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.

An attorney for the Commonwealth argued that the state's use of the cameras didn't violate the Fourth Amendment, because they only recorded what anyone could have observed from the street.

The ACLU said that the months-long use of the cameras is a warrantless search, violating Mora's reasonable expectations of privacy.

The Supreme Judicial Court had previously ruled that the surveillance was unconstitutional under Article 14 of the state constitution, but did not take a stance on whether the surveillance was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment of the Federal Constitution,

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@Carlwbz) has more:

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(Photo: Getty Images)


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