The State vs Klimetz

An interesting case was argued today in the Wisconsin Youth Supreme Court, the case of the State vs. Klimetz. This case is interesting because it brings up the Fourth Amendment that protects against unlawful search and seizure. This is a topic that is often discussed in courts all around the country. In this particular case, however, it involves a Milwaukee police officer’s body camera. The involvement of a police body camera also makes this case very important because there is little precedent for judges to reference when making their decision. Body cameras are also a controversial topic as recent police officer-involved shootings have called for the increased use of body cameras to either prove or disprove that an officer’s actions were lawful. Sophia Konzen, of the Eau Claire delegation, was arguing on behalf of Officer Klimetz. She argued that the seizure of Officer Klimetz’s camera from his private and locked locker, at the police station, violated his Fourth Amendment right as there was no warrant issued. She also argues that there was no probable cause, as the officer who retrieved the camera from the locker was not assigned to the case, meaning he could not execute a search based on probable cause. Arguing for the State was Ryan King, from the Stevens Point delegation. King argued that the seizure of the camera was legal as it is the property of the Milwaukee Police Department. Also, the protocol of police officer’s desks or lockers states that “all furniture in police stations and police officers, including lockers, belong to police authority and the organization has the right to search them.” This disproves Officer Klimetz’s argument that the search of his locker required a warrant. The search also did not require a warrant because the locker and camera were property of the police department, making it so that the Expectation of Privacy, which states that any warrant less searches on private property null and void, non-applicable. This case is very interesting because of the current day applications regarding controversies around the Fourth Amendment and police officer body cameras. After a heated case, listen in for the ruling of this case at closing ceremonies.

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