University of Kentucky Investigates Search Of Student’s Dorm Room Caught On YouTube Video

j6k6s5The University of Kentucky (Lexington) is reportedly investigating an incident that is captured on a YouTube video where police force their way into a student’s dorm room in search of alcohol after a report of alcohol being dumped from the window. The student is told that he could be expelled and that they do not need a warrant to enter the room. Indeed, one officer is heard saying that “there is no fourth amendment.” One officer has been terminated, but notably the university says that it was not due to the entry into the room.


The officers cite “administrative rights” in entering the room and, in response to questions from the student about threatening to get him “kicked out,” that
Instead, one officer invoked “administrative rights” to enter the room and “we don’t have to explain anything to you son.” In the video below, the student is heard cursing at the officers and frankly being rather obnoxious. However, the officer is also telling him not to bother paying his tuition next term.

Here is the university rule:

Room Entry Policy

Authorized university personnel may enter a student’s residence hall room without permission for the following reasons:

To provide routine maintenance
To provide routine inspections to ensure that residents are following health, fire, and safety regulations
To respond to emergency situations; e.g., situations which threaten the health and/or safety of room occupants, and situations which require immediate maintenance to prevent property damage or immediate action to correct the health, fire and/or safety risk
When there is reason to believe that a violation of university policy is taking place in the room and occupants in the room do not open the door when requested to do so.
Authorization to enter a student’s room under this policy does not constitute authorization to conduct a search of the room.

It is an interesting rule since you are allowed entry to look for things but it does not constitute authorization for a search. That seems a bit contradictory in defining the rights of the occupant. THe entry is not being cited as the reason for the termination of the officer who was found to be “in violation of a number of university employment policies.”

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/12/12/2441533/university-of-kentucky-police.html#storylink=cpy

Students often complain about the actions of university police at private universities who are not state actors and are not subject to the fourth amendment restrictions imposed on state and federal police. There can be state action elements for a public university like Kentucky. There has been a long complaint that police use that status to acquire evidence through campus police that could not be obtained without a warrant for an actual police search.

Throwing something out a window would obviously raise public safety issues. However, the student describes campus police looking in the refrigerator and it is hard to see how you can investigate the story without a search of the room. Where should the university draw the line in your view?

Source: Campus Reform

26 thoughts on “University of Kentucky Investigates Search Of Student’s Dorm Room Caught On YouTube Video”

  1. Welcome to the Face of the Fascist Police State.

    To all of you who said, “It could never happen here”?

    I told you so.

  2. “One officer is heard saying that “there is no fourth amendment.”

    So, what’s wrong with the statement above? Is the officer not correct? How can we decry the truth? The United States Constitution exists only for 1% of the people along with 100% of money-making corporations!
    Now we all know this to be true, and I for one, will not go along with the emotional lie that there exists a living constitution for the people! No, not! Given the nightmare I am residing in!
    The embodiment and incarnated persona representative of your loss of the Constitution…of your rights is john roberts! (OK I don’t like capitalizing his name)!
    Since 2005, this has been his mission: The Constitution is for him and friends only! The filtered down arrogance, atmosphere is in-keeping with the long decisions against the people: And even decisions for the people are cruel hoaxes, disguised corruptions of savage proportions…take the Winkleman Decision! On face value it appears to be “very modern,” very fair…an illustration of how a First world country is, so civilized and fair:
    The Winkelman decision goes far beyond the question about whether parents can represent their children in court. In Winkelman, the Court listed and affirmed parental rights, the importance of parental involvement, and described the essential role parents play in ensuring that their child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The Court also refined the definition of a “free appropriate public education.”
    The Court explained that answering this question “…requires us to examine and explain the provisions of IDEA to determine if it accords to parents rights of their own that can be vindicated in court proceedings, or … whether the Act allows them, in their status as parents, to represent their child in court proceedings.”
    http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/art/winkleman.pwanalysis.htm

    What do you supposed happened dear reader? I went after my rights (as the magistrate Judge James Muirhead listed in excess of 40 violations of the Hooksett school district, NH)…he said he could not dismiss my case because of the facts I presented…(he desperately wanted to dismiss it).
    Many of you know the story as I have told it over and over again; but my listing it here is to elucidate the Cess-pool and degeneracy that over-poureth in the hallways and minds of the current 9 member Supreme Court Justices…EVERYONE OF THEM!
    After over-whelming deciding this decision, they went on to provide the cover 3 MONTHS LATER (August 30, 2007) for my destruction because I refused to withdraw my First Amendment right to legal redress: This friends, IS THE DEFINITION OF A WHORE! THUS INDIVIDUAL WHORES!
    The officer above is no whore: He is an honest man working with the latest technology!

  3. See, there you went and read my wrong, rafflaw. I too am disturbed by the actions of these “cops”, and I might also have ended up as you have said. And yes, I realize that many kids are foolish and immature. But this punk is, well, a punk. And he won’t do himself any favors acting like that in this world. That’s all.

  4. The kid is obnoxious, but then so was I at a similar age. However, I was a lot smarter in how I dealt with people like these campus police, where I had a few run ins. When dealing with bullies, even at a young age you should be able to realize their nature and not inflame the situation of being outnumbered. I suspect that this kid was so brazen because of the camera and that accounted for his ill tempered taunting of the officers.

    That said I can understand why one officer was terminated. Given only the evidence of someone saying alcohol was being throw out a window there is scanty evidence available for suspicion of activity against the law, or against University policy. Certainly not enough to warrant pushing the student aside and bursting into his room. UK is a large University and I would guess that on ay give night there are many hundreds, if not thousands of students in violation of their alcohol policy. The fact is that at most Universities these days the use of alcohol is common and winked at by the authorities. Also following the link the officer was fired for unwarranted contact with the student by pushing past him into the room.

    Clearly there was outrage by the student’s belligerence and the need to assert authority to put him in his place. This is a major component in most of the police overreach we frequently see at this blog. It is a macho power trip that many officers are on and they brook no disobedience which is seen as to an affront to their authority. Competent professionals do not approach their duty with belligerence since they understand that sometimes this attitude exacerbates the situation. When the threats to have the student expelled were seen as empty ones by the student, the situation escalated in order to teach this kid a lesson. Instead one lost his job and the student becomes a “hero” to some.

    In general there has been a deterioration of Fourth Amendment Rights, if in fact they ever were widely respected by LEO’s. Prohibition and the War On Drugs have been major contributors to this deterioration and SCOTUS has too often sided with the LEO’s as of late. In cases of emergency of course the Fourth Amendment should not be a bar to entry. If LEO’s clearly heard screams from an abode, for instance, they probably have a duty to enter. Too often though, I suspect the reality is that this emergent situations a put forth as cover to a Fourth Amendment violation.

  5. John,
    thanks for the legwork.
    onlooker,
    the victim should be upset. If it had been me, I would have been taken to jail protesting this unconstitutional act by the police and university.

  6. A state university police officer is a public official: Kentucky’s high court concluded that five elements are indispensable in any position of public employment in order to make it a public office of a civil nature: “(1) It must be created by the Constitution or by the Legislature or created by a municipality or other body through authority conferred by the Legislature; (2) it must possess a delegation of a portion of the sovereign power of government, to be exercised for the benefit of the public; (3) the powers conferred, and the duties to be discharged, must be defined, directly or impliedly, by the Legislature; (4) the duties must be performed independently and without control of a superior power, other than by the law, unless they be those of an inferior or subordinate office, created or authorized by the Legislature, and by it placed under the general control of a superior officer or body; (5) it must have some permanency and continuity, and not be only temporary or occasional.” Howard v. Saylor, 305 Ky. 504; 204 S.W.2d 815 (Ky. 19performed independently and without control of a superior power, other than by the law, unless they be those of an inferior or subordinate office, created or authorized by the Legislature, and by it placed under the general control of a superior officer or body; (5) it must have some permanency and continuity, and not be only temporary or occasional.” Howard v. Saylor, 305 Ky. 504; 204 S.W.2d 815 (Ky. 1947).

  7. Under Kentucky Opinion of the Attorney General (OAG) 77-52, a university safety and security officer is a state officer.

  8. Wow, that kid makes it very difficult to be sympathetic to him. What an ass. Doesn’t justify any illegal actions by these “cops”, but good grief, grow up already.

  9. If it is a state school, a state employer, and the employee sports a badge and looks like a cop, acts like a cop and conducts a raid, then he is a state actor under the civil rights act. The Fourth Amendment will go up the state actor’s rear end.

  10. I think search-wise, they should draw the line at visibility. Like it says, they can’t do a search – that is in the rules. They can “routinely inspect” which means they can look around. Opening a fridge is something they can’t do.

  11. my son had a similar incident in Ocean Pines Maryland one summer. there was an empty can of beer on the stairs of the house he and some friends were staying at for the summer. the local cops used it as probable cause and searched the entire house without a warrant. he ended up getting a ticket for underage drinking because there was some beer in the fridge.

    he told me one cop was telling the others “you cannot do this without a warrant.”

  12. Since it’s established FACT, according to Professor Turley, that President Obama has decreed, like a medieval King, the ability to assassinate any human being on the planet be they US citizen or not, why should it be a surprise that officers declare “there’s no 4th ammendment”?

    After all, Obama’s upholding of Bush’s abolition of Habeas Corpus, the cornerstone of all civil liberties since the Magna Carta, means the Bill of Rights is but a worthless scrap of paper:

  13. Most university police have been granted police or law enforcement status…..

    Isn’t Kentucky known for its good bourbon……

    Another reason not to live on campus……

  14. On the other hand, it is Kentucky after all. The same state that has sent Mitch (Box Turtle) McConnell and Rand (If I can’t get Board Certified I’ll make up my own Board) Paul to the US Senate.

  15. I have not read the Fourth Amendment in a few days, but I don’t recall reading anything about it having to be a sworn LEO. The campus police, as employees or agents of the State, appear to come under the rubric of the 4th, even if they are outside security contractors. From my reading of the article, it appears the University has the power to hire and fire the campus officers, so that makes them actors in the name of the State.

  16. “university police who are not state actors and are not subject to the fourth amendment restrictions imposed on state and federal police. ”

    Could someone explain this? I seem to have been mistaken in believing the Bill of Rights existed to protect the private citizen not to define fine line definitions of who is really a cop.

  17. ” … a report of alcohol being dumped from the window …”

    Where should the university draw the line in your view?

    Probable cause.

    Where is the affidavit of the complaining witness?

    Without that they just make it up.

    The policy is a crank call generator.

  18. Get a warrant. Doesn’t the student sign a contract or lease for the room? Why does being a college student lessen your rights? Aren’t campus police employed by a State university state actors?

  19. I really don’t care how obnoxious the student was being. They should not have been in his room! As to the officer saying “there is no fourth amendment”. While I am sad to say it he may very well be right. Unfortunately, most police officers feel this way and in order to enforce your rights under the Constitution you will probably be beaten up and charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and who knows what else. What a country!

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