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Marianas Variety: Judge tells Tinian police cadets: You can’t just arrest anyone (October 9, 2018)

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho on Friday held a presentation on search and seizure, probable cause, courtroom demeanor and testimony for 16 Tinian police cadets.

He emphasized the importance of probable cause when arresting a suspect.

He said police cadets need to understand that everyone in the CNMI is entitled to equal protection under the U.S. and Commonwealth constitutions.

He provided concrete examples of enforcing the law, saying officers cannot just enter someone’s home, or grab somebody off the street and arrest them.

“You need additional information to decide whether or not that person has reached the level of probable cause to make an arrest.”

Judge Camacho said some cases that went to trial were subsequently dismissed because the evidence was not properly obtained.

The judge also reiterated what he told previous police academy cadets: “The people who decide whether a suspect is guilty or not guilty are the jurors in the courtroom not police officers.”

The 16 Tinian cadets are expected to graduate in late November or early December.

As part of the academy training, the cadets are also taking Criminal Justice classes at Northern Marianas College.

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