SUPREME COURT ASKED TO CLARIFY RULING ON POLICE SEARCHES
WINNIPEG - In a rare move, the federal prosecutor has asked the
Supreme Court to clarify a ruling made earlier this year concerning a
Winnipeg man whose pockets were searched by police.
Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Philip Henry
Mann, who was searched by Winnipeg police. The court ruled individuals
must have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including privacy over
what's in their pockets.
Police said Mann matched the description of a break-and-enter suspect.
After feeling a soft object in Mann's pocket during a pat-down search,
officers pulled a bag of marijuana out of his pocket.
The Supreme Court upheld a Manitoba court's ruling to acquit Mann,
saying that reaching into Mann's pocket was "problematic" because the
soft object didn't pose a security risk to the officer.
Federal Crown prosecutor David Frankel has asked the Supreme Court to
re-examine parts of the Mann case, saying the court's definitions were
"It should be clearly spelled out so that police forces can instruct
their officers accordingly, and the public also knows when they
interact with the police what the limits of police powers are," he
Mann's lawyer, Amanda Sansregret, has already filed her objection to
the review. She thought the matter was settled.
"This isn't an appropriate case for a re-hearing," she says. "There is
no reason to clarify the reasons for judgement. The reasons for
judgement are as clear as a bell."
The Mann ruling has already been cited twice in cases across the
country in limiting how the police can search people.
The Supreme Court will examine the application for the review later