The Trashman is Watching

The Trashman is Watching

by | Jun 29, 2015 | Criminal Law, Fourth Amendment

The title of the article was “The Trashman is Watching You.

My interest piqued, I went to read the article.  And found an explanation about cities and their efforts to improve waste disposal.


When I read about another public employee watching you, my thoughts go to the cops, pawing through your trash.  See, the idea that the trashman is watching you is not something that surprises a criminal defense lawyer.  Despite the fact that most trash bags are opaque, it is settled law that the police can search your trash can without a warrant, since the second you dispose of it, you’ve lost your expectation of privacy.

Nor is this the only example of how law enforcement is creeps into other areas of life.  Consider that the SWAT Team in St. Louis can be dispatched, if there is a question as to whether a home has all required utilities hooked up.  Or how the FBI in Las Vegas wanted to search a hotel room.  Lacking any actual legal basis to do so, they cut the cable line, dressed up like maintenance men, and showed up to fix it.

Suffice to say, scratch the surface of most governmental action, and you’ll find a police officer, whose job it is to enforce the law with gun drawn, if necessary.  And don’t be surprised when the government takes any available chance to come into your home, your business, your life, and take a look around.  Those young, fresh faced people who are making sure that you’ve properly separated your compost from your newspaper?  Don’t be surprised if words go from their lips to the police’s ears.