Police Chief responds to warrantless vehicle search - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police Chief responds to warrantless vehicle search

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WATERLOO (AP) -

UPDATE: Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka responds to criticism an officer is facing over a warrantless vehicle search in a Facebook post Wednesday night. 

He's a good officer. The article leaves a lot out and is one-sided. Amongst many other things, two local judges found that the search was allowable and reasonable. I encourage you to read the decision. Officers are making split second decisions that others get days and weeks to review and  then render a decision. 

Click HERE to read the decision mentioned above. 

Trelka also responded to another comment on Facebook saying, "A lower court found the search reasonable and appropriate. Read the decision. What suggestions do you have for changes with our local courts??" 

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A Waterloo police officer who's been accused of excessive force is now facing criticism over a warrantless vehicle search in which he seized a loaded gun.

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that officer Mark Nissen's 2014 search was unreasonable. It overturned Ezekiel Phillips' conviction for illegally carrying weapons, ruling the evidence inadmissible.

Nissen and another officer approached Phillips' parked car because it was playing loud music. Phillips was standing outside, and Nissen saw a vehicle passenger try to conceal something inside.  

Nissen drew his Taser and handcuffed the passenger. After seeing an alcoholic beverage in the car, officers searched it and discovered a loaded revolver. 

The court says the search wasn't allowed because there was no driver and the vehicle wasn't moving.

The city recently paid $170,000 to settle cases in which Nissen slammed a teenager and stunned a man at a late-night party. The city faces another lawsuit in which Nissen shot a man out side a nightclub. Police Chief Daniel Trelka has defended Nissen as an active officer who patrols high-crime areas.

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