9 August 2005

Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage so we grabbed theirs

A story about perusing your rubbish. Residents of Portland, Oregon discovered recently that the contents of their trash was not protected once it is "put out".
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office doesn't think so. Prosecutor Mark McDonnell says that once you set your garbage out on the curb, it becomes public property.

"She placed her garbage can out in the open, open to public view, in the public right of way," McDonnell told Judge Jean Kerr Maurer earlier this month. "There were no signs on the garbage, 'Do not open. Do not trespass.' There was every indication...she had relinquished her privacy, possessory interest."

Police Chief Mark Kroeker echoed this reasoning. "Most judges have the opinion that [once] trash is put out...it's trash, and abandoned in terms of privacy," he told WW.

In fact, it turns out that police officers throughout Oregon have been rummaging through people's trash for more than three decades. Portland drug cops conduct "garbage pulls" once or twice per month, says narcotics Sgt. Eric Schober.

So these muckraking journalists decided to turn the tables, and deliver the same treatment to the region's District Attorney and Police Chief.


beautiful story Naum,
You never cease to entertain me!