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Missouri Legal Update Lesson Summaries


2021 Lesson 6: Landlord-Tenant Law for Police


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This is an online, Missouri-specific legal studies course focused what law enforcement officers need to know about landlord-tenant law.

Section one explains what parts of landlord-tenant law are most relevant to officers in performing their duties. It explains the rights of tenants, guests, and trespassers; the landlord’s responsibilities; the tenant’s responsibilities; the tenant’s privacy rights; and eviction proceedings.

Section two examines whether officers may assist a landlord using “self-help” to evict a tenant. It provides examples of situations where landlords have wrongfully evicted tenants and the potential consequences for officers who participate in those evictions.

Section three examines the role of law enforcement officers in a legal eviction process. It explains when law enforcement officers may forcibly enter a premises and remove a tenant. The section further examines what happens to a tenant’s property left on the premises.

Section four examines the circumstances under which officers may remove adult children from a parent’s home. It explains the obligation of parents to care for their children and when those obligations apply. The section addresses situations where an adult child is a tenant, trespasser, or domestic abuser.

Section five examines how landlord-tenant law affects an officer’s ability to conduct a warrantless search of a premises. It explains when a person has Fourth Amendment protection in a rented premises. It also explains who may consent to a search of a rented premises and the extent of that authority to consent.

2021 Lesson 5: Racial Profiling


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This lesson is an online interpersonal perspective course on racial profiling/bias-based policing designed to promote: fair, impartial, and unbiased policing practicing; understanding and respect for racial and cultural differences; and the use of effective, non-combative methods for carrying out law enforcement duties in a racially and culturally diverse environment.

This lesson examines federal constitutional prohibitions against racial profiling under both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The lesson considers how biased practices perpetuate racial and other stereotypes and mistrust of law enforcement; how fair and impartial practices promote effective law enforcement; how racial profiling allegations can arise; and Missouri traffic stop data comparing stop and search rates of different racial groups.

The lesson provides prohibitions from the United States Department of Justice that go beyond the constitutional minimum for the use of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity as a consideration by law enforcement officers. Under these guidelines, it explains when the consideration of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity is an appropriate policing practice and when it is an inappropriate policing practice.

Finally, the lesson addresses differences in how the public and police define racial profiling and evaluate police conduct. It explains how police can use procedural justice as an effective, noncombative method to improve law enforcement/community relations in a racially and culturally diverse environment and reduce the likelihood that the public will perceive police as biased or engaged in racial profiling.

2021 Lesson 4: Legal Update


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This is an online, Missouri-specific legal studies course. The lesson addresses recent court decisions providing guidance to Missouri law enforcement officers regarding:

  • When will officers who mistakenly arrest the wrong person be denied qualified immunity in a civil lawsuit?

  • When may an officer briefly seize and investigate a person filming police activity? When will an officer be denied qualified immunity for seizing a person’s cell phone?

  • When may an officer enter a person’s home and take the person into custody for an involuntary mental health evaluation?

  • - When may an officer use deadly force against a suspect without first providing a warning?

  • - When must officers give Miranda warnings?

2021 Lesson 3: Legal Update


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This is an online, Missouri-specific legal studies course. The lesson addresses recent court decisions providing guidance to Missouri law enforcement officers regarding:

  • When does an officer have probable cause to arrest a suspect for driving while intoxicated if a short time passes between the time an accident occurs and the time the officer first contacts the driver?

  • When may an officer stop someone as part of the officer’s community caretaking function?

  • When is it unreasonable for an officer to use deadly force against an intoxicated person or person experiencing a mental health crisis?

  • Under what circumstances is it reasonable for an officer to tase a suspect?

  • - Does qualified immunity shield law enforcement officers from liability when they improperly disclose private information about individuals?

2021 Lesson 2: Diverse Communities


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This is an online interpersonal perspectives course focused on diverse communities, cultural competence, bias prevention, and a history of the American civil rights movement.

Section one defines cultural competence and explores why the concept is important to the law enforcement community. It explains how cultural competence can be practiced at the individual and organizational level.

Section two examines elements of culture and describes how those elements distinguish one culture from another. It explores concepts of race and ethnicity, including how racial labels can vary over time and from one location to another. The lesson describes the following elements of culture and how those can shape a person’s experiences and perspectives: language and communication; geographic location; values and traditions; family and kinship; gender roles; socioeconomic status and education; immigration and migration; heritage and history; sexuality; perspectives on health, illness, and healing; and religion and spirituality.

Section three provides a summary of certain noteworthy people and events that are part of the history of the American civil rights movement, including: slavery; abolition; reconstruction; the Jim Crow era; lynchings; school segregation; the Great Migration; World War I and the Red Summer; mass violence against Black Americans; civil rights protests of the 1960s; Rosa Parks; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Malcom X; the Little Rock Nine; the Freedom Riders; and other people and events.

Section four examines paths for self-evaluation and engaging with diverse communities. It explains how individuals can examine how culture has influenced their own perspectives and that of others. It explains how law enforcement agencies can practice cultural competence and how an agency might use a racial equity toolkit.

2021 Lesson 1: First Amendment Law


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This is an online legal studies course regarding First Amendment law. Section one addresses the right to assemble. It examines public forums and nonpublic forums and explains that the government is more limited it its ability to regulate speech in public forums. This section explores examples of protected activities and non-protected activities as well as constitutional and unconstitutional anti-assembly ordinances.

Section two addresses when law enforcement officers may use force against protesters by examining actual cases.

Section three addresses symbolic speech, including tents on public property, cross burning, and flag burning. The section examines when symbolic speech is protected by the First Amendment and when it is not.

Section four examines categories of unprotected speech, including fighting words, true threats, speech inciting imminent lawless action, obscenity, child pornography, defamation, fraud, and speech integral to criminal conduct. It provides actual case examples where officers had to determine whether certain speech was protected by the First Amendment or criminalized.

Section five addresses speech directed at police officers. It explains that officers are expected to exercise a higher degree of restraint than ordinary citizens when responding to fighting words. It also explains an officer’s duty not to retaliate in response to protected First Amendment activity. Finally, it addresses when officers will be protected by qualified immunity from retaliatory arrest lawsuits.

Section six addresses the right of people to record public police activity and provides actual case examples.

Section seven examines the First Amendment rights of police officers. It examines when law enforcement officer speech is protected by the First Amendment and provides examples of when it is not.