WTF?!? These people got searched for living (or visiting someone who lived) in a certain area. Anthony Cormier writes in the Herald Tribune:
NEWTOWN — For months, Sarasota police officers watched drug dealers openly sell crack cocaine and marijuana from a vacant lot behind the Mediterranean Apartments in Newtown. Officers tried to arrest dealers, but suspects often fled and managed to disappear into the neighborhood.
The pressure to make arrests peaked in July 2009, when a man’s mutilated body was found in one of the apartment units. So that December, the agency tried something it had never done before. It sought permission from a judge to search anyone and everyone who parked or set foot in the apartment complex parking lot.
More than a dozen officers and the city’s SWAT team flooded the area. They had permission to detain and pat down anyone they saw in the area. During the two-hour raid, a dozen people were searched and, even though officers justified the wide search by telling a judge no “innocent persons” congregated in the abandoned lot, only four people were charged with drug crimes.