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Sports at a glance

Kraft arrest

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida appellate judges on Tuesday questioned the legality of search warrants that let police secretly video record New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others paying for massage parlor sex, pressing a prosecutor on his contention that the warrants were legally valid.

Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa found himself repeatedly queried by the three-judge panel as he tried to persuade them that the warrants and searches met all constitutional protections and that they should overturn lower court rulings that barred the recordings’ use at trial.

Misdemeanor charges against Kraft, 79, and other customers would have to be dropped if those rulings stand, although felony charges against the spa owners might proceed as there is other evidence against them.

Kraft and others were charged in February 2019 in a multi-county investigation of massage parlors that included the secret installation of video cameras in the spas’ lobbies and rooms. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

Police say they twice recorded Kraft, a widower, paying for sex at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor. Kraft has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology.

Judge Robert Gross, who presided at the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal hearing, seemed taken aback by DeSousa’s contention that he and his colleagues should primarily consider the plain language of the Fourth Amendment. It says judges can issue warrants if police demonstrate probable cause of a crime, that warrants must specify the place to be searched and what can be seized.

Gross told DeSousa he seemed to be ignoring numerous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court expanding Fourth Amendment protections since the 1960s, including some that restrict electronic surveillance by police.

“You are getting us off on the wrong foot by focusing on the language of the Fourth Amendment when we should be focusing on the Supreme Court jurisprudence….that is heavily weighted against you,” Gross told DeSousa.

The 90-minute hearing included arguments on whether cameras were necessary; on whether the police violated the privacy of customers who simply received massages; and on the proper sanction if the defendants’ rights were violated.

NBA rookie

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant posted and deleted an Instagram photo suggesting he’d replace his name with an expletive on his number 12 jersey in a protest against police.

Morant apologized Sunday night, saying the message didn’t “accurately convey” what he wanted to share and that he knows “there are good cops ’12’ out there.”

“My post was intended to focus on bad cops who get away with the murder of unarmed Black men and women and those who continue to harass peaceful BLACK LIVES MATTER protestors,” Morant said.

Morant also asked for “justice” in the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers who were performing a no-knock warrant.

Morant’s post came as the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and Nike were reportedly working on a deal to allow players to replace their names with social justice statements when the NBA season resumes on July 30.

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