Court Shuts Down Trooper's Attempt To Portray New-ish Minivans With Imperfect Drivers As Justification For A Traffic Stop

from the all's-fair-in-love-and-pretext dept

Anything you do can be suspicious. Just ask our guardians of public safety. People interacting with law enforcement can’t be too nervous. Or too calm. Or stare straight ahead. Or directly at officers. When traveling, travelers need to ensure they’re not the first person off the plane. Or the last. Or in the middle. When driving, people can’t drive too carefully. Or too carelessly. Traveling on interstate highways is right out, considering those are used by drug traffickers. Traveling along back roads probably just looks like avoiding more heavily-patrolled interstates, thus suspicious.

Having too much trash in your car might get you labelled a drug trafficker — someone making a long haul between supply and destination cities. Conversely, a car that’s too clean looks like a “trap” car — a vehicle carefully kept in top condition to avoid raising law enforcement’s suspicion. Too clean is just as suspicious as too dirty. Air fresheners, a common fixture in vehicles, are also suspicious. Having too many of them is taken as an attempt to cover the odor of drugs. There’s no specific number that triggers suspicion. It’s all left up to the officer on the scene.

So, avoiding rousing suspicion is impossible. Fortunately, courts can push back against law enforcement assertions about suspicious behavior. Some have pushed back more forcibly than others. Thanks to another court pushback, we have two new items to add to the list of suspicious indicators. From the Texas Appeals Court decision [PDF]:

At the motion to suppress hearing, the Trooper who pulled Cortez over testified that he began following Cortez’s minivan down Interstate 40 because it had “a newer registration” on it, and because it was “[a] minivan, clean, with the two occupants in it:”

Q. So you’re telling the Court that because you see a van, it’s clean and it’s got two people in it, that was [sic] indicators of potential criminal activity for you?

A. Yes, sir, they are. . . .

Beware, soccer moms and shuttle drivers: newer minivans with more than one person in them are indicative of drug trafficking. In this case, the stop resulted in the discovery of drugs in a spare tire. But the court won’t allow the government to keep its illegally-obtained evidence. According to the court, no traffic violation occurred to justify the stop and the mere existence of a newer minivan with two people in it does not even come close to “reasonable” suspicion.

There’s a long discussion about the supposed moving violation that instigated the stop. It’s worth reading as well. The government’s assertions about state laws and driving on the shoulder would make it impossible for any driver to avoid being stopped by law enforcement. The officer testified he saw the vehicle’s tire hit the fog line twice, supposedly in violation of state law. But the court points out two things: first, the law allows vehicles to drive on improved shoulders under certain circumstances, including the circumstances surrounding this stop. It repeats the trial court’s findings.

As [the Trooper’s] vehicle approached and pulled into the left hand lane, defendant’s vehicle moved toward the improved shoulder.

A short time later, Defendant’s vehicle moved toward the improved shoulder a second time as the Defendant’s vehicle exited the Interstate to the right at a marked exit ramp.

The State produced no evidence that [the Trooper] observed, or believed he had observed, any portion of the Defendant’s vehicle pass outside the outermost edge of the fog line.

The improved shoulder of a state roadway begins at the point of the fog line which is furthest from the center of the roadway.

The defendant’s vehicle did not cross outside the outermost edge of the fog line onto the improved shoulder of the roadway. Crossing over the portion of the fog line nearest the center of the roadway or upon the fog line is not a violation of Texas traffic law; therefore the vehicle was not operated on the improved shoulder of the roadway on either occasion made the basis for [the Trooper’s] traffic stop.

The state’s evidence included the officer’s dashcam, which didn’t show what he claimed it did. The officer expended a lot of words trying to make a mere momentary touch of the white fog line into “driving on an improved shoulder,” but the court doesn’t buy it. And there’s no way it could, thanks to the officer’s testimony, which included this apparent physical impossibility.

Q. So, Trooper, tell the Court exactly where my client was at the time you say you witnessed the first violation?

A. The first violation was just – just as I’m paralleling him, I’m off his left quarter. Actually, I usually run the license plate at that point. I’m sitting there and you see him fade to the right-hand side, crossing the white line.

But, we conclude that, from the vantage point of driving in the left lane, next to a vehicle in the right lane, it cannot be seen, and there is no way to know, that the vehicle in the right lane is touching the fog line on that vehicle’s right. Thus, the dashcam video dispels the Trooper’s testimony that Cortez crossed the fog line.

Even if the trooper’s testimony hadn’t veered detailing his super-heroic ability to see through opaque body panels, the court still would have found a couple of momentary tire rubs on the fog line would not have constituted a violation of the law. As the court points out, there are times when it’s legal to drive on the shoulder and the vehicle stopped by the trooper satisfied two of those exceptions to the “don’t drive on the shoulder” law.

Regarding the first “offense” observed by the Trooper, as the trial court found, because section 545.058(a)(5) allows a driver to drive on an improved shoulder to “allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass,” and since it appeared that the Trooper was intending to pass Cortez’s vehicle on the left, Cortez was statutorily permitted to drive on the improved shoulder during that very brief period of time.

Regarding the second “offense” observed by the Trooper, the dash cam video shows Cortez driving steadily in the right hand lane on the highway, turning on his right turn signal to exit the highway. By the time that there was any type of contact between Cortez’s right tires and the white fog line, Cortez was at the end of the exit ramp, almost to the access road, and he was still signaling a right turn. Because section 545.058(a)(3) allows a driver to drive on an improved shoulder “to decelerate before making a right turn,” and since it was clear that Cortez was intending to exit the highway and turn right, Cortez was statutorily permitted to drive on the improved shoulder for that brief period of time.

Even if this wasn’t the case, the court does not expect drivers to maintain perfect driving lines on roads — no more than it expects officers to know every nuance of every law they’re tasked with enforcing. Never touching a fog line is an impossibility. To do so is human, not a violation of the law.

As the court of appeals pointed out, “[d]riving is an exercise in controlled weaving. It is difficult enough to keep a straight path on the many dips, rises, and other undulations built into our roadways.” Even a driver who is sober, alert, and careful may occasionally drift within their lane only because the roadway surface is not perfectly smooth. Moreover, drivers are not able to see if their tires are touching the fog line. They are likely to veer over at some point and touch the fog line alongside the roadway without being aware they have done so.

So ends this trooper’s unconstitutional attempt to turn a non-violation into a drug bust. And the court prevents minivan+1 from entering the “suspicious behavior” lexicon. Imperfect driving is nothing more than that, not a tacit admission of drug trafficking.

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Comments on “Court Shuts Down Trooper's Attempt To Portray New-ish Minivans With Imperfect Drivers As Justification For A Traffic Stop”

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163 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

The ends never justify the means. Also, the cases that get reported because they make the courts give a false impression of their effectiveness, because those that turn up nothing are not normally reported or counted.

In other would you happy if the cops stopped and searched you on a hunch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

In other would you happy if the cops stopped and searched you on a hunch.

No.

BUT, this is another instance where some "hunch", which may be soundly based in practice though inarticulable, was proved accurate.

Now, don’t go off from reasonable to claim that I’m for a whites-only police state, because THAT is exactly what you appear to oppose here: taking a HUNCH and running ALL the way with it.

As for instance, I might, were so inclined, to say: SO, you’re okay if this dealer sold fentanyl-laced pot to your kids, huh?

Surely the present is an okay balance. I’m NOT upset over this, by the way, just want the LEANING to let criminals off to be recognized as bad trend.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And yet drugs WERE found.

This is not about “letting criminals off”. This is about how the tactics used by police, or “the means”, cannot be justified by “the ends”, i.e. the results of those tactics. An on-duty officer who illegally breaks into a house and finds a stash of cocaine cannot use said stash to justify both the illegal entry and the illegal search.

We want the police to act with higher standards of behavior because we need the police to act with higher standards. We need assurances that the rights of the innocent will not be trampled upon to make easier the pursuit, capture, and conviction of the guilty. Law-abiding citizens who drive clean vans should not have to worry about whether the cleanliness of a van is enough to get them pulled over and searched.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And yet drugs WERE found.

need the police to act with higher standards.

Yes, but "Stephen", YOU apparently advocate that all "drivers" be licensed, and if that’s your position, then while DRIVING, you then advocate a lower standard of rights.

I’m not going further (because it’d tip you kids to The Law), but YOU are the one who advocates a LICENSING DRIVERS and all it entails. Not me. YOU. As usual, you’re projecting.

By the way, how would you know if I answered that correctly unless you’ve been schooled, say by the FBI at Informers School?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And yet drugs WERE found.

YOU apparently advocate that all "drivers" be licensed

Yes, I do. The average car is a two-ton death machine on wheels and you should be both licensed and insured when you drive it.

if that’s your position, then while DRIVING, you then advocate a lower standard of rights

Nope. Someone who travels by driving a car should have the exact same rights as someone who travels by bike or foot or public transportation.

I’m not going further (because it’d tip you kids to The Law)

I thought SovCits refused to recognize the validity of the federal government, its laws, and its law enforcement officers.

YOU are the one who advocates a LICENSING DRIVERS and all it entails.

…I…uh…wait, is licensing drivers supposed to be A Bad Thing? Christ, you take one step into the Mirror Universe and suddenly everything’s fucked up no matter where you are. Look it was just the one step that one time and I made sure to close the wormhole after I pulled my foot back out, I swear I couldn’t have done that much damage to the timeline. Maybe we need to consult the Time Cube for answers…

how would you know if I answered that correctly unless you’ve been schooled, say by the FBI at Informers School?

Oh please. If I were an FBI informant, I would have better targets to spy/inform on than some fuckwit SovCit who rants in the comments of a tech blog he hates with the same level of passion that DC fans hate the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I would also not have the free time necessary to lob a bunch of shitty jokes at you. Paperwork does not do itself, after all. (At least not yet. Fucking nerds should’ve already had that shit figured out by now…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And yet drugs WERE found.

Okay, you’ve confirmed that YOU are the one who advocates LICENSING DRIVERS and all it entails.

So what is the right answer to whether “natural” persons must be licensed?

Don’t wander off through your vocabulary again, just answer that one question, plain and simple.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And yet drugs WERE found.

what is the right answer to whether "natural" persons must be licensed?

The correct answer is one I cannot actually post because it would get flagged and where’s the fun in that.

The right answer, then, is that anyone who wants to drive a vehicle for which the law requires a license should have to get that license. The license is proof that a person has proven themselves responsible enough with a vehicle to drive it on the open road.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 And yet drugs WERE found.

anyone who wants to drive a vehicle for which the law requires a license should have to get that license.

Oooh! NEATLY AXIOMATIC!

But it’s not the question I asked.

You dodged both "natural" person and "must" terms.

Try again to answer MY question, not the one you want asked.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

You dodged both "natural" person and "must" terms.

I didn’t address the “natural” “person” shit because SovCits and their lingo should only ever be mocked.

As for “must”: Technically, no, one does not need a license to drive a car. Then again, if you get caught driving without a license, your ass is in trouble no matter how much you stress that you are an individual who is traveling under the auspices of common law as determined by the Founding Fathers under a gold-fringed American flag.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Technically, no, one does not need a license to drive a car.

OH, so you DO know DETAILS The Law, but use that only to harass people who fully believe in The Constitution.

You then go on to exult in and threaten consequences of living in a police state, and mock Constitutionalists some more.

Your nagging revealed YOU as supporter of a police state.

So my opinion that you may be schooled and trained to be an Undercover Agent of the FBI is still tenable, because that exact knowledge, with further details that I didn’t supply, isn’t readily found.

In any case, you were harassing me with what you knew to be false. You KNEW that "natural" persons aren’t "technically" required to have a Driver’s License, that’s just an imposition of the Corporate Police State.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Mr. SovCit, I have a question for you: Do you believe in the entirety of the Constitution, or just a specific amount of amendments—perhaps ten, or maybe just two?

There you go again, with your label.

I fully support the AMENDED Constitution. No major problems with as written, yet I’m totally against the way it’s been twisted to serve Corporatism.

Now, STOP your nasty little innuendo, since YOU’VE ADMITTED EXACTLY MY BELIEFS, besides knowing that "natural" persons are NOT "technically" required to have a "Driver’s License".

You are harassing me with SLY BUT FALSE INNUENDO. STOP IT.

blademan9999 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

Over a hundred people die in car accidents a day in the US alone. Millions are seriously injured in the US each year. It’s the 9th leading cause of death worldwide.
And those numbers would be a lot worse if it weren’t fro drivers licences.
A car is a 2 ton death machine filmed with flammable liquid capable of traveling at very high speeds, on roads filled with countless others like it.

It’s just common sense to make sure that drivers have a minimum level of skill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

I believe his point was that if you support the entire amended Constitution, then by definition you would oppose this traffic stop on the grounds that it is 100% in violation of the fourth amendment of said constitution.

Since you seem to think there was nothing wrong with a cop stopping someone with no valid reason to do so, we can assume you actually do not believe in the constitution as written because the 4th amendment says you can’t do that.

Qwertygiy says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

Not true in all states. I forget which one at the moment, but in either or both North or South Carolina, it is prohibited for someone to sit in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle with intent to drive if they do not have any form of license, or are over the legal alcohol limit. Intent to drive is one of those “iffy” things to prove. Some cops have argued having keys within arm’s reach is intent to drive, causing problems for people who choose to sleep off their hangover in the parking lot.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And yet drugs WERE found.

Drugs being found does not make the “hunch” accurate. The clean van with two passengers has nothing whatsoever to do with drugs being in the vehicle. That’s a ridiculous assertion to make.

Letting criminals off when cops commit criminal acts is not a bad trend. It’s a necessary defense against violation of our basic constitutionally defined rights. We accept that in order to enjoy freedom some criminals will be allowed to go free.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And yet drugs WERE found.

Drugs being found does not make the "hunch" accurate.

Okay, NOW comments are getting to just plain denying facts which were not disputed in court.

Well, I guess, to be lawyerly accurate, I don’t know that the cop had a "hunch", so I substitute just the sheer facts that stopped the car and found drugs.

Drugs were found, basis of the case. Or do you dispute that?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And yet drugs WERE found.

the sheer facts that stopped the car

Do you mean the skin color of the drivers (racial profiling), the cleanliness of the vehicle (not a consistent indicator of suspicious activity), or the traffic violation that the court ruled was not actually a violation (outright on-the-record lying)?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And yet drugs WERE found.

Do you mean the facts where it was shown the cop had no legal right or reason to pull the van over in the first place? Or how about the facts where the cop lied UNDER OATH and was then outed by his own dash cam?

Those facts that got the case dismissed because the whole thing shouldn’t have happened in the first place because despite the fact that he found drugs after the stop, the initial stop was a complete violation of the fourth amendment?

Those facts? That fourth amendment of the constitution you purport to support so much? Are those the facts you’re talking about?

OA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And yet drugs WERE found.

Well, I guess, to be lawyerly accurate…

"Lawyerly", indeed.

"sheer facts that stopped the car and found drugs.

Drugs were found, basis of the case. Or do you dispute that?"

Lying Logic™. The point of the court ruling and part of the point of the article is that finding the drugs was irrelevant. The cop should not have stopped the vehicle or searched it. The power of police is provided by the law and is thus limited by the law (or, at least, it should be).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And yet drugs WERE found.

The point of the court ruling and part of the point of the article is that finding the drugs was irrelevant.

Not disputed. The case, which was about the drugs, NOT the traffic, IS thrown out.

You should be HAPPY to live in a country where that is what happened because in America we can bring in ALL aspects of the case, rather than the SHEER FACTS of drugs found being the whole basis.

You are just looking at my text and assuming that I must be a rabid supporter of the police state.

My further point is that your (and others) such "hunch" leads to accusation of me being for a police state.

Stop taking your "hunches" to extremes, is MY Point, see?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And yet drugs WERE found.

If this was about “all aspects” of the case you’d think the cop would have a much easier time than relying on the sad, threadbare remark of “it didn’t look suspicious, therefore I thought it was suspicious”.

Law enforcement by lottery is a shit way to go about doing it, because unlike what you’d prefer to think, it’s completely random in its approach to catching the “possibly guilty”. But then again, blue boy, you’re the kind of jackass that would have been completely fine if no drugs were found in the tire in this case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And yet drugs WERE found.

Hunches are not legally justifiable reasons for a cop to pull someone over. Hell, they’re not even morally justifiable. Cops have to have court admissible evidence of wrong-doing to pull someone over.

This guy, had none, thus the entire stop was illegal. The fact that they found drugs is irrelevant because they could have just as easily NOT found drugs.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

Exactly! You can’t arbitrarily pull over 100 vehicles, and upon finding drugs in one, crow about how great your hunches are. However, given how ridiculous his story was, it does put one in the mind that this was a really BAD attempt at parallel construction, i.e., evidence laundering, as another poster mentioned earlier.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And yet drugs WERE found.

How many times did he pull this shit and not find drugs?

Okay, as I’ve been challenged — and answered "don’t know", HOW MANY TIMES?

Without that fact in evidence, you’re just playing a hunch.

Do you grasp how YOU are accusing without evidence here?

And you may well be right in your hunch, but it’s STILL THE SAME principle. At least recognize when your bias is active.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And yet drugs WERE found.

Do you grasp how YOU are accusing without evidence here?

Ah, but we do have evidence: the cop’s own lies as told in a court of law and the dashcam footage that exposes said lies. A cop does not just do shit like this out of the blue. We can reasonably assume, unless and until proven otherwise, that this cop has at least some history of questionable search-and-seizure stops.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And yet drugs WERE found.

We can reasonably assume

Not disputed.

The first question was HOW MANY FALSE OUT OF HOW MANY STOPS?

State numbers or you’re just going with a hunch.

That’s my entire point. You are not answering my objection, just making another rabbit track which leads to your win.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And yet drugs WERE found.

The first question was HOW MANY FALSE OUT OF HOW MANY STOPS?

We do not have hard statistics on how many stops this particular LEO has made during his career. Even if we did, we cannot know with the certainty of God just how many of his stops were this kind of “results justify methods” stop. (He only got caught in a lie here because of his dashcam, after all.) Since we cannot know his history for sure, the best we can do is reasonably assume this is just one in a pattern, however small, of bad stops.

State numbers or you’re just going with a hunch.

And here I thought you didn’t have a problem with someone working on a hunch so long as they get results.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 And yet drugs WERE found.

And here I thought you didn’t have a problem with someone working on a hunch so long as they get results.

Again just your thoughts, not facts, by which you argue and accuse.

You clearly have a "hunch" about me that won’t let go of, nor go only by the facts which are in evidence, so you are doing EXACTLY like the police officer.

You’ve pulled me over and demand to search me, then raise every trifle to a federal case, and if don’t come up with any actual evidence, you just label me "SovCits" and make up some more stuff that you have no evidence for.

CLEAR ENOUGH? OR GOING TO MAKE UP YET MORE SO THAT YOU CAN CONTINUE TO IMPLY THAT I’M NOT A STRICT CONSTITUTIONALIST IN PRACTICE?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

You came here looking for an argument and got it. Stop whining.

Who’s whining? I’m stating a FACT that "Stephen T. Stone" has been repeating the "SovCits" label for months now, implying I’m a kook who doesn’t know The Law, and today I reversed it on him, forced him to admit that "technically", a "natural" person doesn’t require a "Driver’s License" when "traveling"!

So turns out Stone KNEW all along that he was making FALSE INNUENDO.

You came here trolling and got refuted soundly. Now whine about it.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Watewut

I’m stating a FACT that "Stephen T. Stone" has been repeating the "SovCits" label for months now, implying I’m a kook

I’m not implying anything about you.

I’m outright fucking saying it.

today I reversed it on him, forced him to admit that "technically", a "natural" person doesn’t require a "Driver’s License" when "traveling"

Technicalities and SovCit lingo will not save you from being arrested if you get caught driving without a license.

You came here trolling and got refuted soundly. Now whine about it.

Damn, that much projection should have a movie attached.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 And yet drugs WERE found.

If they can come up with a valid reason, yes they can set it up. But that reason can’t be just barely good enough so they can search anyone they want to. It also can’t go on indefinitely.

And as you say, they still need a reason to search a car so you’re still wrong. To set up a checkpoint, they need a reason, once a car is stopped, they need an additional reason to search the car. Once the initial reason for the checkpoint is no longer valid, they have to discontinue the checkpoint. Applying it to this situation, the cop would still have had no reason to search the car, even if the checkpoint allowed him to stop it.

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

At least even the most liberal courts still stop short of handing the drugs back.

Except some of the illegal drugs aren’t actually anywhere near as dangerous (if at all) then what they say. For example, there’s literally zero evidence that Marijuana is in any way more harmful then Alcohol, yet alcohol is legal and marijuana is ‘Schedule #1’, the ‘most dangerous’ kind of drug there is.

Whatever hunch about driving prompted this is proved accurate.

I can also accuse random people of having illegal products on them and look good when I find a few people who actually do have illegal stuff to point to when I show up in court.

The best part is I don’t have to go to court with my failures, so I can sweep them under the rug to make myself look really accurate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

Except some of the illegal drugs aren’t actually anywhere near as dangerous (if at all) then what they say.

Yeah… See, you come across as advocating drug use, instead of being for Constitutional Rights.

> I can also accuse random people of having illegal products on them

AND that’s what JURIES are for. Juries are the only real protection we have against rogue cops or officials.

I wrote here WAY back: “It takes a whole nation to stand up to a police officer.” [I think original with author Rex Stout.] So long as some (apparently you) advocate drug use, then there’ll be pressure to legalize. If the drug trade depended on ME, then like Hollywood, the beasts would starve overnight.

[ *Americans only. No other country has that as a written “inalienable” Right.]

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And yet drugs WERE found.

See, you come across as advocating drug use

Advocacy for the decriminalization of drugs—cannabis in particular—is not “advocating drug use”. Asking for the right to legally buy drugs such as cannabis is not the same thing as telling people they need to do drugs. Besides, if you wanted to end a good chunk of the illegal drug trade in the US, there are far worse ideas than legalizing drugs and killing the black market for them in the process.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 And yet drugs WERE found.

Advocacy for the decriminalization of drugs—cannabis in particular—is not “advocating drug use”.

Umm, sure.

But advocacy for stopping ILLEGAL immigration is advocating police state and death camps, right?

How come hair-splitting never applies to me? You have many times taken my point and re-written it to suit your assertion that I’m basically a Nazi. — I hope you continue making up stuff, because it’s True Techdirt.

You and I are stopped until you respond to “what’s the right answer to whether persons must be licensed to drive”?

And don’t put in any other words or skip the “must”: what I write is MY question, not your self-serving re-phrase.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And yet drugs WERE found.

But advocacy for stopping ILLEGAL immigration is advocating police state and death camps, right?

This is immaterial to the discussion at hand, but no, it is not. Advocating for ICE to be able to round up people suspected of having entered the country illegally and detain them in detention centers that make the average US prison look like a five-star spa in comparison, however…

I’m basically a Nazi.

Hey, you said it, I didn’t.

(Okay that one was unfair but I don’t give a damn.)

You and I are stopped until you respond to "what’s the right answer to whether persons must be licensed to drive"?

Funny thing: The phrasing of that question assumes there is a right answer that only you know. Last time I checked, the law says driving without a license is illegal. There are plenty of SovCits who think they are exempt from such laws; they are sorely mistaken.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hunches

The need to preserve the rights of the people, and the eagerness with which our law enforcement agencies have demonstrated willingness to violate those in pursuit of a collar has ruled out hunches as a means by which criminal cases get solved.

..or would in a fair court of law. It turns out in the US court that all sorts of rights violations are fair game to seize cash, contraband and any other property Law Enforcement wants to repurpose. And the judges who block such acquisitions in preservation of Constitutional law are the exceptions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And yet drugs WERE found.

The rules of evidence and fourth amendment case law define the reasonability portion of the phrase reasonable suspicion quite well. It’s an even lower bar to clear than the probable cause standard required to make an arrest.

Violating the fourth amendment under color of law while in possession of a firearm is a felony. So here we have an officer who committed at least one felony to prevent another crime, that might not have been a felony, that even if the pfficer’s suspicion were valid, he had no way to knpw if he had witnessed a felony being committed or not.

You don’t make our streets safer by committing a more serious crime in pursuit of the perpetrators of a less serious crime, Even if you do convict the lesser perpetrator, the greater criminal remains on the street.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hell, why stop there? If imperfect driving is a sign of shady business, perfect or correct driving obviously means the driver has something to hide, too. Clearly the police need to inspect every car.

What’s that? It’s too difficult? Obviously the answer is to punish all drivers. Or car dealers, clearly they have the most to gain. Only a criminal would dare disagree!

You start to see why MyNameHere gobbled the meat poles of the police and RIAA so readily.

any moose cow word says:

Re: Re: Re:

The phrase about blind pigs and truffles is an old saying, meaning that someone cluelessly hunting for something is bound to find it eventually. Like most, it makes a point even though the actual reference isn’t based in reality, just like calling someone “blind as a bat” when most bats have better eyesight than people. I was making a joke about the old saying and “pig” also being a slang word for a cop, that a cop randomly harassing drivers under false pretenses is bound to make a drug bust eventually.

Sorry if my joke wasn’t punny enough.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Because just allowing stereotypes to provide cover for acts is in no way racist.
I would like to see the officers history of traffic stops involving minivans & see how many nice soccer moms he thought were just cover….
And then I’d like the courts to consider perhaps the consistent reliance on pat bullshit cop answers to explain away serious issues has lead to the idea that to clean, to dirty, to fast, to slow, exact speed limit, aren’t evidence of anything but a thin tissue to cover up the obvious…
2 brown men seen in minivan, brown men deal drugs, I can’t stop them for driving while brown… ooooh there is a bumper sticker and I’ve seen that same sticker in a movie on a drug runners car.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "2 brown men seen in minivan, brown men deal drugs,"

Yeah, this story does much to dispell THAT stereotype, huh?

Instead, why aren’t you CELEBRATING a system in which technical matters set aside the evidence and conviction?

You come off as a mere drug user, happy to see dealer escape, rather than strong Constitutionalist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "2 brown men seen in minivan, brown men deal drugs,"

Yeah – that is the only possibility here.

Anyone who does not agree with the police tactics used in the war on drugs is obviously a druggie and needs to be locked up

Meanwhile, back in reality … discrimination in the policing of society is a huge problem and needs some attention but don’t let that stop your ridiculous excuse machine from generating more bullshit in support of the police state.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "2 brown men seen in minivan, brown men deal drugs,"

We ARE celebrating a system where no man is above the law, even cops, and when one has been found to have violated the fourth amendment of the constitution, the highest law in the land, he is punished and the evidence he found after the fact is in-admissible because he would never have found it if he hadn’t broken the law.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: That does sound like a sweet movie in the making...

White 40-year-old woman in minivan successfully conveys drugs while two brown men in a new, clean (and clean) minivan run chase and draw DEA attention.

And this gambit works until police in frustration plant drugs in the brown-men’s minivan before the dogs show up.

Kinda Alfred Hitchcocky.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Ah, good. The length limit on subject lines is high again.

Dang. By coincidence, it causes poor spelling, though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Escaped justice? What are you smoking to think that being stopped illegally and any illegal searches and seizures that result thrown out as somehow escaping justice. If anything the justice was achieved once the courts overturned the stop as illegal and everything that came from it. You are trying to get the ends to justify the means and that is 100% opposite of how the constitution has established our rights. You are perverting justice with everything you write, not this site. Having drugs does not make a stop legal. By your logic, I can wire tap your communications for years so long as you do something even slightly against the law during that time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Escaped justice?

I wrote my opinion that "Techdirt" is happy he escaped justice.

Look. The crime isn’t in question, only the EXACT details of the cop making the stop. Let’s say, worst for my view and best for yours: that the cop had faked up the cause a bit better, then this story wouldn’t be out at all, be mere routine.

My position is that the cop had SOME hunch that turned out true, and it’s supported by all available evidence.

Now, don’t go off from reasonable to claim that I’m for a whites-only police state, because THAT is exactly what you appear to oppose here: taking a HUNCH and running ALL the way with it.

I just want the reasonable balance as at present to continue, NOT be continually dragged down by drug users. It’s enough and fitting that this person was dragged through process, didn’t entirely escape. Though we might ask how and why he got unusual degree of support from lawyers…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

How many failed hunches are acceptable for every success? Is this a cop that stops and searches dozens or hundreds of vehicle because he does not like the color of the skin of the driver. Without the stop and search history of the individual you cannot say whether that was a good hunch, or just the odd find that comes from profiled searches.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

How many failed hunches are acceptable for every success?

I don’t have NUMBERS, but the present rate is probably about right.

"Drivers" run the risk of being stopped and "interrogated" to use the worst word. That’s a fact, and dog my cats if’n I can come up with a better system since motor vehicles, which inherently allow easy transport and quick physical escape, are apparently here to stay. We’re stuck with some drawbacks as with any "technology".

I think you see the horror here as a drug dealer being caught, where I’m only mildly disappointed that is let loose — to deal drugs again, perhaps to try and hook your kid on fentanyl-laced pot, only the first time kills him…

[ After the dash is deliberately to confirm your opinion of me. No matter how mild-written I am, I get accused of being rabid police state racist. That’s just your HUNCH, isn’t it? State evidence otherwise that will hold up to full scrutiny in court. ]

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

I think you see the horror here as a drug dealer being caught, where I’m only mildly disappointed that is let loose

You only see the horror of a drug dealer being let free. (Which is, of course, A Bad Thing.) You refuse to see the horror of a cop trampling across the rights of all people just so they can capture that drug dealer.

Was the cop right, in that those people were drug dealers? Absolutely. His being right, however, doesn’t excuse the methods he used to prove he was right. We should not pat him on the back for being right when he had to lie and obfuscate for his search-and-seizure to have any chance of holding up in court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

You refuse to see the horror of a cop trampling across the rights of all people just so they can capture that drug dealer.

What people are this?

Was the cop right, in that those people were drug dealers? Absolutely. His being right, however, doesn’t excuse the methods he used to prove he was right.

And who says it does?

Read what I wrote above about YOU advocating lower standards for searches while serfs are "driving". If you truly understood the horrors of corporatism and licensing, you’d side with me!

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

What people are this?

Anyone within the borders of the United States and its outlying territories.

And who says it does?

I sure as shit don’t see you saying otherwise.

Read what I wrote above about YOU advocating lower standards for searches while serfs are "driving".

Someone driving a car should not be pulled over based only on some arbitrary reason that a cop wants to use to justify a hunch. They should be pulled over if they match the description of a suspect, their vehicle matches the description of a vehicle mentioned in a BOLO alert, or they have committed a traffic violation of some sort. The same goes for anyone driving any other vehicle and—without the vehicular aspect, natch—pedestrians.

If you truly understood the horrors of corporatism and licensing, you’d side with me!

I would rather swallow pesticide.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

I sure as shit don’t see you saying otherwise.

So what I have NOT said is your evidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

No, it’s pretty much everything you’ve said. What you haven’t said is just icing on the cake.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

The funny thing is, out_of_the_blue will be the first in line for a blowjob fundraiser in support of the RIAA’s licensing terms. That’s his side.

So his horrors of corporatism and licensing are such that he’d support them no matter how ridiculous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Read what I wrote above about YOU advocating lower standards for searches while serfs are "driving".

Why are you so focused on the search? The search needs to be predicated by a reason to pull the person over in the first place.

Or is that just unimportant?

Fucking Nazis. You’re everywhere now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

The search needs to be predicated by a reason to pull the person over in the first place.

Actually, it doesn’t. Presumptive law. You don’t know what that means.

I don’t SUPPORT the search as such, BUT the stop is perfectly "legal" under the current tangle.

Ignorant people. You’ve always been everywhere. It’s amazing we achieved any civilization at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

It does if the cops want whatever evidence they find in a search to remain admissible.

No, doesn’t for the stop. You are flatly wrong again.

That’s no way to talk about your parents.

And whatever my parents were, that dooms ME to being the? You are indeed a Royalist. American believe that every person has inalienable Rights and can rise above the circumstances of their birth. Indeed, we welcome a number of persons to come here legally, fleeing from the foreign caste or class systems that you just stated is a heritable doom.

Your smartassery isn’t working. But I doubt you’re smart enough to just stop. You seem compelled to do one-liners.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Oi.

No, doesn’t for the stop.

The whole reason for the legal barrier of “probable cause” is to prevent LEOs from pulling anyone over for literally no good reason and gutting an entire vehicle from engine to trunk to search for evidence of a crime. A legal stop should be predicated on either probable cause of a criminal act, seeing a criminal act, or seeing a vehicle/driver that matches the description of a vehicle/driver wanted for arrest or questioning.

American believe that every person has inalienable Rights and can rise above the circumstances of their birth.

Now now, not everyone can rise above the circumstances of their birth. Donald Trump is still an imbecile, after all.

Your smartassery isn’t working.

Well, shit. Maybe I should switch to smartdickery. I mean, it’s a bit harder, and it takes more work to properly achieve, but the satisfaction at the end is exquisitely explosive.

…these veiled masturbation jokes doin’ anything for ya?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Oi.

The whole reason for the legal barrier of “probable cause” is to prevent LEOs from pulling anyone over for literally no good reason

"probable cause" when "driving" a motor vehicle is SO VERY LOW that the surprising part of the case is that the cop didn’t bother to fake it up.

A legal stop should be predicated on either probable cause of a criminal act

Really? What about running a red light? Don’t you want police officers stopping those who run red light?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Oi.

“Now now, not everyone can rise above the circumstances of their birth. Donald Trump is still an imbecile, after all.”

Anyone CAN rise above the circumstances of their birth, just not everyone does. And being born an imbecile is NOT a circumstance of birth. It is a circumstance of being stupid… like you! So you and Trump have that in common.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Oi.

Sorry for your cynicism. You can move if you don’t like it here.

The American Dream is alive and well, tarnished perhaps, and in need of some repair but still kicking.

Upward mobility is achievable by anyone, not always easy, in some cases extremely difficult but never impossible. Yeah we can improve on this too.

Racism is definitely still around so that is a myth, but it is not nearly as widespread as it used to be and we are working on it.

A lot of people care about veterans, if you don’t know this you are sadly misinformed.

Yeah, trickle down doesn’t work too well.

So 2 myths and the rest are fact but with room for improvement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Oi.

Your optimism is encouraging but sadly is over powered by reality.

Upward mobility is a joke to most people as they struggle to afford shelter and sustenance.

Race equality has taken severe hits lately and apparently our government is fine with that.

If we cared about vets then why are so many of them being treated like shit? If we can not afford to care for them upon their return then maybe we should not be sending them out there in the first place. And why is the VA not part of the defense budget? Is that because they do not feel responsible for the injuries they cause or is it because they simply don’t give a shit?

There are many more, perhaps they are more of a double standard than a myth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Oi.

I’m sure then you’ll be able to provide incontrovertible proof of NO ONE in America in the last 10-20 years or so, EVER having improved their situation outside of the upper class. We’re talking NO ONE, it’s never been done in the last 10-20 years in lower classes. Because even one person moving upward proves you wrong. I’m also quite sure that all the immigrants who come to America with nothing but the clothes on their backs would also like to disagree with you.

Racism is still a problem but compare it to 60 – 70 years ago, it’s in a FAR better place than it was. And I would argue that it’s not getting worse, we’re just seeing what was happening all along being exposed to the light of day. Change doesn’t happen overnight and some of these things take time.

Some vets being treated badly doesn’t equate to nobody caring about them. I personally know several vets who have nothing but great things to say about the care they receive. Exceptions are everywhere, that doesn’t mean it’s the rule. Do we need to work on those exceptions? Absolutely! There’s no excuse for treating anyone that way, but we’re a far cry from nobody “giving a shit”.

Perhaps you just live in a bubble and only care to see what you want to see.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

BUT the stop is perfectly "legal" under the current tangle.

The court disagrees with you, so there’s that. You should let them know they got it wrong. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your input.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

BUT the stop is perfectly "legal" under the current tangle.

Huh. You’re rather more right than me. Thanks for making me re-consider hasty writing.

What I MEAN is that A TRAFFIC STOP is basically for any cause, but apparently NO sufficient cause was shown here. I’m kind of surprised the cop didn’t FAKE up more, then, but I have noticed they can sometimes be honest (a bit more so if there’s video).

Case dismissed, as should be.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Was the law enforcement officer right?

Given the propensity for law enforcement officers to plant evidence, I think we cannot say with certainty that he was right.

Was the quantity of drugs substantial? Was it, say five kilograms of narcotics, more than would be convenient for a trooper to walk around with?

If not, we can’t rule out the trooper planted the evidence to justify the arrest. There are so many incidents of bad faith in law enforcement that we cannot merely accept good faith.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

“I don’t have NUMBERS, but ….”

Hahahahaha – ya dont know shit but we are all supposed to listen and nod our heads.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Hahahahaha – ya dont know shit but we are all supposed to listen and nod our heads.

OKAY, STATE SOME NUMBERS… Oh, you can’t?

Sheesh. With your comment, I think Techdirt has bottomed, so I’m OUT.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

You seem to ignore the fact that those numbers are buried by the people who can actually provide them. Think about when they were requested to provide even a guess as to how many deaths by police shootings took place every year… this is not just some minor statistic, but instead it is one of THE benchmarks that absolutely must be analyzed! Do you think they have anything on traffic stops, other than the ones that actually pans out?
Now consider the major backing that police officers has that allows them to get away with pretty much anything and then consider what would happen if they were actually able to successfully bust these guys after an illegal stop.
It would be full on “unofficial – but still well-known” support from everyone above them, with a promise of protection as long as they boost the numbers.
Maybe if there were another incentive to actually follow the law for police, like consequences for not doing so, or something that would’t count as a Win.
Instead we are stuck with protesting that they wasted our resources.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

You said previously that if you were stopped on a hunch, and had your car searched you would be unhappy, but you keep on claiming that if drugs are found the same action is OK. That make you a hypocrite of the first order.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Lying again I see

While it’s commendable that you actually tried to make your point by linking to the comment in question, you are aware that other people are capable of reading it, right? That anyone who cares to can easily read their comment, see that it’s not even remotely what you claim it is, and dismiss your claim as a lie and your accusation of hypocrisy as a baseless insult and personal attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

No surprise that Techdirt is happy that he escapes justice, though.

Agreed! That lying piece of shit cop should go right to fucking jail for perjury. There’s no room in law enforcement for asshole prick cops who are fucking liars to boot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: WHAT A COINDENCE! To be suspicious of and stop the ONE minivan with drugs concealed in spare tire! What are the odds? -- Or do all you kids nowadays run around with drugs in the spare tire so that's no surprise?

Based on the writing style of this retard advocating that the cop was right, and someone is escaping justice, I suspect you’re the same troll complaining about the Steele dossier being used in any way to get a surveillance warrant against Carter Page.

Law enforcement "good faith" and "hunches" are fine when it targets anyone other than that crooked fuck pretending to be president – amirite?

JoeCool (profile) says:

Innocent until PROVEN Guilty

Who’s to say the drugs weren’t always in the spare tire? It wouldn’t be the first time someone bought a used/almost new vehicle and something illegal was left in it from a previous owner. That’s why comments stating these people “escaped justice” are flat out wrong. They haven’t PROVEN they were guilty, even given the drugs presence in the vehicle. Suppose someone else knew this person’s route and swapped the spare tire for one with drugs that would be picked up by another person at the destination? That’s also been done before. Unknowing/unwitting mules are a thing. It just happened that suppressing the evidence was the easiest thing to do in this case, but who knows what might have come out in an actual trial. Until/unless one occurs, it’s absolutely wrong to make statements as to the accused’s guilt.

Anonymous Coward says:

damn. you mean touching those bumpy things off to the right is illegal? did they say where to turn yourself in? i’ve got a long debt to society to repay.

how about those little armadillo things between the lanes? it annoys me to hit one of them but sometimes, you know. i might should include a few thousand of them for good measure.

maybe i should also admit i sometimes drive around the speed bumps. i think we can go ahead and assume that’s illegal, too.

did they say anything about driveways? i might be dinging that penal pinball bell at home, too.

Anonymous Coward says:

This just leads me to believe that they “the police” already know which people and associated vehicles are being used ‘illegally” and allow them to flourish until deemed necessary to be removed from population .
My local paper has too many 3am pulled over for no reason stops that just happen to have drugs in them to be a coincidence unless they are pulling over way more catch and release stops that never make the paper .

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

unless they are pulling over way more catch and release stops that never make the paper .

One, if you are stopped, and nothing is found do you go to the press, or do you keep quiet less the cops target you even more often? Also, what is the story that will get the press to publish it,if nothing was found, and the person stopped cannot show malice on the part of the cop?

That One Guy says:

Re: 'Common law!', still not a magic 'I win' phrase

And I’m still not informed whether an administrator approves the "hiding".

Why must you lie? Do you think people won’t call you out on it? Provide links showing that you’re lying? Or do you honestly believe that if you simply repeat the same same laughable assertion over and over again people will start to believe you, rather than just tune you out as a ranting, dishonest spammer?

yankinwaoz (profile) says:

A failed attempt to construct an alternative reality

What are the chances this cop knew to pull over this car and check the spare tire?

I’ve been pulled over, even ticketed, a few times in my life. Not once has a cop every checked my spare tire.

It is very obvious to me what happened. The cop got a tip, probably from rival, about this car and its cargo. He just did a really bad job trying to construct an alternative reality for justify his probable cause.

Anonymous Coward says:

That is one reason to switch your bank to Wells Fargo, which I plan to do when I get one company started I want to start.

You can defeat their ERAD devices, by using a feature on their website which can allow you to de-acticvate and re-activate your card, at your him

This way if a trooper tries to use his ERAD device to take your money, from your bank account, it will not work, because the card will be inactive, meaning he cannot do anything, and the said trooper will never be the wiser that you temporarily de-activated your card.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Temporarily de-activating your card is far more preferable to using a jammer, because a trooper would have no idea you deliberately shut off your card. The device would be unable to access your account, and it would look to the cop like you had no money on that card. He would never be the wiser.

Then you can just turn it back on when you want to use it again.

I would not be surprised if other banks started offering this service.

There is no law against doing this for the purpose of preveting an ERAD device from accessing your accounts.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We're developing immunity systems for law enforcement racketeering.

Difficult-to-photograph license plates, seize-resistant bank cards, all to stop police from abusing their power.

We used implement countering devices just to deter the criminals themselves. When a ruffian caught someone unawares and took his stuff, he had to hire a thief-taker to hunt down the miscreant and errant valuables. Ironic since the thief-takers were often in on the take with the thieves.

Then the Runners and the Peelers were both organized so we didn’t have to run around with swordcanes and decorate our manor-houses with mantraps. (For real!)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We're developing immunity systems for law enforcement racketeering.

The activate/de-activate feature is also designed to shut off your card, should it ever be lost of stolen.

But the on/off feature can also be used to foil law enforcement ERAD devices, and using that service, for that purpose does not break any law.

And it would not matter it it did, as the cop would not just get anything when he used his ERAD device. It would look like an inactive card, and any LEO would never have a clue you temporarily turned off your bank card.

Anonymous Coward says:

Plain travelling

When traveling, travelers need to ensure they’re not the first person off the plane. Or the last.

When my wife and I travel on planes, we are the first on board and the last off as per the rules of the airline companies. This, at least here, is the usual practice with those who have a disability.

More and more people with disabilities (including age related problems) are taking up SUV’s as the vehicle of choice, since it quite often is easier to get into and out of such a vehicle. Vans appear to be a secondary choice for similar reasons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Snowden turned his own life upside down to expose wrong doing that he discovered as part of his job. The officer is ignoring the law to carry out illegal searches, without any evidence of wrong doing ahead of his actions.

Snowden considered his future action in blowing the whistle, and the consequences; exile or decade or longer in jail.

The officer is casually ignoring the rule of law law to search stop and search people he takes a dislike to for a petty reasons. How many other people has he held at the side of the road while he carried out a fruitless search.

Therefore Snowden can be respected, while this officer is to be despised.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Another notable difference between the two is that in Snowden’s case he knew that bad stuff was being done, and was willing to break the law to expose it.

The same can not be said in this case, where the excuse was bunk, based upon a lie and acts which aren’t illegal in the first place, such that the discovery of drugs wasn’t a case of ‘the ends justify the means’ but a lucky break.

(Possibly anyway, it could have been simple statistics, where if you pull over enough people eventually you will get a hit, or it could have been an instance of evidence laundering where they got a ‘tip’ from another agency and were flailing about trying to come up with a legal pretext for a search.)

This wasn’t breaking the law to expose a problem, it was breaking the law and by pure dumb luck it resulting in the discovery of a problem.

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