Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"[I]t is anachronistic to use state residence as a justification . . . for reasonable suspicion."

Does driving a car with tags from Colorado (or California or DC or Michigan) make you a suspicious person? Is I-70 a "known drug corridor" that only suspicious people would use?

No, no, and stop saying that, says the Tenth Circuit to Kansas Highway Patrol Officers Richard Jimerson and Dax Lewis, in an opinion reversing the district court's grant of qualified immunity to the officers in a civil action against them:

"Absent a demonstrated extraordinary circumstance, the continued use of state residency as a justification for the fact of or continuation of a stop is impermissible."

"[T]hat Vasquez was driving on I-70 does not make his otherwise innocent conduct suspicious. I-70 is a major corridor between Colorado and the East Coast. It could equally be said that it is suspicious to not drive from Colorado to Maryland along I-70."

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