Court: Cops can’t Stop Drivers Based on the Color of their Cars

9 Jul

Good news for the sports car drivers!  My guess is that it won’t take long for this case to lead to a finding that Cops can’t stop drivers based on the make of their car either.  So that Red Mustang won’t be quite as likely to get you pulled over 🙂  **DB

 

Court: Cops can’t Stop Drivers Based on the Color of their Cars

By Justin Hyde via “Yahoo News

Photo illustration: Yahoo Autos

“Probable cause” has long been one of those terms that made the jump from legal jargon to household term, especially with regards to drivers who get pulled over. The struggle over what that allows on American roads — and what it doesn’t — took a new turn last week with a Florida ruling that threw out a conviction stemming from a police officer who found something wrong with the color of a car.

In 2010, a deputy in Florida’s Escambia County saw one Kendrick Van Teamer drive by in a bright green Chevrolet. The deputy ran his plates, and found the registration matched a blue Chevrolet. There were no warrants out for Teamer, no reports of stolen vehicles and no pending crimes that involved either a blue or green Chevy. Teamer also wasn’t violating any traffic laws.

But the deputy pulled Teamer over anyway, simply because of the mismatch of the car’s color. Teamer said the car had been recently painted, which was true. It also contained small amounts of cocaine, marijuana and $1,100 in cash. Teamer was charged with drug trafficking and possession, convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

Teamer appealed, and last week as noted by The Newspaper, the Florida Supreme Court ordered him freed on a 5-2 decision, upholding a lower appeals court ruling that the deputy was wrong to stop Teamer simply becuase the color of his car didn’t match its registration. The court noted that in numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings, justices have found police can’t pull someone over for everday behavior that’s not linked to a crime, saying Teamer’s stop was not different from those triggered by the race of the driver: . . . .

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