Remember when suspicion meant “it looked like a person was doing something wrong”? Those days are long gone.
A state trooper in Idaho arrested and searched a 70-year-old Washington man’s vehicle based solely on his Colorado license plate. Weed is legal in Colorado. I’m sure you’re already aware. The man is now suing.
Here’s the story from CBS Seattle:
Darien Roseen was driving along I-84 between his second home in Colorado and Washington state on Jan. 25 when Idaho State Trooper Justin Klitch “immediately” pulled out from the Interstate median and began “rapidly accelerating” to catch up to Roseen, according to the complaint in a Courthouse News Service report. Exiting at a designated rest area, Roseen says he became “uncomfortable” that Klitch had followed him though he had not “done anything wrong.”
After pulling Roseen over, the cop reportedly failed to explain why he stopped him. He later said he made the stop because Roseen “failed to use his signal when pulling off on the exit, and because he bumped the curb.”
Then the scene turned into a sketch from a college demonstration about pot.
The complaint states that Klitch asked Roseen why his eyes “appeared glassy,” while failing to ask him for his proof of insurance, registration, or returning to his vehicle to verify Roseen’s license. He then accused Roseen of “having something in his vehicle that he should not have.”
“After Mr. Roseen identified his possession of valid prescription medications, Trooper Klitch asked him, ‘When is the last time you used any marijuana?’ thereby assuming that Mr. Roseen had, in fact, used marijuana and inferring that he had used it recently,” according to the complaint.
Klitch repeatedly asked to search Roseen’s vehicle as he accused him of “hiding” something. And when Roseen did not grant him permission, Klitch threatened to bring in a drug-sniffing dog and characterized Roseen’s behavior as “consistent with a person who was hiding something illegal.”
Finally consenting to a search of “parts” of the vehicle to get “back on the road faster,” Roseen says that this proved to be a mistake.
Guess what they eventually found? Anyway, the guy is suing because he claims the plates are the reason the cop made the stop because he didn’t mention anything about jumping curbs or failing to use signals.
This all could have been avoided with Visine and those license plates that rotate like in James Bond movies.
Lawsuit: Man Arrested, Searched For Marijuana Solely For Having Colorado License Plate [CBS Seattle]