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Federal Court Rules Police Can Stop and Search You for Innocent Behavior

under Crime Stories, Personal Injury

By Larry Bodine, Publisher, National Trial Lawyers Under the U.S. Constitution, the police must have a “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity before they can stop and search you. But a new ruling by a federal appellate court upended 225 years of legal protection for Americans, saying it is permissible for the cops to stop you for perfectly innocent behavior. It happened to Cindy Lee Westhoven, who was returning from a shopping trip one evening and taking the scenic route home. She was driving under the speed limit with her hands at the “ten-and-two” position on the steering wheel when a cop started tailing her. He ran her plates and found no warrants for her. Astonishingly, the court found that this scenario created a reasonable suspicion for an “investigative stop” – because the policeman injected an ominous context that would make anybody look guilty. “Although the factors, in isolation, may be…

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