Air fresheners, rosaries, and pro-police car stickers give cops a justifiable reason to pull over a car, ruled the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals. The ruling was based on a 2011 Texas case in which a police officer pulled over a car that had those items on display. The officer suspected the occupants were transporting drugs. The officer search the car and didn't find drugs, but he found cash, which he confiscated. The driver was sent to jail.
From the court's decision:
We do have concerns that classifying pro-law enforcement and anti-drug stickers or certain religious imagery as indicators of criminal activity risks putting drivers in a classic "heads I win, tails you lose" position. But we need not decide whether these items alone, or in combination with one another, amount to reasonable suspicion because we find the more suspicious evidence to be the array of air fresheners and inconsistencies in the driver’s responses to the officer’s basic questions. We have long recognized that the presence of air fresheners, let alone four of them placed throughout an SUV, suggests a desire to mask the odor of contraband.
Court Declares Air Fresheners, Pro-Police Stickers as Reasonable Suspicion for Cops to Pull You Over
Image: "Wunderbaum". Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
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