As traffic trial begins, Highway Patrol admits not following troopers’ rights violations

from so it’s easier to pretend they’re good cops department

The ACLU is helping victims of the Kansas Highway Patrol hold the agency (and its troopers) accountable for their actions. Many lawsuits have been filed against the “Kansas Two-Step” by the troopers. After issuing citations or otherwise clarifying when drivers are free to go, troopers take a step back to the vehicle to begin asking probing questions or otherwise pulling things over until the sniffer dog arrives.

Unless the officer has probable cause to extend the stop, they cannot. That much became clear in 2015 of the Supreme Court Rodriguez a decision stating that a traffic stop ends when the objective is accomplished. If someone was speeding, it ends when they are given a speeding ticket or warning. Dragging things out in hopes of meeting probable cause is not constitutional.

There is another case here, a 2016 decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Vasquez ruling stating that officers cannot use the presence of license plates as part of the reasonable suspicion matrix. Given that the highway patrol patrols the interstate highways, they should expect to see a lot of out-of-state license plates. And if it is common, then it cannot be “suspicious”.

But the Kansas Highway Patrol continues to operate in defiance of both of these precedents. Roughly.

The lawsuit says 96% of KHP’s civil asset forfeitures in 2019 involved drivers driving on Interstate 70. In 2017, drivers with out-of-state license plates accounted for 93% of KHP’s traffic stops.

A lawsuit currently underway in Kansas involves KHP and specifically (soon-to-be former) Patrolman Herman Jones, who conducted one of these “two-step” stops on a Colorado family traveling cross-country in their RV. . Jones extended the stop after issuing a warning for crossing the fog line. He then detained the family for another 40 minutes to allow a drug dog to sniff them and throw them inside the RV by three troopers. Nothing illegal was found, but the troops still managed to damage the toilet, throw clothes everywhere and break the bathroom door from its frame.

It’s an eight-day bench trial. It seems that the first day of the trial did not go well for CSO and its defenders. And it begins with an unwitting admission of how law enforcement views constitutional rights. That’s what officers are like trained view the law according to the person doing the training.

“The purpose of (blocking) training is for troopers to understand the limitations of the Fourth Amendment” and “what the relevant case law allows them to do,” testified Sarah Washburn, a criminal attorney and former Fourth Amendment and blocking instructor for KHP troopers. Friday.

Officers are not “restricted” by the Fourth Amendment. That’s not the point of this training. It’s there to instruct officers on how to circumvent constitutional protections and (hopefully) get away with it.

This fact is even more ridiculous. KHP has not changed its policy regarding traffic stops Vasquez decision a precedent set by rights abuses by its own officers.

KHP Trooper Brent Holden appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas, where he testified that no policy changes have been made at KHP since the Vasquez decision.

Washburn, a supposed expert on training and testing, admitted he didn’t even bother adding the 2016 ruling to his training until 2020, then only instructing officers on how to get “consent” from drivers for extended stops and searches.

He also admitted that there was no way for him to know if this training was effective or if it was leading to more questionable stops. There is absolutely no follow-up from those giving instructions to the state troops.

There is also no follow-up within KHP, which has repeatedly sued over the past few years for violating the rights of out-of-state drivers.

Holden testified that KHP does not have a system for maintaining information about service members who violate the rights of drivers..

He said remedial training is not required for troopers who have violated the rights of drivers during traffic stops..

The course encourages officers to override constitutional protections and judicial precedent. Their employer can’t even be bothered to pretend to care about the rights violated by the officers. And that combination seems to have worked. At least until now. If this is what law enforcement admits at the outset of this case, it will be extremely difficult for KHP to walk away with a victory in this lawsuit.

Is presented. 4th Amendment, civil asset forfeiture, Kansas, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas two-step, probable cause, traffic stops

Companies: aclu

Source link