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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    5

    Default Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Wisconsin

    I recently purchased a car in Baltimore MD, and was driving it home to Fargo ND. Half way through the trip, I stayed in Chicago for a couple days with some friends. I had the title, previous owners insurance card, MD license plate on the rear, and cashiers check receipt for payment.

    I was pulled over for speeding, 80 in a 65 (mph) or something close to it. The officer immediately started asking questions after seeing my ND id, and the car being from MD. I told him I flew out to Baltimore to get it, he had asked where my 'stuff' was. I told him in the trunk. I informed him that I had just purchased it and was driving it home. He then said I would need to post bail for the ticket which was $200.05... so I handed him a Visa card. I then grabbed my phone to respond to a text (thinking he was going to run the card back in his car) and he kind of sat at my passenger window and stared at me, and then asked if I was upset. I told him I'm obviously not happy I just received a $200 ticket... and he returned to his vehicle.

    He then came back with a Canine and said I'm going to run this dog around your car, roll up your windows and keep your hands on the wheel. The dog walked around the car and did nothing. He then opened up the passenger door, and was leading the dog with his hand kind of snapping his fingers (not sure what exactly he was doing). The dog let out a small bark and he then called for 2 backups for a positive canine, and was going to search the vehicle.

    He stated I was not under arrest but going to be placed in handcuffs. He did not read me my rights. I was wearing basketball shorts, loafers and a t-shirt and had absolutely nothing on me. This was on the side of the interstate in the middle of nowhere. Another officer stood next to me the entire time, while 2 other officers searched the car. I advised him nothing was in it. They brought out a tool set, and started taking apart multiple pieces of the interior.

    He searched the car for about an hour, comes back and asked me a bunch of leading questions. Questions like, do you do drugs? Do your friends do drugs? What about the ones in Chicago? What do you know about the previous owner? Does he do drugs? And made statements like, I know drugs have been in this car. I just told him no no no and shook my head. The car was on air ride suspension so it had an air tank in the trunk to operate it. He asked what it was and I responded an air tank. His response was "no shit." I then told him what it was for after he would not rephrase the question in a more professional manner.

    I asked if I was under arrest or what the problem was, because there was clearly no drugs or weapons in the vehicle. They then went back to the car, taking more things apart and kept searching for about another half hour. They let the canine inside of the vehicle walking on the front seats, as well as the rear. When all was done, they left multiple pieces of interior ripped apart. There was dirt under the carpet in the trunk, and spare parts with grease on them. He had thrown my clothes and a hat all over, getting grease on them and ruining them.

    There was clearly 0 respect toward me and he was trying as hard as he could to get some dirt on me to arrest me. He damaged my property and wasted about 2 hours of my day sitting in handcuffs when I was clearly not a threat, and drilled me with leading questions. I'm not sure if any parts of the search were illegal, I'm not familiar with the law and this has never happened to me before. I do not believe there was any reasonable cause to search the vehicle. Can a person not purchase a car these days? It's really not that radical of an idea.

    Nothing was found in the car. He was very short with words at the end, clearly upset he couldn't arrest me. Gave me the ticket and simply said "you're free to go."


    I am wondering if there was anything illegal done during this search. I am going to request a video from the car and bring it to my lawyer. My property has been damaged and I feel violated / harassed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    126

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    Contrary to popular belief he's not obligated to "read you your rights" (that only happens on TV) if he were going to use anything you said against you he would have read you your rights......his style is somewhat heavy handed but you're lucky that he didn't have your car impounded if the ownership was nebulous (previous owners insurance card ? How does that cover you?) Chances are that if you bought a fancy car in Baltimore it had some coke residue in it (about 50% of newer cars do) If he sez the dog alerted (Probable cause) to search......you can retain an attorney ($$) and do a pound of paperwork and even file suit in federal court for civil rights violations if your attorney has nothing better to do......if you are Black or White Hispanic it might help.....you can enlist the NAACP or any one of the crusading civil rights organizations.......he's a heavy hitter drug seizer.....the reason he didn't have your car impounded is that you didnt do enough to piss him off and he wanted to get back on the road and look for seizures and not get tied up with the paperwork of towing and storing your car........ever hear of Timothy McVeigh ? He got grabbed under similar circumstances.......out of state plate hanging by one rusty screw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    5

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    Anyoneeeeeeeeeee?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,761

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    First, what makes you think there is video in the officer's vehicle? There may be, but not all police vehicles have video (in my state most do NOT) and they are not operating continuously forever.

    If you have property that has been damaged, you can make a claim to the agency that employed the officer(s).

    If you feel the officers acted unprofessionally or improperly, then you can make a personnel complaint to the agency.

    If your attorney is willing to try and sue the agency without charging you any money up front (assuming that he can identify a valid claim), then maybe it's worth it.

    Ordinarily, a dog being walked around a vehicle is not a search that requires any probable cause. Opening the door to your car might have been problematic had there been some evidence discovered, and MIGHT be an issue with regards to a claim for an unlawful detention. Whether this detention will be worth traveling back to where this occurred and paying an attorney a lot of money is something you will have to decide for yourself.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,109

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    the opening of the door is a problem. It is an illegal action given the situation (presuming the dog did not alert on his walk around). The problem: there was no negative result of the action. While it is a violation of your rights, generally this is not going to be a big cash payout. File a complaint with the department head of whatever police agency this was. Make a claim for any actual damages you have, if any and then let it go.


    was the dog with the officer that stopped you or did the dog have to be brought in? If brought to the scene, did you have to wait? If so, how long?
    the answers to those questions really isn't going to change what I already said but if you had to wait for the dog to be brought to the scene, there could be a problem with an unlawful detention. Again, since nothing came of it, it really isn't going to be worth the trouble to attempt to make a fuss about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    5

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    The dog was not called in, it was a K-9 vehicle. It did not react at all outside of my vehicle. And my intentions are not to get some big cash payout by suing the state, just reimbursed for the property that was damaged... as well as the officer being recognized for his actions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    If they damaged your clothing you can likely file a claim if you like. Next time, don't answer any questions ...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    Quote Quoting KBERGLUND
    View Post
    The dog was not called in, it was a K-9 vehicle. It did not react at all outside of my vehicle. And my intentions are not to get some big cash payout by suing the state, just reimbursed for the property that was damaged... as well as the officer being recognized for his actions.
    Then make a claim for the damages with supporting documents to support the claim for cleaning, replacement and repair, and make a personnel complaint for the actions of the officer.

    Though, I suspect he will say that you gave direct or implied consent when he opened the door ... maybe.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Though, I suspect he will say that you gave direct or implied consent when he opened the door ... maybe.

    This is why I would love to see the video. And being 2012 and a K-9 unit I would assume most would have them by now?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    14,761

    Default Re: Traffic Stop Turned Into a Canine, Drug Search

    Quote Quoting KBERGLUND
    View Post
    This is why I would love to see the video. And being 2012 and a K-9 unit I would assume most would have them by now?
    Not in my state. Those systems are too expensive for many agencies even in 2012. But, the agency employing the dog may have had video ... and it may have even been turned on.

    Also, you need to understand what implied consent might entail ... "I'm going to search the car with the dog, okay?" and if you did not respond or refuse, he can try and take that as implied consent. There are a number of ways. Whether that occurred here, or not, I can't say. But, if you make the complaint the agency should review the incident and review any video0. They may not be obligated to provide YOU with the video absent a court order (which would mean a lawsuit against the agency or seeking public records, or a criminal court case).
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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