Most cops are like most gun owners:  Good guys doing their job.

Unfortunately there are a very few who aren’t good guys and don’t appreciate that civilians can own and transport firearms and are even less supportive that some civilians can even carry firearms.  Want an example?

After listening to these ridiculous arguments for and against conceal carry, I have to put in my 2 cents, for what that’s worth. As a 16 year member of the CPD, I can tell you that conceal carry is a huge mistake. There’s people running around without proper training (the training they get is basically a joke) taking enforcement matters into their own hands, and getting involved in situations they don’t belong. CCW people are a major hindrance, not help, to law enforcement activity. I can tell you at least a dozen stories of how these conceal carry clowns have gotten themselves into situations where they have escalated the violence instead of tamping it down. And road rage? Yes, it does happen, although most times the CCW person just takes out his/her gun and waves it around. But that is intimidation, and these people thrive on intimidation. “Harleys and guns” is spot on in his assessment. Sorry to rain on your gun worshiping parade.

These cops sometimes will threaten to summon a dog to give your car a sniff if you refuse to consent to a search – in an effort to elicit consent from a motorist simply wanting to be on his or her way.

This Supreme Court case, just released, should give them cause to pause:

Photo via wiki.

No. 13–9972. Argued January 21, 2015—Decided April 21, 2015

Officer Struble, a K–9 officer, stopped petitioner Rodriguez for driving on a highway shoulder, a violation of Nebraska law. After Struble attended to everything relating to the stop, including, inter alia, checking the driver’s licenses of Rodriguez and his passenger and issuing a warning for the traffic offense, he asked Rodriguez for permission to walk his dog around the vehicle. When Rodriguez refused, Struble detained him until a second officer arrived. Struble then retrieved his dog, who alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. The ensuing search revealed methamphetamine. Seven or eight minutes elapsed from the time Struble issued the written warning until the dog alerted.

Rodriguez was indicted on federal drug charges. He moved to suppress the evidence seized from the vehicle on the ground, among others, that Struble had prolonged the traffic stop without reasonable suspicion in order to conduct the dog sniff. The Magistrate Judge recommended denial of the motion. He found no reasonable suspicion supporting detention once Struble issued the written warning. Under Eighth Circuit precedent, however, he concluded that prolonging the stop by “seven to eight minutes” for the dog sniff was only a de minimis intrusion on Rodriguez’s Fourth Amendment rights and was for that reason permissible. The District Court then denied the motion to suppress. Rodriguez entered a conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to five years in prison. The Eighth Circuit affirmed. Noting that the seven or eight minute delay was an acceptable “de minimis intrusion on Rodriguez’s personal liberty,” the court declined to reach the question whether Struble had reasonable suspicion to continue Rodriguez’s detention after issuing the written warning.

Held: 1. Absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures.

A routine traffic stop is more like a brief stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, than an arrest, see, e.g., Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U. S. 323, 330. Its tolerable duration is determined by the seizure’s “mission,” which is to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U. S. 405, 407 and attend to related safety concerns. Authority for the seizure ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—or reasonably should have been— completed. The Fourth Amendment may tolerate certain unrelated investigations that do not lengthen the roadside detention, Johnson, 555 U. S., at 327–328 (questioning); Caballes, 543 U. S., at 406, 408 (dog sniff), but a traffic stop “become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission” of issuing a warning ticket, id., at 407.

Beyond determining whether to issue a traffic ticket, an officer’s mission during a traffic stop typically includes checking the driver’s license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of insurance. These checks serve the same objective as enforcement of the traffic code: ensuring that vehicles on the road are operated safely and responsibly. See Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U. S. 648, 658–659. Lacking the same close connection to roadway safety as the ordinary inquiries, a dog sniff is not fairly characterized as part of the officer’s traffic mission.

In concluding that the de minimis intrusion here could be offset bythe Government’s interest in stopping the flow of illegal drugs, the Eighth Circuit relied on Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U. S. 106. The Court reasoned in Mimms that the government’s “legitimate and weighty” interest in officer safety outweighed the “de minimis” additional intrusion of requiring a driver, lawfully stopped, to exit a vehicle, id., at 110–111. The officer-safety interest recognized in Mimms, however, stemmed from the danger to the officer associated with the traffic stop itself. On-scene investigation into other crimes, in contrast, detours from the officer’s traffic-control mission and therefore gains no support from Mimms.

The Government’s argument that an officer who completes all traffic-related tasks expeditiously should earn extra time to pursue an unrelated criminal investigation is unpersuasive, for a traffic stop“prolonged beyond” the time in fact needed for the officer to complete his traffic-based inquiries is “unlawful,” Caballes, 543 U. S., at 407. The critical question is not whether the dog sniff occurs before or after the officer issues a ticket, but whether conducting the sniff adds time to the stop. Pp. 5–8.

2. The determination adopted by the District Court that detention for the dog sniff was not independently supported by individualized suspicion was not reviewed by the Eighth Circuit. That question therefore remains open for consideration on remand. P. 9.

741 F. 3d 905, vacated and remanded.
GINSBURG, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,
J., filed a dissenting opinion. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion,
in which ALITO, J., joined, and in which KENNEDY, J., joined as to all but Part III. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

11 thoughts on “GOOD: Absent reasonable suspicion, police can’t make motorists wait for dog sniff”
  1. One must still be aware that if asked and permission is given you have given up your protection under the constitution. This also sounds like a violation would possibly fall under 1983 type case where the individual officer can be sued. Remember “just say no!”

    1. If you grant consent, you may withdraw consent at anytime during the search under the 4th Amendment. But I highly doubt anyone who frequents this website has to worry about me (cops) searching their vehicles.

      We cops aren’t the enemy. Yes, there are bad cops; but most of us are just like you folks.

    2. Sometime cops overstep their authority and do searches with your express permission be denied unfortunately i didnt pursue any legal action in a resonable amount of time so unfortunately more cops are further emboldend to violate you rights

  2. I hate these sorts of situations: “I may not agree with the super harmful and illegal stuff you are doing, but I’ll defend to the death your right to do it without getting busted if there is no probable cause.”

  3. Remember these things:

    1. Record all encounters with cops;

    2. DO NOT TALK TO COPS; this includes giving consent to anything.

    3. REPHRASE anything and everything a cop says to you or asks you: Q: “Do you mind if I search your car?” A: “DO I MIND IF YOU SEARCH MY CAR? YOU MAY NOT SEARCH MY CAR> YES I MIND IF YOU SEARCH MY CAR.”

    “You got any drugs, bombs, knives, dead bodies in the car that I need to know about?” A: “Officer, I am going to exercise my constitutional right to remain silent in the face of ANY questioning and also ask you to SCRUPULOUSLY honor that exercise of my constitutional rights.”

    When these things are your word against the cop, the cop’s going to win.

    When your DASHCAM has you recorded saying these things, YOU WIN.

    No encounter with a cop ever goes IN YOUR FAVOR. PERIOD>

    Tell every young person you know these things.

    There’s no need for young lives to be ruined simply because the youth didn’t know he had RIGHTS, that even YOUNG PERSONS may exercise knowingly and intelligently.

    1. 1) Yes, please record. This is well within your first amendment rights.

      2) There are certain instances where you have to talk to us. 720 ILCS 5/31-4

      No interaction with the police result in your favor?

      So if I arrest a man beating on his wife for domestic battery; that doesn’t fall into her favor?

      You get into an automobile accident which was NOT your fault, and I take a report and issue the other driver a citation for 625 ILCS 5/11-601 (Failure to reduce speed / Accident) doesn’t fall into your favor with your insurance company?

      I pickup your teenage child that’s out past curfew, take him/her home safely, issue NO citation or documentation, that’s not acting in your child’s / your favor?

    2. Joshua, you sound like a good guy. All of my interactions with peace officers have been good, even when I was at fault (traffic related). I’ve got friends and family on the job, so I know there are lots of good cops out there.

      Unfortunately, there are some other folks here who are biased in the other direction because they have been majorly screwed over by bad cops. I try not to judge them too harshly, because I know there are plenty of bad cops out there too.

      Please don’t let any anti-cop comments reflect the vast majority of the GSL family.

    3. Don’t be offended. You can still do YOUR job even while a citizen is exercising THEIR rights.

  4. JC,

    It’s all good. I’ve got nothing against Ken, but as a LEO; I try and let people know that there are good cops out there. I know we get grouped all together, but I try and show people that there are still honorable cops out there. NOBODY hates a bad cop more than a good cop.

  5. John has pointed out time and again that GSL is pro-LEO.

    I for one am proud to be pro-cop myself. But nothing riles me up faster than a bad cop.

    Maybe if some people got as riled up over bad politicians and bad criminals…

  6. During a traffic stop be polite but never let the Officer start a conversation with you! If asked; provide DL, Reg, Ins. Say nothing other than “am I free to go?” , “there’s no reason for Us to talk.”

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