March 31, 2014

Idaho Police Sued in Federal Court for ‘License Plate Profiling’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:43 am

idaho-state-police-trooper-marijuana-license-plate-profiling-640x344A civil lawsuit has been filed in Idaho Federal District Court by plaintiff Darien E. Roseen alleging that several defendant Idaho law enforcement agencies including the Idaho State Police, the Fruitland City Police Department, and the Payette County Sheriff’s Office committed acts under the color of law which deprived Roseen of protected rights, privileges, and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the ISP and other law enforcement agencies target vehicles traveling in Idaho and bearing license plates from states such as Washington and Colorado which have legalized the possession of marijuana.  It implies that when necessary, the ISP and others have used pretexts to stop vehicles and then intimidate vehicle operators to give consent to search vehicles without sufficient probable cause.

The lawsuit was reported in the Denver Post online article dated March 29, 2014, and headlined Colorado man sues Idaho police over “license plate profiling” in marijuana case.  It was also reported on the website on March 28, 2014, in a post entitled Troopers ‘License Plate Profiling’ in Idaho for Marijuana.

The 25-page civil complaint supporting the allegation was filed in the Federal District Court of Idaho on March 26, 2014.

Nothing illegal was found during the search of Roseen’s vehicle.

If the allegations in the complaint are proven at trial, then the public should be very, very concerned that the profiling practice was either explicitly or implicitly approved by the Idaho State Police’s command structure and condoned by other Idaho law enforcement agencies.

The detail and wording in the federal civil complaint suggests that Mr. Roseen has engaged legal counsel who knows how to expose and prove questionable if not outright illegal law enforcement practices. Just like former CdAPD LT Dan Dixon, Mr. Roseen and his counsel wisely sought to get this case into federal court and out of the hands of “local control” judges in Idaho’s district courts.

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