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Article posted Dec 24 2012, 3:35 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: The Newspaper Print

Utah: Traffic Stop Valid Even When Cop Causes Violation

Federal judge upholds stop for a left-lane violation even when presence of cop car caused traffic to slow.

A police officer can pull over a motorist for a traffic violation even if the officer himself caused the driver to commit the infraction, a federal judge ruled last Tuesday. US District Judge Ted Stewart made the decision in the case of Hickory W. McCoy, who was pulled over on January 24, 2012 while traveling just under the speed limit in the left lane of Interstate 80 in Utah.

Highway Patrol Trooper Randy Riches was running a speed trap on the side of the road, about 150 feet from where the speed limit drops from 75 MPH to 65 MPH. Just before noon, McCoy's rented 2011 Chevrolet Malibu passed by at a legal 73 MPH. Riches pulled onto the highway and began racing after the Malibu at 88 MPH, hoping to catch it speeding. Instead, as he followed for a mile and a half, the Malibu was driving a legal 62 MPH in the left lane. Another vehicle was passing in the right lane at the time.

Trooper Riches pulled over the Malibu on the grounds that it was blocking traffic in the left lane. Under Utah law, it is unlawful to dawdle in the fast lane, blocking faster traffic, unless "avoiding actual or potential traffic" in the right-hand lane. McCoy's attorney, Randall Gaither, said the trooper was the one driving dangerously.

"The Highway Patrol officer drove at an excessive speed of over 88 miles per hour with no lights or siren down the Interstate in the right lane of travel pursuing the vehicle without any observation of a traffic offense," Gaither told the court. "The vehicle was driven in an aggressive manner without any emergency exception. The position and manner of driving by the patrol unit would have reasonably affected the drivers on the roadway. The trooper began following the vehicle and restricted the movement of the vehicle into the right lane... The only clear traffic violation is the excessive speed of the patrol vehicle driving and passing cars in the right lane."

In court, Trooper Riches asserted the Malibu had room to get into the right lane, even though the patrol car was approaching 25 MPH faster than the rest of traffic on the road.

"Even accepting as true defendant's assertion that, due to the actions of Trooper Riches no violation of [the left-lane statute] occurred, the outcome is unchanged because the court finds that Trooper Riches's assessment of the facts giving rise to the violation was reasonable," Judge Stewart concluded. "In sum, the court finds that the totality of the circumstances support a finding that, at the inception of the instant traffic stop, Trooper Riches had a reasonable articulable suspicion that defendant committed a traffic violation under the laws of the state of Utah. For this reason, the court will deny defendant's motion to suppress."

As a result, McCoy will stand trial for charges for possession of marijuana and an Intratec 9mm. A copy of the judge's ruling is available in a PDF file at the source link below.

Source: US v. McCoy (US District Court, District of Utah, 12/18/2012)

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Comments 1 - 10 of 10 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Dec 25 2012, 12:42 AM

67164 Well there's the real reason at the end. If he didn't have the gun and the weed he would have got away with it.

Also no mention of it was legal or not for him to have the gun. I'm guessing not and the judge didn't want to see him get away with illegal search and seizure so he pulled the verdict out of his ass so he can stand trial.

Posted: Dec 25 2012, 12:58 AM

7522 It's important to understand that judge's decision was not that McCoy has committed traffic violation, but that in the eyes of the trooper, he _might_ have committed it - enough to stop him.

Even when stopped, McCoy shouldn't have consented to the search of the vehicle.

Posted: Dec 25 2012, 5:05 AM

67164 Well, it sounds like there was his problem. The guy should have said the magic words, "I do not consent to any searches" and asked if he was free to go.

Posted: Dec 25 2012, 7:07 AM

75174 Welkom to Amerika. The judges are independedent, legal scholars. Bawahahahahahahah!

Posted: Dec 26 2012, 1:28 AM

68184 well there are many ways to get your backs in a situation like this. If cops want to play dirty then people are going to have to get dirty also.

Posted: Dec 26 2012, 1:00 PM

173242 And yet more nuttiness out of Utah. No surprise there.

Posted: Dec 27 2012, 4:31 AM

74235 They should have to mail us all the rules and regulations and constant updates in the law, it's not like everybody studies the contradicting BS anyways! Since they are always adapting it to make more money, they should at least let us all know what all the laws are!

Posted: Dec 30 2012, 10:21 AM

65183 Courts supporting illegal cop behavoir. Seen it too many times lately. Law enforcement is out of control across the country with the courts backing them up.

Posted: Dec 30 2012, 10:26 AM

65183 In Arizona I've seen patrol cars come racing up behind motorists, then back off, then speed up to them, over and over. Finally pulling the car over because it was driving "Irratically". This also happened to my friend and she couldn't figure out what the heck was going on back there. Now she's fighting these bs tickets and it's very expensive. Didn't cost the cop a thing. In Arizona they'll do anything possible to write tickets. One traffic cam in Chandler Arizona is located where the speed drops. Nobody knows that this "red light camera" is also a speed camera. Over 17,000 tickets issued in 2010 and the camera was broken for 3 months. It's a trap! But the courts and cops don't see it that way. There are a couple hundred thousand unpaid camera tickets in Arizona. Finally they're getting rid of some of the cameras. Nobody will pay the bs tickets.

Posted: Nov 05 2014, 5:07 AM

6687 11/5/14 20 mi out of SLC got pulled over for the 3rd time that day and for the third time I did not commit any traffic or other offense and for the 3rd time I denied consent to search...only this time near SLC they still detained me and searched my vehicle all while I'm clearlry stating I do not give consent....I believe without a doubt I was profiled all 3 times because I had a nice car, which was a rental...beware of obamas police state its happening
Comments 1 - 10 of 10 Page 1 of 1

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