The alleged conduct of a Denver police officer during a traffic stop has resulted in a civil rights violation case making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It all began with a woman driver accused of driving erratically by a Denver police officer after she claims to have had to quickly changed lanes to avoid a collision with the police officer that she says cut her off.
Though she at first allowed to drive away without receiving a ticket, the police officer then made an accusation that she ran over his foot while she drove away. The police officer recanted this allegation in court, but ten days after the stop he then tracked the woman down at work and issued her a traffic violations ticket for a supposed improper lane change. Her SUV was then impounded and later sold after she refused to pay the impound charge.
If what the woman claims is true, we hope that the actions of the police officer are not typical when it comes to traffic violation type cases. However, it does demonstrate the type of power that officers and police departments have over individuals that are pulled over for traffic stops. And that power can sometimes be abused.
There are occasions when arresting officers will pursue criminal charges against those arrested for reasons that have nothing to do with the violation of a law. Without an experienced criminal attorney present, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to demonstrate that the arrest was in any way improper.
Source: Fox 31 Denver, “U.S. Supreme Court to review Denver civil rights violation case,” by Jon Bowman, May 3, 2013