Court Rules Police Can Legally Make Up Lies to Pull People Over to Fish for Criminal Behavior

Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project

The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that police officers can lie to suspects in regards to a traffic stop — even when no violation has occurred.

The ruling essentially gives police officers carte blanche to stop anyone they want for absolutely no reason — merely acting on a hunch.

According to the ruling, 

So long as the facts known to the officer establish reasonable suspicion to justify an investigatory stop, the stop is lawful even if the officer falsely cites as the basis for the stop a ground that is not supported by reasonable suspicion.

The court goes on to justify their rights violating and Stasi-esque ruling by claiming it’s okay as long as the officer truly believes the subject of his lies has criminal intent.

We emphasize, however, that although our focus is on the objectively reasonable basis for the stop, not the officers’ subjective intentions or beliefs, the facts justifying the stop must be known to officers at the time of the stop.

The case in question originated out of a federal court in Montana and involved two men accused of transporting methamphetamine.

The suspect, Hector Magallon-Lopez argued that his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated after he was stopped by an officer who lied to him about changing lanes without a signal. Magallon-Lopez argued, justly, that the evidence against him be thrown out, as it was obtained under false pretense.

The court rejected his argument.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the officer lying to Magallon-Lopez was justified so long as the officer had sufficient evidence to support this type of previously illegal investigation.

According to the ruling,

Officers working with a Drug Enforcement Administration task force obtained authorization to wiretap a suspected drug trafficker’s telephone. From the wiretap intercepts, the officers learned that: (1) on September 27, 2012, a man named Juan Sanchez would be transporting methamphetamine from the Yakima Valley in Washington to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When police found a car that matched the description of Magallon-Lopez and his friend, the cop, without witnessing any infraction of the law, pulled them over.

Although the officer had not observed any traffic violations, he told Magallon-Lopez that the reason for the stop was Magallon-Lopez’s failure to signal properly before changing lanes. The officer knew this was not the real reason for the stop, but he did not want to disclose at that point the true nature of the investigation.

A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded two pounds of methamphetamine.

Using the War on Drugs to justify the complete dismantling of the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has opened yet another door to despotism.

Police officers are already required to have reasonable suspicion of a crime prior to detaining citizens, which makes this ruling entirely irrelevant as a tool to aid law enforcement in catching the bad guys. If police already had reasonable articulable suspicion that Magallon-Lopez was breaking the law, lying to the man about why he was stopped becomes trivial and yet simultaneously nefarious.

Police abusing questionable rulings granted to them as tools under the color of law — is a common practice. How many innocent people will be targeted by a cop who has a hunch, as a result of this ruling? If history is any indicator, there are likely thousands of future innocent victims just waiting to come across with the wrong cop acting on his skewed intuition anxiously awaiting for the right moment to dole out roadside sodomy in search of a plant.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4109 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Michael White

    Sorry, this one’s bullshit, guys. The court didn’t say they could make up reasons to stop people, they said it was OK to lie to protect the investigation. They had PC, through the wiretap, to stop the car. There’s enough real shit happening without you misrepresenting facts in a case to push an agenda.

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  • fred munter

    they need reasonable suspicion, thats the bottom line.

    • Michael White

      Did you not read the article? The wiretap? Or did you just read the headline and start foaming at the mouth?

      • fred munter

        You seem to be quite ignorant. I see many cases like this go to court that have zero prospect of succeeding.

        1. “wiretap” is irrelevant. Separate issue, and would have been obtained through a warrant.

        2. 2nd para “The ruling essentially gives police officers carte blanche to stop anyone they want for absolutely no reason — merely acting on a hunch”. This has been the case since time immemorial. All police do this everywhere. They have no obligation to be truthful to you , any more than you have to be to them. Your Miranda Rights essentially force you to give them your name, perhaps address, but when they ask any other questions such as have you been drinking, are you married, you can tell them you are Porky Pig from PLanet X if you like, as there is no legal obligation on you to give up this information..

        3. Police still need reasonable suspicion, they cannot stop you on a whim, except when in charge of a vehicle; then Police normally have the right to pull you up for a spot check – so in effect, they dont need a reason when you are driving..

        4. Yes they had reasonable suspicion from the wiretap – so do you think he is going to say “We pulled you over as we have had a wiretap on you?” They would have to have their guns drawn in that scenario. They chose to play it low key, under the guise of a traffic infringement. Perfectly legal. Always has been.

        This article is a non event and old news. Anything else I need to school you in?

        • Michael White

          PC was established with the wiretap, you moron. Go back to facebook law school. Fucking window lickers think they know things….

          • fred munter

            Yes you fucking moron, with the wiretap, and that is irrelevant, as with or without it, the cop can still spot check a driver. Christ you are duuuuumb. You talk about Facebook law school, yet you are the gimboid who cannot grasp this situation. STFU about law if you cant understand it, retard.

          • Michael White

            I understand it perfectly, clearly, you do not. I’m done wasting my time typing to someone who’s more interested in their insulting skills than their knowledge, both of which are subpar at best. Stay stupid.

          • fred munter

            No you dont understand it at all, let alone perfectly. Like I said, dont talk about law if it is out of your depth….some IQ is required, dork breath.

    • J.j. Erler

      Exactly… while someone with no knowledge of law may assume reasonable suspicion means the cop being suspicious, reasonable suspicion has a specific legal meaning that is more than that… he has to actually have a real legitimate reason for stopping you, at least one the court considers legitimate. Having a hunch or suspicion with no other reason behind it is NOT considered reasonable suspicion. The keyword is reasonable.