Vasquez v Lewis and Jimmerson. The case involves a stop based on a vehicle displaying a temporary tag not clearly visible because it was taped inside a tinted window. A warning was issued prior to the officers asking for permission to search the vehicle. The driver did not give consent and was detained pending arrival of a drug dog. No drugs or other evidence of a crime was found. The case seems to revolve around whether the detention after the return of the license, consent to answer additional questions, and denial of permission to search the vehicle was an unlawful Fourth Amendment violation and whether the officers should be granted qualified immunity.
An interesting quote from the case: "This Court has repeatedly admonished
law enforcement that once an officer has been assured that a temporary tag is valid, he “should . . . explain to Defendant the reason for the initial stop and then allow her to continue on her way without requiring her to produce her license and registration.” [My editorial comment: This seems to ignore that such a display behind a tinted window is a violation of state law, KSA 8-133.]
Also from the opinion: "Even under the totality of the circumstances, it is anachronistic to use state residence as a justification for the Officers’ reasonable suspicion." "Absent a demonstrated extraordinary circumstance, the continued use of state residency as a justification for the fact of or continuation of a stop is impermissible." It is important to note the residency was only one of nine things the officers listed as facts leading to their suspicion of criminal activity. The opinion also notes in footnotes:
1 The Officers also argue that Vasquez gave vague or inconsistent answers to questions about his travel plans. However, the Officers do not explain what these answers were or why they were contradictory. On reviewing the record, which contains a video recording of the interactions between the Officers and Vasquez, we cannot find anything even arguably inconsistent in Vasquez’s answers.
2 Neither the dissent nor the Officers explain how these factors, taken together, indicate suspicious behavior. The Officers instead recite them as a list of unrelated facts. But officers must explain why the factors, together, create “a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity.” Lambert, 46 F.3d at 1069 (quotation omitted ). As the Supreme Court has reminded the circuit courts, we should not and cannot review these factors in isolation. Arvizu, 534 U.S. at 273. Thus, officers must explain why the factors considered together are suspicious, and not simply recite isolated factors, leaving it to the courts to glean how they create reasonable suspicion.