Dashcam and bodycam undermine reasonable suspicion in two cases

These two make one wonder how many times officers have just fabricated reasonable suspicion and courts have bought it:

The dashcam video supports the defendant’s argument that he was stopped without reasonable suspicion of driving with lights off when they should have been on. The stop for following too close is also unsupported. The highway was nearly empty. Suppressed. United States v. Dominguez-Fernand, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76368 (S.D.Ind. June 13, 2016).

The bodycam videos conflict with the officers’ testimony and show no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s patdown. Suppressed. United States v. Adkinson, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75638 (E.D.Va. June 8, 2016):

The Court finds no credible evidence that the officers had a reasonable suspicion Defendant was armed and dangerous. The Government presented evidence through three of the officers’ testimonies and body camera videos. However, there were numerous conflicts in the evidence. Officer Angsten testified he only saw Defendant move towards his waistband once, although in one of his reports he indicated under penalty of perjury that he saw Defendant move towards his waistband several times. Officer Angsten is the only officer that alleges he saw Defendant reach towards his waistband. The other officers testified that they did not see Defendant reach towards his waistband, and he was compliant after being instructed to place his hands on the dashboard. Officer Angsten also did not indicate in his reports as required that his body camera was disconnected during the traffic stop. Additionally, the police reports do not mention that the Defendants appeared “wide eyed” when they initially drove by the officers, which the Government now alleges was suspicious behavior.

Officer Angsten also testified that the procedure for dealing with a suspected armed person is to conduct a pat down immediately. However, even after he allegedly saw Defendant reach toward his waistband and instructed Defendant to put his hands on the dashboard, the evidence indicates that the officers waited several minutes before attempting to conduct a pat down of Defendant and continued to arrest the driver while Defendant was unrestrained. Furthermore, after officer Amarillo instructed Defendant to keep his hands on the dashboard, he observed the Defendant and continued to observe the arrest of the driver simultaneously from the driver’s side of the vehicle, turning away from the Defendant who was in the front passenger seat several times. Taken as a whole, these circumstances do not indicate the officers had a reasonable suspicion that Defendant was armed and dangerous to warrant a pat down.

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