CA10: Being a resident of Colorado is not reasonable suspicion for detention

“This case asks us to determine whether, under the totality of circumstances, Kansas Highway
Patrol Officers Richard Jimerson and Dax Lewis … had reasonable suspicion to detain and search the vehicle of Peter Vasquez. In particular, this case presents the question of what weight to afford the state citizenship of a motorist in determining the validity of a search. Vasquez alleges that after stopping him for a traffic violation, the Officers detained him and searched his car without reasonable suspicion. As justification, the Officers assert, among other indicators detailed herein, Vasquez was a citizen of Colorado, driving alone on Interstate 70 from Colorado through Kansas, in the middle of the night, in a recently purchased, older-model car. [¶] The district court concluded the Officers were entitled to qualified immunity because Vasquez’s asserted right was not clearly established. We disagree. We conclude that the Officers acted without reasonable suspicion and violated clearly established precedent. In particular, we conclude that the Officers impermissibly relied on Vasquez’s status as a resident of Colorado to justify the search of his vehicle.” Vasquez v. Lewis, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15424 (10th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016).

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