IA: Officer’s inquiry into a backpack unreasonably extended the stop

Defendant was stopped because there was a plastic film over his license plate that made one of the letters illegible in headlights. The purpose of the stop was complete within 3-4 minutes. The officer, however, suddenly became interested in a backpack between two adults in the car, and started asking questions about it, and that made the defendant nervous. While it was a high crime area, possession of a backpack by an adult is not inherently suspicious [he’s never ridden on an airplane where many adults travel with only backpacks]. The stop ran too long because the officer got off the traffic stop into something not his business. State v. McFadden, 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 991 (Sept. 27, 2017).

This entry was posted in Reasonable suspicion. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.