D.Colo.: Officer’s near complete failure to follow inventory policy showed it was an investigative search

The inventory of defendant’s car was clearly an investigative search, and the lack of any paper inventory and the body camera video prove it. Defendant’s cell phone wasn’t logged in, the officer said, because it was taken into the station house on defendant’s person. The video showed it on the car seat. Defendant’s clothes weren’t inventoried he said because they had no value. A gun was found under the car seat, and that was all that was mentioned. The police inventory policy generally wasn’t followed. United States v. Hernandez, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185590 (D. Colo. Nov. 7, 2017).

Defendant was stopped because the officer knew that his license was suspended, having stopped him two weeks earlier for the same offense. The officer also had admittedly seen defendant other times driving but did nothing about it. The first time the officer just ticketed him and let him go home because he was half block away. This time, defendant had just pulled into a Walmart parking lot. The vehicle’s registration was also expired. Under departmental policy, the vehicle was subject to tow and inventory, and the inventory was reasonable. Foster v. State, 2017 Ark. App. 630 (Nov. 15, 2017).*

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