E.D.N.C.: When there is RS, officers do not need to rule out innocent explanations

Where there is reasonable suspicion to pull over and keep a driver detained, the officer need not rule out innocent explanations for defendant’s conduct. United States v. Smith, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69687 (E.D. N.C. Mar. 17, 2021):

The Supreme Court has explained that “[a] determination that reasonable suspicion exists … need not rule out the possibility of innocent conduct.” United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 277, 122 S. Ct. 744, 151 L. Ed. 2d 740 (2002); Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. 393, 134 S. Ct. 1683, 188 L. Ed. 2d 680 (2014) (explaining that there could be reasonable suspicion of drunk driving even if “the reported behavior might also be explained by, for example, a driver responding to ‘an unruly child or other distraction.'”); United States v. Black, 525 F.3d 359, 366 (4th Cir. 2008) (“Surely, there could be other explanations for Black’s actions and what the officers observed, but a reasonable suspicion need not rule out all innocent explanations; it need only be a suspicion, albeit a reasonable one.”).

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