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Court considers police questioning during routine stops

Officers trained to ask questions unrelated to traffic violations
Posted by Richard Moore
November 15, 2018

When it comes to the Fourth Amendment, recent state Supreme Court decisions have come under fire from both civil-libertarian conservatives and liberals, and now yet another potentially important search and seizure case is headed its way.

This time the court will consider when and under what conditions police can expand their scope of questioning when they make routine traffic stops.

In the case, State v. John Wright, an appeals court judge, Joan Kessler, agreed with a Milwaukee circuit court that police violated the constitutional rights of John P. Wright after they stopped him for a broken headlight and then subsequently arrested him for carrying a gun in his glove compartment without a concealed carry permit.

Wright later sued to suppress the firearm evidence. He says police had no reasonable suspicion to question him about firearms, and questions unrelated to the broken headlight led to an unreasonable search and seizure. Read Moore