Thursday, September 21, 2023
Google search engine
HomeNational US'Kansas two-step' highway patrol technique ruled unconstitutional for marijuana vehicle search

‘Kansas two-step’ highway patrol technique ruled unconstitutional for marijuana vehicle search

The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) has been ordered by a federal judge to stop its infamous “two-step” technique, which it says violates people’s Fourth Amendment rights. The technique centers around out-of-state drivers, mostly from Colorado and Missouri — states where pot is legal — finding marijuana in Kansas. Possession of marijuana is illegal in Kansas.

In an order filed Friday, U.S. District Judge Katherine H. Wertle wrote that the patrol’s tactics in traffic stops violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The Kansas Highway Patrol is under fire for their controversial “Kansas Two Step” maneuver. (Kansas Highway Patrol via Facebook)

The “two-step” is a technique, reportedly taught to officers by KHP Superintendent Herman Jones, where officers begin to walk back to their cruisers after completing a routine traffic stop and then turn around to enter the vehicle and begin a separate effort to search for marijuana.

Because marijuana is illegal in Kansas, but legal in Colorado and Missouri, officers were often able to find the drug and charge the driver.

“The war is fundamentally a question of numbers: Stop enough cars, and you’re bound to discover drugs,” said the opinion brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas (ACLU) and Spencer Fein LLP. “And what’s wrong if a few constitutional rights are violated along the way.”

A 76-year-old woman was charged with negligence at a Kansas hospital

KHP has “waged a war against motorists – particularly out-of-state residents traveling between Colorado and Missouri on federal highway I-70 in Kansas,” the opinion said.

“All drivers on I-70 have moving targets on their backs,” Roy said.

The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and Spencer Fane LLP, are Blaine Shaw, Joshua Bossire, Mark Erich, Samuel Shaw and Shauna Maloney. Individuals filed. Shaw v. Jones 2020 to challenge KHP’s routine and illegal stops and detentions of motorists with out-of-state license plates and its use of two-step tactics.

On Monday, in a testimony on Monday, he described how he felt exploited and intimidated by KHP soldiers.

Maloney, who is from Colorado, testified of her fear when troopers used the tactic to search her family’s RV while they were on a cross-country vacation in March 2018.

“I don’t feel safe driving through Kansas anymore,” Maloney said in an emotional testimony. Kansas City Star Reported

“I don’t feel safe driving through Kansas anymore.”

– Shauna Maloney

Kansas Highway Patrol badge

A US district court ruled that KHP’s policies and practices violated the Fourth Amendment. (Kansas Highway Patrol via Facebook)

Maloney said the trooper gave his family a warning, then took a few steps back toward his car before returning with more questions, dash camera footage shown in court showed. Finally, the soldier said the family was being detained. A K-9 dog sniffed the exterior of the RV, and three troopers searched the interior.

Nothing was found and the family was allowed to leave after about 40 minutes.

Kansas AG Kobach pushes driver’s license suit

Soldiers damaged the toilet, threw out clothes and left the bathroom door hanging from its frame, among other damages, Maloney said.

“I felt violated because it was our home when we were on the road,” Maloney said.

Kansas Highway Patrol cruiser

Kansas Highway Patrol (Kansas Highway Patrol via Facebook)

After Friday’s ruling, Sharon Brett, legal director of the ACLU of Kansas, called the Kansas Two-Step a “cowboy mentality of policing.”

“This is a huge win—for our clients and anyone else who travels Kansas highways. We’re glad the court saw the ongoing harm of KHP’s unconstitutional practices and stepped in to stop the department’s widespread misconduct,” Brett said in a press release. “Today’s decision reaffirms that the constitutional rights of motorists cannot be abrogated under the guise of the ‘war on drugs.’ It also shows that the courts will not tolerate the cowboy mentality of policing that humiliates, degrades and, in some tragic cases, tortures our citizens.”

Click here to get the Fox News app.

KHP and ACLU Kansas did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source by [Fox News]



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments