” An Idaho state trooper arrested and fully searched a 70-year-old Washington man’s vehicle solely because he had a Colorado license plate – a state where marijuana is legal – a federal “license plate profiling” lawsuit alleges.
Darien Roseen was driving along I-84 between his second home in Colorado and Washington state on Jan. 25 when Idaho State Trooper Justin Klitch “immediately” pulled out from the Interstate median and began “rapidly accelerating” to catch up to Roseen, according to the complaint in a Courthouse News Service report. Exiting at a designated rest area, Roseen says he became “uncomfortable” that Klitch had followed him though he had not “done anything wrong.”
After pulling Roseen over, Klitch reportedly failed to explain why he made the stop, although he later said he made the stop because Roseen failed to use his signal when pulling off on the exit, and because he bumped the curb. Klitch rejected Roseen’s reason for pulling into the rest area, telling him, “You didn’t have to go to the bathroom before you saw me … I’m telling you, you pulled in here to avoid me.” “
Klitch repeatedly asked to search Roseen’s vehicle as he accused him of “hiding” something. And when Roseen did not grant him permission, Klitch threatened to bring in a drug-sniffing dog and characterized Roseen’s behavior as “consistent with a person who was hiding something illegal.
Finally consenting to a search of “parts” of the vehicle to get “back on the road faster,” Roseen says that this proved to be a mistake.
“ When Mr. Roseen opened the trunk compartment, and despite the strong gusts of wind and precipitation that day, Trooper Klitch claimed he could smell the odor of marijuana,” the complaint states. “Mr. Roseen stated that he could not smell the odor of marijuana that Trooper Klitch claimed to be coming from the trunk compartment.”
Calling in an additional police officer, Klitch said the aroma gave him cause to search the entire vehicle, and Roseen was detained in the back of Klitch’s vehicle, but was told he was not under arrest despite having been read his Miranda rights.
The second officer drove Roseen’s Honda Ridgeline to the Payette County Sheriff’s sally port although Roseen states that he never gave the officer permission to drive his vehicle and the car’s items were not inventoried.
The ensuing search of the vehicle by multiple unidentified officers found nothing and Roseen was issued a citation for “inattentive/careless” driving.”
CBS Seattle has the rest