Cops Seize Car When Told To Get A Warrant, Tell Owner That’s What He Gets For ‘Exercising His Rights’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Yeah, so you’ve read the headline. No criminal activity. No charges brought. And a cheap shot fired across the bow of the Fourth Amendment, not to mention Vermont’s own Constitution.

  But let’s travel back further to set this up. Twenty-one-year-old Gregory Zullo was supposedly pulled over for having his license plate registration sticker (incidentally) covered by a small amount of snow.

Not a crime. From the ACLU filing [pdf link]:

  At all times relevant to this action, it was not a violation of Vermont law to drive a car on which the validation sticker on the rear license plate – but not the numbers and letters of the license plate itself – was touched by snow, leaves, or any other material.

  The lawsuit notes that the officer who stated this was the reason he initiated the event spent no further time on that subject. He didn’t bother to brush the snow away from the registration sticker or have Zullo do it, despite the fact that both spent over 30 minutes no more than a few inches away from the offending plate.

  Officer Hatch spent most of his time trying to talk Zullo into allowing him to search the vehicle without a warrant. Hatch seemed to be convinced that Zullo was involved with the heroin traffickers he was searching for. Hatch tried everything, including lying.

  More than once, the defendant’s employee told Mr. Zullo that Mr. Zullo should consent to a search because the police dog in the back of his truck smelled something. “

Read more here and here