Glens Falls, NY – A video uploaded to Facebook last week demonstrates the extent to which police will go to harass and intimidate citizens during an “ordinary” traffic stop.
On Wednesday, November 4th, Beatrice Larry had just arrived home from work when she saw her boyfriend being pulled over three houses down. Upon her arrival at the scene, she learned that he had been ticketed for driving with a suspended license and failure to obey a traffic control device. Her boyfriend also advised her that the officers had taken the keys to the vehicle (which belonged to her) and stated that they were going to have the vehicle towed.
When Beatrice attempted to politely inform the officers that she was the owner of the vehicle and it was only a mere three houses away from her home, the officers refused to listen, instead deciding to flex their authority and brazenly violate her rights.
At this point, Beatrice wisely began to record the interaction. As the video begins you can hear Beatrice ask the officer for her keys. The officer then advises her that they will be sent with the towing company. Immediately after, the officers begin their illegal search of this innocent woman’s vehicle.
Beatrice tells The Free Thought Project:
“I asked for my keys they refused to give them to me and said it’s being towed and they began searching my vehicle saying it’s policy.”
While police are allowed to search vehicles in certain circumstances during traffic stops, in this particular incident
these officers were in complete violation of the law. According to the 2009 Supreme Court ruling Arizona v. Gant, arresting a motorist for driving with a suspended license, is not a lawful basis to search a vehicle.
In spite of this legal precedent, the officers continue to show a blatant disregard for this woman’s rights. After Beatrice informs the officers that what they are doing is illegal and demands them to stop numerous times, they respond by telling her that they aren’t searching the vehicle, but are conducting an “inventory” as they are caught on video rummaging through numerous areas of the vehicle.
Despite the officer’s insistence that they were conducting an inventory of the vehicle’s contents, the officers can be heard remarking to each other that they didn’t find anything. In addition, Beatrice says that she has also yet to receive a ‘list’ from the so-called ‘inventory.’
Ironically, nearly one year ago to the day Saratoga County NY Sheriff’s deputy Shawn Glans was caught on video assaulting a man for refusing an illegal search.
How can the public trust “peace officers” who seemingly make it their goal to violate citizen’s rights and look for any
possible reason they can find to extort money from people and lock them in cages?
Johnny Liberty is a researcher and investigative journalist. You can follow him on twitter @LibertyUnltd