California: Court Slams Cops Over Bogus Camera Stop

Female motorist can sue police who held her at gunpoint after automated license plate reader mistakes her Lexus sedan for a stolen pickup. An innocent woman forced to her knees, held at gunpoint, handcuffed and surrounded by multiple San Francisco, California police officers can proceed with her lawsuit for false arrest. The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that the officers were potentially liable for using excessive force against Denise Green after an automated license plate reader (ALPR or ANPR in Europe) mistakenly flagged her vehicle as stolen. On March 30, 2009, a camera mounted on a police car on Mission Street took a blurry photo of Green’s burgundy Lexus ES300 which the automated system confused for a stolen gray GMC pickup truck. After being alerted to the “hit” over the radio, San Francisco Police Sergeant Ja Han Kim saw Green’s car pass by. He neither confirmed the license plate number on the car nor the make and model of the stolen vehicle. Instead, he called for backup and initiated a high-risk felony stop. Green, a 47-year-old black woman, was held for twenty minutes before one of the six officers got around to checking her license plate. Green sued for false arrest, but a federal district granted the officers immunity. The appellate judges disagreed, finding evidence of

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Milpitas police to target impaired drivers with DUI checkpoint

Milpitas Police Department’s traffic unit will conduct a driving under the influence/driver’s license checkpoint from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, May 24 on Great Mall Parkway. The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes, according to police. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive patrols are conducted routinely, according to law enforcement. In California, this deadly crime led to 802 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driving. “Over the course of the past three years, we have investigated 127 DUI collisions with 28 injuries, which included one fatal collision,” Milpitas police Sgt. Raj Maharaj said. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol

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‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ campaign launches in Colorado to stop stoned driving

DENVER – Colorado is launching a new “Drive High, Get A DUI” campaign to remind drivers that newly legal weed should be treated like alcohol and not consumed before driving. The campaign includes radio and TV ads and new posters to be displayed in dispensaries. The other part of the effort is enforcement. Right now, 200 officers of various agencies are trained recognition experts. Another 20 graduated with that certification Thursday. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper calls this a top priority, and wants at least 300 officers to be trained with this certification by next year. During 56 hours of training, officers are taught a 12-step process for recognizing the symptoms of drivers who may be impaired by a variety of drugs or alcohol. With marijuana, the officers are taught to look for enlarged pupils, sniff for the drug’s odor and look for small tremors in the driver’s body. “We teach them to look at certain things, and it is kind of an elimination process,” said Sgt. Rodney Noga from the Colorado State Patrol. Officers also check blood pressure, muscle softness and look for injection sites for other kinds of drug use. If drivers fail the observation test, a blood test is the next option to confirm or deny the presence of drug or alcohol impairment. The effort from the Colorado

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Officers will ‘aggressively’ seek drunken drivers Friday.

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