Court bans random questions by officers during traffic stops

Law enforcement agencies are in various stages of reviewing the ruling and creating new instructions for officers.

Posted: Nov 23, 2019 9:27 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Supreme Court in a recent ruling has banned the police practice of officers using a broken taillight or a failure to signal as a justification for scouting a driver's car for illegal guns or drugs.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the ruling instructs officers to stick to questions ''reasonably related'' to the reason the driver was pulled over. It effectively ends law enforcement's ability to turn a routine traffic stop into a fishing expedition for a more serious offense.

Law enforcement agencies contacted by OPB are in various stages of reviewing the ruling and creating new instructions for officers.

While the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Salem Police Department said they were awaiting guidance from attorneys, police departments in Beaverton and Gresham, as well as the Oregon State Police, were working on a training bulletin.

The Portland Police Bureau said it is reviewing its training protocols and updating officers.

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