Star Trek fans file lawsuit after traffic stop in Illinois
Legal panel weighs in on the lawsuit
- Duration 9:27
- Date May 11, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the lawsuit
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
-- track he's from Ohio seeking revenge after -- run in with the law.
Here they are testing -- a transporter during a visit to a Star Trek exhibit in Illinois.
After trying to be not captain Kirk style they headed home car style.
Only to be pulled over by a police officer but it is what they say happened next in the state of Illinois along a little highway that got them really fired up.
And it's all on tape.
Trace Gallagher tells.
What -- the -- by the way is not only tricky but a documentary filmmaker he took the eighteen minutes of dash cam video -- any added some graphics and Star Trek music to it and he posted an online to prove his case would he says is.
That he was unreasonably.
Searched and that's what he says police -- problem was look at this thing right.
They're driving down I 557 Ian Collins -- Illinois which is a very well known drug quarter.
Pulled over for -- the police officer checks this man's license and finds out he has a previous arrest for marijuana.
And guess what.
Out comes the drug sniffing dog the dog goes around the car a couple of times and doesn't seem to find anything right.
So as the canine search begins the video says then we cut to the point where the driver mr.
-- claims the dog was kind of coaxed into barking listen.
The -- always indicate off camera and this will allow officer record to manufacture his probable cause.
And it will allow him to search any vehicle he wants.
Don't -- -- there are similar.
Let -- think that let me.
So he claims the dog was prompted to -- they went on they searched a car for fifteen minutes didn't find anything in and they let the two gentlemen go.
-- claims the police -- Collins bill are rewarded when they pull people over because if there's drug money found in this drug quarter they get to keep a portion of -- But this tape was shown to the police officer.
The chief this state attorney and they all said this was an absolute -- the book search.
Except the problem is -- same officer meg and a couple years ago in court.
A judge ruled that he was not credible and a different drug case of the whole case and the whole tape is now become.
Fired food questionable.
-- -- Serbia.
-- Kelly scored his back in session on the docket today.
Were the track he's wrong to.
-- -- -- is a former prosecutor now defense -- and David wall is a defense attorney.
David these guys -- you guys in this car have filed a civil lawsuit against the cops.
Claiming they had no probable cause they had a reasonable suspicion to pull them over they had no probable cause to use a search dog to search their car.
And -- civil rights were violated they have a point.
From Megan I mean I the books search what welcoming this may be the first cop to ever violate all 27 amendment to the compact.
You know in this particular search a -- it's unbelievable he uses for probable cause for the stop that they were.
Swerving a little bit which is about as weak as it gets that it turns out Megan that.
It turns out that with the drug and gun court order that turns out to -- is real probable cause to stop which he -- confesses to.
Then when -- get to the search Megan he had no probable cause that there is criminal activity afoot at all.
He just search these guys he let them have no choice in the matter he completely violated their fourth member right.
Well that's as big giant I think they'll tell it this is a great law this is why our viewers should care because it will.
There's a question about what the police can do you when they pull you look deeply love for no reason this guy says I had at a state plate plates and it was a drug trafficking -- -- we targeted.
You know I don't drugs in the -- by the way no drugs are found in the car.
So there's a question about what the cops can do you he says the cop really decided to go after him when he took a slice and says they would do when they're gonna give you tickets -- here.
And out ran his history.
And listen to cops reaction when he apparently sees that the guy was arrested a while ago not convicted just arrested no charges that it ever followed -- were proven.
For marijuana possession was -- -- this -- sound byte number.
Three does dig deep into our pasts he finds an old arrest record of mine that was supposed to be expunged after it was dismissed in court.
He seems to find join discovery of this record and refers to me as a mother.
And that was the cops saying exactly that his his suggestion is -- I had an arrest but no conviction and I was at a speed and a drug road.
But I wasn't a drug.
And you know what I agree with the -- but I'm defending the police obviously here I have to say a couple of things number one he's gonna -- is probable cause -- -- prior arrests.
-- -- Has prior arrest for marijuana he's not a known drug -- -- and -- And and then take the drug sniffing dog which is not -- surge and have that dog alert when you put all those three things together in this jobs mind he was justified.
I want to bring in an expert witness like bill Daley is a former FBI investigator is very familiar with the use of dogs when it comes to traffic stops in another incident spell.
This -- be the plaintiff says.
The cop intentionally brought the dog around the front of the car that was dash cam video couldn't see whether the dog was legitimately alerting Natalie that.
He says to the -- good -- good -- let me just play that sound -- delegate bill to tell us what they thinks this is appropriate.
It's sound byte number eight listen to the cop talk into the dock.
-- yeah blue -- the.
Ought to look at human -- there.
That's what you think that.
Are you allowed to do that.
Well actually when win.
When dogs taken around by the hand knowledge either -- or drug investigations or bomb investigations you'll for the dogs is a bit of a game that just try to -- and -- trying to find that.
That treasures they get some to have a reward pat and handle play with a -- whatever happens to be so.
Two to coax him I would say that this something is cocaine however I would suggest the fact that.
What are predicates of of the search -- image before was the dog indicating they may have been some drugs the question would be.
When was installed last train what was he trying to do would you -- to sit down like many dogs are and that's saying that walking is out but typically need to sit down -- knowledge that there's some.
Some cent of either drugs or bombs and that is to -- -- -- which police react so.
In my says I don't think the coaxing as -- my question would be if you wanted to get to this case you have directors how would you train was less damage trained and what he trained to do.
We're gonna pick it up right after the break with more sound waiting to see the rest of the documentary and listen to what we know about the rest -- that -- So here's what happened he said he he pulls a lover he -- that he had -- -- but no conviction.
-- says I want to search your car the guy says it no I wanna be on my away.
Many said the cop says well I'm gonna search the exterior of -- with the dog.
And here's what's gonna happen after that was a sound -- five.
We didn't get in the and it what did I do on a -- around that if it doesn't look good will be we need to do the job done.
-- We need a way to go gonna go.
Not at all.
So because my passengers nervous this officer is going to take my car from me.
That's you said you can't -- could your -- seems nervous I'm going to search your car the exterior with his dog in a fight if he gets a hit amid a search the inside.
That's exactly what happened next David and this guy says this is a tripling of the constitution.
Absolutely and it's a violation of the Fourth Amendment very clearly there was no there were no drugs in the -- -- the -- didn't sniff I think and making this officer has a history.
A federal judge six years ago throughout a drug case because if found that the officer was an engaging in misconduct because -- found that the officer and I'm quoting here.
Used body language -- the justification.
For a search of a criminal offense.
I think you're -- college no longer seems nervous.
Yet that's not probable cause by any constitutional -- and I want to defend the officer by saying sometimes body language could could be -- -- and I also wanted to tell our viewers that.
Did did the police department the DA they're all standing behind this guy's saying that video.
Is 55 minutes long not 22 or seventeen like this documentary and when you look at the whole thing not just the parts edited by the -- death.
You will see the cop was not -- Now I -- defend the cup to mega but this is a really tough biggest bit -- -- -- start arsenal legend take fifty but at 55 minutes -- -- routine traffic stop.
But I think where it would -- the policeman's coming from is when you take the totality of the circumstances it's true that nervousness alone not enough.
But where he was the fact that there was a prior arrest even though no conviction the fact that there was nervousness and the fact that this dog whether he did it right or wrong alerted.
Gave him the probable cause -- problem.
It's just can't I know is everybody's there is -- I -- -- and I believe thing you know the donor wow situation that can't be enough.
To justify the search of your car I mean and that no drugs were found I just want to make that clear the crowd is not no -- nothing was given the drivers not learned all this happening to him well I -- -- -- police chief Megan I get up my checkbook in the mountains.
Well we'll see our guys thank you doesn't --