Racial Profiling Amid Legal Laser Jammer Use in Traffic Stops

This case study explores a scenario where an individual equipped with a legal laser jammer was repeatedly stopped for alleged speeding, leading to racial profiling allegations.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Racial Profiling Amid Legal Laser Jammer Use in Traffic Stops

Case Overview

This case study delves into a scenario involving an individual who has been repeatedly stopped for alleged speeding. The unique aspect of this case is that the individual’s vehicle was equipped with a legal laser jammer. This was designed to prevent speed detection by police radar guns.

Despite this, traffic stops persisted, leading to racial profiling allegations. The plaintiff contends that without the ability to accurately gauge their speed due to the laser jammer, there was no valid basis for these traffic stops. This complex situation necessitates an expert in police procedures to review and provide insights on what factors warrant a traffic stop.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

Can you describe your professional background in police procedures?

I have an extensive background in police procedures, having served as a Lieutenant in the NYPD assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau. My role involved leading investigations into racial profiling cases.

After retiring from active duty, I consulted on the Floyd v City of New York class action lawsuit. This revolved around racial profiling in traffic stops and pedestrian frisks. As a former NYPD sergeant, I also instructed recruits at the Police Academy about vehicle stop procedures and the 4th Amendment’s prohibition against racial profiling.

Q2

What are the factors that determine whether or not a traffic stop for speeding is warranted?

A traffic stop for speeding can be justified if an officer uses an unobstructed speed detection device or if they have been certified to assess vehicle speeds visually. However, it’s imperative to note that this certification must be renewed annually; without it, officers cannot make accurate speed assessments of moving vehicles.

Q3

Can a traffic stop for speeding be initiated if the police's radar gun is legally blocked by a laser jammer?

Yes, if an officer has current certification to visually assess vehicle speeds, they can initiate a traffic stop even if their LIDAR gun is blocked by a legal laser jammer.

Q4

Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

Indeed, I have reviewed similar cases in the past. My expertise in police procedures and experience with racial profiling allegations make me well-equipped to assist further in this case.

About the expert

This expert boasts over three decades of experience in criminal justice and law enforcement procedures, with a particular focus on police tactics, procedures, and investigations. Their extensive background includes serving in various roles within a major city's Police Department, such as an officer on the civilian complaint review board, a detective in the internal affairs bureau, and an instructor at the police academy Currently, they impart their knowledge as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at two universities and as a founding partner at a public safety and policing consultancy.

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