Police Complaints

CPC 013-11: Woman stopped and illegally searched

Date of Incident or Complaint:
Date Published or Updated on Web Site:
Complainant: Redacted

A woman was stopped for a traffic violation, and was asked to step out of her car to be searched without probable cause.

Summary of Allegations:

Did Officer Hernandez have legal grounds on asking the complainant to exit her car?

Was Officer Hernandez polite to the complainant?

Did Officer Hernandez give his name and badge number when asked, as required by law?

Were Officer Hernandez’ reasons for stopping the complainant based on racial profiling?

Was Officer Wright appropriate in her search of the complainant?

Did Officer Wright use unnecessary force during the search?

Summary of Findings:

The complainant appeared “irate and confrontational” in the belt tape, and Officer Hernandez claimed that was enough probable cause to have her searched. He had her exit the car and searched by Officer Wright. This issue was exonerated.

The complainant states that Hernandez was rude to her and made her fear for her life, but Hernandez claims that he was only stern, because she was being difficult. The belt tape records no unprofessional tone of voice. This issue was exonerated.

Although the complainant only asked for the name of Hernandez, the belt tape proves that he told her it would be on the report. He was required to give his name verbally should he be asked to do so, and so this issue was sustained.

The traffic stop was within a reasonable distance to where the violation was committed, and the only one who mentioned race on the belt tape was the complainant. This issue was unfounded.

The complainant described the encounter as sexual assault, but the methods that Officer Wright described were within policy. It was an invasive search, but standard procedure for police. This issue was exonerated.

There is no belt tape recording in the direct vicinity of the search, and there were no recorded injuries from the complainant. This issue was not sustained.