An Idaho trooper pulls over a suspicious truck. (Source: CNN)
BOISE, ID (KIVI/CNN) - A man driving from his home in Colorado into neighboring Idaho says police targeted him because of where he's from.
Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012. The driver is suing Idaho State Police for violating his civil rights. Newly-released video shows the officer conducting a lengthy search of the man's car after claiming to detect a suspicious smell.
"The reason I'm stopping you is because you failed to signal when you pulled in here... You made jerky erratic movements when you pulled in here. You hit the curb," state trooper Justin Klitch says.
What seems to be a routine traffic stop for the trooper is anything but normal for Darien Roseen. Roseen's attorney, Eric Swartz, says the trooper targeted his client because of his out of state license plate.
"When you look at the circumstances of the case and when Trooper Klitch engaged Mr. Roseen it was right after Mr. Roseen crossed into Idaho baring his Colorado plate and having done nothing wrong whatsoever while driving," Swartz said.
According to a federal lawsuit, Roseen claims he had just crossed into Idaho from Oregon on I-84 when Trooper Klitch began following him.
The dashcam video doesn't show that.
Police say that is because dashcam only starts recording 30 seconds prior to emergency lights being turned on. It picks up as Rosen exits the interstate into a rest stop, just before Klitch activates his lights.
"Why did you pull in here some rapidly?"
"I had to go to the bathroom."
"You do? Okay, well you didn't have to go to the bathroom before you saw me."
"No I did have to go."
"I'm telling you that you pulled in here to avoid me."
As the officer talks with Roseen, the conversation turns from why he was pulled over to whether Roseen may be on an illegal substance.
"Why are your eyes glassy today?"
"Your eyes are glassy. You just tired or...?"
"Your behavior is consistent with behavior of people who have something in their vehicle that they shouldn't."
From that point, Trooper Klitch informs Rosen he will be calling in a drug detecting dog to sniff out any illegal substance.
"When was the last time you used marijuana, sir?"
"I have never used marijuana in my entire life."
As the exchange continues, Klitch asks to search Roseen's vehicle. Roseen declines, saying he just wants to get on the road home.
Trooper Klitch continues his question, even asking Roseen if he has nothing to hide, why he is refusing to a search, and how much cash he has in the car.
"There were several civil rights violation including depravation of property, of his freedom, his liberty and although of profiling and unlawful search and seizure of his personal property," Roseen's attorney said.
Halfway through the video, it cuts to what appears to be a search of Roseen's vehicle. The trooper can be seen removing items from the bed of the truck. It is at this point that Trooper Klitch says he smells marijuana.
Once I smelled that odor, it gives me probable cause. Before it was reasonable suspension. Now I have probable cause to search this entire vehicle...
"Now, I am going to ask you what I am going to find in this vehicle while I am searching it. It doesn't have to be drugs," he said.
"No, nothing. I know you're suspicious," was the response.
Those suspicions eventually turn up nothing, despite several searches of the vehicle, including one at a nearby police station.
Trooper Klitch cited Roseen for careless driving and let him leave after several hours. An Idaho State Police spokesperson says she cannot comment on the case at this time.
Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-08-26 09:57:06 GMT
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