2016: Court Rules Police Don’t Need To Know The Laws They Enforce

The Supreme Court ruled that an officer’s ignorance of the law essentially didn’t matter — effectively allowing police around the country the ability to make stops if they ‘reasonably’ believe the cause for the stop is legal. Seattle Police arrest a protester on 4th Avenue South in Sodo during the annual May Day Anti-Capitalist protest and march Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Seattle, Wash. (Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times via AP) Police are no longer be required to even give the appearance of an understanding of the laws they’re tasked with enforcing, thanks to a recent court decision surpassing even the veritable green light previously granted in Heien v. North Carolina. In the Heien case, the Supreme Court ruled a “police officer’s reasonable mistake of law gives rise to reasonable suspicion that justifies a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment.” A motorist’s broken tail light caused an officer to make […] Read More