U.S Supreme Court ok's vehicle stops based on tipster calls

MGN Online
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(WEAU) A ruling by the U.S Supreme Court gives anonymous tipsters more credibility and officers the ability to stop cars based on their word.

The U.S Supreme Court's decision was made based on a 2008 traffic stop in California.

California State Troopers stopped a driver after a 911 tip call reported a driver ran a vehicle off the road. Police pulled over a vehicle matching that description and found a large amount of marijuana in the truck.

In a contested decision the court sided with police saying officers have the right to stop vehicles based on reasonable suspicion.

Altoona Police say the ruling reaffirms what their agency is already doing.
“Officers get hundreds of calls a day and have to decide whether the information gives them articulable suspicion that a violation is occurring or did occur to make the stop and that’s how it's always been it didn't change anything for us. Officers are not going to just stop someone on whim, we always have to take an objectively reasonably to determine whether we have enough to stop the vehicle,” said Livingston.

Livingston says what the ruling did is give more validity to 911 tips calls.

“When someone calls 911 they expect the police to respond,” Livingston said.

He says the law does not give vehicles the same privacy as homes and therefore police only need reasonable suspicion the law is being broken to stop a vehicle. But Livingston says officers are still required to investigate and have reasonable proof to make an arrest.

Altoona Officer Dana Brown says the ruling isn't a green light to pull over just any driver but it will help them stay ahead of suspicious activity. He says traffic stops are often gateways to finding other criminal activity.