10/19/2018Federal Judge Catches Mississippi Traffic Cop In A Lie
Federal judge in Mississippi uncovers contradictory testimony about a police traffic stop.
A federal court on Tuesday threw out felony charges against a motorist who was pulled over by a police officer who was caught stretching the truth. Cederic Gordon was driving his dark blue GMC Yukon on Highway 51 on the evening of September 9, 2017, when he caught the attention of Deputy Robert Forbert.
The deputy explained to the court that he ordered Gordon to pull over because the Yukon's license plate light was out, making it impossible to read the tag. The officer also said he saw the woman riding in the passnenger seat was not wearing a seatbelt. Once stopped, the officer insisted that he smelled marijuana which allowed him to conduct a search. He found a .40 caliber Glock and some methamphetamine, for which Gordon, a convicted felon, was charged with three felony counts.
The case fell apart when US District Judge Sharion Aycock reviewed photographs taken the night of the incident that showed the Yukon's license plate lights were fully functional. The deputy adjusted his testimony.
"When questioned by the court, Deputy Forbert admitted that the defendant's tag lights were working on the night in question," Judge Aycock wrote in her ruling. "Instead, Deputy Forbert explained that he initiated the traffic stop because the defendant's license tag was not illuminated brightly enough... Deputy Forbert eventually admitted at the hearing that he was able to see that the tag lights were in fact working and that the tag was illuminated once he stopped the vehicle."
Prosecutors shifted to the alleged seatbelt violation as sufficient to justify the stop, but that too contradicted the officer's own testimony about what happened that night.
"When questioned by the court, Deputy Forbert admitted that the windows were darkly tinted and stated that he did not actually view the passenger without her seatbelt on," Judge Aycock wrote. "Based on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing on this matter, the court finds the evidence of a seatbelt violation unconvincing."
Because the traffic stop was found to be unconstitutional, the court dismissed all three charges against Gordon. A copy of the ruling is available in a 100k PDF file at the source link below.