Person Says It's Not Fair Police Officers Have Only 6 Months Of Training, Starts An Interesting Discussion
A simple search on YouTube might give you plenty of videos featuring police officers “getting owned” by law experts. And a lot of cop jokes next to them. But all kidding aside, how big of a problem is this? Recently, one protester put up a sign comparing the time it takes to become a police officer and a lawyer, asking if it’s reasonable for someone to put equal amounts of trust in their actions. After a photo of the sign went viral, people began searching for the answer.
One of the people who replied to the thread referred to the Heien case, where 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 a traffic stop, which lead to evidence of a separate violation of the law. However, in North Carolina, a broken tail light wasn’t illegal, thus there wasn’t sufficient cause to justify the stop — nor the arrests stemming from it, lawyers argued, because that should be a violation of unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Supreme Court, however, ruled the 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. To put it in simple words, police can stop and search you despite ignorance of the law.