Court upholds police stop based on mismatched vehicle color

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a police officer’s vehicle stop based on the car’s color not matching vehicle-registration records.

The court ruled 6-1 Wednesday that the officer had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity based on his experience that such a discrepancy often meant a vehicle was stolen.

At issue was a 2016 traffic stop in Washington Court House involving a black SUV with a license plate registered to a white SUV.

The driver was later arrested for not having a valid driver’s license and having a warrant out for his arrest. Court records don’t indicate whether the SUV had been stolen.

Justice Michael Donnelly dissented, saying color discrepancy is not enough for an officer to assume criminal activity.

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