U.S. Supreme Court Rules “Cops Can’t Stop” for Any Reason – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that cops can’t stop, speak to, walk by, or look in the general direction of any person for any reason at all.
A fake news website is behind this phony report.
The story first appeared on a fake news website called the Habanero of Texas. The website, which describes itself as a “police ‘news source’ peppered with satire,” reported that:
“The United States Supreme Court Ruled 9-0, today, that a police officer may not: stop, speak, walk by, or even look in the general direction of any person for any reason whatsoever, regardless if the cop believes the person has just committed murder or any other offense. This ruling comes on the cusp of public outrage over police arresting criminals for breaking an assortment of laws.”
Many people who were unfamiliar with the fake news website were duped into believing that the “cops can’t stop” story was true.
Like most satirical reports, this one is (very loosely) based in truth. Days before the eRumor went viral, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cops couldn’t extend traffic stops so that drug sniffing dogs could be brought in unless there was reasonable suspicion, the Washington Post reports.
In another (somewhat) related case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that cops couldn’t make traffic stops based on the color of a car. A man who was stopped after an officer noticed the unusual color of his car argued that the color of a car didn’t amount to probable cause for a traffic stop. Florida’s high court agreed.
So, there are plenty of true “cops can’t stop” stories out there, but this particular eRumor is not one of them.