Judge rules against Alabama city’s car search policy

January 16, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge says an Alabama police department violated the Constitution by routinely impounding and searching the vehicle of every driver it arrests.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala came in a lawsuit against the Tuscaloosa Police Department stemming from a traffic stop in 2017.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Vincent Curry was stopped for having a broken taillight, and police later arrested him on an outstanding warrant. Police had the vehicle towed and search, and an officer found a loaded handgun under the seat.

Curry’s attorneys argued the officers had no right to tow the vehicle and no reason to search it. Prosecutors argued the search was legal.

The judge agreed with Curry’s attorney, and the city now says it is reviewing the decision.

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