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Judge: TriMet arrest of school board member unconstitutional

September 22, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled that TriMet transit police and fare enforcement officers violated Oregon’s constitution by stopping, citing and arresting a school board member during a fare evasion sting.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge on Friday ruled that Ana del Rocio was “stopped and seized without individualized suspicion” March 13 at a MAX station.

Del Rocio, whose legal name is Rosa Valderrama, was arrested and charged with evading fare and giving false information to a police officer.

Judge John Wittmayer’s opinion appears to throw TriMet’s fare-enforcement strategy, particularly stings where all passengers are indiscriminately stopped and asked for proof of fare, into doubt.

ACLU of Oregon’s legal director Mat dos Santos predicted the ruling would have wide-spread implications.

The Marion County District Attorney’s Office, which tried the case, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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