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Federal lawsuit charges ISP targeted innocent traveler with Colo. plates for unwarranted drug search
A federal lawsuit against the Idaho State Police charges that officers profiled, pulled over, harassed, detained and searched a Washington man simply for driving across the Oregon line into Idaho on the freeway – because he had Colorado plates. Officers insisted the man must be carrying marijuana, but extensive searches of his vehicle found nothing illegal. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Darien Roseen, a retired executive who was on the way home from his daughter's baby shower in Washington to his second residence in Colorado, was targeted within the first mile he drove into Idaho by ISP Trooper Justin Klitch, according to the lawsuit, who pursued him as Roseen pulled into the “Welcome to Idaho” rest area, refused to allow him to use the bathroom, and began badgering him to consent to a search of his vehicle – which Roseen refused. This happened just before noon on Jan. 25.
By the time the incident was over, Klitch had called in additional officers, detained Roseen in a patrol car, had an officer drive Roseen’s truck – without his permission – to the Payette County Sheriff’s Department, where it was further searched, and held Roseen up for hours. The lawsuit, which names the ISP, the Fruitland Police Department, the Payette County Sheriff’s Department, and the numerous officers involved, alleges violations of the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution regarding illegal search and seizure, along with discriminatory and selective treatment by profiling, violating the equal protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment and Roseen’s right to interstate travel.
“Trooper Klitch profiled, followed, and pulled over the vehicle driven by Mr. Roseen because it had Colorado license plates,” the lawsuit states. “Upon learning that Mr. Roseen came from Washington, Trooper Klitch further profiled Mr. Roseen. Trooper Klitch assumed and alleged that Mr. Roseen was a person who was transporting marijuana based on his states of residence.”
Both Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana; Idaho has not. And the ISP has been reporting numerous big marijuana busts in recent months along I-84, a main route of travel between the states. Click below for a full report from the Denver Post via the Associated Press; you can read the lawsuit complaint here. The Post reported that Idaho State Police would not comment over the weekend, but planned to issue a statement on the litigation later this week.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A woman is suing the city of Post Falls and police officials after her northern Idaho home was searched without a warrant. In a lawsuit filed in Coeur d'Alene's U.S. District Court last week, Melissa A. Miller contends she sustained physical injuries, emotional pain and other damages because of the search. According to the lawsuit, Miller and several others were at the home two years ago when police entered and said they were searching for a runaway juvenile. Miller objected to the search and was handcuffed. Police didn't find the juvenile, but did find marijuana in rooms that were rented to someone else. Miller was charged with possession but the charge was dropped after a judge said the search was illegal. The city has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
Washington’s Secretary of State’s office has been pretty innovative in bring yellowed-paper archives out of their boxes in cool storage and into the digital age. The state’s Digital Archives has scanned in — and hand-indexed — years of territorial newspapers, old marriage and other personal records, and photographs, among many other things.
A new feature: a searchable online database to find records of World War I veterans. The paperworks lists training, battles, wounds, birthplaces, and race (Welcome to 1919: “Race: White or colored”, with that capitalization.)
The information cards don’t provide many details, but they give a glimpse into a life. Here, for example, is the March 12, 1920 record for a Pfc. Alexander D. Munro, a Spokane man who was born in British Columbia and enlisted at age 32 for a tour that saw him overseas in the final months of the war. He served in the “QMC,” which I’m guessing was the Quartermaster’s Corps — the Army’s supply arm — and was overseas from July 1918 to April 1919.
Here’s the link to search for someone by name. (Scroll down to bottom of the page and you’ll see where to type in the info.)