Support the Constitutional Rights of Mario and All Americans
We expect police officers to pull people over for speeding or running a red light. But for driving a red Mustang? That’s what happened to Mario Rosales in June 2022.
Mario and his girlfriend, Gracie, had just gotten off work for the day. They weren’t doing anything suspicious, and Mario was following the traffic laws. He turned on his left turn signal as he stopped at a red light. A police vehicle stopped behind him. When the light turned green, Mario turned. The police vehicle followed and immediately pulled Mario over.
Mario was confused about why the police had pulled him over. Were they looking for someone else and mistook him for that person? No. The officers were simply fishing for crimes.
Over the next 20 minutes, two police officers searched Mario and interrogated him and his girlfriend—not just about where they live and work, but also about a litany of drugs, past interactions with police, and their feelings about the U.S. Constitution. All without a single reason to believe Mario or Gracie were dangerous or involved in drugs or that either committed any crime whatsoever. They weren’t; they aren’t; and they hadn’t. When Mario and Gracie asked why they had been pulled over, the officers answered that Mario failed to use his turn signal. But multiple recordings of the incident clearly show that Mario used his blinker. When asked why they were questioning Mario and Gracie about drugs, the officers’ answer was they were “just curious.”
The Constitution protects against this stop-first-justify-later form of policing. Police can’t just detain you to ask you questions, regardless of how curious they might be. That is why Mario and Gracie have sued the police officers and the city of Alexandria—to enforce the constitutional boundaries that are supposed to protect motorists from bogus traffic stops that that turn into free-for-all fishing expeditions for crimes.
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