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Video released in license plate controversy


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Video released in license plate controversy

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Apr 9, 2014

We now have the footage of an Idaho State Police traffic stop that led to a lawsuit. The man behind the wheel and the lawsuit says he was targeted by the trooper because of his license plates. On Your Side received the video Wednesday after filing a public records request.

Darien Roseen says he was driving through Idaho on a snowy winter day in January 2013 when an Idaho State Police Trooper stopped him. Roseen claims the officer violated his civil rights. Now, we are getting our first look at video from inside the officer’s car.

"The reason I’m stopping you is because you failed to signal when you pulled in here... You made jerky erratic movements when you pulled in here. You hit the curb," said Trooper Justin Klitch in the video.

What seems to be a routine traffic stop for Trooper Justin Klitch is anything but normal for Darien Roseen. Roseen's attorney, Eric Swartz, says the trooper targeted his client because of his out of state license plates.

“When you look at the circumstances of the case and when Trooper Klitch engaged Mr. Roseen, it was right after Mr. Roseen crossed into Idaho baring his Colorado plate and having done nothing wrong whatsoever while driving,” Swartz said.

According to a federal lawsuit, Roseen claims he had just crossed into Idaho from Oregon on I-84 when Trooper Klitch began following him. The dash cam video doesn't show that. ISP says that’s because dash cam only starts recording 30 seconds prior to emergency lights being turns on. It picks up as Roseen exits the interstate into a rest stop, just before Klitch activates his lights.

"Why did you pull in here so rapidly?” Klitch asks in the video. “I had to go to the bathroom,” Roseen responds. “You do,” Klitch presses, “Okay, well you didn't have to go to the bathroom before you saw me."

"No I did have to go," says Roseen.

"I'm telling you that you pulled in here to avoid me," Klitch responds.

As the officer talks with Roseen, the conversation turns from why he was pulled over to whether Roseen may be on an illegal substance.

"Why are your eyes glassy today? Your eyes are glassy. You just tired or…," Klitch asks in the video. He continues, "Your behavior is consistent with behavior of people who have something in their vehicle that they shouldn't."

From that point, Trooper Klitch informs Roseen he will be calling in a drug detecting dog to sniff out any illegal substance. "When was the last time you used marijuana sir,” Klitch asks in the video. "I have never used marijuana in my entire life," Roseen responds.

As the exchange continues Klitch asks to search Roseen's vehicle. Roseen declines saying he just wants to get on the road and go home. Trooper Klitch continues his questioning, asking Roseen if he has nothing to hide, why refuse a search, and how much cash Roseen has in the car.

"There were several civil rights violation including depravation of property, of his freedom, his liberty, and of profiling, and unlawful search and seizure of his personal property," attorney Swartz said.

Halfway through the video provided to On Your Side it cuts to what appears to be a search of Roseen's vehicle. The trooper can be seen removing items from the bed of the truck. It’s at this point trooper Klitch says he smells marijuana. "Once I smelled that odor, it gives me probable cause,” Klitch says in the video. He continues, “Before it was reasonable suspension. Now I have probable cause to search this entire vehicle. Now, I am going to ask you what I am going to find in this vehicle while I am searching it. It doesn't have to be drugs... I know you're suspicious."

Those suspicions eventually turn up nothing, despite several searches of the vehicle, including one at nearby police station.

The trooper cited Roseen for careless driving and let him leave -- after several hours. An Idaho State Police spokesperson says she cannot comment on the case at this point.

This is a follow up to a previous story. Click here to watch the original report: