The ACLU of Indiana today filed a lawsuit against Officer M. Taylor of the Evansville Police Department, who detained an individual without cause and conducted an invasive vehicle search and pat-down search, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Kendra Owen was driving for Uber late on the evening of January 14, and parked legally in downtown Evansville while she waited to be contacted by a potential fare. Officer Taylor then initiated a stop without probable cause or reasonable suspicion of any kind.
According to the complaint, Owen declined to provide identification to Officer Taylor knowing that she had done nothing wrong. Officer Taylor, then ordered Owen to exit her vehicle and conducted a non-consensual pat-down search. The officer then issued her a citation, searched the interior of her vehicle without her consent, and ultimately had her vehicle towed, leaving Owen on the sidewalk in below-freezing temperatures while she waited for a ride.
“Drivers do not, and should not, expect to be treated as suspects without any reason,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Staff Attorney. “This is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment and law enforcement across the state of Indiana needs to be aware that this is something that simply cannot be done in accordance with our Constitution.”