4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Black and stopped in Utah

Speeding San Diegan subjected to drug search can sue

In a dispute that has been dragging on for six years, a judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday, June 20, that San Diegan Sherida Felder can go ahead with a racial-profiling suit against two Utah policemen.

In 2008, Felder, an African-American, was driving two then-teenagers to a football game in Colorado. Utah police pulled her over for speeding and wanted to search the car for drugs. Felder wouldn't give them permission, and police held them for two and a half hours in a futile search for drugs.

In 2009, Felder sued for racial profiling. On June 20, the appellate judge ruled that police did not have cause to search her car, which presents the opportunity for Felder's civil suit against the police for racial profiling. However, the judge said there was insufficient evidence for him to rule on whether there was racial profiling.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Spanish hacienda at the southern edge of La Jolla

This Bird Rock estate features “an exceedingly rare oceanfront pool overlooking the surf.”
Next Article

Sushi plus Mexican equals vegan at The Village

Order carefully to get the most out of this dual concept plant based eatery

In a dispute that has been dragging on for six years, a judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday, June 20, that San Diegan Sherida Felder can go ahead with a racial-profiling suit against two Utah policemen.

In 2008, Felder, an African-American, was driving two then-teenagers to a football game in Colorado. Utah police pulled her over for speeding and wanted to search the car for drugs. Felder wouldn't give them permission, and police held them for two and a half hours in a futile search for drugs.

In 2009, Felder sued for racial profiling. On June 20, the appellate judge ruled that police did not have cause to search her car, which presents the opportunity for Felder's civil suit against the police for racial profiling. However, the judge said there was insufficient evidence for him to rule on whether there was racial profiling.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sushi plus Mexican equals vegan at The Village

Order carefully to get the most out of this dual concept plant based eatery
Next Article

State density rules squeezing Del Mar into a corner

Watermark units on Jimmy Durante Rd. will include 10 'low affordable' ones
Comments
20

Probably searched because there were 2 teenagers in the car. Just kiddin'. Most likely, was cops who don't care about civil rights.

June 23, 2014

shirleyberan: You might be right: the cops went ahead with the search because there were two African-American teenagers in the car. And yes, often cops don't care about civil rights, particularly when dealing with African-Americans. That is just a sad fact about our society. Best, Don Bauder

June 23, 2014

Is profiling illegal in Utah?

June 23, 2014

CaptainObvious: It must be, or this case wouldn't have gone so far. But yours is an interesting question. Best, Don Bauder

June 23, 2014

if someone does not look like they belong there, they are profiled.

June 24, 2014

Murphyjunk: If you go online, you can find examples of that in Utah. Best, Don Bauder

June 24, 2014

This case exposes a gaping hole in our justice system. Those cops should be facing years of hard time in big-boy prison, not nearly toothless civil penalties, if they really were engaging in racial profiling.

June 23, 2014

Jimgee: I don't know about hard time in prison, but I think they should get punished severely.

We should also look at Utah's laws on racial profiling. The state obviously has them, but do they have teeth? In the financial area -- my interest -- Utah has very little regulation. The federal government does have regulators there, but generally speaking, Utah is a little like the Cayman Islands: see no evil, hear no evil. Best, Don Bauder

June 23, 2014

Don, you did not mention where this suit was filed. I'd suppose it was in federal court. The question in such a case has little to do with state laws; rather, it is based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That makes it a "federal case". After the state Rodney King acquittal, those LA cops were successfully prosecuted in the federal arena. The state situation was irrelevant.

On the basis of some really strange Utah prosecutions, I am not sure that the plaintiff will prevail. (It took Utah years to decide if the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart was sane and/or if he was guilty. Seemed like a slam dunk to me. But ya' nevah know.) I'd also assume that the suit would be tried in Utah.

At a minimum, those cops should have been fired. As in all of those who were involved, even if it went up to the level of the chief. What do you want to bet that didn't happen, and never will?

June 23, 2014

Visduh: The case was definitely filed in federal court. The Tenth Circuit appeals court is federal. I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that since one of the two police officers was a Utah state patrolman, that there were racial profiling laws in Utah. In a cursory search, I cannot determine that one way or another. It is a very interesting question. Best, Don Bauder

June 24, 2014

Don, I think we will have to disagree on this one. SOCAL cops have been getting away with unlawful treatment of suspects for years. They commit serious violations, such as beating hell out of suspects, the municipalities pay off huge civil judgements, and the cops go right out back on patrol, without facing stiff enough punishment to deter others from commiting the same violations. Civil penalties don't seem to change bad behavior; maybe criminal penalties will.

June 24, 2014

Jimgee: I am open to that argument. I just said that in this case, since a judge can't conclude racial profiling is involved, hard time is inappropriate. The case strongly suggests it involved racial profiling, to be sure. Best, Don Bauder

June 24, 2014

Don, Fair enough. Without solid proof, I agree that criminal sanctions are not justified.

June 24, 2014

Jimgee: The selection of jurors in Utah could be very interesting. Best, Don Bauder

June 25, 2014

Sounds like the judge has it right... the detention and search were unwarranted, but there's no evidence it was racially motivated. Let's fire the cop(s) who violated basic Constitutional rights, but let's move on from these unfounded allegations of "racism" which are made for one reason, and one reason only... to collect a check from the taxpayer. The taxpayer did nothing wrong here. If the actions were wrong, hold individual(s) 100% accountable. If there is no need to fire anyone, then there's no need for the taxpayer to write a check.

June 23, 2014

jnojr: Evidence of racial profiling is subjective. Would a Utah jury see it, when a jury in another state might? Best, Don Bauder

June 23, 2014

The cops claimed they had probable cause to search the vehicle because (1) Felder failed to maintain eye contact, (2) the license plate frame had "Jesus" written on it, (3) they obeserved air freshener in the center console, and (4) Duke the dog "alerted" on the car. Felder should have sued Duke. He's the real culprit. That damn Duke!

http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/12/12-4154.pdf

June 23, 2014

Burwell: In reading the case, I assumed that the reason the dog entered the car was there was beef jerky the dog wanted. The judge made it very clear that the search for drugs was unwarranted based on the evidence. Best, Don Bauder

June 24, 2014

The Sheriff in Mono County just lost his job (voted out in a 2to1 margin) partially over a similar incident of a Cardiff man, search without probably cause. That and busting San Diego pot smokers coming back from Burning Man last Labor Day.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2014/jan/21/stringers-encinitas-man-arrested-guns-mono-county/

June 24, 2014

Ken Harrison: Maybe somebody knows the answer to this. I haven't followed the situation closely enough to suggest an answer. Colorado has legalized recreational pot. Suppose Coloradans smoke pot in a car, then drive that car into another state, without taking the marijuana along.

But the car smells of marijuana. The car is stopped for speeding by police, who smell the pot. The cops then do a search. Is it justifiable? Best, Don Bauder

June 24, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close