KHP responds to court decision – Osage County Online | Osage County News

KHP responds to court decision

The Kansas Highway Patrol issued the following statement Aug. 25, 2016. It is attributed to KHP Superintendent Mark Bruce.

In light of, and with respect to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recent decision on a case (14-3278) involving the Kansas Highway Patrol, the agency would like to clarify the work we do, and how traffic stops are conducted.

Media reports related to this case have indicated, after conducting a lawful stop, Kansas Highway Patrol officers detained and furthered the investigation of a subject because the driver was a resident of Colorado. The KHP does not conduct traffic stops based on a vehicle’s state of registration. Officers conduct traffic stops based on reasonable suspicion which is normally the result of traffic violations or criminal activity. Furthermore, members of the Patrol do not detain citizens based exclusively on the driver’s home state, or state of vehicle registration.

Officers consider many factors when determining the reasonable suspicion necessary to detain a vehicle or its occupants for the purpose of furthering an investigation. It is the Patrol’s practicing philosophy that neither vehicle registration plates, nor the home state of the driver are indicative of criminal activity in and of itself.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office plans to request an en banc review of the panel’s decision, and during the course of this review, many other relevant factors, which were not appropriately considered, will be clarified.

“I completely understand the concern from the motoring public of the perception that they could be subject to a traffic stop or detention based upon where their vehicle is registered or the state in which they reside. That is simply not the case and will come to light during further review of this matter”, said Patrol Superintendent Colonel Mark Bruce. “In fact, the reason for the stop in the 10th Circuit Case was because a temporary tag mounted inside the vehicle was obscured by dark window tint, which is a clear violation of state law,” Bruce said. “The subsequent detention of the driver in this case was the result of multiple factors consistent with criminal activity.”

The Kansas Highway Patrol reaffirms our commitment of fair and unbiased policing to the citizens of Kansas and we are committed to providing protection of life and property through active enforcement of traffic, criminal, and other laws of the State of Kansas.

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