License Plate Cameras

Random License Plate Scans Get KY Court Approval

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Judges in Kentucky have no problem with police randomly scanning the license plates of motorists who are not suspected of any crime. The state Court of Appeals last week upheld the conviction of Timothy Gentry who was stopped on October 3, 2009 because a Lexington police officer conducted what he said was a random license plate scan.

Officer Jason Newman testified he spotted a red Dodge Charger parked on Breckinridge Street in September 2009. For no reason, he decided to run the license plate number. He identified the owner as Dominick Evans, a black man with a suspended driver's license. He saw nobody near the car, so he took no action. Weeks later, Officer Newman saw Gentry, a black twenty-three-year old man, driving a red Charger. It had the same license plate. Though Gentry was driving properly, Officer Newman conducted a traffic stop.