A motorist who was less than cooperative when police performed a traffic stop on her property was vindicated Friday. A federal appeals court made it clear that taking a longer than expected time to produce identification and "being up to no good," was not grounds for arrest.
In an unpublished ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit allowed Gina Petithomme to sue the Miami-Dade, Florida police department over the treatment she received at the hands of officers on February 6, 2009. Officers Ronald Martin and Jesus Gonzalez had been dispatched to investigate a suspicious White Dodge with two black men inside at the corner of 148th Street and Northwest 10th Place. Before reaching that location, the officers saw a silver Nissan with a piece of white paper allegedly blocking the license plate. The Nissan was parked on private property.
Petithomme, a black woman, was inside the Nissan when officers came on her property to say they were investigating a suspicious vehicle.