UNC prof ignites 4th Amendment debate after being pulled over by fire truck

UNC prof ignites 4th Amendment debate after being pulled over by fire truck

When a North Carolina firefighter switched on the siren atop his Chapel Hill Fire Department truck to get a driver he suspected of being impaired to pull over, he probably didn’t expect to ignite a constitutional debate.

But that’s exactly what has happened. The woman Fire Lt. Gordon Shatley pulled over on his way back from a call was Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk, a professor at the University of North Carolina and former town council member who is arguing use of the fire truck and siren — which are not authorized for law enforcement actions — gave the color of government to what might otherwise have been a lawful citizen’s arrest. And although a lower court upheld Verkerk’s arrest, an appellate court remanded the case with instructions to consider whether it was an illegal search and seizure.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments