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Legality of traffic checkpoints questioned

August 09, 2000

automobile and detaining the driver in order to check his driver's

license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable under the

Fourth Amendment."

"That's what the courts are for," Lynch said. If a driver wants to

take their case to court, they should, he said.

"I think the statistics are bogus," resident Jim Carlile said. "I also

question their criteria, their methodology in determining the number of

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hit-and-run accidents.

"As a concerned citizen of Burbank and someone's who's after spoken

out on discrimination issues, I find it inappropriate and unseemly for

our city to be doing this, Carlile said."

But the police department said it has no plans to discontinue the

practice. In fact, more checkpoints are planned for different areas

around the city, Lynch said.

When the checkpoint of July 19 was discussed in the news media,

officials mentioned the check was done randomly.

This concerns the ACLU, Schroeder said.

"If it is random," she said, "it raises questions as to why officers

are stopping certain cars."

Sgt. Ron Caruso of the traffic division said there was a system set up

to make sure that no discrimination was involved. When police officers

were busy, they waved cars through.

"We stopped every car and then our system went back to checking no

cars," he said. "The lead officer would designate the flow of cars."

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