Feb 162019
 February 16, 2019  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Nate Gartrell and David Debolt report:

A Bay Area man who advocates for privacy rights filed a lawsuit against three Contra Costa County sheriff employees, alleging that he was nearly arrested after a police license plate reader mistakenly flagged his car as stolen.

Brian Hofer, 41, filed the federal lawsuit in November, seeking unspecified damages. The suit names three sheriff employees as defendants — Deputy “K. Emley,” Deputy “B. Gant,” and Sgt. “W. Odom” — and alleges police held Hofer and his brother at gunpoint after their rental car was wrongfully reported as stolen.

Iroincally (sic), Hofer is chair of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, which has raised privacy concerns over law enforcement use of license plate readers.

Read more on Mercury News.

  2 Responses to “‘They went cowboy on us’: Privacy advocate says East Bay police held him at gunpoint over license plate reader mix-up”

  1. Police had a reasonable belief they were car thieves.
    Was “gun point” for 8 hrs or 2 minutes while they found out more and additional officers arrived?
    Delaying anyone for a few hours has been found legal in the greater good for society. I suppose being handcuffed for a few hour is preferable to some.

    If you’ve ever had your vehicle stolen, you know how unlikely it is to get it back undamaged, if ever. For many people, not getting the vehicle back would be best.

  2. Tawny, I am at a loss following your line of reasoning. If you meant that being handcuffed for a few hours is preferable to being shot and murdered by our nation’s finest then I can see your point.

    But beyond that, your argument is lost on me.

    Having cops approach your vehicle with their hands on their guns is B.S. but having them point them at innocent motorists over for-profit license plate readers is inexcusable.

    License plate readers treat EVERYONE as a potential source of revenue and criminal. The Bill of Rights means nothing when private corporations and police work together to treat everyone like a suspect and source of revenue.

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