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Traffic stop – anonymous tip corroborated by officer’s observations

State v. Tamara Jo Potter, 2012AP1605-CR, District 3, 1/23/13; court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Police lawfully stopped the defendant based on information from an anonymous tip that was corroborated by the officer’s observations. Minnesota police told Douglas County dispatch that it had received a tip of a “swerving” car heading into Superior. An officer in Superior located a car meeting the description and followed it. The officer stopped the car after independently observing it “drift” in its lane of travel. (¶¶2-4). Analogizing to Alabama v. White, 496 U.S. 325 (1990), the court concludes that the officer’s corroboration of the information in the tip gave the tip indicia of reliability. (¶¶12-13). Further, distinguishing State v. Post, 2007 WI 60, ¶38, 301 Wis. 2d 1, 733 N.W.2d 634 (weaving within a single traffic lane doesn’t provide reasonable suspicion), the court concludes that the information in the tip, along with the officer’s observations of driving like that described in the tip, provided reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. (¶¶14-16).

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