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Constant video tracking of car gave reasonable suspicion it was correct target of stop

Winnebago County v. Lesa L. Maus, 2017AP1979, 5/30/18, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Maus challenges her stop on the ground that the citizen witness who called in a driver going the wrong way on the interstate said the car was beige, but her car, the one stopped, was black.

The problem for Maus is that the State Traffic Operation Center, which has cameras all over the area, was tracking her vehicle as it got off the highway, got turned around, and started heading in the right direction, and was communicating with the officer as he located her.

STOC was providing updates approximately every minute based on real-time cameras all along I-41. When STOC reported that Maus had exited the highway to then re-enter going in the correct direction, Glasel was at the same exit. The car he followed, identified by its location, was the only car around. The stop was not made based on an inchoate and unparticularized hunch; it was based on real-time monitoring of the reported car. This was clearly more reliable information than the citizen witness’s report of the car’s color. It was reasonable to infer that this reported observation was incorrect. That STOC did not expressly confirm that he was following the correct car, as it was providing him with updates and he followed the car for a mile on I-41, suggests that the conclusion was self-evident. The requisite reasonable suspicion did exist that the car he located and followed was the same car that was reportedly traveling in the wrong direction.


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