Pamela Konchinsky, 56, was headed to work on June 17th in her silver 2004 Toyota minivan when she was pulled over by two police cars — one with its lights going. The officers spotted a joke bumper sticker on the minivan window reading “Unmarked police car” and were not amused. The officers made Konchinsky pull off the bumper sticker. The Indianapolis police department is now being sued for good reason for the abusive stop and treatment. The ACLU has filed the case.
The two cars pulled over Konchinsky and one officer ordered her to stay in her vehicle. An officer then asked if the minivan was her vehicle and demanded her license and registration.” He then reportedly stated “With that bumper sticker, someone could think you’re impersonating a police officer.'” He then allegedly added that she could even be shot by someone who didn’t like police officers. They ordered her to pile off the bumper sticker if she wanted to go. She was late for work and later contacted the ACLU. She is the mother of one adult and one school-age child.
The officers clearly violated Konchinsky’s first amendment right to free speech. The objection that someone might mistake her minivan for an uncovered police vehicle is truly moronic. It is akin to wearing a teeshirt saying that you are in witness protection program or that you are an undercover cop. It is a joke. The stop was not. I do not consider this a minor incident for these officers. It takes not just zero intellect and judgment to carry out such a stop but an abusive view of authority by these officers. I would be worried about any of these officers exercising such authority when they clearly cannot exercise the judgment of a toddler in such matters.
She is seeking unspecified damages, including lost wages, as well as legal costs and an injunction.
The lawsuit is Pamela Konchinsky v. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officers John Doe I and John Doe II, Cause No. 1:14-cv-1078, and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, on June 27, 2014.
Source: Indy Star
Kudos: Michael Blott