The case illustrates several of the themes I discussed in a recent column explaining how cops became highway robbers:
Cops can always find an excuse to stop you. On the morning of April 15, 2013, Trooper Justin Simmons, who is part of an "interdiction team" that looks for contraband and money to seize, pulled over William Davis and John Newmerzhycky, who were traveling west on Interstate 80 in a rental car, a red Nissan Altima. Simmons later said he had received a vague tip from "an Illinois law enforcement officer" to be on the lookout for a red car, but he did not know why. Obviously that did not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion, which Simmons needed to stop the car. So instead he claimed that he pulled Davis and Newmerzhycky over because Newmerzhycky, who was driving, failed to signal as he passed a black SUV. But as can be seen in the video recorded by Simmons' dashcam (starting around the 00:28 mark), Newmerzhycky did signal.