Bruce Rushton, a reporter for the Springfield, Il., State Journal-Register, believes he was targeted by law enforcement because of news articles he wrote about a murder trial last spring, his lawyer says. Rushton had just finished covering the trial when he was pulled over outside the Adams County Courthouse and charged with driving with a suspended license and disregarding a stop sign.
The license-related charge was dropped, but the incident has prompted a legal effort by Rushton, 46, to determine why he was stopped in the first place and to get the stop sign ticket dismissed. His attorneys are seeking information on law enforcement radio traffic and usage of a database used to check criminal records. “I'm not guilty of all charges and look forward to proving my innocence,” Rushton said. One of his attorneys, Dan Fultz said, “There is some concern he is being targeted. That appears to be one of the motivations.” Fultz said at issue is how the National Crime Information Center database was used to check Rushton's driving record before the traffic stop.