Columnist Searched After “Suspicious and Evasive” Answer: “I Work”


Raleigh News & Observer columnist Barry Saunders describes what it was like to be stopped by police in Spartanburg, S.C., and searched for drugs last week. Saunders declined to have his rental car searched without a warrant, but when a police dog jumped into his car window, a “deputy explained that since the dog had gotten a ‘hit,’ that gave them probable cause to search the car. Which they did. Thoroughly. While they were at it, they searched me, too, in ways that usually require the exchange of money or at least dinner,” Saunder writes.

He got caught up in Operation Rolling Thunder, a drug interdiction operation, said Spartanburg County Chief Deputy William Parris. Saunders asked a deputy on the scene why police decided to search his car. “Some of your answers,” he said. “sent up a red flag.” He explained, “When I asked you 'What do you do for a living?' you said 'I work.' That's suspicious and evasive,” he said.

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