So I Was Just Curious Said The Police Officer

Jeannine Bell (Indiana University Maurer School of Law) has posted The Violence of Nosy Questions (Boston University Law Review, Vol. 100) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: This Essay examines a little-studied aspect of police procedure: police officers’ unfettered power to ask questions of motorists. The questions officers ask after they have stopped a car can run the gamut from questions about the nature of the motorist’s travel plans to nosy personal questions. Such questions are often intrusive, and drivers report feeling degraded by having to answer them. This Essay argues that these questions should be regulated because giving officers complete control over what they ask motorists provides a significant space for racial discrimination in policing, creates resentment, and encourages minorities to distrust the police.

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