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Do police officers have the right to randomly stop buses, and inspect individuals for paid fares without probable cause?

Newark, NJ |

I'm on a bus traveling to Newark, NJ. An officer stops the bus in the middle of traffic. The driver hadn't addressed anyone on board as rude, or troublesome. Nor had they called for assistance from the bus company or police. We're pulled over, the cop searches everyone, and demands they pay their fares again, in the event they have no ticket. Some people didn't speak English, and appeared to be tourists. I've never seen any type of search like this without some sort of catalyst or just cause. Is this legal; is this a tactic commonly used by police in New Jersey. Or this a potential 4th Amendment violation?

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

Sounds intrusive . What damages did you suffer?

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Asker

Posted

No. No fees, no charges, no arrest on my end. I've just never seen anything like this; I assumed things like this were illegal.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

It's certainly odd- my guess is the driver called b/c someone did not pay. We'll likely never know.

Asker

Posted

As stated... "The driver hadn't addressed anyone on board as rude, or troublesome. Nor had they called for assistance from the bus company or police. " The bus was randomly stopped in the middle of traffic. :/

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Buses in my area are equipped with a call button, driver can summon police without making him/herself a target. However, if it was without any justification it very well may have been an illegal stop and search. With none arrested, none harmed, there is legally little that can be done other than report these rouge officers to their agency.