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Supreme Court Rules 8-1 That An Officer’s Mistaken Belief The Law Was Violated Still Supported A Finding Of Reasonable Suspicion Because It Was A Reasonable Mistake

Sergeant Matt Darisse of the Surry County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Department was observing traffic on Interstate 77 near the town of Dobson, NC, on the morning of Wednesday, April 29, 2009.  Around 8:00 a.m., a Ford Escort passed his patrol car.  Sergeant Darisse thought the driver looked “very stiff and nervous,” and so he began following the vehicle.  Eventually, the Ford Escort applied its brakes when approaching a slowly moving vehicle, revealing to Sergeant Darisse that only the left brake light illuminated, while the right brake light did not.  Sergeant Darisse believed that that a vehicle having an inoperative brake light violated state law, and so he activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop based on the inoperative brake light. 

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When Police Shoot: A Dialogue on the Use of Force

On Wednesday December 3, the National Law Enforcement Museum and The Memorial Foundation, builders of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, hosted the Museum’s inaugural Conversations on Law Enforcement panel discussion entitled When Police Shoot: A Dialogue on the Use of Force at the US Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater. The event provided an opportunity for a national discussion on police training and procedure, and the use of force.

Craig Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, kicked off the event by welcoming the nearly 150  guests in attendance, and thanking the event’s sponsor, Target®, and co-host, Harry Johnson, President & CEO of The Memorial Foundation, Builders of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Mr. Johnson briefly spoke about the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC, and encouraged the panelists, audience and general public to bring forth the four tenants of the Memorial: justice, hope, love and democracy.

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CBP, TSA Exempted From New Profiling Guidelines

The announcement last week by the Justice Department of new guidelines regarding racial profiling by federal law enforcement officers signaled a clear intention by the Obama administration to respond to recent controversies involving police officers and minority suspects. In announcing the new guidelines, Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the changes and revisions that would be made: for the first time, racial profiling would be banned from national security cases. Another significant change is the expansion of types of profiling that will be banned: while President George W. Bush stopped racial profiling in 2003, the new policy will cover religion, national origin, and sexual orientation profiling as well.

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FLEOA Seeks Executive Director to Serve in Washington DC

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is currently in search of a full-time Executive Director to serve the organization in Washington, D.C.

The ideal candidate will have senior-level experience in organizational management, experience in advocacy and legislative activity, media relations skills, a post-secondary education, and experience in or familiarity with the justice sector and/or with law enforcement agencies at any level of government.

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Award Winning Public Servants Form Group to Advise Policymakers

GEICO’s Good Stuff is a column series highlighting great stuff happening in the federal community. 


A new non-governmental organization aimed at restoring trust in public institutions by improving government performance was formed in early December.

The Volcker Alliance and the Senior Executives Association (SEA) announced that past winners of the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award will form a group known as the Distinguished Executives Alumni Network – the DEAN’s List.

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