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ACLU Sues Kansas Highway Patrol For "Two-Stepping" Out-Of-State Drivers

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A lawsuit claims state troopers use a, quote, “Kansas two-step” on out-of-state drivers traveling to and from Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed a class-action case Thursday contending that 93 percent of traffic stops made by the highway patrol in 2017 targeted cars with out-of-state license plates.

ACLU Kansas Legal Director Lauren Bonds said troopers resolve the reason for the stop, turn away -- that’s the two-step -- and start a conversation where consent is implied.

“They were reengaged by a highway patrol officer asking if they can ask them additional questions,” she said.

Bonds said when ACLU clients refused to answer additional questions that triggered a drug search. She said the technique violates the drivers’ rights.

“Refusing to consent to a search doesn't give you reasonable suspicion to, to bring a drug dog out that's really well established, both um, federal law and state law," Bonds said. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol declined comment on pending litigation.