The ‘Barney Fife Loophole’ to the Fourth Amendment - the Atlantic
On April 29, 2009, Surry County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Darisse parked by Highway 77 working “criminal interdiction,” a term which seems to mean looking for folks who don’t look right. During his shift, Maynor Javier Vasquez drove by, with the owner of the car, Nicholas Heien, asleep in the back seat.
Darisse became suspicious of Vasquez. It’s a little unclear, why, though: In court, Darisse reasoned that the driver “was gripping the steering wheel at a “10-and-two” position, looking straight ahead”—driving like a regular person, in other words. Darisse followed the car until it came to a stoplight. At that point, he noticed one brake light was out. He stopped the vehicle.