ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The highest court in New York says police can't simply ask stopped motorists if they have a gun or other weapon, but need a "founded suspicion" in order to ask.
The Court of Appeals says officers in the Bronx erred when they asked the question after pulling Miguel Garcia's vehicle over for a defective brake light and noticed some of his four male passengers were "furtive" and "nervous" on the evening of Sept. 19, 2007.
One passenger admitted having a knife. After all five were ordered out of the vehicle, police found an air pistol in the car and an air gun in the trunk.
The court majority says Tuesday police cannot, simply as a protective measure, routinely ask either the occupant of a vehicle or a pedestrian about weapons.