Sonia Sotomayor cites Pulled Over in her Supreme Court dissent


From Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent to this week’s Supreme Court verdict in Utah vs. Strieff, which twice cited Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenshipincluding its core argument about how police stops deleteriously convey messages about citizenship and racial disparity:

Writing only for myself, and drawing on my professional experiences, I would add that unlawful “stops” have severe consequences much greater than the inconvenience suggested by the name. This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you. When we condone officers’ use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens. Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more. This Court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants—so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact. . . . The indignity of the stop is not limited to an officer telling you that you look like a criminal (See Epp, Pulled Over, at 5).

To read more about Pulled Over, click here.