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Morning Shift

Rules of the traffic stop: Understanding your rights

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman, was pulled over in Texas for failure to signal a lane change. Three days after a heated confrontation with the arresting officer and her subsequent arrest, Bland was found dead in her jail cell. The trooper has been put on desk duty for violating procedures. In the video of the arrest, the trooper tells Bland he’s giving her a lawful order to step out of the car. He continued to use that phrase — “a lawful order” — without much explanation. So, was it lawful? What rights and responsibilities do both officers and drivers have during a traffic stop? Attorney Marian Perkins, chairperson and associate professor of the criminal justice program at Chicago State University, joins us to explain the rules of a traffic stop.(Flickr/dwightsghost)

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