While I commend Officer Higgens for her conduct and congratulate her on the notice it received, I can’t help but be disappointed by the fact that the behavior noted by the judge was noteworthy at all.
“As an aside, Officer Higgens is to be commended for her honesty on the stand during the hearing on the motion to suppress,” Judge Schmidt wrote. “She was upfront regarding her mistake of law and did not waiver or attempt to provide an alternative ground for the stop when one did not exist. Her testimony makes clear that the mistake was subjectively honest and made in good faith.”
Um…isn’t that how the Police are supposed to conduct themselves? It seems pretty clear that the judge considers it unusual to see a police officer who is “subjectively honest and [acting] in good faith”.
If that’s not a sad statement on the state of affairs in Policing in that area, I don’t know what is.