Judge: Car search coerced by Kentucky police officer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A judge has ruled that Kentucky police coerced a man into allowing officers to search his car, leading to charges including violating a protective order by carrying a gun.

The Courier Journal reports Judge Annie O’Connell has since thrown out the evidence and will have the felony charges dropped against Miguel A. Ballard Jr.

Ballard was pulled over last year for not wearing a seat belt, and he refused to allow officers to search his van. Louisville police Detective William Mayo told Ballard that two types of people refuse searches, using an obscenity for one group and describing the other as “people who have something to hide.” Ballard then consented.

The ruling means Ballard will only pay a fine for failing to wear a seat belt. Police spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said Wednesday that an internal investigation is ongoing.

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