The appeals court here reversed the conviction and ruled that the stop was illegal:
"[W]e agree that a pause of the length that Officer Tobin testified to observing is not of sufficient length to have raised community caretaking concerns, particularly in circumstances in which defendant's driving after commencing to proceed through the light was unexceptionable.* * * * Officer Tobin could not have had a reasonable belief that a traffic law had been violated, id. at 383, thereby justifying the stop, because as he testified, no cars followed defendant's, and thus there was indisputably no traffic to obstruct. Thus, we adhere to our conclusion that a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a motor vehicle violation had been committed was not established."
EDITORS NOTE: There are several state cases on both sides of the fence on this issue. For example, in Illinois it has been held that a delay of 3-5 seconds at a green light, while the officer is waiting behind the vehicle, is enough to stop the vehicle.
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