Consent searches begin again in Fayetteville

March 2, 2012 7:34:57 PM PST
Police started conducting consent searches again Friday after a judge lifted a moratorium.

For now, officers will be asking for verbal consent to search a person's vehicle. Starting Monday, motorists will be asked to sign a consent form that says, in part, that the motorist voluntarily agrees to the search and that the motorist has not been intimidated or coerced into making the decision.

Attorneys from both sides met with Superior Court Judge Greg Bell Thursday. He agreed to temporarily lift a moratorium on consent searches.

In January, Fayetteville City Council voted to impose a 120 day moratorium on those searches. The ban was in response to complaints from citizens that police were using racial profiling to unfairly stop and search black drivers three times more than white drivers.

The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association has sued the city over the moratorium and asked the court for a temporary restraining order to lift the ban.

The temporary restraining order is good for 10 days. However, city police hope that the order is made permanent.

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