U.S. Supreme Court to review Denver civil rights violation case

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DENVER — In June of 2008, Dr. Renee Gammons was pulled over by a Denver police officer who she says cut her off in traffic, while she was driving south on Peoria near 48th Avenue.

“In order to avoid hitting the cop car which pulled out in front of me, I changed lanes without putting on a turn signal,” said the former Metro State Professor. “When he put on his lights I pulled over and gave him my license and registration. I asked him why he had stopped me and was told that I was ‘driving erratic’. I mentioned the only reason I changed lanes was to avoid hitting his car.”

No ticket was issued by the officer during the stop. Gammons got her paper work back and drove off before again questioning him about ‘why he had stopped her’.

The officer’s report indicated she ran over his foot when she drove off, but he never sought treatment or went to the hospital.

When the case went to court, the officer recanted that part of the incident, saying she didn’t run over his foot.

Ten days after the stop, the officer found her work address and showed up to give her a ticket for the improper lane change.

Gammon’s SUV was impounded and later sold after she refused to pay the impound charges.

Her claim was that the vehicle had been illegally impounded and should have been returned without any fines. The car was later sold to a police officer after the leasing company which owned the vehicle, let the city auction off the SUV. The matter of principal she says is why she let the car go to auction.

The case went to Federal District Court in Denver only to be thrown out for lack of probable cause, when it came to Civil Rights Violations.

Gammons appealed the case to the Appeals Court and again was denied satisfaction. But her attorneys claimed she was denied discovery by the Denver City Attorney’s office and appealed the case again up the legal ladder.

Now, that appeal will be granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Gammons saying she was notified this week that the High Court is going to review the case, which means the city of Denver will have to explain its actions to the Supreme Court.

Gammons claims she was simply stopped for ‘driving while being black’ a common term used in many cities by people of color who say police use racial profiling when effecting traffic stops.

There is a 30 day return on the notice from the Court.

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