Exiting and locking your car doesn’t automatically prevent search incident to arrest

State v. Adams, Court of Appeals Division I, filed September 2, 2008.

Police observed a man sitting in his parked car outside a casino. The registered owner of the vehicle had an outstanding arrest warrant for a revoked driver’s license. The driver matched the registered owner’s description, so the police officer turned around to contact the driver. The driver drove away and the police officer followed. The driver turned into a Taco Bell driveway and parked. The police officer turned on its emergency lights and pulled in behind the car.

The driver, Mr. Adams, stepped out of his vehicle, stood in the open car door, and yelled at the officer that the stop was racial profiling. The police officer instructed Mr. Adams to get back in his car, but Mr. Adams kept yelling. The officer called for back-up. Mr. Adams slammed the car door, locked it, and stepped four to five feet away into the adjacent parking lot, where he continued to yell at the police officer and raise his arms in an agitated manner.

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