I Scream for Ice Cream

Did you catch this story? Kansas City Police were pulling over good drivers to reward them with a coupon for a free ice cream cone.

Call me a skeptic but my first thought was "Sure, 'reward' them by looking in their car." I can see it now... the new cover for racial profiling will be "I pulled over the minority driver to tell him that he's a good driver and offer him an ice cream."

I wonder what would happen if the officer approached and smelled alcohol or weed from the driver, or saw illegal weapons on the backseat. Is this ice cream scheme really a reasonable predicate for a stop?

Hey, True Believer, let us know if you come across any DUI cases where the driver was stopped to be given an ice cream coupon. (And that, my friends, was my plug for this great DUI defense blog.)

(Link to story via Favorable Dicta.)


  1. Heaven forbid you might be trying to get to somewhere at a certian time. Now you have to worry about a guy pulling you over to say hi. Talk about abuse of power. And a $1.50 ice cream cone doesn't seem like a fair trade. When you get pulled over for speeding you pay $100.

  2. Now I've heard everything. This is too ridiculous to be innocent. It may well be the newest idea in pretextual stops. I can see law enforcement floating the idea to see how the public responds.

    Thanks for the pointer and for the plug.

  3. I think I remember the police department in Richmond, VA doing this a few years ago. Maybe Ken over at CrimLaw has some insight for us.

  4. If the cops happen to pull over someone who's drunk or has a bale of marijuana sitting on the back seat, you can bet that the report will claim that the stop was for "failure to maintain lane" or "broken tailllight," and not "just wanted to give away free ice cream but damned if it didn't turn out that something illegal was afoot."

  5. Reminds me of a Simpsons episode where the police chief (or mayor I can't remember) decides to catch people who are behind in paying their parking tickets by telling them they've won a free boat.