So have you heard about the controversy in the Sooner state over police officers using new card readers to scan prepaid debit cards during traffic stops?
Well, Monday, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety said it would put a temporary hold on that activity, while it reassesses the program following public outcry.
Police say the idea is to use the card readers to target and seize drug money. Officers would be able to scan prepaid cards during traffic stops, for example, without a search warrant or any criminal charges being filed. They would just have to establish a “reasonable suspicion” a crime is being committed.
The card readers can’t access people’s bank accounts.
According to Oklahoma Watch, ODPS Commissioner Michael Thompson is going to get more training on how the devices are used, but in the end he says has no plans to stop using them.
“It’s too good a tool” to cease using, he said. “I personally want to sit through this to get a clear understanding of how this works and get a good comfortable feel before we move forward.”
Civil-rights advocates argue officers could end up taking money from law-abiding citizens.
“This is a capability that law enforcement has never had before and one that is very likely to land Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety in litigation,” said ACLU Oklahoma legal director Brady Henderson.