When you see a police vehicle in your rear-view mirror, you hope that officers will observe your good driving behavior and move along. That wasn't the case for Denise Green, a woman in San Francisco.
Denise was handcuffed by at least four police officers, searched and forced to her knees while held at gunpoint - a rifle for part of the ordeal - while the cops searched her car. Her crime? A faulty electronic license plate reader flagged Denise's car as stolen.
"The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals cried foul on the San Francisco Police Department's claims that it was a reasonable traffic stop, despite the officer failing to notice that the woman's license plate was different from the one the electronic reader flagged as stolen.
Furthermore, the plate read by the electronic reader belonged "to a car with a different make, model and color" than the 1992 burgundy Lexus ES 300 the 45-year-old African-American woman was driving, the court noted."
Her license plate number read 5SOW350, but the electronic plate reader reported it as 5SOW750.
This incident took place in 2009 and there is now a law requiring officers to manually check that the car's plate number matches the number on the electronic license plate reader.
Denise Green has since filed a suit and, unless the police settle the case, Denise will get her day in court.