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After Arresting Driver for Silence, Cops Tell Her She Has a Right to Remain Silent
New Jersey state troopers said declining to answer a question is a crime.
Jacob Sullum|May. 6, 2016 10:59 am
After New Jersey state troopers arrested Rebecca Musarra for remaining silent, they informed her, "You have the right to remain silent." That should have been a clue that something was amiss with their legal justification for hauling her off to jail.
According to a federal lawsuit filed by Musarra, a Philadelphia attorney, and dashcam footage recently obtained by NJ Advance Media, Trooper Matthew Stazzone pulled her over for speeding on October 16 and asked for her license, registration, and proof of insurance. She handed over the documents but did not respond when Stazzone asked her a question. He repeated the question several times, becoming increasingly agitated and warning her that she would be arrested if she did not answer. Here is the vitally important question that Stazzone kept asking: "Do you know why you're being pulled over tonight?"