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October 31, 2014

Lynx star stopped by police for air freshener

Minnesota Lynx star Seimone Augustus, who is black, was stopped by an officer in Roseville for having a dangling air freshener from her rearview mirror. By state statute, that’s illegal, but some suspect that police use it as an excuse to pull someone over for “driving while black.” It gives police probable cause to stop a car that they might be otherwise suspicious about, MPR’s Bob Collins noted in a blog post about the incident. He includes citations to related case law.

Roseville police defended their right to pull a driver over for an air freshener violation because it can impair a driver’s view, KARE 11 reported. The Star Tribune has the statement from Roseville police.

The Lynx are preparing to open the WNBA Finals on Sunday. Here are some of Augustus’ tweets about the Monday incident to her 25,000 or so followers: