Philly Woman Sues Police After Being Arrested for Not Talking During Traffic Stop

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Philadelphia woman who was arrested after she refused to answer questions during a traffic stop in New Jersey has sued state police, claiming troopers violated basic rules by arresting her for remaining silent.

Rebecca Musarra, an attorney, filed the federal civil rights lawsuit after the Oct. 16 stop on Route 519 near the border with Pennsylvania in Warren County, reported ( ). At least three troopers insisted after she was pulled over that refusing to answer questions was a criminal act, according to the lawsuit.

Spokesmen for the state police and the attorney general’s office, which is representing the troopers, declined to comment on the allegations. State police spokesman Capt. Stephen Jones said the department’s internal affairs office conducts a review any time misconduct is alleged.

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“In the event that problems are identified, training and/or disciplinary measures are implemented where appropriate,” Jones said in an email.

Lawyers for the state have sought in court filings to have the case dismissed, claiming that the troopers “acted in good faith and without fraud or malice.”

A trooper pulled Musarra over for suspected speeding, requested her license, registration and insurance, and asked if she knew why she was being pulled over, according to dash camera footage obtained by through an open records request. Musarra said she provided the documents but didn’t respond to the troopers.

“You’re going to be placed under arrest if you don’t answer my questions,” one of the troopers told her before she was handcuffed and taken to a police station. Musarra asked the troopers if she was being detained, and one of the troopers said, “Yeah, obstruction.”

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Musarra said a supervisor watched dashboard camera footage and let her go without charges.


  1. The Supreme Court found that citizens have to assert their 5th Amendment right to remain silent, otherwise police are legally permitted to detain and/or arrest the citizen based upon the idea that their silence gives police reasonable suspicion that a crime might have taken place.

    This decision by the SC was made during Obama’s second term - forgive me for not memorizing or citing the specific decision.

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  4. In my Tennessee camp # 51 of 20,000 people, we don’t have the right not to speak if a cop asks us to, any command Tennessee police gives us then we must obey or else,

    • Since when has Tennessee law trumped the US Constitution?

      Supremacy Clause - Legal Definition. n. The clause in United States Constitution’s Article VI, stating that all laws made furthering the Constitution and all treaties made under the authority of the United States are the “supreme law of the land.”

    • This doesn’t sound correct what if you’re not educated on your rights, the fifth amendment doesn’t apply to those people. If you just intuitively know you can’t be compelled by force to speak and even worse to incriminate herself. Nonsense.

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  10. As soon as she’s arrested they tell her she ” has the right to remain silent and not answer any questions” ! Oh! the irony! If only they had remembered that before!

  11. It is Illegal to in anyway punish a citizen for exercising her Constitutional/Civil Rights. Title 42 USC Sect. 1983. Further, where is the Statutory Authority for a cop to speed in a chase? They generally have the plate and can find the citizen when they have filed an Affidavit. Brains and Education should be a primary criteria before a cop is set on the citizens.

  12. 90% of the police throughout America, from North to South from East to West, are now the Mafia gangs of America. They have publicly proved this on YouTube. Put a uniform on a piece of brain-dead and he/she think they are GOD’S, they believe they are untouchables. They Lie, they fabricate the truth. They lie to cover each other’s mistakes and have innocent people sent to jail. America is riddled with this uncontrollable sickening virus of which there seems to be no cure. Put the 1st amendment in your phone, know your rights of by heart, if you are black or white never walk alone at night, always have your phone at the ready. Do not raise your voice, if you have not committed a crime you do not have to answer questions or show your ID. Learn the law but keep your cool. Do not give them an excuse to beat you up or even kill you. Link to Youtube to see and hear at the first-hand corruption of the Mafia police gangs throughout America and learn from victims of police intimidation, they make up their own laws when outclassed. We need to help and protect each other from these police Mafia gangs that are terrorizing ordinary people throughout each state and making billions from defenceless people.
    10% of good police officers, unfortunately, you very rarely meet. They are put behind a desk. We trusted the police but they themselves lost our trust. NO Police Officer should lose his life in the line of duty, but if he breaks the rules, he has to take the consequences like everyone else.
    UK police are following in their footsteps.
    If you think this is cool then spread it all over the internet on Twitter and Facebook, every day.

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