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06-27-12, 11:53 AM
I was traveling in the inside lane of a four lane road, two lanes each direction, at 35mph. About 500 feet ahead I see a car pull out of an apartment complex into the outside lane. The other car was going about 15-20 miles per hour going the same direction. When I caught up to him, he started to come into my lane, and I had to swerve to avoid hitting him. It shocked me and I honked my horn to let him notice me. I then saw that his lane ended, that is why he came into my lane. No big deal, no one hurt. I made a few turns and got onto the highway. After a couple of miles, I got pulled over by a marked vehicle. The man that ran me out of my lane was at my window demanding my license. He was an off duty officer that had called back up to pull me over. He was angry that I honked at him, and gave me a ticket for driving on the wrong side of the street. when I swerved to avoid hitting him. I am worried that this officer will retaliate against me if I go to court and tell my story. I do not trust IAD to file a complaint, but this guy scares me. I have been around law enforcement my entire life. Can you advise the best way to let the new chief be aware of this angry officers attitude, without the risk of retaliation? I don't mind going to traffic school, to take care of this ticket. I have not had a ticket in 40 years. What bothers me most is the fear that this off duty officer has given me. It is difficult to explain the level of anger he displayed to me, for honking at him.
06-27-12, 12:12 PM
If you don't trust the IAD, why do you trust the chief? File an IAD report and if there is retaliation, contact an attorney.
06-27-12, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the reply. To answer your question...This is a new chief, that just took over the department 10 months ago. He claims he is into community policing theory. The IAD is still the original investigators, who in the past have proven to be in the same network as the officers (buddy system) I am pro police. I fully appreciate the job, but a few bad apples, etc. It is just too difficult to tell which apples are bad. I have witnessed a huge amount of corruption, in this department in the past. This new chief promises change. But we have all heard those promises before. I am afraid if I report the retaliation, but if I don't report, this guy may escalate and really hurt someone. You and I both know the traffic laws are written where no one can be lawful at all times. The intent there is to give officers probable cause for a stop, not to give tickets for every infraction. So, how do you prove retaliation, when the officer can always find a ticketable offense? It is my word vs. the world of a law enforcement officer. Who will the judge believe? I think we both know the answer.
06-27-12, 12:55 PM
I would at the least take a hearing on the ticket. Contrary to popular belief, at least here, judges sometimes do give the accused the benefit of the doubt. If they feel the citation is weak more times than not they toss it.
What kind of retaliation are you referring to?
06-27-12, 01:35 PM
I am afraid that he will pull me over every time he sees me on the street and ticket me for some obscure transgression. This department is also known to tow your vehicle and arrest you for minor offenses. I travel with my dog, so if I am placed in custody they will impound my vehicle and my dog. I do not drink or take any medication. I am a good citizen, but I have witnessed this department use a taser on people that were not combative, just asking questions. There is a variety of ways this officer can retaliate.
Just remember his "anger" or what you think is is not likely about you as much as what you did. Little things like what you described kill people every day. You ever pick up a dead four year old off a highway or look at it for six hours while you investigate the crash? it is not a happy experience.
His anger was what you did, which I will not debate as right or wrong on here. We were not there, we don't know what the road looks like and there are two sides to every story. I have seen folks who truly believe they are 100% correct and explain what they did when the dash vido shows something different. I don't think they are telling a lie....they just see it 100% differently. I had a guy tell me a bank robber has a moustache. The robber was one foot away pointing a gun at him. He had to get a good look during the robbery which lasted several minutes, right? Nope......guy had no moustache in the video.
I would not worry a bit. Head to court...tell your version and let the chips fall. I think you are worrying too much. Few cops risk their job by retaliating.
06-27-12, 02:48 PM
Yep, retired from the Coroner's office. I have worked cases where a 2 month old child was dipped into a pot of boiling beans, or a 3 year old was beaten so badly he had shoe prints and cigarette burns on his body. We could trade horror stories all day, but regardless it does not excuse this officer's actions. I gave this officer no reason to rage at me. I suspected he might have been drunk or not paying attention when he ran me out of my lane. I honked only to get his attention, and to warn him I was there. There were no finger flinging, no altercations. I was not driving on the wrong side of the street. At most I passed him in a no passing zone, when I swerved to avoid him. Mind you, I was only traveling at 35mph. I am totally anonymous on this site. I don't have a reason to not be truthful. As I stated in my first post, I am only concerned if I do not report him his behavior will escalate, and someone may get hurt. I am not attempting to fight the ticket because he is wrong, I just want the safest way to report this officer without receiving retaliation. By the way, I have 30 years of training to pay attention to details.
I gave this officer no reason to rage at me.
You really did not describe any rage...just that he had a marked unit pull you over and was angry you allegedly cut him off and ended up with a ticket. You don't mention anything such as yelling, screaming, ripping you out of the car, etc.... What rage?
I suspected he might have been drunk or not paying attention when he ran me out of my lane.
Did you smell alcohol? Sluured speech? Poor motor control? Pupils? Are you trained and certified to give sobriety tests? You mention this to the uniform officer?
As I stated in my first post, I am only concerned if I do not report him his behavior will escalate, and someone may get hurt.
Are you forgetting to tell us something? When you say rage you imply he was out of control. If you think getting a ticket by an off duty cop is rage, you need to rethink your definition. Also, who actually wrote/signed/issued the ticket....the uniform or off-duty?
By the way, I have 30 years of training to pay attention to details.
Details that you are trained to look for and interested in.....not traffic infractions.
Again....I think you are making a mountain over an ant hill based on tehinof you shared thus far.
06-27-12, 06:26 PM
To answer your questions, I never saw the uniformed officer. He stayed in the marked unit. The off duty officer is the only person that confronted me and issued the citation.
I only suspected he might have been drunk or not paying attention because he was only driving 15 miles per hour and he did not appear to see my f250 pickup prior to changing lanes and forcing me to take evasive action. I could not smell his breath when he was in his vehicle and I was in mine. It was just a thought that passed through my head. I thought the incident was over as soon as I passed him. As I stated No big deal.
As far as his rage, yes he raged. He screamed. He was red and spitting. I thought he was going to hit me. He was upset that I honked my horn at him.
Just remember his "anger" or what you think is is not likely about you as much as what you did. Little things like what you described kill people every day. You ever pick up a dead four year old off a highway or look at it for six hours while you investigate the crash? it is not a happy experience. I know people are killed in mva everyday. But it was his actions that would have been responsible had there been an accident. He failed to make sure it was safe to change lanes.
I just want the safest way to report this officer without receiving retaliation.
I did not realize I needed to go into any more detail than the above. Please accept my apologies for wasting your time. I will just ignore this officers unfounded rage, and hope the next victim is not harmed. Thank you again for your time.