By on June 4, 2010


It has been almost three years since a young Saint Louis, Missouri motorist drew national attention by videotaping an out-of-control police officer’s profanity-laced tirade during a traffic stop (view video). St. George Police Sergeant James Kuehnlein was fired because of the bad publicity generated by the incident captured by the taping system that Brett Darrow, 23, installed in his 1997 Nissan Maxima. On Saturday, St. Louis County Police stopped Darrow once again.

Darrow was with his girlfriend that evening when he came upon a drunk driving (DUI) roadblock. Because he was not in his Maxima, Darrow’s only recording tool was his cell phone which captured 50 seconds worth of the interaction with Officer Kevin Lane before the phone was seized and Darrow ordered out of his car. Darrow complied, locking the door while his girlfriend waited in the passenger seat. Officer Lane then took the keys out of Darrow’s pocket, entered the car without permission, and proceeded to move it down the street.

With the phone turned off and no longer recording, Darrow says Officer Lane began yelling at him in a profanity-laced style “very similar to Sergeant Kuehnlein’s rant from the St. George video.” Sergeant David Stuckmeyer, supervisor for the highway safety unit, intervened. He recognized Darrow.

“I want to leave now,” Darrow told the sergeant. “Do you think I’m drunk? You don’t smell any alcohol do you? I’m not slurring my words. You know I’m not drunk. Why am I not on my way?”

Stuckmeyer did not answer. Darrow complained that his car had been searched and that he was being detained without warrant or probable cause. Stuckmeyer insisted that the roadblocks were set up to check for drunk drivers. In the last fiscal year, however, Stuckmeyer’s unit was responsible for generating 2864 seat belt tickets which has helped to land at least $275,000 in state and federal grants. After finally being told he could leave, Darrow asked for his driver’s license and cell phone.

“Still, as I sit here a few days later, I cannot believe the brazen attitude of all of them towards someone who hasn’t done anything wrong,” Darrow told TheNewspaper. “Apparently they just won’t learn.”

Darrow intends to ask for the dashcam videos from the police cruisers that had their lights flashing on the scene. Listen to the recording of the first fifty seconds of the incident in a 200k MP3 file at the source link below.

Article Excerpt:

Transcript of audio recording
Brett: Hi.
Officer Lane: You got your driver’s license on you?
Brett: Yeah. [Hands license over]
Officer Lane: How much have you had to drink tonight?
Brett: Nothing.
Officer Lane: Nothing?
Brett: No.
Officer Lane: Why are you in such a bad mood tonight Brett?
Brett: I don’t like being stopped.
Officer Lane: You don’t like being stopped?
Brett: I don’t want to answer any more questions. Am I free to go?
Officer Lane: No. Not until I tell you you are free to go. What is your problem Brett?
Brett: I told you I don’t want to answer any questions.
Officer Lane: Let me see your eyes.
Brett: Am I free to go?
Officer Lane: No, you are not free to go. Let me see your eyes.
Brett: Why do you need to see my eyes?
Officer Lane: Cause I’m asking to see your eyes. Turn your phone off
[Darrow moves phone from his lap to the center cup holder]
Officer Lane: Let me see your phone.
Brett: No
Officer Lane: Let me see your phone.
[Lane reaches in the car and grabs the phone]
Brett: Are you seizing my phone?
Officer Lane: Let me see your phone
Brett: Can I see a supervisor?
[Phone powered off]

Source: MP3 Audio recording of DUI roadblock (Brett Darrow, 5/29/2010)

[Courtesy:Thenewspaper.com]

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54 Comments on “Missouri Cops Harass Video Vigilante A Third Time...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    Brett is totally within his rights, but if I was him I’d be looking for another community to live in. Short of a restraining order they’re going to be out for him.

    • 0 avatar
      CriticalMass

      I couldn’t agree more. The police, while having a difficult job to do, are not free to act with impunity while trying to intimidate everybody they come into contact with. They often times consider themselves a breed apart and the rules don’t apply to them, they’re just doing it because they know better than the rest of us. We should shake in our boots whenever the government decides what’s best for us. Not their job. Is this kid looking for trouble? Yes. Does it matter? Not so much. It’s very important for the police to be kept in the daylight. Lately more and more states are making it illegal to film police in the performance of their duty. Illegal! Does that make you nervous? If not, you are asleep.

  • avatar

    The audio in that older video is chilling.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    So the guy record every interaction he have with the police, seem to not want to cooperate, do not look like he is giving eye contact and ask to leave at every two sentences? Basicelly, he seems like he want to hide something from the law and he is a victim of police harassement? Don’t you think that a good cop is suppose to pick up on these attitude and look further? How about looking the cop in the eyes, answering his question, showing a clean paw and be on his way…the police are trained to detect annomaly and look in the matter; now i’m not saying that it is ok for them to use dui stops for other purpose, but if a guy act strangely i’m ok with the fact that the police try to find why is that person acting like that. If that guy was on a warrant, was smuggling dope or any other criminal activity, don’t you think that he would be acting in a similar manner(wanting to leave, no eye contact, beeing in a bad mood). If that police officer would have taken a criminal off the street wouldn’t we all be happy and say he was a keen observer? (My opinion is based on what a read an heard on the mp3, i do not know for the rest of the situation).

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    Police have a very difficult job to perform. Many walk that fine line between life and death every day they are on the job. A simple traffic stop can quickly turn into a life or death situation. A police officer has to approach every situation with caution. If not, it could cost them their life. Treat cops with the respect that they deserve.

    Everyone seems to hate a cop until they need one.

    • 0 avatar

      I treat cops with the respect they earn. If they treat me with respect, I act accordingly. They don’t deserve any more respect than any other overpaid, entitled public employee.

      I’m tired of badge bunnies and holster sniffers whining about how dangerous a cop’s job is. The truth is that being a cop is dangerous but there are much more dangerous jobs, as important to society as police work. American law enforcement and corrections officers have the 10th highest risk of a fatality on the job. Farmers, fisherman, loggers, even garbage collectors have more dangerous jobs than police.

      Cops are the first to threaten the public with scare tactics when budgets need to be cut. They are among the worst public pension abusers, many frequently claim disabilities.

      As for cops helping people, for the most part, it appears that cops’ highest priority is their pensions, followed by cop safety. There are sadly many examples of cops sitting around while people bled to death, rather than risk a cop’s safety.

      Cops rarely stop crime and often fail to find the culprits (well, unless it’s a cop who’s the victim). They show up after someone’s already been victimized, well, that is, if they think your case is important enough to respond.

      They want special privileges, like making it a crime to tape them on duty or protecting their personal info from public databases. They want special penalties for assault on and murder of police officers. Why should a cop have more value than your daughter?

      And if you dare tell a cop that he works for you and owes you respect, like all public employees owe the public, you risk losing your liberty.

      Cops hate being reminded that they work for you.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Ronnie,

      While I agree with your perspective, I would argue the 10th position figure.

      According to the BLS, being a cop is barely in the top 20 dangerous professions. Let alone in the top 10.

      One is lightyears more likely to die as a landscaper.

      And they don’t get a huge funeral procession at our expense, with all the public moaning about how they were a great person…

  • avatar
    daga

    This one doesn’t seem so bad. If I were that cop, I would think he’s hiding something illegal too. If a DUI roadblock catches somebody with a trunk full of ANFO, I’d like them to be able to find it.

    • 0 avatar
      ruckover

      DAGA, unless the bomber is drunk, how do you expect the police will find the explosives? Should everyone have to open up their cars’ trunks at DUI stops in case their might be a bomb in someone’s trunk. I sort of like probable cause.

  • avatar
    DougD

    Haven’t listened to either audio, but to me he’s obviously baiting the cop with non-standard answers and behaviour. They are supposed to ask more questions if they don’t get the usual answer, that’s their job. Mr Darrow knows that better than anyone.

    I’ll bet the conversation could have gone like:
    How much have you had to drink tonight?
    Not a thing sir. (With eye contact and earnest expression)
    Move along.
    At least that’s how it goes for me every time. Cops aren’t perfect but they are usually just a person trying to do their job same as everybody else.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      +1

      This guy better hope he never REALLY needs a cop.

    • 0 avatar

      1996MEdition
      1996MEdition
      June 4th, 2010 at 11:52 am

      +1

      This guy better hope he never REALLY needs a cop.

      This is exactly what cops and cop groupies don’t understand. You think it’s somehow justified to withhold police services from people who aren’t cop cheerleaders. You also probably think there’s nothing wrong with cops casually violating traffic laws to make their jobs easier, even though they are not on emergency runs. Likewise with “professional courtesy” that cops receive when pulled over for traffic violations up to and including DUIs.

      There’s a word for all of those things, corruption. They’re all examples of abuse of power.

      I’m old fashioned. I think that cops should follow the law. In fact, they have a higher moral obligation than regular citizens. It’s the old “who watches the watchers” dilemma. When cops do exercise discretion, they need to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Ironically, that means they can’t treat other cops just like regular folks. When a regular Joe or Jane gets a break on a speeding ticket, that can be legitimate discretion. However, if the person getting the break is on the other side of the thin blue line, the mere appearance of impropriety is reason enough to go by the book. Let’s be real, a cop can’t be impartial about other cops. Heck, they won’t even admit to a non-cop that cops every do anything wrong.

      BTW, cops are not all just like other people with regular jobs. The job seems to attract a disproportionate number of folks who get off on exercising authority. In my experience, the people who deny this obvious fact themselves seemed predisposed toward authoritarianism. Police work also seems to attract a disproportionate number of people who can’t be trusted with that kind of authority. Why else would every police department have some kind of internal affairs procedure to investigate cops themselves?

      I do embroidery. My machine has thread breakage sensors that shut down the machine when a thread breaks. Why is that? Because thread breaks. Why do police departments have internal affairs bureaus? Because the combination of the job and the people that do the job result in a significant amount of misconduct.

      You can go to Radley Balko’s site or injusticeeverywhere.com and sadly find daily examples of cops behaving badly, in many cases very badly.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I don’t like being stopped.

    Any cop with an instinct for self-preservation will take comments like this very seriously.

    My advice to Brett is to drop the tough-guy-with-a-9mm-under-the-seat act, and just maybe the police will stop “harassing” him. He can find another way to get attention.

  • avatar
    Jason

    This guy is purposely baiting the officers by acting like a general a-hole. Just be decently polite, treat the officer like you acknowledge he has a job to do, and this whole thing never happens.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Here’s the sobriety test. If you think she’s the cop for the checkpoint, then you’re not sober.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    About 1/3 of the way through the audio transcript it seemed Brett had proven his point. When the cop started pulling out inventing charges, this stop went off the rails.

    Whenever I’ve been pulled over, I’m the one who’s nervous and the audio of this is one of the reasons why. Cops indeed don’t really know who they’re pulling over and are put in harms way with every call.

    The flip side is true as well. As a citizen, you have no idea what type of cop is going to pull you over. But, they all have something in common: a gun and the authorization to use it.

  • avatar
    dingram01

    While I don’t envy any police officer their work, and agree that this kid obviously went out of his way to seek this confrontation, the reaction of the police officer was entirely unprofessional and deserving of punishment.

    I wonder whether the officer in question was a particularly model citizen when HE was in his teens or early twenties?

  • avatar

    black and white is so much more satisfying than shades of gray.

    +1 for Educatordan

  • avatar
    67dodgeman

    Everyone seems to hate a cop until they need one.

    Yet everytime I need a cop, they’re never around. I don’t buy that “any traffic stop could …” line of reasoning. Especially when I see the regular cops acting as nothing more that tax collectors for the community.

    With apologies to any cops on this discussion board.

  • avatar
    stationwagon

    This policeman is so unprofessional. if you stop someone and they give you attitude, you do not keep instigating the situation(by reaching for the phone, attempting to control what a man does with his own phone). If you suspect a man of being drunk, all you can do is give him a sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. Sure the guy who got stopped was being an a-hole, but there is no law against that, and many a-holes are sober people. Aren’t cops supposed to defuse the situation?
    disclaimer I have not listened to the audio recording.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      Exactly. A person wearing a ‘F— Police” t shirt should get the same treatment as someone with an ‘I support police’ shirt.
      Officers have to restrain their emotions and beliefs and most are able to do that. They see it as professional pride to not get ruffled by someone’s manner of expression.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      in the real world I think they egg the a-hole on until there is something they can charge him with. Like grabbing the a-hole’s cell phone and if the a-hole comes in contact with the officer charging him with assault. Or like the cop in the Obama professor/cop skirmish. Get the guy yelling, then ask him to come outside and then arrest him for disturbing the peace.

  • avatar
    catbert430

    Even as a left-leaning liberal,I can’t shake the feeling that this guy makes a habit of baiting the police every chance he gets.

    He says that he doesn’t like being stopped but, I’d be willing to bet that, the minute he learned about the DUI roadblock, he made beeline for it.

    I think he’s an annoying douchebag.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    The idea of any kind of cop looking to pull people over just to write a ticket is ridiculous!

    “To protect and serve” my ass! More like “To protect (my job) and serve (my department’s budget)” is more like it.

    Glorified meter maids with guns…

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Though most everyone does it, repeatedly referring to the officer as ‘Sir’ can sound obsequious. Unless you are active duty military, too many ‘Sir’s come off as phony or self-abasing begging.

    How about that loaded question: “Why are you in such a bad mood tonight Brett?”
    What possible answer would have satisfied the officer that wasn’t either self-incriminating or self debasing on the part of Brett?

    Police should pursue real probable cause but if they find themselves in a bratty verbal back and forth with a citizen, it’s time to let that citizen leave and allocate their time on another more viable encounter and maybe catch a criminal.

  • avatar
    Highway27

    Police don’t have an ‘amazingly difficult job.’ They don’t have a very dangerous job either (not even in the top 10 of work related deaths). What they have is a superiority complex, where it doesn’t matter what the law actually is. All that matters is that people show them deference and they are in charge of everything.

    People think that Darrow was ‘baiting’ the cops only because they are used to the subservience that people are forced to adopt in relations with the cops, with the alternative being harassment, fake charges, and worse. Even if people think this is the way to ‘get along’ with cops, this is not how it should be. Police are losing respect throughout all segments of the community, and their response is to harass more people, to bend and even break laws in the pursuit of teaching people who’s boss.

    • 0 avatar

      Your basic point is true, but cops are in the top ten, at #10. Still, like I said above, garbagemen, farmers, loggers, construction workers, steel hangers etc. have much more dangerous jobs.

      Remember the vast majority of cops never fire their gun on the job (outside of the shooting range).

      Cops want us to to think that they are a special class of people, that their jobs are uniquely dangerous because they deal with criminals. You can talk a criminal out of shooting you. You can’t talk a hydraulic ram on a garbage truck from crushing you.

      Have you ever heard a cop second guess any cop behavior?

  • avatar
    mpresley

    What happened to, “yes sir, no sir…I know you’ve got a job to do and I appreciate you trying to make our streets safer.” Evem if you don’t mean it. Then you’re on your way. We know that some cops are power mad goons, but why go out of your way by being and ass, and then making things harder for yourself?

    As far as “needing” a cop? By the time they show up it’s all over. You better be prepared to protect yourself, and not rely on the police.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    About the picture, she can breath analyze me anytime…if i can breast analyse her…(Sorry for the bad taste, i just had to say it)

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    Re Highway27: How should we talk to cops then?

    • 0 avatar
      Highway27

      It’s a difficult question, because the cops are being selected through police academies to be the ones who act like this. And us ‘citizen nothings’ (or even worse, cops call everyone else ‘civilians’… when the police are supposed to be civilians as well!) have no advocate against the police.

      What’s really needed is for some less useless politicians to stand up to the police departments. To actually take the sides of the citizens that are being harassed. To punish these officers who harass, threaten, violate civil rights, even commit crimes against citizens. Real punishments: personal liability, immediate termination of jobs, criminal charges, reputation killing (it’s extremely common for cops who are fired for cause in one department to go to some smaller department and get another job, no problem).

      What we also need to see is the supposed majority of policemen, who supposedly don’t harass people, who supposedly think this kind of behavior is aberrant and abhorrent, to stand up and kick the bad apples out of the force. There’s a reason the saying is “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”. If you don’t get rid of them, everyone becomes a bad apple.

      Until then, anyone who deals with the police has to make that personal choice. Do they stand up for what’s right, for their own rights, like Brett Darrow? Or do they toe the line (or maybe kowtow) to get through the encounter and hope it’s not escalated by the police for fun and grins. It all depends on what you want to do and whether you want to face the consequences. What we really need is the backup of the (to this point worthless) politicians, who are completely in fear of the police not supporting them.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      Get the politicians involved????? Really????? Aren’t the politicians the one’s that are creating the (according to some on this site) bogus, revenue generating traffic and DUI laws in the first place?

      And as for the opinion that being a police officer is not a dangerous job, how about running the risk of this everyday you go to the office:

      http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oG76d4PglMbEwB7FBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaHNqNDRlBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA0Y5MTlfODU-/SIG=120v76ii5/EXP=1275760632/**http%3a//www.youtube.com/watch%3fv=rRPJRVupb2g

  • avatar
    werewolf34

    Some truthy thoughts.
    1) Most cops I personally know were bullies in high school
    2) Cops are taught to ‘control the situation’ Most do this through intimidation and some are huge assholes when they don’t need to be
    3) If you work as a cop for a while, you see nothing but the bad side of people and you may learn to hate them
    4) Cops can and do go too far. The ones who get caught are the tip of the iceberg.
    5) Standing up for yourself and making things worse are pretty close in certain situations. My guess is that the cops do hold a grudge and remember this guy from the 1st incident. But still in a tossup situation, the courts and the average guy are going to side with a cop over you. So maybe you approach the situation with this in mind.

    The conversation with Darrow sounds a lot like a youtube where an expert tells you how to avoid a search of your car. Google it and you’ll see

    I’ve lived in Missouri and found the local law enforcement to not be the best I’ve encountered. Nobody (you, me, cops) deserves a blind trust. No one is always right.

  • avatar
    jeremie

    Most cops are such f’ing hypocrites. I see them tailgate, speed, pull out in front of people regularly. Then when they pull you over they’re rude and nasty. As civilians we are supposed to be submissive and meek. Then they want to fish-asking questions, going through you vehicle, and wasting your time.

    To cops I say this- You’re officers, set a better example. Obey the law, and be polite.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      ‘xactly. If I had the power, I’m sure in 50% of my encounters with cops on the road I could write them a ticket. From blowing through stop signs (I’ve shaken my fist and yelled out the window at them), to tail-gating (I’ve brake-checked them before), to speeding, cops are the biggest damned hypocrites when it comes to traffic-safety laws.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    After the first incident, I wouldn’t like cops either.
    Whatever happened with that whole illegal search and seizure thing? We give up on that?

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    “Brett: I don’t want to answer any more questions. Am I free to go?
    Officer Lane: No. Not until I tell you you are free to go. What is your problem Brett?

    Officer Lane: Let me see your phone.
    Brett: No
    Officer Lane: Let me see your phone.
    [Lane reaches in the car and grabs the phone]
    Brett: Are you seizing my phone?”

    I thought Officers were supposed to uphold the law, but apparently, in Missouri, the US Constitution (4th Amendment) doesn’t apply.

    Asshole or not, Brett has an open-and-shut case of illegal seizure here and a clear violation of 4th Amendment rights due to lack of probable cause.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Best rule if you get pulled over. Be friendly without being a kiss-ass. Don’t say “Sorry Officer Sir” kind of stuff. I just say “Hello” and If they ask how I am doing I say “Fine thanks, and you?” I carry on a polite conversation, like I was talking to a new boss. I say “Sure” when they ask for my license and “thank-you” when they give it back. If my politeness does not work (never does) and they are going to give me a ticket anyways, I don’t change my politeness level. I say “I understand” and nod in agreement as they explain the charge. I try and say “Have good day” when the conversation ends.

    In short, I try and be as nice and COMPLETELY FORGETABLE as possible. That way nothing sticks in the officers mind when I plead not guilty and go to court.

  • avatar
    NeonCat93

    I guess I’m an asshole, too, because I don’t think Brett did anything wrong. I think I’m in some kind of crazy world where when people assert their rights others shake their heads sadly at them and say, “Just keep your head down, don’t upset our masters, they’ll let you go sooner that way” or even worse say the police were in the right because maybe, just maybe someone truly dangerous might want to leave a DUI checkpoint (as if a terrorist would make a fuss instead of trying to be as invisible as possible).

    Police are employees of the government. They are supposed to be responsible to us as citizens. They are supposed to follow the rule of law, indeed should be held even more accountable because we have entrusted them with such power. That police abuse their power, tread so heavily on the Bill of Rights and get away with it, is more than sad. It’s a tragedy. If they cannot respect the law, how are they different than the criminals they are meant to stop? Why should anyone respect the law if they don’t?

    Yeah, yeah, I’m a naïve fool. Flame away.

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    I hate the attitude that because the police are protectors and some of them encounter life and death situations, its ok for all of them to abuse that power. Cops can and will harass people, they are more crooked than honest people. They will lie in front of judges and get away with it. How many times have we heard of people being illegally detained, beaten or shot, and the officers involved get away scot free.

    If anything cops need to be held to a higher standard and punished swiftly. We pay their goddamn salary.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    I know that police have to risk their lives on a daily basis, and I respect them for that. But that does not give them the right to trample on citizens’ rights. They are supposed to protect, not bully. Do they really think it is legal to demand that people can’t record them? If I walk in front of a cop car, can I sue because they “illegally recorded” me? Why not?

  • avatar

    “Why are you in such a bad mood tonight Brett?”

    Because we were on our way to visit sick kids at the Childrens’ Hospital and we got stopped in this checkpoint. The kids will be so disappointed. Do you have kids, officer?

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    “I’m very sorry to have delayed you. Here, please pass out these kids’ police caps and t-shirts to the children at the hospital, with the compliments of our department.

    And do be careful driving, Mr. Schreiber; a safe trip to you and your passenger(s).”

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    What is that in her right hand? A nightstick, gun, or mayb it’s a can of Mace?

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    Police officers in are in an unenviable position. They are often given tasks with which they themselves do not agree, but with which they must comply, all the while earning substandard pay. While on the job, should they make a mistake, and oftentimes, even when they don’t, they are often accused of everything from abuse of their position, being corrupt, and of course, racism.

    Many of their actions are dictated by politicians who couldn’t care less about the police officer’s true responsibility, and instead use them for their own political benefit and as a tool to raise money for the municipal coffers. Ask any cop, that’s not the job for which they applied. And if there is conflict that jeopardizes a political career, the cop is the first to be hung out to dry.

    What many don’t know, is police officers can be held personally liable (yes, financially) for their actions. In worst cases, an officer will make a “routine traffic stop,” and rather than be confronted by some smart-ass, they are excecuted on the side of the road.

    Who cries for the families they leave behind? Who laments their kids who are raised without a parent, their spouse who’s left without a partner, their parents who outlive their child? Do you? Do the politicians? Only if it gains them a vote.

    Given what police officers face every day, I feel I owe them at least a modicum of respect and I do what I can to stay out of their way. I’m not afraid of them, I merely respect them and the job they do. I find it amazing that so many of us can sit back and criticise their every move, right down to dictating their roadside manner. In my job, if I make a mistake, I might be pulled aside and spoken to. In their job, they put their lives on the line every day, and sometimes, they die.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Substandard pay? On what planet? Average salary is in the mid-50s. Where I come from, that’s a decent living. And I live in a area with a high cost of living.

      Why is the (fairly uncommon) random killing of a cop somehow more tragic than the random killing of anybody else? Convenience store clerks get shot by crack-head robbers just as often. They count for less?

  • avatar
    RichardD

    I don’t get the badge bunnies above who said Brett was “seeking a confrontation.” He was driving on his way and stopped for no reason. He did absolutely nothing wrong. He has every right to say he doesn’t want to be interrogated by the American version of the Stasi checkpoint where wanting to be left alone somehow becomes “suspicious.”

    The only criminals here are the cops who set up this unconstitutional roadblock — the supreme court’s lawless Michigan v Sitz decision notwithstanding — to raise revenue by harassing people who are just trying to go about their business.

    • 0 avatar
      Slocum

      I completely agree. I just don’t get all the people here who think it’s just fine for cops to threaten, intimidate, and break laws because ‘they have a tough job’. Any cop who threatens to invent charges to intimidate or punish a ‘mouthy’ driver–should not only be fired, HE SHOULD BE BEHIND BARS. That kind of abuse of power is totally unacceptable.

      The cops behavior in the sobriety check lane is not AS bad, but it’s bad. Police are permitted to check for DUI in a brief stop — they are not allowed to go fishing, conduct illegal searches and seizures, or teach ‘mouthy punks’ a lesson.

      This kid’s a bit of a hero — we need law abiding citizens who will stand up and not take shit (like a free person should) and will call the cops on their abusive and illegal BS.

  • avatar
    whitetrashsteve

    I deal with police on a regular basis at my part time job as a security guard. I have family members who are police officers. I have a close friend who was a victim of police harassment to the point he moved out of town. I myself have been a victim of police harassment. After reading the stories from this guy, I see nothing wrong with his behavior and subsequent distrust of police.

    The cops in my family come from military background and have given me tips on how to deal with cops (be polite and succinct in your answers to their questions. Stay calm. Do not act like an asshole. If you don’t want them to search your car, ask why they believe they have reasonable suspicion and ask for a warrant.)

    Police don’t deserve any special treatment. In my experience, it takes a specific attitude to want to be a police officer. The few people I’ve seen go on to police work from high school and college are the kinds of people who were either bullied and have a severe chip on the shoulder or they were the bullies. The attitude that one has to have to become a cop is not “I want to make my community better” as much as it’s “I want to bully with impunity.”

    Remember: A bad reputation doesn’t come from a vacuum.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Darrow and Lane both needed a drink, a nice hot cup of ‘shut the F-up.” Hey, officer Lane, this little jerk was baiting you and trying to piss you off and he succeeded because you were either to stupid or too full of yourself to figure it out, grow up, or get a different job. Hey Darrow, you need to grow up too, stop deliberately being a celebrity victim and you won’t have as many problems with the po-lice, this officer was pulled from the same pool of humanity that you came from, and maybe that’s his problem.
    A hole vs. A hole, inevitable results followed.

  • avatar
    liquidfire

    I don’t think Darrow was in the wrong, but I think he should have known better according to his first encounter. As for the officer, he shouldn’t have pushed the situation that way, there were other ways of getting the same or more information out of Darrow (or anyone pulled over). Officers know their lives could be in danger, fueling the fire could have caused someone who was carrying to shoot him, as mentioned previously.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    As someone who used to commute through St. George every day, I can assure you that the what the young man encountered on his first viral vid was nothing short of typical. If you didn’t either A: act like a the cop’s bitch, or B: know people who could make his life hell.

    St. George was a tiny (pop ~800) municipality/speedtrap that was the last refuge of cops with very dirty jackets who wanted to work in a white suburb.

    The force was tiny (largest around 8 total if memory serves) and with the exception of one token female who couldn’t pass the STL County muster, was constituted exclusively of POs who had been fired from other munis – and that takes a lot.

    The former chief was let go from a semi-rural department for an incident with an underage girl and some rape/nookie on duty… (which was only the tip of his career malfeasance iceberg…)

    The only place in the state that would light me up for not having a front plate on my Pooch. (They’d let me go after finding out my friends. Corrupt as all hell? You betcha…)

    STL County used to be the ‘good guys’, but the ongoing paramilitarization of police forces in general, and the totally wrong-headed attempts to quantify policing (aka, Guiliani-esque) has fomented a scenario that is not remotely American.

    FWIW, IIRC, Lane is in the 3rd, and I used to hang with the guy now running that precinct when he as just a PO in the 4th. I’m saddened and disturbed that he, and the POs under his command have sunk to this level of ‘policing’.

    JSUK- The St. George PD was disbanded well over a year ago. They now subcontract police services to STL County. And though there’s not the ever-present car running radar sitting on the shoulder waiting for a petty violation, it still has some elements of the old speedtrap extant.

  • avatar
    jmachiejr

    The issue that a lot of you here are missing is that the cop reached into his car and grabbed his personal property. Then they took his keys and got into his car. I don’t give a crap what his attitude was like. What the cop did was illegal plain and simple. You can’t just confiscate personal property and search someones car just because you think they are being a douche. And a lot of you sit here and talk about how he’s going around baiting cops. How do you think cops arrest and convict many of the “criminals” they get? They bait them into doing something wrong. Why is it that cops are allowed to use this very same tactic to find criminals but us civilians can’t use it to find criminal cops?


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