By on March 22, 2009

The Minnesota state trooper who rammed a slow-moving minivan on New Year’s Eve was given a slap on the wrist Wednesday. A written reprimand was placed in the personnel folder of Sergeant Carrie Rindal, mildly criticizing her for twice slamming her patrol car into the Toyota Sienna minivan belonging to Sam Salter, 40, who had been driving his two-, three- and six-year-old children home to Hudson, Wisconsin, just before midnight on Interstate 94 in St. Paul.


With rock music blaring in her squad car, Rindal activated her police lights and siren to chase after the man she claimed had made a lane change without signaling. Salter is seen in the video carefully pulling toward the right, turn signal on, within ten seconds. Salter, concerned for his family’s safety, did not want to pull into the snow-filled highway shoulder. He took less than a minute to reach the exit to Highway 61, driving slowly. Twenty-two seconds later, as Salter turned onto Burns Avenue away from the high-speed traffic, Rindal rammed the minivan from the side and then once more from behind.

“What are you doing?” Salter screamed as he exited the minivan. “I have three kids in my car and you just hit me.”

Rindal held the man at gunpoint while his children watched their father placed under arrest. Salter was incarcerated for the next 37 hours for making an illegal lane change and “eluding police.” His damaged car was also impounded and he was mailed a $130 ticket, even though prosecutors declined to charge him for any crime. A police review board investigating the incident supported Rindal on her choice of a gunpoint arrest and suggested there were places on the icy highway where Salter could have stopped. The board did not, however, believe Salter was fleeing police during the one minute and twenty second low-speed chase. For that, the state police chief labeled the entire incident “regrettable.”

Salter was not interested in pursuing a long legal battle, so he only asked for $9500 to cover his direct expenses from the incident, including legal bills, repair bills and the time lost with his family. The State Patrol accepted the settlement.

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80 Comments on “Minnesota: Slap on Wrist for Cop Who Rammed Minivan Full of Kids...”


  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Any wonder why cops are considered such dickheads and are hated by so many people? Attitude is everything. Yep, you’ve got a job to do but that does not give you an “asshole license.”

    Some of you may have heard about the cops in Florida that broadsided a car, killing the 23 year old mother of three. This happened last week. The officer riding shotgun in the police car is a good friend of mine…it will be interesting to see how the facts get laid out and who gets blamed for what…

  • avatar
    Brian E

    This is just sick. I have also read about cases where people have been charged with evading an officer for following the advice that the police themselves give to find a well-lit, populated area to stop if you are pulled over at night and are driving alone.

    The system we have now is incredibly asymmetrical. The negative ramifications of police error on citizens can be extreme, but the consequences of error for the police are rarely so severe. But anyone who wants to correct these problems is “hindering the police”. It’s time to find the rhetoric that will convince people of the need for increased accountability. They serve us, NOT the other way around.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I would not have pulled over to the side with all that salt and ice covering everything. His speed was real low, he exited the freeway and the car was almost stopped when Mrs. Barney Fife plowed into him, heavy metal music blaring away.

    9500 is a bit light, I would go for 30K or more and demand her dismissal.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    Unfortunately, it’s not particularly surprising. I myself have been a victim of police negligence and corruption.

    About 6-7 years ago, my girlfriend at the time was carjacked. After driving around for a while, the perpetrator stopped to go the bathroom and my girlfriend took the opportunity to escape. She eventually found her way to a police station to file a report. However, the police refused to believe her story and said that I had caused her injuries. Problem was, I had been out of town on business for a few days so I couldn’t have done them. Even with this information, the police did not investigate the crime and figured she must have given herself the cuts and bruises.

    There are a lot of good cops out there. Unfortunately, the few bad apples give the rest a bad name.

  • avatar
    Theodore

    I’d start with her dismissal and forfeiture of a significant portion of her assets. Then I’d get harsh.

  • avatar
    Travis

    The officer might have used incredibly questionable conduct, but a written reprimand is a bit more harsh than just a slap on the wrist. It heavily weighs into judgments when that officer is up for promotions or raises. It’s definitely not something you want to have on your file, and many officers who get them go to great lengths and arbitration (a type of court) to get them removed. This matter was resolved in a reasonable way. The man got his settlement, though he probably could have gotten a little bit more, and the cop got punished.

  • avatar

    I’m from NYC.

    When cops signal me to stop, I find a quick parking spot and stop – BUT, if it looks like I’d have to continue driving a long time, I don’t look for a place to stop, I simply slow down and stop.

    This guy CONTINUED for over 20 seconds?

    The officer probably didn’t know there were kids in the car and she also didn’t know this guy would not be one of the hundreds of others out there who’d stop the car and get out shooting.

    Routine traffic stops are where most cops get killed after all.

    And FEMALE COPS don’t even try to wrestle or manhandle male criminals like male cops do: FEMALE COPS SHOOT FIRST cause they know they are no match.

    That Father could have just as easily been BLOWN AWAY in front of his kids.

    I’m not making excuses for the cop. I want a lengthy investigation to ensure what’s reported really happened. Other than that, I say citizens need to know how to RESPECT police because one thing I’ve noticed is most of the people who end up getting shot or “brutalized” seem to be “disobeying ORDERS”.

    Cops don’t ASK you to do anything… THEY ORDER YOU TO DO…

  • avatar
    Brian E

    This matter was resolved in a reasonable way. The man got his settlement, though he probably could have gotten a little bit more, and the cop got punished.

    If the hit to the minivan caused the driver to lose control and spin into another car resulting in the loss of life, would you still feel that the punishment was adequate?

    We must judge the actions of the officer, not the consequences. An action which carries a substantial risk of causing the death of civilians must be assessed on the basis of whether that action was necessary at the time, and the risk is equally unacceptable regardless of whether it led to loss of life or to a shouting match.

  • avatar
    MM

    This reeks of bad choices… awful Sixx AM blaring in the car… which at that volume, would make it kinda hard to hear another officer’s 12-99 call [needs assistance] or anything else. As a Sergeant, she should know better. On patrol in TN, I was taught to leave the windows down a few inches (even in summer) and stereo down or off for max situational awareness.

    That bump was completely unnecessary. I’d be plenty pissed, too, if I were Mr. Salter.

  • avatar

    MY LAST COMMENT I MADE BEFORE I ACTUALLY WATCHED THE VIDEO.

    IS THIS GUY FUCKING CRAZY?

    If I were that cop, as soon as he threw the door open, I’d have had him at gunpoint to.

    #1 The cop listening to music is IRRELEVANT. As far as I’ve been told, Rock music isn’t a bad influence (they blame Rap for that)

    #2 This guy LED HER OFF THE HIGHWAY. How is she to know he isn’t going to try to make a run for it? How is she to know he won’t lead her into a more dark area and then pull out a gun on her?

    #3 HE THREW OPEN THE DOOR AND JUMPED OUT. AND THEN HE HAD HIS HANDS BY HIS SIDE.

    do you know how many police get killed because the suspect STARTS SHOOTING AS SOON AS THEY GET OUT OF THE CAR while the cop is still getting out of their squad car?

    Anybody who disagrees with me can disagree with me, but know, if I HAD BEEN THAT COP, that guy woulda gotten three holes in him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX7vuBG1BJI&feature=related

    Cops have to train for situations like this – and usually that training involves shooting down suspects.

  • avatar
    Travis

    If the hit to the minivan caused the driver to lose control and spin into another car resulting in the loss of life, would you still feel that the punishment was adequate?

    That’s a completely different scenario, to which if asked “what if” the officer would respond with “there was nobody in the area that was in danger except the offender which was fleeing from me.”

    The man was ‘fleeing’ from the officer for over a minute, could possibly have been drunk, and when he finally pulled over, he got incredibly aggressive. That is definitely grounds for being arrested and I don’t think the actions that the officer took were extreme. I also don’t think you watched the video. It was a very low speed collision.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    She should lose her job and be mall security for the rest of her life.

    He deserves a new minivan courtesy of the state.

  • avatar

    Travis

    I’m glad you didn’t automatically jump to anger against the cop.

  • avatar
    MM

    Travis:
    I don’t think the actions that the officer took were extreme. I also don’t think you watched the video. It was a very low speed collision.

    Concur, but the bump didn’t have to occur – he was on the shoulder already. IMO, she clearly shifted lanes to PIT him should he try to run. When he slowed to a crawl, she bumped, which to me seems unnecessary.

    Then again, throwing your door open and jumping out screaming is a certain way to escalate a situation. From that point on, her actions appear proper.

  • avatar
    Travis

    I think they both made some poor decisions, and they both paid the price for them. The man was incredibly inconvenienced, spent time in jail, and in court. Sure, he got reimbursed for everything, but time an emotional factors can be hefty. Unless someone is hurt or requires medical attention, getting out of your car and yelling at a cop is the wrong thing to do in every situation.

    The cop was stupid and did the wrong thing. That little take-out maneuver against such a slow moving car that clearly wasn’t trying to get away was dumb. If she had been driving up the side of him to make sure he couldn’t get away, then I can see a realistic argument for that, but it’s not what she did. There was nothing wrong whatsoever with arresting the man though.

    Overall, her actions were incredibly unprofessional, and a written reprimand can have big consequences down the line.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    He should have fought harder to have her removed. I get the part about expenses and all, but this was his responsibility as a member of society.

    Now she is free to perpetrate this on another person; and THAT person may end up dead as a result.

    But I guess it’s not all Salter’s fault. A number of people fell down on the job here; from her supervisor to the chief of police to the court system.

    Down the road, I think we’ll be hearing from her next victim. Or the next victim’s next of kin.

  • avatar
    Bytor

    He might have taken a while to pull over, but he was barely moving when she bumped him. Totally uncalled for.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure if she bumped him on purpose. If you take a close look, you’ll see he hard braked as they both move into snow/ice. Her car didn’t even hit him that hard. The lateral rotation was mostly due to the slick ground.

    She shouldn’t have gotten that close to him cause if he did get out shooting, she’d have no chance at all to even open her door.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Apologies – the video was not loading for me and I misunderstood from the description when the impact occurred. I think “slammed” is a bit of a mischaracterization of the incident.

    That said I find it difficult to understand the source of the officer’s reaction given that the driver was signalling his intent to pull over the entire time. Given how many accidents have occurred where people on the shoulder of a highway have been killed by another car, I think exiting the highway is a safe choice and should be protected by law. There have been many LEOs killed in these cases as well, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t support that choice.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    While the bump may not have been necessary I’d say that overall the officer’s actions were justified and a slight reprimand is more than enough punishment. In fact, I’d even argue that the man in the minivan should have been fined, and not received a settlement.

    The officer had the lights to pull the man over on for quite a while, and her spotlight shining on the car for a while before you can even hear the sirens. The man in the minivan disregarded this and chose to pull over on a dark side street (where it looks like there was just as much snow and ice by the way) rather than a brightly lit and populated highway, and he then got out of the car and started screaming like a madman. For all the officer knew he has a gun and was trying to lure her away from a populated street with witnesses. If the minivan man had done what he should have done, and just pulled over as soon as he could and waited in the driver’s seat for the policewoman to approach, the entire situation would have been avoided.

  • avatar

    The man was ‘fleeing’ from the officer for over a minute, could possibly have been drunk, and when he finally pulled over, he got incredibly aggressive. That is definitely grounds for being arrested and I don’t think the actions that the officer took were extreme. I also don’t think you watched the video. It was a very low speed collision.

    Obviously the review board and the State Patrol believe the officer’s actions were extreme or they wouldn’t have reprimanded her and paid compensation to the driver. The review board also said that the notion that the driver was fleeing was not credible.

    While the arrest was arguably justified, it appears that the only thing that Mr. Salter was ultimately charged with was an improper lane change, and the settlement from the State Patrol will pay for that ticket.

    I know that the holster sniffers out there will try to find any excuse to justify a cop’s actions, but here’s what the original Star Tribune story said:

    The State Patrol on Wednesday announced that it had reprimanded trooper Carrie Rindal after a review board found that she had made several errors while stopping and arresting Salter along Interstate 94 in St. Paul.

    Honest cops say there’s a 20/80 rule in police work: 20% of cops do 80% of police work. The other 80% mostly just stand around or worse. There are lots of good cops, some of the best people there are, but a large fraction are jerks and assholes who like pushing people around. Also, there’s the “thin blue line” where cops close ranks so that even egregious behavior is excused.

    Cops have a tough job. Asshole cops and good cops acting like assholes make their job even tougher.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    That guy is lucky to be alive. My Uncle (a Staff Sergeant with 30 years) always told me to be careful around female cops.

  • avatar

    The only reason the officer was reprimanded was because there were kids in the van – not that that would have been easy to realize in a dark snowbank. BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE EITHER for that idiot driver.

    There is a video on Youtube of a guy beating the PISS out of a female officer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9WF_RgmCI0

    He had a kid in the car too. Did that matter? NO.

    so let that be a lesson for suspects.. if you are worried about your kids on board – DON’T DO STUPID SHIT.

  • avatar
    noreserve

    Flashpoint :
    March 22nd, 2009 at 9:47 am
    Anybody who disagrees with me can disagree with me, but know, if I HAD BEEN THAT COP, that guy woulda gotten three holes in him.

    Yikes – I think I see where your TTAC name comes from. Come on, what did she expect the driver to do after she hit him twice? Come out with roses? She screwed up, plain and simple. He didn’t have to pull over where he didn’t think he and his family were not safe. He wasn’t trying to outrun her. He was presumably looking for a safer spot to pull over. I’ve seen a few clips of cops pull over someone on a slick highway and then get smashed by someone who couldn’t stop in time.

    And what’s with the cop blasting music? I didn’t think that was standard fare in a patrol car. How in the hell are they supposed to be aware of their surroundings? She doesn’t even bother to turn it down until later in the video. I thought the music was added after the fact to spice it up – ha ha.

    What gets me is that this is another example of police overstepping their bounds and then not getting the proper justice. She should have had to pay for his minivan out of her own pay. She acted like an idiot. An unsafe one at that. He should have stayed in the vehicle, but did that warrant an arrest simply because he got out after the idiot ran into him – twice?

  • avatar
    jaje

    Rule #1 is when you are being pulled over you find the first and safest place to stop. I can’t tell from the video of the quality of the shoulder on the off ramp after they got past the cement wall shoulders but there was plenty of spots where he could have pulled over slowly and safely.

    I’m not saying the cop is vindicated b/c I see really no excuse for her bumping his car twice as this was not in any way a true felony pursuit but that guy in the minivan was not very smart either…do you want to piss off the cops when they are trying to pull you over. If you have 3 kids in your car use better judgment.

    I hate reading of police encounters and hearing those who automatically jump to complain the police overstepped their bounds. I’ve seen a lot of overreaction and people give the suspects misbehavior a pass. I’m also not saying there is no police brutality or cops not doing a good job. But respect them in your words and actions and they will return that respect.

  • avatar

    But respect them in your words and actions and they will return that respect.

    Screw that!

    I’m their boss, they work for and serve the public, period. That means they owe me respect from the get go. Does a manager at McDonald’s have to respect someone working at the counter in order for them to respect him or her in return?

    As for whether cops deserve respect, well, I guess they’re just like everyone else, they have to earn respect. I’ve already earned their respect by virtue of the fact that I’m the public and they work for me.

    I know cops hate hearing that they work for the public. Boo freaking hoo.

    As far as I’m concerned, many of them are just public employees sucking at the taxpayers’ teat. For the most part they get paid well and have pension benefits that are simply not available in the private sector. Police officers also have a high incidence of jobbing the system so they can retire with a disability on top of their pension.

  • avatar
    AdamYYZ

    In Canada you are allowed to drive a ways to find a suitable pullover spot. You are supposed to signal over and slow down and drive with your 4-ways on.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    While the bump may not have been necessary I’d say that overall the officer’s actions were justified and a slight reprimand is more than enough punishment. In fact, I’d even argue that the man in the minivan should have been fined, and not received a settlement.…

    Really? The guy wanted to get off a slippery road. He had his family’s safety in mind. His car gets hit. (Rammed is a bit much). Twice. I’d be pissed as all hell, too. Common sense (and most cops) would tell you NOT to get out of the car. So, bad move on his part for that. But that type of flagrant disregard for the public that you are supposed to serve is disgraceful.

    So, I called my cop friend. What is the bet thing to do when the dread lights hit your rear view? He said:

    1. Pull over a soon as possible. With routine traffic type of violations, a “good” cop will often wait to hit the lights until a known safe area. In the case of this video, that does not look possible.

    2. Do not get out. Lower your windows, and if nighttime, turn on your interior lights.

    3. Put your hands on the wheel. Don’t lean over to the glove box for the registration. Wait until the office can see into your car.

    4. Once you are talking to each other, follow his/her instructions.

    So, I asked, was the officer’s actions appropriate, After a lot of CYA type of talk, he said would not have acted like the officer in the video did.

    This just goes to show that even those who beat the “law an order” drum can be victimized by it.

    This guy should have sued big time.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    “if I HAD BEEN THAT COP, that guy woulda gotten three holes in him.”

    Are you insane? I love how there are all these little rules that no one knows about how and where you can pull over and what you can do if you get pulled over. Then if you don’t follow them you get to be murdered by the people who you employ to protect you. We live in a society where there are humans. They may not always do the optimal thing. I understand that the cops are worried about crazy things happening, but that’s a risk that’s part of the job, it doesn’t give you a license to terrorize people. Probably the worst part is that when they pull something, they don’t get the same punishment as a normal member of society would. It’s like they’re celestial.

  • avatar
    mel23

    In my experience, about half of cops are bullies with a badge; and a gun. I don’t buy the idea thay most cops are good; if they were, the thug cops wouldn’t keep doing what they do. Three cops were killed in Oakland today. I’ve read several stories recently about some citizen getting shot or dying of a taser when multiple cops were present. Unless the citizen has a gun, these killings are unjustified. They could surround the guy and rush him from the back. With the billions of money poured into police forces and FBI, there should be a multitude of non-lethal means in use, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve seen videos of some sticky stuff than can be sprayed some distance from an aerosol can that makes a person immobile. Why isn’t that in use?

    Case in Berwyn Heights, MD recently in which cops did a no-knock entry to a house. They had no warrant at the time, and although a warrant was on the way, it did not allow the no-knock entry. The owner of the house was the mayor of this little town. There had been some drug deals in which the drugs were shipped via UPS. The drivers knew which shipments contained the drugs so they wouldn’t deliver it to the innocent addressee; he’d drop it somewhere else. The cops knew of this arrangement and knew the shipment in question had drugs, and had one of their own doing the driving. Since they hadn’t gotten the local cop involved, they did not know the owner of the house was the mayor. So they bust down the door, the two black labs inside start barking and of course the cops kill both of them even though one was running away from the cop. At some point the local cop happens by and decides to check things out. He quickly sized things up and decided he’d better stay on the scene so the county cops didn’t kill the Mayor and cover this thing up. This is Prince Georges County Maryland. A few months ago one of their prisoners was found dead in his cell; cause unknown. An autopsy revealed strangulation. He was the only one in the cell, so the killing was done by a cop, but of course nobody knew anything. Most cops are not straight; they just haven’t been caught yet.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Most pigs are bullies with a badge (like in Lakeview Terrace). If you’re a pig or a firefighter you get preferential treatment if got pulled over. And even if you’re under investigation you’re on paid leave. So, why would you behave good, when you can get an extra paid vacation?
    No doubt, there some honest police officers, but too few of them, most of them are pigs and behave like them too. Just last year a guy was tased to death by four RCMP (Royal Canadian Mountain Pigs) for holding a stapler! Sure, he was armed and dangerous, it can shoot staples at fricking 2 inches and he was in ‘majority’ – one tired and frustrated guy against four trained officers!

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The way people are spouting off in the comments, the must be cops…no reasonable person would make such scathing comments by watching a grainy video from a squad car…would they?

    ———————–

    1) The kids are a non-issue. How did she know they were in the car? People DO drive around drunk with their kids in the car you know…

    2) How long did it take him to stop again? As a person that has driven that stretch of road MANY times at night, there was ZERO reason for him to keep going like he did. And yes, the roadway is LIT up.

    3) This was new year’s eve. Guess how is out in force that night…DRUNKS.

    4) He flew out of the car…NEVER fly out of the car…unless you want to be in a whole world of hurt.

    Now, the officer:

    1) She hit him. Completely un-necessary, in my trained opinion.

    That’s it. She did everything else by the book.

    The Suspect was FAR MORE WRONG than she was.

    And Bimmer…I hope you remember your ignorant comments when when you are in need. Because, despite what we (police/fire/EMS) think of you, we HAVE to come help you. And we will do the best and most professional job we can. But thank you for your kind words of support for my public safety field.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Anybody who disagrees with me can disagree with me, but know, if I HAD BEEN THAT COP, that guy woulda gotten three holes in him.

    Wow…the ignorant comments just keep flying. If you did that, you would be on trial for homicide.

    I suggest you look at Minnesota State Statute 609.066. There are THREE very clear instances where we can use deadly force here in Minnesota. The suspect did not come even close to using pressure points…which is at the bottom of the use of force continuum. As soon as he saw the officer (which is a use of force), he was complying with her every order.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    That cop is scum of the first order and should be off the force. The slap on the wrist is typical of the near complete lack of accountability of police officers when grossly abusing their postion of authority.

    What if her ramming of the minivan had resulted in it flipping over and rolling? I know, “too damn bad” in the opinion of some.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Rindal should be fired.

    #1 The cop listening to music is IRRELEVANT. As far as I’ve been told, Rock music isn’t a bad influence (they blame Rap for that)

    Aren’t they supposed to be listening to the police radio?

    #2 This guy LED HER OFF THE HIGHWAY. How is she to know he isn’t going to try to make a run for it? How is she to know he won’t lead her into a more dark area and then pull out a gun on her?

    You mean running on foot? She didn’t know. Why is that a justification for bumping him? The ever decreasing speed of the van was a pretty good indicator that he wasn’t going to lead her on a car chase. She was under no obligation to get out of the cruiser if he had led her to a dark area.

    Obviously she was pissed that he didn’t pull over immediately and took out her anger on his van.

    Not much mentioned is that the taxpayers also had to pay for repairs to the cruiser.

    #3 HE THREW OPEN THE DOOR AND JUMPED OUT. AND THEN HE HAD HIS HANDS BY HIS SIDE.

    At that point she was justified in drawing her gun.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    This nincompoop is a Sergeant? Who’s her daddy? I feel badly for real policemen who have to take orders from her.

    From what I can hear over the rock music, she did not call for backup, report the location of the stop, or properly secure the suspect. Not a good high risk take down!

    I don’t know what I would have done if I were the citizen. There is a continuous snowbank on the right shoulder. Stopping on a highway is not recommended. The last thing I would expect is to be bumped off the road and gun stuck in my face.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    From what I can hear over the rock music, she neither called for backup nor reported the location of the stop. She is either totally incompetent or knew there was no danger!

    The Minnesota State Patrol creates events on their MDTs…the only time they air radio traffic is when they need a tow or something like that. They DO NOT call their stops over the radio.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Rindal should be fired.

    #1 The cop listening to music is IRRELEVANT. As far as I’ve been told, Rock music isn’t a bad influence (they blame Rap for that)

    Aren’t they supposed to be listening to the police radio?

    How do you know she didn’t have an ear piece…and had the mobile radio turned down?

    I don’t know what I would have done if I were the citizen. There is a continuous snowbank on the right shoulder. Stopping on a highway is not recommended.

    WRONG…again.

    The shoulder is cleared every snowstorm. And the two lanes next to the right shoulder where the suspect SHOULD have stopped rather than BREAK MINNESOTA STATE LAW, is an entrance ramp…very low traffic.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    The shoulder is cleared every snowstorm. And the two lanes next to the right shoulder where the suspect SHOULD have stopped rather than BREAK MINNESOTA STATE LAW, is an entrance ramp…very low traffic.

    Even if he should have pulled over on the shoulder, there is still no justification for bumping him -twice. There was no reason to think he was drunk. He wasn’t weaving, he wasn’t driving erratically in any way. He clearly signaled that he was going to pull over.

    Even if the cop thought the man might be drunk, how does bumping him at that speed, prevent him from taking off on a high speed chase?

    Most cops are good people. This one isn’t. She’s an idiot and should lose her badge.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    “Most cops are good people. This one isn’t. She’s an idiot and should lose her badge.”

    Exactly correct.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Most police officers are nice, helpful and courteous. The problem, as with any profession, be it medicine, law, or even something as mundane as plumbing, is that that few that are bad are spectacularly so.

    This isn’t a “bad” case, per se. The officer was more aggressive than was probably warranted, and that’s becoming more and more commonly reported (though not more common), but it’s not really that bad. Law enforcement has an inherent culture of force, just as medicine has an inherent culture of intellectual superiority. The problem is when there’s no checks, balances and accountability. Both law and medicine encourage this by closing ranks when the people they serve complain. That’s not good, and it gets worse when that same public takes pains to be activist:

    This is bad. So is this.

    I don’t for a minute think that the police have an easy job, but I’ve, on two occasions, whipped out the camera/phone and started taping directly to my Google Video account as a method of self-defense, and in one instance I do feel that doing so was all the stood between me and the person I was with (who was black, young and in the wrong place in too nice a car) being subject to a fishing expedition.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    My respect for police officers dropped a great deal when I learned, years ago, about “Professional Courtesy”. That courtesy allows police officers to get away with all sorts of illegal conduct, even while off duty, simply because they are cops. If I get caught doing 20 mph over the speed limit I face consequences. John Q. Officer gets caught … nothing.

    Rarely, if ever, do I see police cars signal their own lane changes. Here we have a cop banging into someone’s car for something which started as forgetting to signal a lane change … did the officer ever use her turn signals?

    More innocent civilians die at the hands of police officers than do police officers at the hands of criminals.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    I would suggest this woman is not really suited to being a policewoman. But then again that depends on whether you subscribe to the “upholding the law” vs the “enforcing the law” attitude. If law needs enforcing then you (i.e. society which makes it) has failed.

    A lot of the comments here, like “hands by his side”, “3 holes in him” and “at gunpoint” make me realise why its really (and I mean REALLY) great to live in a country with very strict (but not nearly strict enough) gun control and unarmed (as in no firearms but unfortunately tasers and armed backup a minute or two away) police.

    And its not exactly deathly serious is it ? If police in MN were to pull over everyone for not indicating a lane change then from my experience pretty much 75% of drivers on the freeways there would be in pokey every day, if you could prise them out of the passing lane that is – yes I am looking at you Mr Nissan driver in August 08 that I passed on the right…

    If you want to be a cop then you have to be able to put out force when it is needed. Part of that has surely to be an ability to be ready but with an appearance of calm, to be able to react without provoking. I know this from my father who was a policeman for 20+ years who I would trust with my child but I wouldn’t cross him.

    This goonette fails on all counts.

    Maybe she should apply to be a lawyer.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    P71_CrownVic,

    I had personal experience with law enforcements and they weren’t pleasant. I have no grudge against EMS or Fire Department.

  • avatar
    kamikaze2b

    My brother is a 10 year police officer, so I am NOT anti-police. That said this woman is an embarassment and should have been suspended or terminated.

    For those defending her unprofessional behavior and reckless driving I wonder how’d you feel if that had been your mother, wife or sister that had been t-boned. There was absolutely no reason for her to pit that vehicle.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    Brian E :
    March 22nd, 2009 at 9:26 am

    This is just sick. I have also read about cases where people have been charged with evading an officer for following the advice that the police themselves give to find a well-lit, populated area to stop if you are pulled over at night and are driving alone.

    In a handgun/personal protection class I took, taught by one retired and one current police officrer, they both suggested in the case of a woman driving alone at night, to find a well-lit area to stop in as flashing lights may not always be the police. But I can see being charged with evading an officer if one did so?

    I do recall as a youth a friend getting seriously yelled at for driving 100 feet forward and turning into a private parking lot to stop in. I was told at the time that police can’t tow a car on a private lot?

  • avatar

    If you guys wanna express outrage, why don’t you go picket for OSCAR GRANT.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    So he didn’t signal for a lane change. Big fuckin deal. Half the police in Northern Virginia NEVER signal from what i’ve seen. He was almost to a stop, there is absolutely no reason for her to hit his vehicle twice. Examples like this are why me and a lot of people i know actaully HATe the police. I wish i didn’t, but i’ve seen too much harrassment and lieing from the police.

  • avatar

    I hope you remember your ignorant comments when when you are in need. Because, despite what we (police/fire/EMS) think of you, we HAVE to come help you. And we will do the best and most professional job we can. But thank you for your kind words of support for my public safety field.

    We’re not prisoners, you’re not guards. I don’t have to feel gratitude towards you, any more than I should be grateful to my waiter at a restaurant. You’re getting paid to do a job. Part of that job is respecting the public. You don’t like it? Go work for someone else.

    If you and your fellow officers and your superiors actually made a good faith effort in making sure that your entire force operated in a professional and courteous manner instead of routinely justifying any and all police behavior, I’d believe that you really cared.

    The hardest culture in the world to change is your local police force.

    On which side of the thin blue line do you stand?

  • avatar

    The Minnesota State Patrol creates events on their MDTs…the only time they air radio traffic is when they need a tow or something like that. They DO NOT call their stops over the radio.

    A local cop got killed by a kid he pulled over a short while ago. Though he called in the stop, he didn’t notify the station he was taking the kid to what he thought was a guardian’s apartment.

  • avatar

    There is a supreme irony in that when a fellow officer is portrayed in a bad light, cops will start acting exactly the way the defense attorneys act, looking for some way to justify the cop’s actions (this one could have been listening to the cop radio with an earpiece while the car stereo was blaring) the same attorneys they think are scum for getting criminals off.

  • avatar
    NickR

    http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20090322%2fofficers_oakland_090322

    Read it and weep

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    Because, despite what we (police/fire/EMS) think of you, we HAVE to come help you. And we will do the best and most professional job we can. But thank you for your kind words of support for my public safety field.

    Really? Then why is there a carjacker still on the streets from my earlier story? Who knows how many more carjackings have occurred because one officer decided not do to any investigations into the matter and how many they have continued to ignore since that time. Stop sticking up for the bad apples such as the officer in this article.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    NickR: It is tragic that three officers were killed in the line of duty in Oakland recently. However, that doesn’t justify police misconduct in unrelated cases. Likewise, the killing of Oscar Grant by a BART cop doesn’t justify what happened in Oakland.

  • avatar
    gzuckier

    yeah, knowing that the cop may well ram my car, pull a gun on me, and toss me in jail for a couple of days over not seeing a turn signal is absolutely going to make me more likely to cooperate. reminds me of a richard pryor routine
    “why were you fleeing the police?” “uh, because you were shooting at me?”

  • avatar
    John Williams

    A possible reason as to why this woman hasn’t been removed off the force is the fact that if the department decided to take action against this woman, she could very well run to her police union, grab an attorney and file a discrimination suit against the department. The department figures it’s more trouble than its worth and instead drop a reprimand in her file, while hoping she doesn’t climb any further up the ladder. I bet they were relieved about the man’s $9500 settlement offer and took him up on it with the quickness.

    If I was being rammed by an impatient cop while trying to make a safe situation for my family, I would be pissed too. Then again, I wouldn’t jump out of the car and yell at the woman — sudden movements are bad news when dealing with any cop.

  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    “And FEMALE COPS don’t even try to wrestle or manhandle male criminals like male cops do: FEMALE COPS SHOOT FIRST cause they know they are no match.”

    One more reason why women don’t belong in law enforcement or in the military.

  • avatar
    grimmbob

    Wow, this is just sad. I actually registered just to comment on this thread.

    First off, it’s sad that TTAC has to be so obviously biased with the post title. Based on the title, I started watching the video expecting to be outraged at the police officer.

    Instead I grew increasingly agitated at the idiot driver of the minivan who simply refused to pull over. When you see an emergency vehicle with lights on, you pull the F over. If their sirens are on as well, you do it RIGHT NOW.

    I have NO sympathy for the fools who refuse to abide by this. I think police cars, ambulance drivers, firetrucks etc should have the right to do exactly what that police officer did when faced with a vehicle that ignores the lights/sirens. The lights are there for a reason, and the knee jerk response of the mouthbreathing populace to assume that the reason is always “abuse of power” is tiresome and typical. If I’m waiting for an ambulance to arriver to administer care to my wife, I don’t want them to be a crucial 2 minutes too late because someone failed to pull over because his damn kids were screaming to play the DVD louder.

    Authority is NOT always wrong. I guess there is some good to have come of all this. Next time that moron minivan driver sees an emergency vehicle with the lights on in his rearview, I bet he pulls the hell over.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Here in this thread you have those who think all cops abuse their power and this is an example of it (TTAC title is actually implying that the cops were completely wrong and the driver didn’t do anything wrong). Then you have those who think anyone who disobeys a female cop deserves to get shot. Talk about irrational extremes. Both made errors but the driver who did not pull over sooner was more at fault. Whether he had kids in the car – he had more than enough chances to pull over sooner rather than later. You children do not excuse you from using bad judgment.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Dynamic88:
    Even if he should have pulled over on the shoulder, there is still no justification for bumping him -twice.

    And I have said as much. I said a long time ago that her hitting him was excessive…everything else was by the book.

    There was no reason to think he was drunk. He wasn’t weaving, he wasn’t driving erratically in any way. He clearly signaled that he was going to pull over.

    Hmm…let’s see…

    It was midnight on a night known for drinking and driving, she lit hip up, and he moved to the left, then to the right, then he was extremely slow to stop, then he gets off the highway and still keeps going.

    There is more than enough reasonable suspicion to indicate he may be impaired.

    —————————————

    jthorner:
    My respect for police officers dropped a great deal when I learned, years ago, about “Professional Courtesy”. That courtesy allows police officers to get away with all sorts of illegal conduct, even while off duty, simply because they are cops. If I get caught doing 20 mph over the speed limit I face consequences. John Q. Officer gets caught … nothing.

    Some do, some don’t. Each officer has discretion. I have the same discretion to let you off as I do another officer. It is not like departments have their operating guidelines specifically state that they must give other cops a break. But there may be a day when I need that officer to come to my rescue, and I rather not burn that bridge. But, each stop is different with it’s own set of circumstances.

    ——————————————–

    kamikaze2b:
    For those defending her unprofessional behavior and reckless driving I wonder how’d you feel if that had been your mother, wife or sister that had been t-boned.

    Nobody was t-boned. And nobody is defending the hit

    ———————————————

    Ronnie Schreiber:
    We’re not prisoners, you’re not guards. I don’t have to feel gratitude towards you, any more than I should be grateful to my waiter at a restaurant. You’re getting paid to do a job. Part of that job is respecting the public. You don’t like it? Go work for someone else.

    Why are you compairing police work to a waiter? Do you really think that is reasonable?

    Last I checked, waiters do not put their lives on the line everyday like our Fire/EMS/Police personnel do every single day.

    But, I guess by your logic, the people who are fighting in Iraq right now shouldn’t get any more gratitude than the waiter at the local Dennys.

    If you and your fellow officers and your superiors actually made a good faith effort in making sure that your entire force operated in a professional and courteous manner instead of routinely justifying any and all police behavior, I’d believe that you really cared.

    No one is justifying her behavior. Again, I have said that her hitting the van was a bad choice. But the driver of the van brought on 95% of the police response. He made many more stupid decisions than the officer did.

    But if you want to talk about courtesy, perhaps it would be wise to understand what officers look for and how we do our job before calling us unprofessional and accusing us of “not caring”.

    There is a supreme irony in that when a fellow officer is portrayed in a bad light, cops will start acting exactly the way the defense attorneys act, looking for some way to justify the cop’s actions (this one could have been listening to the cop radio with an earpiece while the car stereo was blaring) the same attorneys they think are scum for getting criminals off.

    It is not about defending the officer, it is trying to hammer home the fact that a lot of you are making some very wild and confusing accusations on a story for which you don’t know all of the facts. It is a very good possibility that she had an ear piece…and so what if she didn’t? I have already told you that the State Patrol creates events on their MDTs (something I’m sure you knew). But no, you automatically jump to “cops are like defense attourneys etc”.

    Simply, you should know the whole story (or even half of it) before you start calling us “scum”. I will admit, that the police are human (shocking, I know) and that some are better than others. But in this instance, you have to admit that the driver of the van brought a lot of this on himself. But that did not justify the hit, and the State Patrol agreed.

    ———————————————–

    Grimmbob and Jaje:

    Thank you…you both are 100% correct.

    Funny, a lot of people on here are very critical of this officers actions and are calling for her to be fired…but I don’t see any of those same people stepping up and showing us how it’s done. If you can do better, put your money where your mouth is.

  • avatar
    monaco

    Demetri wrote:
    Are you insane? I love how there are all these little rules that no one knows about how and where you can pull over and what you can do if you get pulled over. Then if you don’t follow them you get to be murdered by the people who you employ to protect you. We live in a society where there are humans. They may not always do the optimal thing. I understand that the cops are worried about crazy things happening, but that’s a risk that’s part of the job, it doesn’t give you a license to terrorize people. Probably the worst part is that when they pull something, they don’t get the same punishment as a normal member of society would. It’s like they’re celestial.

    Very well put.
    +1!

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Just another swamp donkey hopped up on steroids. Cops wonder why they are not trusted. I am sure this skank walks around naked in her apartment with her gun belt on. Overzealous and poorly trained…

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    It was midnight on a night known for drinking and driving, she lit hip up, and he moved to the left, then to the right, then he was extremely slow to stop, then he gets off the highway and still keeps going.

    P71: He was in the #1 lane when she lit him up. Watch the vid again. See how he moves into that lane w/o signaling. That’s for what she initiated the stop. Also notice how she aims her spotlight right into his side mirror. That’s helpful, huh?

    I’m sure you’ve seen the videos where stupid drivers don’t pull far enough off the road and get slammed from behind by a semi or clueless Explorer driver. Did you see the banks of snow right on the shoulder in the vid? You’re saying he should have pulled over right there and then, half in the slow lane, half on the shoulder?

    There is more than enough reasonable suspicion to indicate he may be impaired.

    Because he made a lane change without signaling? Everything else is a matter of the van driver looking for a safe place to stop. Was he weaving? No! Not even when the trooper tried to blind him with her spotlight!

  • avatar
    Zammy

    A good time to remind citizens of their rights, lest anybody forget:

    “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306.

    “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right.” John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529.

    “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260

    Etc, etc, etc.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    … Both made errors but the driver who did not pull over sooner was more at fault.

    No he wasn’t. It’s clear from the video that he was in the process of pulling over. He decided to take the nearest exit rather than pull over on a snowy shoulder. Seems quite reasonable and sensible. Even if this was not the cop’s preference, it’s clear enough he wasn’t trying to evade her. He was not leading her on a high speed chase.

    There was no justification for the “pitting” manouver. She didn’t pit him anyway, she just bumped him twice, in a way that could cause neck injuries to the occupants of the van, and in a way that could not possibly have prevented him from taking off again.

    He should not have jumped out of the van, but he’d already been provoked at that point. I don’t blame her for drawing her weapon, and the guy has no legitimate beef with that aspect of this case.

    But there was no justification at all for hitting the van with the cruiser. He was not evading her, that is obvious from the video. The cop was completely unreasonable and hit the van w/o justification. She obviously doesn’t have good judgment.

    It’s too bad he chose an easy settlement – though I can’t blame him for doing so. This was probably worth a great deal more money had he been willing to stick it out in the courts for a year or two.

    She deserves more than a letter or reprimand.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Flashpoint:
    This guy CONTINUED for over 20 seconds?

    The officer probably didn’t know there were kids in the car and she also didn’t know this guy would not be one of the hundreds of others out there who’d stop the car and get out shooting.

    Routine traffic stops are where most cops get killed after all.

    Whoa!
    While your statement about police fatalities on the roadside is factually correct, the vast majority are killed by THIRD PARTY DRIVERS who hit the cop/police car from behind.

    I really like your take about the driver being one of ‘hundreds of others out there who’d stop the car and get out shooting’.

    There is NOT an epidemic of people hopping out of cars and gunning at cops. Sure, it happens. But the occurance is statistically very small.

    Was the driver at fault for getting out of the car too fast after being hit? Yes.
    Was the driver at fault for driving slowly for 20 seconds with a signal on? No. It’s a judgment call about where to pull over, something that a thinking cop would understand.

    Did the cop overreact? Yes. She seems like a complete mental case. Either that or she was tipping a few back – it WAS New Year’s Eve and she was following way too close.

    But the cop’s a member of a northern state union shop. Bad cops in such departments are the Stasi of North America.

  • avatar
    oldlt43

    I was disturbed by so much vitriol aimed at the police in general by many of the responses to this article, particularly from Ronnie Schreibier,Bimmer,and Mel23. As a police officer for over 30 years I do understand the animosity some people feel towards us after seeing the unprofessional and badge-happy behavior of individuals who should never have graduated from a police academy in the first place; but, what really dismays me is Mel23’s statement that “…about half of cops are bullies with a gun and a badge” and Bimmer’s assertion that”…most cops are bullies with a badge”. To extrapolate the actions of a few and use them to tar the reputation of an entire profession is sad.
    There’s no doubt in my mind that neither of these gentlemen would ever countenance similar statements regarding ethnic stereotypes pertaining to gang or drug dealing activity but, apparently, in today’s PC world, police, like overweight people and lawyers, are still fair game.

    I want to thank those such as P71_CrownVic and jaje and grimmbob who defended with reason and logic proper police procedures and police in general. No reasonable person, civilian or officer, feels that unacceptable and unprofessional behavior by an officer should be tolerated or ignored but, in my experience, the great majority of officers I’ve worked with have been decent individuals who, in many cases, actually did enter law enforcement with the original goal of helping their community and fellow citizens. To be fair, I will admit that my work experience has been in a rural sheriff’s department as a deputy and then as a lieutenant in a small mining community and not with a major metro area that perhaps Bimmer and Mel23 are more familiar with where there may be the possibility of a greater likelihood of adversarial contact between officer and citizen.

    Finally, I just want to add a couple of comments from my viewpoint regarding the situation. Watching the video, it seemed as if there were several places where Salter could have pulled over safely and in a fairly well-lit area with traffic passing by, not a dark rural road or deserted street in an industrial area location where you would think an officer intent on a making a stop for questionable or malicious reasons would likely do so. The officer then could have requested Salter to continue on to some area off the roadway if it was felt the location there was too dangerous.From an officer’s viewpoint, the longer a driver takes to respond to a attempted traffic stop and continues to drive the more the officer begins to wonder if there is some specific reason other than just a possibly ‘safer’ location behind the driver’s unwillingness to stop.Once Salter reached the parking lot and stopped there didn’t seem to be any reason for Rindal to hit his vehicle.As was mentioned by several responders, Salter’s rapid exit and excited behavior, while understandable, isn’t what an officer wants to see since they attempting to control the stop and the situation both for their safety and that of the driver. It is very difficult to second guess an officer’s behavior when you weren’t there even when viewing a video to the incident,but, while I might have handled the initial contact differently, Rindal did make her assessment that drawing her weapon was the proper response based on her reading of all the available facts and her judgement at that time and it did work in that no one was injured. In actual practice, at least here in my state, a letter of reprimand is a fairly serious procedure and, depending on the details of the incident, could be enough to prevent the officer from being hired by another agency.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    oldlt43,

    if you re-read my post (March 22nd, 2009 at 12:34 pm) more carefully you’ll see that I said:

    No doubt, there some honest police officers, but too few of them, so I don’t think that 100% of law enforcement officers are bad, just their majority. And yes, I live and dealt with them in a large Metro area.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    I think it’s sad that any moderately intelligent adult would think that “most” police are bad. If that’s the case, so be it. I have not walked in your shoes, nor do I want to because that mind-set seems sad, pathetic, and ignorant. It’s as ignorant as saying “all black people act like this”… or “all white people act like that”… If you truly feel that way, promptly seek some help or get a cat or something!
    I’ve had mostly good encounters with police. I’ve had one or two officers pull me over in the past that were less-than-pleasant.. I’m not totally understanding the deep-seated hatred from some of you.

    As for the female trooper that’s created the firestorm. Her actions were over the top. Salter failed to yield in a timely manner, but I could see why. I don’t understand why she hit his van and that was wrong. The handcuffing/arrest was over the top also.

    I’m thinking she needs a new proffession or the Minnesota State Patrol needs a new Dare Officer.

  • avatar
    Power6

    I think there is a lesson here for the minivan driver and many of us on the other end of the blues: It’s all good to get bumped and be found “right” later but it seems that avoiding misunderstanding should have been higher on his priority list. That just seems like practical thinking to me.

    I don’t really understand what the big deal was for this guy, I have always considered that the officer is taking a much bigger risk pulling me over than I am stopping for them. The officer has to park behind me, and then get out of the car on the highway. I would have pulled right over, and waited for instructions from the bullhorn to exit, or let the officer approach and perhaps suggest that we take it to a safer location.

    It is much harder at night to show acknowledgement of being pulled over, but you have to think that the longer you go without showing that acknowledgement, the more of an unknown you become. Again misunderstanding seems to be the biggest risk here, not snow banks.

    I think some people need to think about what it feels like to pull strange cars with unknown people over at night, while you are virtually alone out there. Backup is not always just down the street when you are a trooper. And this officer can’t be thinking that well “statistically this guy is not going to try to harm me when he jumps out of the van.” It just doesn’t work that way, and who honestly thinks they would be thinking this way if it was them anyways?

    I am not an officer nor have I ever been one, but I realize good judgement comes from thinking about things from the other point of view once in a while.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Full Disclosure: I make my living suing bad cops. And there are so many terrible cops around here that I may have to hire extra associates and extra paralegals just to keep up with the flood of outraged citizens who have had terrible dealings with the atrocious local blue.

    I don’t advertise. In fact, until about a month ago, I didn’t even have a listed phone number. Yet a awful torrent of battered and abused victims of egregious police misconduct and gratuitous violence find me. How do they find me? Some of them have worked diligently for weeks at the local library finding me. They patiently hunt me down, with severe determination born out of a sense of justifiable outrage. That is how utterly awful and corrupt and self-serving the local police are.

    Ronnie said it almost right: They think they are the guards, and we are the inmates. Actually, the police around here think and act like the local citizenry are THE ENEMY.

    You say, how can you live with yourself agressively suing those paid to selflessly protect us? Hey pal, do you have any idea of the number of deadly retaliations against bad cops I have prevented by providing the traumatised victims of Police thuggery with a lawful peaceful outlet and forum? I am proud of what I do, thank you very much, and the good cops (not sure if there are any) should be very very grateful to me.

    The local cops are widely reviled and openly hated, and the local cops richly deserve it.

    As far as the cop under discussion: There is no legitimate reason for her to have rammed that car. None whatsoever. Under Fourth Amendment analysis, that was plainly excessive force that was objectively unreasonable. It is an open and shut case.

    Why do cops use unreasonable force so much of the time? Because they are sadists and it feels good. Don’t kid yourself.

    We are, after all, the enemy.

  • avatar
    07Frontier

    I see police officers driving while talking on their cell phones more than not. Also, 99% of the time, they drive faster than the speed limit, but their emergency lights are not on. When one passes me, I speed up and match his/her speed.

    I work on Robins AFB, and often the SPs will turn on their lights while making an illegal maneuver, then turn them off. Once at Rhein-Main AB, an SP parked in a clearly marked no-parking zone. I asked him why was he parking there while I can’t. His reply was “We can do that.”

    Another example: a friend’s grandson was present during a fight where a person died. (I know, he shouldn’t have been there.) The police chief told the media, before the trial, that the kid was guilty. The chief wasn’t even there!

    I used to have respect for the police but no more. Their abuse of power is the reason for my 180 degree change.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I was once squashed into the Jersey barrier by an 18-wheeler on the PA Turnpike on a dark and rainy night, with a dinged mirror (where his trailer scraped) to prove it. Fortunately, my family and I were uninjured.

    I was able to catch up and record the guy’s numbers and carrier name. The PA state police took no interest when I called them. I just wanted them to find that driver and caution him to be more careful. All they could ask was whether there was an accident.

    Me: “I’d like to report a sideswipe incident at mile marker xyz. An 18-wheeler pushed me into the Jersey barrier and struck my mirror.”

    PA State Police: “Have you had an accident?”

    Me: “Well, not really. I’ve pulled off the road, and tried to visit the abc State Police barracks, but nobody answered the door. My van has sustained a minor bit of damage, that’s all.”

    PA State Police: “Do you know where this truck is?”

    Me: “I followed him long enough to get his numbers and carrier information, but I stopped to assess the damage to my car.”

    PA State Police: “We can’t help you if we don’t know where he is.”

    Me: “Well, I know where he was, and I’m sure he is going to some prescribed destination, known by his company. Surely his location can be figured out from that information.”

    PA State Police: “No, we can’t do anything about it now, if we don’t know where he is.”

    Me: “Do you mean I’m supposed to pursue him so that you can find him?!”

    PA State Police: “That’s right.”

    Me: “So you could help me if my van had rolled over on the Turnpike due to this driver’s carelessness, resulting in 8 injuries and possible deaths, but not in this case?!”

    PA State Police: “That’s right.”

    Me: “But I have his exact information, and a freshly damaged mirror. His truck should have a matching mark to prove it. I just want you to warn him. I’m not making this up.”

    PA State Police: “We can’t do that.”

    So I hung up. And people wonder why vigilante justice is so popular.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    “There’s no doubt in my mind that neither of these gentlemen would ever countenance similar statements regarding ethnic stereotypes pertaining to gang or drug dealing activity but, apparently, in today’s PC world, police, like overweight people and lawyers, are still fair game.”

    Mixing apples and oranges.

    Ethnic stereotypes and and especially overt discrimination against Ethnic Minorities is usually Banned by the Constitution and various statutes.

    Discrimination against cops is absolutely Required under the Constitution and various statutes. The 2nd, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth amendments of the Constitution were carefully drafted in order to firmly hold the police in check. The Founders well knew that the Police are not to be trusted.

    Under the Constitution, Cops are second class citizens, they do not have “rights” as several posters above suggested.

    Prejudice against the Police is a hallowed, 200 year old tradition in the United States.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Larry P2:
    Full Disclosure: I make my living suing bad cops. And there are so many terrible cops around here that I may have to hire extra associates and extra paralegals just to keep up with the flood of outraged citizens who have had terrible dealings with the atrocious local blue…
    The local cops are widely reviled and openly hated, and the local cops richly deserve it.

    Your local government must be particularly corrupt and incompetent.

    In Central NY State, things are better. Yes, there are some bad cops. Some towns, especially those bordering high crime cities, are especially anal about pulling people over.

    That said, cops are a pretty good class of people. The background and testing required to become a officer of the law is far more stringent and selective than many professions (like lawyers).

    And lawyers are pretty good too. But the fact is that many state bar associations admit certain Morlock-grade citizenry (convicted rapists, armed-robbers, drug dealers, killers) who’d never become police officers.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    P71_CrownVic:
    People wonder why police act the way they do…look at all of the hate-filled responses to this posting…where a officer bumped a mini van that broke a few state laws.

    Yes, there are cop haters present here and their comments are frightful and inexcusable.

    But the cop was out of line. Bumping a vehicle for a VIOLATION is reasonable?

    Was the mini van stolen? Did it fit the description of a vehicle involved in a major crime? Was there any attempt to evade? No. No. No.

    This officer has watched too many “Cops” videos. If she was that worried about getting shot she should have let the mini van sit – then order the driver back in the car from via speaker – and waited for backup.

    And a safety note to all officers out there: During traffic stops, I suspect you’re 100 times more likely to get hurt or killed by some 3rd party moron who hits you or your vehicle from behind than you are to be shot by the guy you pulled over.

    If anyone has any stats on this, I’d appreciate it.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    ihatetrees:

    I have said MANY times in this thread that the officer was out of line for bumping the vehicle. I also assert that was the only time the officer was out of line during the incident.

    But that does not change the fact that the driver of the vehicle brought everything on himself for not stopping when he was signaled to do so. Had he done that (what he was supposed to do), then none of this would have happened.

  • avatar
    bmcreider

    All this for failing to signal?

    I hate the government.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Ask yourself, are we seeing an increase in Police Misconduct, or is the omnipresent video capacity catching more bad cops in the act?

    What happened before the video revolution? Isn’t it obvious? Cops would lie about what happened in both their police reports and in court. Nobody believed the “suspect.”

    Unbelievably, cops are so used to lying as a matter of course, they STILL, out of habit mostly, lie even when it contradicts the video evidence!

    The Constitution was designed to prevent a Police State. The modern day GOALof the cops is a police state.

    Policing, in tandem with unvarnished ambition and addiction to power, a thoroughly disreputeable and dishonorable profession.

    I am ashamed of my local police force.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    What is truly remarkable, amazing and unprecedented is that the dumb cop was even disciplined. 99.999 percent of the time, there is little or no effective oversight of the police. The “thin blue line” energetically whitewashes and covers up even the most unbelievably egregious and criminal police misconduct. The political hacks that populate the bench in most states are anxious to prove their bonifides as unvarnished “holster sniffers,” so eagerly allow even the most egregious and obvious cop perjury.

    Had there been no video, discipline would have never happened in the case in discussion. Had there not been video in Oakland, that cop would not have been prosecuted for murdering that guy (shooting him in the back while he was prone, face down!).

    He would have been completely protected by the usual uniform chorus of unanimous lies told by the other bystanding cops.

    This is why the Founders were so ruthless with tight constitutional restrictions on the Police: At best, cops are a barely tolerable yet necessary evil. They Constitution fairly oozes with hatred and contempt for the police.

    In fact, had the constitution been written today, the Founders probably would have made Police testimony inadmissable without video coroboration, required the Police to get a telephonic warrant from an impartial magistrate for a routine traffic stop, and would turn over in the graves at the military-style policing used to “combat” marijuana users.

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