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Posted: 4/2/2002 4:10:05 AM EDT
I was pulled over due to an out of date registration on a vehicle that I have purchased (privately) recently. The Officer was extremely polite, and I was very honest with her. I explained that I had purchased the vehicle about 3 months ago, and had not been able to get the paperwork done on it due to my present financial situation. She returns from her car with my ticket and explains that she is going to issue a citation not because she doesn't believe me, or even because she wants to, but to cover her ass. Sue to several issues with "profiling" allegations, it is now unwritten policy that all traffic stops are cited for at least the initiating violation. I am appalled at the fact that society has taken the ability to exercise judgement in the field away from our officers and tied them to a "hardass" approach. What a sad statement about our society this makes.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:45:16 AM EDT
It's only going to get worse. Many departments are requiring that officers document every traffic contact so that data about what percentages of the various 'races' get pulled over and what for. Most officers figure if they have to fill out forms anyway, might as well write a ticket. The days of the verbal warning are fast coming to an end.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 11:01:13 AM EDT
The new racial profiling law in Texas, which is a load of crap, requires that we document all "investigatory stops" on paper. Traffic stops being one of those. Our dept still requires us to cut paper whether it's a warning or citation for a traffic stop. I hate that racial profiling crap.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 11:03:01 AM EDT
The new racial profiling law in Texas, which is a load of crap, requires that we document all "investigatory stops" on paper. Traffic stops being one of those. Our dept still requires us to cut paper whether it's a warning or citation for a traffic stop. I hate that racial profiling crap.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 12:47:12 PM EDT
Yes, racial profiling laws are crap but it's also a load of crap when an officer blames a policy for performing their duty. Let's face it, if you are a cop, sworn to uphold the law, you've written expired tag cites before (I have and probably will again). The officer could have written a warning (I have and probably will again) but decided to write a cite instead. Let's put it this way. I wear a uniform and drive a marked take home car. I followed a black 2000 Lincoln Navigator to work several times and saw it had a 3 month out of date registration decal. Later in the day, the second time I noticed the expire tag, I ran it and confirmed it was expired and registered to people who lived on the street in the area I ususually saw it. A few days later I saw it again and stopped it and wrote the lady a ticket. I believe she couldn't afford to tag it. By the same token I've written a hard working person trying to get to work using basic transportation (ie: nothing fancy just basic transportation) warnings under similiar situations (under the "you've got a job" = +3 good points / "NICE SUV" = -5 points policy). I have no idea that this would even apply to this situation but it's one of those days when I have some excess karma that I've gotta use up. Buzzy
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 1:28:13 PM EDT
When I was chasin' taillights, my department's policy was may stop, may cite up to 2 mph over, may stop should gite from 3 to 4 over and shall stop, shall cite for 5 or more over the limit. I only knew one guy who actually followed that policy. I believe he wrote 23 movers on Christmas Day once. The profiling laws are absolute, PC crap, borne of the "You only stopped me because I'm _______" whiners. (Fill-in the blank with your favorite AH description.) The problem is that some departments demand that every stop be documented, and with the "Sergeant in the Trunk" GPS positioning systems in some patrol vehicles, failure to document activity documented by "Electronic Sarge" can result in disciplinary action. Then again, the "unwritten policy" claim can take the wind right out of the sails of one of those "YOSMBI_" whiners. Hmmm... I'm glad I'm retired now.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:24:53 PM EDT
Buzzy, I hear what you are saying, but think about it from this perspective. The laws requiring documentation of all stops come from the state legislatures. The folks who pass those laws are elected by the people. They respond to pressure from the people to address issues, usually by passing laws. If an officer would normally give a verbal warning to a violator but is now required to document every contact on paper, and therefore issues a ticket instead, I don't see anything wrong with telling the violator why they are getting a ticket instead of a warning. The only way the legislators are going to stop passing bullshit laws like this in response to special-interest whiners is if they get enough negative feedback from Joe Citizen about the law. Joe Citizen isn't going to let his legislator know he isn't happy unless there is some negative impact on his life. Things are getting so silly that a large department near me has a policy that requires officers to fill out a questionnaire every time they stop a car. They are required to ask the driver quesions like 'what is your sexual preference'. Would that piss you off if you were the driver? It would piss me off for sure. The bottom line is, 'racial profiling' laws result in one of two things happening. Either officers say screw it, if I have to write paper it's gonna be a ticket, or they say screw it, it's not worth stopping cars anymore and they stop doing their jobs. Neither one is good for anyone.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 7:49:44 PM EDT
We have to fill out the profiling data sheets whether we write a ticket or not. The ticket is just extra work. The profiling excuse is nonsense. People use it all the time when it's nowhere near the truth. We had a minority officer a couple years ago, who stopped a member of the same minority group and wrote the driver a ticket. The driver stated "you only wrote this because I'm ". What the heck is that? Profiling occurs but 99% of the time the profiling complaints are a load of hippo dung used by people that need a crutch to get through life on. Misanthrope
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 8:11:42 PM EDT
Wow Dave! I didn’t realize that you were retired also. Ain’t it great? Well, I’m getting dangerously close to identifying my former department here, which I don’t want to do in a public forum - my real name is in my email address and it might be possible for someone to track me down, but - My urban department signed a consent degree with the DOJ (federal), after a NAACP suit, and now requires that every officer document every stop in a dedicated computer database. Every uniformed officer has been issued a PDA solely for this purpose. This is in addition to their laptops used for reports. I have only limited contact with active duty officers ( they’re 1500 miles away, and far younger than I) but my understanding is that each and every officer knows what the results of their monthly totals are. It is my belief that to the extent possible, officers now try and determine the PC of stopping a particular driver ahead of time, and what the effect of that stop will be on the monthly total. Note that there is (currently) no compiling of the enforcement action taken as a result of the stop, only about who was stopped. I expect that will change. As I understand it, some “ race balance” correcting stops are made in the finial days of the month. The database requires that unique identifying information be entered for each driver, so “creativity” can not be used to “balance” out the total. Sad but true. I could not have imagined such a situation during my career. Mike
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:07:22 AM EDT
Our approach to this racial profiling law is just ridiculous. Every time you go out on a stop, you generate a case number now. This results in officers not calling in stops, and really pisses off the dispatchers. The questions we have to ask in a contact are so intrusive that NO ONE is going to answer them, and have even led to IA complaints. (Why did that officer insist on knowing where I was born?) Add to that a policy of not accepting partial forms, and you get a situation where casual contact/verbal warnings become REALLY scarce. Your intel goes down the tube too. Imagine how much cooperation you get from snitches at this point. What's really going to be fun is when officer names are released (yes, the data gets released yearly) with contacts listed by race. The local paper already has said they will print it. Guess what's going to happen to those guys that work in the projects, or are assigned to drug/gang units?
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 8:33:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USP40C: " I explained that I had purchased the vehicle about 3 months ago, and had not been able to get the paperwork done on it due to my present financial situation."
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You broke the law. She did her job. Discretion aside, you violated the law. What am I missing?
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 1:38:59 PM EDT
Sparky315: I can see that perspective and have to admit that since it hasn't gotten that bad YET in Oklahoma I wasn't looking at it in that light. I've been doing this job a long time and have seen it go from good to god awful bad. I have to admit that I still have hopes that 9/11 will change the public view on profiling. Not the BS where a cop can stop any minority for driving a nice car but the real common sense profiling that has made law enforcement effective so many times in the past. I have to agree with QCMGR's post but I can understand the stress that officers are put under having to defend every traffic stop. If I was in such a situation I believe I would soon learn to not make a traffic stop, drive very slowly to every call, take my report type it up and go through my career ROD (retired on duty). I'm sorry to say that if I was a young man or woman thinking of working LE I probably wouldn't pin on the badge. Buzzy
Link Posted: 4/3/2002 2:06:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 3:18:38 AM EDT
My understanding is that Texas DPS's racial profiling data form is the citation. They now have to fill one out for every stop. Whether it a warning or not is up to the individual trooper, but it is probably subject to later scrutiny. To cover their flanks, they probably issue a lot more "keepers." A lot of other agencies are probably doing the required data collection the same way. Hell, I got a ticket from DPS for Speeding a few months back-I was going 11 over on an open rural highway, and I never cite for 11 over the limit, unless it is in a school zone (I usually start at about 15-20, depending on attitude).
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 3:35:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By USP40C: " I explained that I had purchased the vehicle about 3 months ago, and had not been able to get the paperwork done on it due to my present financial situation."
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You broke the law. She did her job. Discretion aside, you violated the law. What am I missing?
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I am not arguing that, and you missed my point entirely. I know I deserved the ticket, but it will be that much longer before I can get the paperwork done and register it, cause now I got a ticket to pay too. I know what I am supposed to do, and as soon as I am able, I will, my point is that is is a shame that officers have had their discretion taken from them, to satisfy the whiny babies who think the world is against them.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 3:51:36 AM EDT
I would like to add, that sometimes things do get screwed up pretty bad and hard/lean times can hang out for a while. I am finally getting my feet pulled back under myself, and will be correcting a lot of things I have had to jerry rig to get by as soon as I can make it happen. I did not sk this officer for special treatment, merely explained why I had not yet done as I should have when she asked. She was then courteous enought to explain why che chose the course of action she did, I respect that. While I do not like the direction things are turning, I am looking to a career in LE, and as such am really trying to get it together, and keep my nose clean. I have chosen this as the path I wish to follow, and I will, here's hoping one day society wakes up and realizes the realities of the job they ask LEO's to do and let them do it. Sorry that I seem to have ruffled some feathers, didn't mean to.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 4:45:46 AM EDT
Sorry if you are down on your luck.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 5:02:21 AM EDT
What it sounds like to me is we have a bunch of people including those in law enforcement that don't like the laws. Perhaps it's time to get the legislators to change things? The law is the law, or so many seem to think, so if the law is unbending then it must be enforced. If we don't like the law then change the law... Or at the very least obey the supreme written law of the land, The US Constitution and Bill Of Rights. After all any law that contradicts that isn't really the law now is it?
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:53:00 AM EDT
I am interested in what you call a minority stop. If you work in the inner city, say Harlem or Brooklyn Brownsville area. Which is 90-95%Black, is it considered a minority stop on a white person? On the other hand, is it only Black and Hispanic considered minorities? Is it that you have to write these reports on every single person you stop? It is as they are trying to do with us. You go on a call and have to write paperwork on Medical insurance they do not care if you are White, unless you are white on welfare. If the person is Black, make sure you get the info. This Crap is getting me sick. It is time all LEO banned together. It is hard enough to do your job let alone add more paperwork to it. Nothing is Black and White anymore. I hope a big lawsuit comes out of this crap. How much more you guys going to take.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:21:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QCMGR: Sorry if you are down on your luck.
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No hard feelings. Things are looking up, and soon (?) all will be as it should. Should be able to take care of the registration in the next month.
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 9:20:02 AM EDT
Sorry to hear that's how things are where you're at...where I'm at its a 30 day rule for registering your vehicle, provided you have a bill of sale, if its over 30 days you get your vehicle towed, no insurance...towed, no or suspended DL...towed, its not the Dept policy...the municiple judge sent that down... I do a lot of traffic stops and issue few citations, most of the time just a warning...our unwritten rule of thumb is 15 over, also I refuse to waste my time going to traffic court over BS citations...We have no quotas but are death on speeding in a school or residential zone...yes school buses get nabbed also...I'm constantly telling a citizen that a) yes you are required to have a license to drive a vehicle, b) yes, you must have proof of insurance and c) yes, you have to have a valid registration or at least a current bill of sale and lastly d) yes, all of the above if you drive on a public street...
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 2:27:49 AM EDT
Once on a foot beat I cited a self proclaimed minority person for a ped viol. They gave me two earfulls of the, "you just cited me because I'm________". routine. They then stood around for a long while too see if I would cite the next person. Guess who was up to bat next, a family of my same race doing the same viol I just cited hard head for. I don't want to go into all the facts, but they realy deserved a warning only. Was I going to put myself through the grief from hard head by letting them go with just a warning, yea right. I did as I normaly do with a family and just cited the head of the family. they "seemed" very reseptive, but could not understand why I couldn't issue a warning only. I thought what the hell, I'll be straight with them and explain that hard head over there would love to see me warn and not cite them so they could scream racism. So, I would cite just one of the group and call it an educational experience for the rest. Things went sideways from there! The whole group then went off on me saying," we are going to court with him (the cited person)and we are going to tell the judge that ofcr!#@#$$# only issued a citation because we are of the same race as him". This BS continued untill I could take no more. I ended up citing the whole party due to the fact that they demonstrated that the were really not reseptive to the waring at all. I won no hearts or minds that day : ( Never, ever will I try to explain the pressures of this racial profilling BS to a citz again! Atleast not while issuing a cit, hehehe.
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