A young woman (teen - 17 yrs old) I worked with as a Civil Air Patrol chaplain was caught doing 62 in a 45 mph zone in a VERY rural area of north Florida while on her way home from an “away” high-school football game at around 10:30 pm.
Following the instructions she had received from her parents - because she was in a remote rural area - when the patrol car activated its lights, she slowed to 50 mph, put on her emergency flashers, and continued driving for nearly six miles until she came to a small country convenience store/gas station, where she pulled into the parking lot right up the the lit front of the store. She stopped the car, put it in park, and turned off the engine.
During the drive after the officer had put on his lights, he had also activated his siren after a mile or so, and began telling her over the PA system to pull over immediately. She continued to a known lit public place, with flashers on, at a sedate pace. Most of the highway upon which she was driving was a 55 mph limit, except near a couple of rural churches, where it dropped to 45.
The convenience store had exterior HD security cameras, so what followed was all caught on video, but without audio.
After turning off her car, she rolled down the the window of her Honda Accord, but did not unlock her door, and sat there with her hands on the steering wheel.
The law enforcement officer (LEO) was visibly agitated when he approached her car. When she took her hands off the steering wheel to gesture as she attempted to explain, the LEO, without ever attempting to open her car door, lunged at her, grabbing both her wrists, and pulled her out of the car THROUGH the driver’s door window, and then twisted her to the ground on her belly, knelt on her back, and handcuffed her hands behind her.
He is then seen talking on his radio as he stood next to her as she lay upon the ground with her dress up around her waist and her backside and thong underwear in plain view to the officer and several passersby. The arresting officer made no attempt to restore her modesty and pull her skirt down, even though she can be seen sobbing hysterically on the ground
No further contact between the LEO and the young woman is seen on video, until two more patrol cars arrive, one from the same jurisdiction as the stopping officer, and one from the current county jurisdiction in which the stop was finally made.
One of the arriving officers almost immediately went over to her, pulled her skirt down to cover her exposed backside, and helped her to a sitting position on the curb in front of the store.
It later turned out that the arresting officer had crossed the county line in his pursuit, and had to involve the next county in the stop and arrest. In the arrest paperwork, the arresting officer charged her with speeding, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, resisting arrest without violence, and DUI. The DUI was applied even though the officer gave no field sobriety test, nor was a blood or urine sample taken when she arrived at the county jail.
As her parents were out of town with a sibling, taking that child to the Mayo clinic for diagnostic work related to a life-threatening illness, the young woman called me as her chaplain in Civil Air Patrol.
I was not allowed to bond her out until after her arraignment at 7:30 in the morning, but as a local priest AND as a First Responder with the Civil Air Patrol, she was allowed to sit with me in an interview room for about four hours until she was taken out for her arraignment.
At her request, I called her best friend’s mom, who lived next door to her, and she came to the jail. I was later allowed to bail her out on my signature, and she went to her neighbor’s home, where she was supervised by her best friend’s mom until her mom flew home the same day.
Once her attorney got a copy of the store security video about three weeks later, all of the charges against her were dropped, including the speeding charge (which I thought should have still been applied).
The deputy received no official reprimand for his treatment of a minor female, even though I and others pushed for his arrest for child abuse, as he testified during a deposition that he knew the owner and driver of the car he was attempting to pull over was a 17 year old girl.
A civil suit has been “pending” for nearly seven years now.
At any rate, that’s what the cop “would” do.
I was and still am astounded that the arresting officer received no official disciplinary action whatsoever."
Here's how one officer responds to the note above.
"I’d call you in as refusing to stop, note your speed and any evasive actions, and then decide whether I was going to cite you for fleeing and eluding or for the lesser charge of failing to yield to an emergency vehicle (with the lights and sirens going). Based on how your question reads, it would probably be the latter. When you see the emergency lights and/or hear the sirens on a moving vehicle, you’re supposed to pull to the right and then stop. Failing to do so is the same as running a red light.
Perhaps your story about being afraid I was going to “abuse my power” once I had you stopped is a believable and valid defense. Perhaps it’s not. I know I don’t find it reasonable, so I’ll write the ticket. However, I’m not the judge, nor the jury, and you (or your attorney) will get another chance to try your story with them.
My ego isn’t involved here, by the way. While I’m following you for 10 miles with my lights and sirens on, all the other traffic on the road is having to pull over and stop, assuming they obey traffic laws better than you do. Other cops are now hurrying on their way to our location because I reported that I was initiating a traffic stop 5 minutes ago, and now I have to report that the vehicle still hasn’t stopped. A dispatcher who could have handled my traffic stop as well as several others simultaneously is now focused only on me and what I’m reporting about what is shaping up to be a possible pursuit situation. Basically, your 10- mile (approximately 10-minute) refusal to stop is going to tie up a significant portion of police resources for 10 minutes, as well as inconveniencing all the other drivers on the road. I, seriously, almost never write tickets, but I’m not letting all that go with a warning. It wouldn’t be responsible for me to do so."
Paul Harding, Deputy Sheriff since 2000, Private Pilot
Here's some really good advice on how you SHOULD handle yourself when stopped by a police officer for a traffic issue.