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by Peter Moskos

July 25, 2015

"Are you done?"

When Sandra Bland was asked by Officer Encinia if she, "was done," she actually was. Officer Encinia could have issued a ticket or a warning and walked away. But he chose not to. That was a mistake. Not legally, mind you. But morally and tactically, it was stupid.

"A roadside domestic," is how my friend and retired Baltimore cop, Leon Taylor put it. ("Code it, David-Yes.") Yeah, my idea of a fun Friday night is seeing Leon, who happened to be in town unexpectedly, and analyzing the full Sandra Bland arrest video over a beer.

Both Bland and Encinia could have deescalated, and neither did. But it's not Bland's job to deescalate. She's not paid to interact with citizens and make things safer. It's not her responsibility. She can do whatever the hell she wants. It might end up with her getting arrested. Sure. But it's only the police officer's moral and professional responsibility to do the right thing.

The job of a police officer is avoid creating potentially dangerous situations and to deal, professionally, with upset people. To intentionally not do so is bad policing.

Here's my timeline and transcript of the Officer Encinia Bland encounter. Times are based on the above video. (The transcript isn't perfect; but it's the best I could do.) The video starts with Officer Encinia wrapping up what seems to be a very nice car stop. (That car then pulls away from the curb without signaling, I can't help but notice.)
1:15 Bland makes right turn onto road.

1:20 Cop makes a U-Turn.
At this point I'm wondering why he's interested in Bland, if he is. It's not clear if she signaled a right turn (or stopped) or not. But he never mentions this later. Is he just speeding to get coffee? I don't know. But it does seem like he already intended to stop her. But maybe not.

Maybe he liked stopping cars so he could give drivers warnings instead of tickets. And then he'd leave feeling all warm and fuzzy. I don't know. But you don't really deserve credit when you pull people over for bullshit and then choose not to write them up. 

I'd guess he's pushing roughly 35-40 mph in what is 20 mph zone. At 2:00 Officer Encinia pulls up behind Ms. Bland, who changes lanes without signaling. Bland later tells Encinia, quite honestly, that she was trying to get out of the officer's way. Technically, though, she did failed to signal a lane change.
2:40 Officer: Hello, Ma'am. The reason for your stop is you failed to signal the lane change. Do you have your driver's license and insurance with you.

[pause or incomprehensible]

What’s wrong?
Officer Encinia checks the car's front tag and then returns to police car by 4:23. He exits the car at 8:35. Now up to this point, except for a very bullshit nature of the actual violation, it's hard to fault the officer for any of his his actions or demeanor toward Sandra Bland. For her part, she signals complete verbal compliance. She's not happy. But then why should she be?
8:39 Him: OK, ma’am.


Him: You OK?

8:50 Her: I’m waiting on you. You... This is your job. I’m waiting on you. Whatever you want me to do.

8:55 Him: You seem very irritated?

8:57 Her: I am. I really am. I feel like you stopped me, for what I am getting a ticket for -- I was getting out of your way. You was speeding up, tailing me. So I move over, and you stop me. So, yeah, I am a little irritated. But so that doesn’t stop you from giving me a ticket, so...
Now here Bland is attempting to connect. She actually thought the officer cared what was wrong. After all, he did ask, well, "what's wrong?"

There's a long 5 second pause before the officer says, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. I'm just going to give you a warning. Please drive safely," and Bland drives away.

Oh, wait.... That's not what happened. But that could have been the happy ending. But it wasn't.

They both end up taking the low road, but it's initiated by the police officer. This could have been the perfect time for a cop to win her over. This is how community relations start: not with a community relations officer, but with every damn interaction between police and the public.

Think of everything that has happened in the past year with police. And then think of the stupidity of this stop. And then you ask someone, "what's wrong?" and leave them for four minutes to think about the answer? Four minutes is a long time to wait for a traffic stop warning, but it's not crazy long (computers do go down and/or get slow). Four minutes is enough time to sit and fume and think about history and present and want to answer the question, "what's wrong?"

Let's rewind a few seconds:
Her: I am. I really am. I feel like you stopped me, for what I am getting a ticket for -- I was getting out of your way. You was speeding up, tailing me. So I move over, and you stop me. So, yeah, I am a little irritated. But so that doesn’t stop you from giving me a ticket, so...

[four second pause]

9:09 Are you done?
Oh, no he didn't!

See this is where things went south. She told him what was going on in her mind. She was willing to receive a ticket. But she wasn't going to be happy about it. You don't have to be happy when you think the cops are going to give you a bullshit ticket. Especially for some violation that was caused by the cop's presence in the first place. You have to obey. And until this point, Bland does obey. And as a cop, that's all I ever really wanted. But rather than calm down or even listen to Bland, the officer is as rude as you could be in three non-obscene words: "Are you done?"

It's like the officer is saying, "If I don’t engage you, you’ll never how I really feel." Or, "Are you through telling me that bullshit?" Or, "I want you to start talking so I can tell to shut the fuck up." Try that with somebody you love and see how it works. Bland was compliant. She was resigned. The problem from the officer's perspective seems to be that she wasn't properly deferential. She wasn't shucking and jiving:
9:11 You asked me what was wrong and I told you. So now I’m done, yeah.

9:14 OK.

9:20 You mind putting out your cigarette please, you mind?

9:24 I’m in my car. Why do I have to put out my cigarette?

9:29 Well you can step on out now.
I have no idea what Officer Encinia's intention is here. Except for her tone, it's her first pushback to his authority. Now don't get me wrong, authority is important to a cop. But authority is something you receive. It's something you earn. It's not something you demand. And the cop quickly becomes an asshole. Why? Because he can. 

I guess because she said she didn't have to put out her cigarette in her car (though legally, she probably would have had to put out, if ordered, based on officer's perception of safety) maybe Encinia thought, I'll show you by taking you out of your car comfort zone. And then you won't give me any lip. This is straight up Southpark shit.

Again, the cop is in his rights, as the Court has defined them, but I don't see how he's making himself safer by getting her out of her car. Is she under arrest at this point? I don't know. But the Court has said that police (in a Texas case) can arrest people for even non-arrestable traffic offenses. Does that make sense? No. But it's Law of the Land.

It's possible Encinia knew his he could arrest on any traffic stop and chose to do so. Dickish, but legal. (Often this constitutional right is prohibited by state or local statute, but I doubt I don't it's prohibited in Texas). Either way, you can arrest her the moment she refuses to comply with the lawful order to get out of the car. Disobeying a lawful order is a crime. The game is rigged in police officers' favor, I'm telling you. And that's why you shouldn't play.

At any time up to this moment Bland could have also deescalated. She could have said, "yes sir, sorry sir." And probably she would have gone on her way with a warning. She made a choice. A bad choice. You'll never win an argument like this with a cop. Nine times out of ten, on strictly legal grounds, the cop is right. And the tenth time? You're still not going to win.
9:30 I don’t have to step out of the car.

Step out of the car

9:37 Her: No, you do not have the right to do that.

Him: I do have the right. Now step out or I will remove you.

9:45 Her. I refuse to talk to you other than identify myself.
He's right here. She doesn't have to make small talk. But she does have to get out of the car. There's too much bad "know your rights" crap on YouTube. The problem with learning "your rights" on the internet is it's often flat out wrong. Also, even if it is right in some cases, it may not apply in your case. And there's no way to know. It depends on a lot of factors you may not know about. And the cop is under no obligation to tell you so. Sometimes, you know, there actually is a time sensitive emergecy.

The best legal advice, my advice that will never get you locked up or shot, is comply like a complying fool, do not run away, do not fight. Period. Is that too demeaning for you? Too much Ethiopian Shim Sham shucking and jiving? Well that's up to you. But as I tell my students: pick your battles.

But keep in mind police officers do not have to give you a reason for their actions. Ever. You can ask, "why?" They are under no obligations to answer. Ever. Police never have to answer your questions. Now tactically and morally, and just as common courtesy, there are very good reasons officers should sometimes explain their actions, but legally they do not have to. And sometimes (not most of the time, mind you) there are good reasons not to.

And if you insist you have a right when you don't, well, that's how you talk your way into handcuffs. Or worse. At 9:48, just 7 minutes after this doomed blind date started, they start bickering like a couple that's been in bad relationship for 170 years.
9:48: Step out or I will remove you.

Her: I am getting removed for a failure to signal?

Him: Step out or I will remove you. I’m giving a lawful order. Get out of the car now. Or I'm going to remove you.

9:54 Her: I'm calling my...

9:55 I’m going to yank you outta here (take the keys)

OK, you going to yank me out of my my car.

9:59 Get out

10:00 [calls for backup]
This is a dumb move. From a tactical perspective, what the hell is he doing? She is not an imminent threat. So you try and force her in a position where she might be? You want to force her out by yourself instead of waiting for backup that is literally a couple minutes a way. If you're solo and want to arrest somebody or get a person out of a car (not an easy thing to do), then you, office, shuck and jive and do the Ethiopian Shim Sham until you have backup. There's no reason to do this alone. And yet he does. Why? I don't know. I guess because he wants to prove his dominance over her. And Bland knows that. It's horrible policing.
Her: All right, let’s do this.

Him: We're going to.

Her: Don’t touch me.

Him: Get out of the car

Her: Don't touch me. I’m not under arrest, and you don’t have the right.
I can't help but wonder if Sandra Bland would still be alive if she did actually understand his rights and her obligations in a police-citizen car stop.
10:10 You are under arrest

I'm under arrest for what?! For what?
Failure to obey a lawful order. Or just because he wanted to, based on Atwater.
Officer Encinia then calls for faster backup around 10:15. This is also horrible policing. Other officers now will race to the call. But the only reason you need backup is because you made a bad tactical decision, officer. Racing to calls is dangerous. Officers get killed. And if you make your fellow officers race to your bullshit too often, well, after a while they're going to go really slow and stop at all the red lights. Safety first, after all.
Him: Get out of the car. Get out of the car, now!

Her: Why am I being apprehended. You're trying to give me a ticket...

I said get out of the car.

Why am I being apprehended?

I’m giving you a lawful order. I'm going to drag you out of here.

You threatening to drag me out of my own car?

10:30 Get out of the car! I will light you up. Get out of the car!

[He's holding his Taser. Bland complies.]

Her: Wow. You doing all of this for a failure to signal.

Him: Get over there.

Her: Right yeah, let’s take this to court.

Him: Go Ahead.

Her: for a failure to signal.

Get off the phone.

I’m not on the phone. I have a right to record this. It’s my property.

Put your phone down.


Put your phone down. right now. Put your phone down.

For a fucking failure to signal. My goodness.

11:03 Come over here.

Her: Ya’ll are interesting. Very interesting. You feel good about yourself? You feel good about yourself? For a failure to signal. You feel real good about yourself.

Him: Come over here now.

Her: You feel good about yourself.

Turn around. Turn around now.

Why can’t you tell me why I’m being arrested.

I’m giving you a lawful order.

Why am I being arrested?

Him: Turn around.

Her: Why won’t tell me that part?

11:25 I’m giving you a lawful order. Turn around.

Why will you not tell me that part?

You are not compliant.

I’m not compliant because you just pulled me out of the car.


Her: Are you fucking kidding me. This is some bullshit.

Him: Put your hands behind your back.

11:35 You know this is straight bullshit. And you pull this shit. Full of straight this That’s all is some scary ass cops. Y’all bitch ass is scared. That’s all it is. Fucking scared of a female.

Him: If you would've just listened.
See, now we're just in straight-up bickering couple bullshit. He's dismissive of her. She's trying to emasculate him.
11:49 I was trying to sign the fucking ticket! Whatever.

Him: Stop moving.

Her: Are you fucking serious?

Him: Stop moving.

Oh, I can’t wait till we go to court. Ohhh, I can’t wait. I cannot wait till we go to court! I can’t wait. Oh, I can’t wait. You want me to sit down now?

12:01 No.

Her: You was going to throw me to the floor. That’ll make you feel better about yourself?

12:06 Knock it off.

That make you feel better about yourself? That’ll make you feel real good, won’t it? Pussy ass. Fucking pussy. For a failure to signal. You doing all of this. In little ass Prairie View Texas. My God, they must...

Him: You were getting a warning. Until now. You’re going to jail

Her: I'm getting a, for what?!

12:23 You can come read it.

For what? I’m getting a warning for what?

Stay right here.

Her: For what?! You were pointing me over there!

12:29 I said stay right here

Her: Oh, I swear on my life, y’all some pussies. A pussy-ass cop. For a fucking ticket you gonna take me to jail.

[Him to dispatcher: I got her under control. She’s in handcuffs.]

Her: What a pussy. What a pussy. What a pussy. You about to break my fucking wrists.

Him: Stop moving.

Her: I’m standing still. You pulling me, goddamnit.

Him: Stay right there. Stay right here.

Her: Don’t touch me. All this for a traffic ticket

13:00 [Officer 1 to officer 2]: Cover me right over here.

Him: This right there says a warning. You started creating the problem.

Her: You asked me what was wrong. I trying to tell you.

Him: You got anything on you person, that's illegal.

Do I look like I have anything on me. This is a maxi-dress.

I'm going to remove your glasses.

This is a maxi-dress.

Come on over here.

13:20 You an asshole. You about to break my wrist. Stop. You're about to break my fucking wrist.

Stop it.

Officer 2: Stop resisting ma’am

If you would stop, I would tell you.

13:34 You are such a pussy. You are such a pussy.

Officer 2: No, you are.

You are dinking around You are dinking around When you pull away from me, you are resisting arrest.

This make you feel good

Officer #2: I got it.

Her: This make you feel good, officer, a female. For a traffic ticket.

Officer #2: I got it. Take care of yourself.

Her: You a real man now. Knocked. Slammed my head in the ground. I got epilepsy you motherfucker

13:56 Him: Good

Officer #2: You should have started thinking about that before you started resisting

14:02 All right. Yeah, this is real good. Real good for a female. Yeah. Y’all strong. Oh. Y’all real strong.

14:09 I want you to wait right here

I can’t go nowhere with a fucking knee on my back. Duh.
And here's it's all over but some more shouting.
14:22 Him: You need to leave.

15:00 Sit up on your butt.

16:10 She started yanking away and then Kicked me, and I took her straight to the ground.

16:20 Officer #3: One thing, you can be sure it's on video.

16:55 Ring got you there?

31:38 Him: She kicked me, started yanking away. I brought her down into the grass. [He did put her down in the grass, which, well, I wouldn't say it was nice of him, but it was much nicer than bringing her down on concrete, which he could have done.]
You know the funny thing? We're only talking about it because she killed herself (or was brutally murdered by correctional officers). This is what is messed up about the rest of the criminal justice system. Bland spent three damn days in jail for failure to obey and also, while in cuffs, kicking and scratching a cop without serious injury. And now she's dead.

As commenter to a previous post put it: "This is a bad job by the trooper... but not the worst I have ever seen." No. It's not the worst I've seen. But, man... it is bad.


Anonymous said...

Note: it appears that Bland did not come to a full stop at her turn, and there is a stop sign there. That could have been why he started following her.

I've been reading the police pages on Facebook, and most of the police are defending him, even saying that she could have poked him in the eye with her cigarette. I saw a similar situation with the Indian man thrown to the ground in Arkansas a few months ago. I've observed that police usually defend their own no matter what the situation, and dismiss any citizen debate with "when you're a cop, you can tell me how to do my job." That is why citizens are apprehensive about the police investigating themselves.

Peter Moskos said...

The cigarette bother me more than it seems to bother the officer here. She's still holding it after she's out of the car. What's up with that?

I think the cop was just pissed off because she was waving it around in a disrespectful manner. But who knows?

Dustin Lafe said...

it boggles my mind that cops would defend the way this traffic stop went down. I made traffic stops for 4 years and I'd like to believe my former fellow troopers would see this as I do--as bullshit policing caused by those small minded types that should never be allowed to wear the badge. You can never take interactions with the public personally, let alone expecting folks to agree with your choice to single them out with what usually amounts to a hefty fine.

Peter-- I like the advice you give to students to comply...I go further and advise friends in minor infraction situations to also just tell the truth (law school be damned)--even if that means admitting you were driving too fast, failed to signal, and so on. Truthfulness goes a long ways...and is the most likely way to end up with warning, at least in my experience.

That said, cops have to be the ones with the thick skin and respectful tones, regardless of who you are dealing with or how you are being treated. This really is policing 101.

Peter Moskos said...

Police defend him because they only see the part of the video. The part where he's trying to arrest her and she's calling him a pussy and putting up a fight. He did that OK. And she was in a pissing match with him at that point. But tell the cops to watch the whole damn thing (which cops normally tell others. And ask them, "do you think you could have handled this a better way?"

Do you think he handled this poorly? Then why are you defending him? Why not demand better from the profession?

Or, and this is tougher but some cops are up for the challenge, put yourself in her shoes. From beginning to extraction. And ask them to point out where she errors. Because she *does* say, whatever you want, whatever you're going to do, you're going to give me a ticket. She was totally compliant. She was *not* resisting physically before she was under arrest.

So give her the damn ticket and leave. You can't expect everyone to grovel and thank you for pulling them over and giving them a warning. And there was no good reason to pull her over. She knew that. Deep down maybe he did, too? I don't know.

He wanted her to kiss his ass... and then he would be a nice guy by just giving her a warning (based on a sample of two, he seemed to like giving out warning). And then she could thank him and applaud him for being such a nice upstanding police officer.

Peter Moskos said...

Thanks. I also say this to friends and students: Sure, admit your traffic violation. But don't admit you have weed on you!

Peter Moskos said...

Let me re-emphasize: Watch the whole video. It's only 15 minutes or so.

When I saw the parts of video first online, I saw an angry woman asserting rights she didn't have, calling a cop a pussy, and resisting arresting. I saw a cop who was trying to control a situation. I too rolled my eyes. But just like it's not fair to watch a video of cop arresting a man with force unless you know the whole scene, the key here happens before the fight (with a handcuffed woman).

I would show cops the whole video and ask three things:
1) Do you really think the officer handle this in the best way he could?
2) at what point could/should the police officer have acted differently?
3) I know you weren't there, but what would have you done?

David Woycechowsky said...

would you say that the officer was unreasonable in the manner in which he seized bland?

IrishPirate said...

The whole thing here is just fucked up. If you're a cop you're likely going to spend a good deal of time dealing with drunks, headcases, people having real bad days etc etc. Sometimes those are just your co-workers and more likely your bosses.

This arrest didn't need to happen. She certainly didn't need to be sitting in jail waiting to be bonded out. It sorta reminds me of Ferguson's use of jail to increase their revenue. Difference is in Ferguson the cop was certainly legally and probably morally justified in firing his weapon.

This is just bad policing. Whether the soon to be not a police officer Encinia realizes that I don't know. Any cop who watches this between her being pulled over and being taken down and thinks this is appropriate policing needs to either find another job or get the hell off the street.

As for the comment about telling the cops the truth when pulled over I got pulled over by an Illinois State Trooper one time for speeding. He asked me how fast I was going. I said: "Too Fast". He laughed and let me go after running my license. Probably not used to getting a funny response.

People should be respectful to police. Police should be respectful and act professionally even when they're being treated badly. I know everyone has off days, but I suspect the officer here had many "off" days. He needed to learn to not to take it personally.

Being respectful is a value too often underrated by society. Politeness is underrated.

I just want to thank Peter and all of the commenters here for both the post and incisive commentary. It's too bad you fucking losers don't have something better to do on a Saturday night that comment on the internet. Smiles........then realizes I'm commenting.

Ozsportsdude said...

And cops wonder why the average citizen hates them. The Thin Blue Line must be erased. And next time you watch a movie you should root for the internal affairs guys, not the 'maverick' cop who doesn't play by the rules

john mosby said...

Prod, how much of this incident do you think comes down to state vs local police culture? My anecdotal experience is that statues tend to be more paramilitary, think in bright-line rules, have more officer-safety concerns because they tend to work alone and separated by lots of space/time from any backup. They also tend not to be too into the whole community-policing thing because, well, no one lives on the highway.

That mindset works for them on the road, but then when you transplant it into a local environment, maybe not so much.

Do we know why the trooper was even working in an urban-ish area covered by local agencies?


john mosby said...

Sorry, should be Prof not Prod. I know you're Orthodox!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, as usual, Peter.
As I can't make out the video's part when Dispatch is answering his call-in about Bland, please say if you can tell if they inform him of key parts of her Record, which (according to http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Suburban-Woman-Found-Dead-in-Jail-Had-Previous-Encounters-With-Police-316025661.html )
had quite a bit, incl. a DUI.

If he was told of her DUI etc., his conduct becomes somewhat more understandable.

Sonny Burkett said...

Why is no one addressing race here?
The simple fact is he PROFILED her.
He never mentioned her not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.
He saw a black woman with out of state plates turn onto the street and he went after her.
I'm not saying he was necessarily looking for a reason to arrest her, but he sure as HE sure as hell wanted to see what this black woman from another state was doing in HIS town!
I'm a white woman who dated an NYPD officer and who's brother is a California State corrections officer. I'm not a "jump on the race bandwagon" type (sorry, Mike Brown sealed his own fate, but the Eric Garner situation pissed me off!) but this guy is a fucking RACIST who baited her and ESCALATED instead of DEescalating and was looking for this woman to respect his "white man authority".
He has NO business being a cop. Period.

Anonymous said...

Highway interdiction of the kind state troopers often do involves pulling over people from out of state for petty bs and then asking questions when they seem agitated. Trooper Encinia was not harassing Bland because of a lane change. He was interested in her for something more serious. Why? Maybe because she has out of state plates. Maybe because she was black, although I doubt it. I suspect that when he arrested her he believed he would find more inside the car upon an inventory search. He didn't, but given that Bland had marijuana in her system he may not have been too far off. Casual drug users react badly to police stops, because they have ample reason to not like police.

Anonymous said...

My point is merely that this video looks different when you approach it from the perspective of "trooper suspects Bland of drugs/serious crimes" and not "cop stopping random person for lane change". If that was what was going on, Encinia's actions make more sense.

Once upon a time the public wanted police to do whatever legally possible in order to stick their noses where they don't belong and uncover stuff. It seems with crime down, those days are over.

Anonymous said...

Re: (1st) Anonymous, on when cops "dismiss any citizen debate with 'when you're a cop, you can tell me how to do my job.' "

I respectfully urge all cops, lawyers, politicians, shit-shovelers, etc., to never throw that argument at a critic, because it proves too much.
If we (pre-rookies) can NEVER "tell you how to do your job", you are seeking zero accountability, i.e. a blank check.
You'll end up w/ total fear, and no helpful tips, from John Q. Public, who may gamble that he'll get a fairer shake from gangbangers or mobsters. (From what I read, Capone was pretty damn good at PR.)

You're better off arguing that
"in this particular case, the cop had to do X, because of circumstances Y+Z. Since you're not a cop (or politician, shit-shoveler, etc.), I'll PATIENTLY explain why...."

Anonymous said...

(follow-up from 3:18 PM) When I included shit-shovelers, I was being facetious; it's rare that their conduct affects John Q. Public as much as does the conduct of cops, lawyers, and politicians.

PD Sergeant said...

Peter, I was with you right up until you wrote, "We're only talking about it because she killed herself (or was brutally murdered by correctional officers)." Do you really believe she was murdered by correction officers?

Is there some evidence of homicide by the detention deputies I've missed?

Peter Moskos said...

No. No evidence. I meant that line sarcastically to preempt off topic comments.

PD Sergeant said...

Okay, fair enough. For a minute there I thought maybe you had been spending too much time on Tumblr. I should have known better.

Peter Moskos said...

Yeah, sarcasm doesn't translate well to the written word, they say. It's a lesson I have never been able to learn.

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

It does seem unlikely that the officer's physically killed her. More likely they just denied her life-saving epilepsy medication after giving her a head injury. The former is quite rare, the latter not uncommon.

Peter Moskos said...

Why is it so hard to believe that somebody might get suicidally depressed after spending three days in jail for a BS traffic violation?

Anyway, don't answer this. This is where I do not want comments on this post to go.

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

It's certainly possible that someone could get suicidally depressed (esp. given a previous suicide attempt). It's also possible that the individual's state of mind was affected by being denied necessary medication (as Bland seems to have been---intake records weirdly disagree about her medication needs). It's also possible (though unlikely) that the person was murdered. Generally when there's a body, one should consider all possibilities, not just the most congenial.

Anonymous said...

The officer showed immediately that he was itching for a confrontation and escalation. He notices that she is not smiling and likely irritated,so he delves into her state of mind instead of taking care of businesṣ. She dared to decline a chance to show the proper " deference " to the copś inflated sense of authority which irritated the cop.

Then, the cop asked her to put out her cigarette only because he either dislikes the smell or used as an excuse to establish the pecking order and show he is in charge..totally an trip. The instant she refuses to put the cig out, the cop decides to show her who the boss is by ordering her out of the caṛ. This is now a pissing match and the cop is damned sure to make her pay for her attitude. Then the cop shows his lack of professionalism by calling her a pussy back, and saying " good" when she notifies him of her serious medical conditioṇ. He may have been legally right but is totally to blame for the escalatioṇ

Citizens do not have to smile and shuffle and kowtow to cops, and cops should ignore such nonsense...a cop with thin skin is a nightmare waiting to happeṇ. Too many cops want their authority recognized by complete submission and a " good attitude " and see anyone who does not does not project complete subservience to be a nail needing a hammeṛ..ego trips that cause so many problemṣ. People who do not ahow proper " respect", which cops have no legal right to, are to be taught a lesson, usually ending with a violation of rightṣ.

Most cops are only too eager to confront and escalate in order to win the ego game, and that is a shame. Cops do not have the right to order a cig put out until arrest; lawful orders concern only safety or custody, not because they hate the smell. Cops always want to be the alpha in any situation, and often go so far in doing so that they cause the issues that follow such challenges to peoples dignity. Any resistance to the presumed exalted authority cops crave is met with excessive force. This is the type of cop that shames the badge...an egotistical bully .ṁaybe legally justified in some ways but wrong for a public service job...did he serve and protect the woman or dominate her? We know the answer to that, don't we?

Dustin Lafe said...

Peter -- I would really love a post on the kind of numbers we are talking about regarding interactions between the public and the police on a daily basis. I get so sick of the fetishizing that goes on around video tapes of cops being dip shits that inevitably leads to unwarranted generalizations about cops as a whole. The media is doing serious harm to public perceptions about policing when there are 1000s upon 1000s of traffic stops everyday, many of which involving pissed of citizens like Sandra Bland, that are handled appropriately. This message needs to see the light of day.

winston smith said...

Dustin, if you think this pig deserves anything less than criminal charges for provoking this woman than I wish that ied had killed you. Sic semper tyrannis.

Rich said...

The actions of the officer leaves me to believe the officer is a rookie. Some officers who have little experience on the street are "badge heavy." Police officers have a tremendous amount of authority and some rookie's look for situations wherein they feel their authority is being challenged. The officer asked her to put her cigarette out. She refused and in so doing, she challenged his authority and with this officer, you can't do that. Then he ordered her out of her car and again she refused. The traffic stop is now headed for disaster.
BTW, someone wrote the officer stopped her because she is black. They may be right. At the start of the video, As he returns to his car, he glances at a car passing by on the opposite side of the street. Once in his car, he makes a U-turn and then speeds up until he is behind the same car and then makes a traffic stop.