Pulled Over, Detained, Threatened, Illegally searched, and The Officer Damaged My Vehicle
This story was shared via our Submission tab.
Sacramento, California Decemeber 28, 2010: I was driving home from a friend’s house and it was around 12:45am, I was driving normally and obeying all traffic laws. I turned right onto a street, then I immediately turned left into my neighborhood and I saw police lights flashing (no siren) behind me so I pulled over. I stopped right away and I turned my car off, rolled down the window.
Then, the officer approached me he told me to get out of the car; confused and scared, I did as he said. Then, he pushed me against the car, handcuffed me, and immediately asked if I was drunk and where the drugs were located. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, and I was completely sober. He said I was being arrested for running from him. I said he was lying and I was not running.
The cop said he followed me for over 2 miles and I was evading him. I constantly look behind me when I drive and there was no one behind me for the previous 10-15 minutes I was driving. I know for a fact he only saw me turn right onto a street because that’s when I spotted him going the opposite way. He then changed his story and said I took that right turn dangerously fast and it was reckless driving. Keep in mind, the speed limit in that street is 45mph – I took the turn at around 30 mph, as it is a wide right turn. The cop made me sit on the sidewalk for about 40 minutes. He went into my car, took the insurance and registration WITHOUT asking me, broke my glove box in the process and searched my car for anything he could find. He did not find anything.
While sitting on the sidewalk, I was shaking because it just finished raining outside and it was cold; I was wearing flip flops, shorts, and a light shirt. He started harassing me, asking why I was shaking and if it was because I was on drugs – he even did a DUI test on me. After 40 minutes of being detained, and sitting on the sidewalk, he started questioning me, asking where I was coming from and what I was doing out late. I told him that I was coming back from a friend’s house, and that I lived right there, 2 houses down from where I was stopped. He proceeded to respond, “I don’t give a fuck where you live, that’s not what I asked.”
Scared for my safety, as he seemed angry and hostile, I answered his other questions. He eventually removed the hand cuffs and showed me a ticket for going 65MPH in a 25MPH zone. He also said, “If you don’t take care of this ticket, I will come to your house and arrest you.” He also implied that if I didn’t sign the ticket I would be taken to jail for running from the police; I signed the ticket and they let me go – he had his partner with him but he never said a single word. The following morning I called the police station and said I wanted to file a complaint about Officer Potter. I met with the chief at 11pm when the station was closed, which I found very odd, and I explained what happened to him, as well as provided him with a written statement.
The chief said he would send me a letter before the court date and it would explain what was going to happen, but I never received that letter. When I went to court, the officer had the balls to show up and lie completely about what happened. He said I was running from him, that I took the turn at dangerous speeds and my tires were screeching, in addition to many other lies. I know something was up because I only received a 400$ fine for allegedly going 40 miles over the speed limit and 1 point on my license; if you live in California you know tickets are not that cheap.
I just took the deal and moved on. I actually provided the judge with pictures and aerial views of what happened, trying to explain that going 65mph was not possible at all but he didn’t even look at me or even care to do anything, he just said, “No, I don’t believe you” and I was denied traffic school. That was that. I spoke to a few people who used to work for CHP and they all said that the Sacramento CHP are one of the most corrupt ones out there. Unfortunately for me, I was able to experience it first hand. The best part about it was when I was walking out of the court house, I walked out with the office; when he saw me he put his hood over his head, looked down and walked away quickly.