Here is the timeline of events:
10-20-15 @ 13:31 (approx.) – Officer Joseph Royce (1171) initiated traffic stop
10-20-15 @ 13:55 (on Ticket) – Officer Joseph Royce (1171) issued 6 traffic violations (1 moving and 5 non moving)
10-23-15 – Sent Discovery Letter 1 to Wayne Township Municipal Court Via Certified Mail (Attached at DISC-1)
12-1-15 – Sent Follow up Letter for Lack of Response from County Sheriff Via Certified Mail (Attached as Follow Up Letter)
12-3-15 – Received update Letter for Discovery Containing 3 out of the 20 documents I have requested. (Attached at Response 1)
12-14-15 – Resent Discovery Request Via Certified (same as DISC-1)
01-14-16 – Received Second Response via Certified (Attached at Response 2)
01-28-16 – Trial Date
Most of my time on this was waiting on their end to which they only gave me 3 out of the 20 items I have requested.. stating that the dashboard camera doesn’t exist and that there was nothing else they can offer me other than to try and request it in court.
The items they gave me were a copy of my 6 tickets, a blank CAD report (which is not the officer log) and a 3 minute audio recording of the officer running my information (see docs at end of post). Mind you the traffic stop was 24 minutes and there were four officers on the stop.
Now, with these documents in mind and a letter pretty much stating to go pound salt for a second time from the sheriff department. I went into court with the intention of adjourning the case and having a court ordered request be put through so I can receive my other requested documents. The prosecution stated there was nothing further to offer including the primary officer’s log. The judge stated to me that the trial will have to commence being that they have nothing further to give me including the other four officers patrol logs.
During this time I tried preparing questions at the last second while the officers testimony was as follows (or as I remembered it):
” I was conducting another traffic stop when the defendant to my left made the turn on the 23 north, made eye contact and proceeded to accelerate his obnoxiously loud vehicle up the highway in the fast middle lane. I concluded my traffic stop short to go after him. I tried initiating the traffic stop on the service road of 23 when the defendant pulled into the Kohl’s parking lot and proceeded to go back to the lot. The conversation with the defendant was brief, he talked about the constitution and I returned to my vehicle.”
I proceeded to question him in the lines of establishing groundwork. He did not observe speed, he did not know what lane I was in and he did not see me operate the phone but only move it to a cell phone mount. I did plead guilty towards the two equipment violations of no front plate and third brake light out. I asked the officer if he used a decibel meter to monitor my exhaust to which his answer was predictably no. I asked why backup was called for a minor traffic stop as he stated there was only three officers when the video indicates four. He stated that the other officers were not part of the traffic division.
Final ruling was the careless operation and wireless cell phone charges were dropped (2 points and a total of $580) while I admitted guilty for the two violations (no front plate and third brake light) and was found guilty for loud exhaust even though there wasn’t a decibel meter used but only subjective perception.
Of course this information is not like some of the stories posted on here where people are being hurt or shot. However it’s a display that the sheriff clearly is in it only for the money, not protection. They only protect their own by withholding information and lying in court, not to mention, the possible bias that the officer may have had since I was a co-worker with him at the time.
I have included the statutes and law information as well as my contact information and the PCS contact info should anyone have questions regarding this lack of accountability should anyone have further questions.
DOCUMENTS OF CASE:
References to State Law:
References To Contact Sheriff