Citizen in Hempstead NY Stands Ground and Uses Camera to Avoid Illegal Traffic Stop

The video and description included within this post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the Submissions Page.

In the video included with this post, a man is stopped by Assistant Chief Joseph Sortino of the Village of Hempstead Police Department. (It’s not shown in the video, but according to the description below, the driver had seen Sortino speeding and told him he should not be doing so just prior.) While Sortino is demanding his license, registration, and insurance papers, the driver asks several times what he is being stopped for. Eventually, Asst. Chief Sortino states “you didn’t use his turn signal when I pulled you over.”

There’s two obvious problems with that excuse Sortino wants to use to pull him over. The first is that he has to have a reason to pull him over BEFORE pulling him over. So not signalling as you’re being pulled over doesn’t actually fit that. The other problem is that the driver’s turn signal has been on since the beginning of the video, which he points out.

Shortly after that, the driver mentions another incident from a few weeks earlier. Sortino then says, “you’re that guy who refused to get out?” The driver then responds, “yeah, I’m that guy.” Assistant Chief Sortino follows up by saying, “we don’t want to go through your nonsense again; we’re going to go with the lesser of two evils and you can shuffle off to Buffalo.”

They then exchange some not so pleasant goodbyes and the man drives off, presumably shuffling off to Buffalo.

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Date of Incident: August 31, 2016
Officer Involved: Assistant Chief Joseph Sortino
Department Involved: Village of Hempstead (NY) Police Department
Department Phone No.: (516) 483-6200
Facebook Page: Hempstead Village Police Department
Twitter Account:

Prior to being pulled over, I noticed this officer going over 50mph on a 30mph zone, dangerously cutting through traffic without signaling and all while talking on his cellphone. I come up next to him while on a red light and let him know that what he was doing was very unsafe. He didn’t like what I said to him and just closed his windows.

Then, I proceeded to take out my cellphone to record him. The second I did that, he pulled up behind me and pulled me over. Never articulating a real reason to why he stopped me. The rest is on video.

P.S. I had a previous incident with the police about a month earlier, where the same situation happened. They broke the window of my car, illegally arrested me, and deleted all my footage. That case is currently pending.

Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who's been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He's also the founder/main contributor of Nevada CopBlock, Editor/contributor at and designed the Official CopBlock Press Passes. ____________________________________________________________________________ If you appreciate Kelly's contributions to CopBlock, consider donating to the CopBlock Network and/or visiting the CopBlock Store. ____________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.