Patrick Roth submitted a video of a traffic stop he was forced to participate in after he passed the police station for the third time in one night. Three police officers were involved, but only one of them seemed to think it was about a cracked windshield. The other two were more interested in determining who kept driving past them and defending themselves from an imagined war on cops.
Date of Incident: 9/10/2016
- Sgt. Matthews #51
- Phelps #59
- Munson #57
Patrick Roth was stopped at 2:30 in the morning for having a cracked windshield but the officers involved made it very clear he was being detained for passing the police station multiple times in a short period of time; the crack in the window just ensured they were detaining him “legally”.
When the officers approached Patrick’s vehicle, two officers took up positions near the rear of the vehicle and shined their lights inside. This type of posturing is normal when you feel you may find yourself in a combat situation and want to have the tactical advantage.
Sgt. Matthews then approached the window and asked for his papers and what Patrick was doing? Patrick handed over his paperwork, but declined to answer any questions which visibly annoyed Matthews, who is probably used to being obeyed to the letter and having his questions answered without delay.
After Sgt. Matthews retreats to the cruiser, Patrick begins to question Officer Phelps about the stop and if driving is a crime? To which Phelps replies “no”. Patrick then makes it a point to ask if they saw his windshield crack before they got to the vehicle. Officer Phelps tells Patrick that driving around is not a crime, but having a cracked windshield is grounds for them to initiate a hostage situation, pry into his background and look for any reason to cage or extort him.
Any person who can formulate a thought can see through this thin veiled excuse and recognize laws such as theses serve as hooks for the police to create situations to further criminalize people. Seriously, if the police were intending to provide Patrick a service, they would have treated him with some customer service instead of talking to him like a no good criminal. However, it’s absurd that police would be interested in helping Patrick fix his window making it unlikely that they were going to do anything but try to dominate Mr. Roth in whatever manner available.
When Patrick ended the conversation with Phelps, Officer Munson slinks up to the driver window in a manner that made me feel uncomfortable on the other side of my computer screen. The way he slips into frame is just so creepy the vibes ooze into whoever is present.
Patrick asks him if he needs something, to which he replies, “do you need something?” Obviously Patrick needs a new windshield, since that is the reason levied for the stop and if this officer isn’t planning on fixing it he should fuck right off. Rhetorical questions such as this serve no actual purpose and his intention was obviously just to needle Patrick.
Munson then goes on to claim that Patrick’s behavior was out of the ordinary and when compared to “normal people” it raised their suspicion. On top of that, he said it was their job to investigate suspicious behavior and during times like these when people are out looking for cops they can’t be too careful. He then tried to “good cop” Patrick into answering his questions. Patrick again declined and Officer Munson stomped back to his cruiser.
Interestingly enough it is not the job of police to investigate, but it is the job of police to enforce the laws, regardless of their morality or necessity. In this case, a minor crack in the windshield was the foundation for these officers harassment. In fact, when it suits them the police are allowed to place personal safety over protecting people.
After talking with Munson, Patrick turned his attention back to Phelps, who instantly reneged on his previous statement that driving around was legal, but justified their actions by saying it was about the broken windshield and not about passing the police station multiple times.
What was truly disturbing about this video was how obvious the officers let their personal fear distort their perception, making it very apparent that the only reason for the stop was to identify the individual who occasionally passed their precinct throughout the night. These types of misconceptions are what lead to violent traffic stops.