Cop Escalates Expired Registration Into Violent Situation

It’s a Saturday night. I had a serious hankering for some Chinese food. The best place in town is about 15 minutes away from my house, and they don’t deliver. It was inevitable that I make the drive to pick up my food, go home, stuff my face and relax. What actually happened turned a lethargic Saturday night into a possible fight for my life.

The way home from the restaurant is nothing but pitch black, open country roads. Once I reach the last intersection before the end stretch to my house, I see a squad car on the side of the road, in the dark, monitoring the stop sign. Passing him after making the turn, I made it about a mile down the road before I notice him exceedingly approaching. Those bright, symmetrical, square headlights rapidly accelerating toward my car couldn’t be mistaken for anything else; I was about to get pulled over.

The red and blue piercing lights immediately illuminated my car. I traveled about a quarter mile to a safe place in the road to pull over. I put my car in park, my emergency flashers on, had my ID and insurance card ready, rolled the window down 2 inches and locked both doors. In Illinois, among other states, a driver is not legally required to roll their window down “all the way”.

Officer A. Becker (#67) of the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office approached my car and after identifying himself, told me why I had been pulled over. Expired registration. I acknowledged what he had said, and provided my ID and insurance upon request. He informed me that I would be receiving a citation for the registration, and that he would be back momentarily with my ticket.

After about 10 minutes, he returned to my car with my citation. Up until this moment, the traffic stop had remained professional and courteous, and my window being rolled down only two inches did not seem to interfere with our conversation or him being able to relay information. He then requested that I roll it down so that he could further explain my citation. Politely, I answered that I could hear him fine, and that I would prefer not to roll it down. It was then that the demeanor of the situation shifted, and he became aggressive. I was ordered to exit the vehicle on justification that he did not feel safe reaching through my window, even though moments before he would have passed the clipboard through had I rolled it down more. I declined to exit the vehicle, and the events that followed were entirely unnecessary and irrelevant to the reasoning for the initial stop.

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It is very clear in the video that this order had nothing to do with safety, and all about control. This was an attempt to fabricate other offenses against me, possibly endangering my safety, for purposes of revenue. There was no present danger to the officer. This is abuse. This is tyranny.

Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977), is a United States Supreme Court criminal law decision holding that a police officer ordering a person out of a car following a traffic stop and conducting a pat-down to check for weapons did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In this Supreme Court ruling, a man was ordered to exit a vehicle after being stopped for an expired registration because the officer claimed he had reasonable cause to fear for his safety based on the demeanor of the situation. The basis is that the officer’s concern for safety exceeded the “inconvenience” of the driver to exit the vehicle.
Given the professional and polite demeanor of the traffic stop in this video, a “concern for safety” was not a factor until the officer demanded I exit the vehicle for purposes of simply signing a ticket, escalating the situation because his authority was questioned. His reasoning was fabricated and a clear abuse of his “authority” derivative of law.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution – “The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government.  It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.”
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

A Law repugnant to the Constitution is void.” With these words written by Chief Justice Marshall, the Supreme Court for the first time declared unconstitutional a law passed by Congress and signed by the President. (Marbury v. Madison 1803).

Despite the aforementioned case law, the act of removing a person who has posed zero threat to you is not and should not be considered “reasonable” under the parameters of the Fourth Amendment, and is an obvious abuse of authority of law.

The Constitution is constantly being undermined by Police and authority figures in this country every day. Police are killing people in the streets without justification and without repercussion. Accountability among law enforcement has become as elusive as a unicorn, a term laughed at by anyone who understands how the “justice system” actually works. Police are granted extra privileges and immunity, with the task of generating profit for the state. This ultimately leads to violent situations where violence was not previously present.

When put into perspective, this traffic stop sounds absolutely insane. Essentially, I was forcefully inhibited from traveling, stopped on a dark country road, in the middle of the night for a victimless crime that translates directly into revenue for the state. An unpaid registration cannot possibly have a victim, and should be met with a letter in the mail; not being stopped, removed from my vehicle, and violently extorted on the side of the road. Policing for profit methods are literally creating violent, aggressive situations on the premise of taxation without representation… and people are dying for it on a daily basis.

In closing, I would like to address those who will say things like “if you would just obey the law and comply, you’ll have nothing to worry about!”.
The Holocaust didn’t happen over night. It was completely legal and made possible by cops “just following orders” enforcing laws from politicians who were “just writing laws” onto people who died “obeying and following the law”.

“”If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” – Thomas Jefferson

 

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Ryan Scott

Ryan Scott is a journalist and police brutality/accountability activist in the Northern Illinois area. Ryan is the founder of DeKalb County Cop Watch, Illinois Against Checkpoints, and also known for several viral videos involving police activism.