The post details an interaction the submitter had with a Florida Highway Patrol trooper after he misunderstood the confusing directions another trooper gave him at a location where an accident had recently taken place. Apparently, that trooper didn’t appreciate the driver’s explanation that he hadn’t understood the first trooper and decided to give him a traffic citation in retaliation, which is commonly referred to as “contempt of cop” charge.
Date of Incident: December 28, 2016
Department Involved: Florida Highway Patrol – Troop A
Location of Incident: Escambia County, FL
Department Phone No.: (850) 484-5000
Department Email: FHP@flhsmv.gov – (Attn: Captain Rick Warden – Pensacola District Commander)
I pulled up to a place where an accident had occurred and the police were blocking the road, directing traffic around it. The traffic director was waving a lighted wand to me with both a red light and a blue light flashing, as if he was waving me on through. I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to stop or to drive through, so I kept driving slowly and he yelled, “would you stop?!”
I stopped as soon as knew that’s what he wanted me to do. Maybe if he had the correct red light on and not both blue and red on his wand, or even if he held up his hand in stop position, I would have known what he wanted. However, since he clearly didn’t know what he was doing, I became confused about what I was supposed to do. I said “I didn’t know whether to stop or keep driving.”
Well, here’s a warning to all law abiding citizens; don’t EVER say a word to the FL state troopers defending yourself, because the next thing I knew, I had a state trooper down my throat ordering me to pull over. He then threatened that he may take me to jail for failure to obey the traffic cop’s directions, which was a lie because I did stop. I told him I was confused at his directions, because there was no clear indication for me to stop or to keep driving through.
Just then you could see the trooper look around my vehicle as if to look for some reason to nail me in some way. “Okay,” he said, “you have a cracked windshield” – which I did, but really? So, the violation went from not obeying the traffic cop to a cracked windshield? Only because he knew the traffic director didn’t give me clear instructions.
It doesn’t stop there, either. In my nervousness with this guy I couldn’t find my current proof of insurance, but I told him that I knew I had it somewhere. He said well just give it to me when I get back to the car. So, I did find it and handed it to him when he got back, but he said it’s too late now. Then he handed me the ticket for no proof of insurance and a cracked windshield when really, it was only because he was mad that I simply tried to explain why I didn’t stop right away.
He claimed he was letting me off easy with two $116.00 citations and threatened that he could take me to jail for failure to obey! This was clearly old fashioned police harassment and corruption. I was surprised he didn’t knock out a headlight and give me a ticket for that, too. I then asked for his card or his name and he said it was all listed on the ticket, which is barely legible. I will dispute this and report this in every way possible.