Man is Harassed and Threatened by New York State Trooper for Raising His Hand While Driving
The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.
Before I tell you my story, I would like to give a little bit of my background.
I am 33, married, and have a daughter. I moved into the area about two years ago. I bought a house and pay my taxes, which makes me think that after all I am a quite useful member of society. I work for a very big and well known international company as a service tech. My daily routine involves a LOT of driving around in a company van.
On February 12, 2014, at about 4:00 PM I was driving home (within the speed limit) on a local freeway. While driving, I was on the phone (via hands-free, that is integrated into my van’s stereo system) with my friend who was telling me some disturbing news, so at some point I got emotional and raised my hand into the air. (As if asking, “Why?”) At that same moment, I noticed on the opposite side of the road an unmarked police vehicle with lights flashing (apparently Mister State Trooper was issuing someone a ticket). About a minute later, that same police car was behind me with its lights on. I pulled over and rolled my window down. Below is my dialogue with the state trooper.
Officer: Your license and registration?
Me: Officer, I would like to know the reason why I am being stopped.
Officer: Give me your license and I will tell you!
Me: [Giving my license and registration]
Officer: [Speaking aggressively] So, what is you problem?
Me: Excuse me?
Officer: I said, what is your problem? Do you have a problem with cops?
Me: Officer, I am not sure what are you asking about?
Officer: [Speaking loud and aggressively] I saw you raising your hand on me! Is that your attitude? Are you showing me your attitude? Do you have problems with cops? Why did you raise your hands on me?
Me: [I decided not to disclose that I was on the phone, even though it was a hands-free ] Well, first of all it was only one hand. After all, is that illegal to raise a hand while you’re driving?
Officer: Yes it is! Actually, I’m going to give you a ticket for not keeping your hands on the steering wheel! So, what is your problem? You don’t like cops, huh?
Me: Well, do what you’ve got to do, but it sounds ridiculous, I could be just stretching…
Officer: [Screams] Okay, step out of the car!
Me: Why do you want me to do this?
Officer: [Screams] Step out of the car right now or I’m going to rip you out…
Me: [Stepping out, officer takes me behind the van, there is another trooper standing there]
Officer: [Starts “frisking” me]
Me: Officer, I do not consent for this search, are you detaining me?
Officer: [Keeps searching] Of course I am! For your behavior! Are you the guy that drives around and honks to the cops?
Officer: Are you that guy that drives and honks to the cops?
Me: No, I am not. But excuse me, is using car sound signal illegal in this state? After all, officer, do you realize how many white vans like mine are driving in this area?
Officer: Get back to the car!
[Several minutes later]
Officer: Here is your license and if I see you around one more time, you will get into real trouble.
Me: Officer, can I have your last name please?
Officer: [Screams out his last name so fast and loud that I can’t even write it down]
Officer: Have a good day [Walks away]
I was going to let this story drown in my bad day memories when all of a sudden two things happened in next few days.
First, my boss showed me an email from NY State Police reporting me as an “erratic driver”.
Second, my coworker called me and said that he was pulled over by two NYSP vehicles (one of them was an unmarked Chevy Tahoe, the same one that pulled me over earlier) for using a cellphone. The State Trooper asked him if he knows me and when my coworker confirmed that, they told him to talk to me because they were about to arrest me. The reason for that is “circulating around cops’ cars.”
Besides the fact that I was humiliated by some mentally disordered State Trooper, now I am facing clear and distinct attempts to knock me out of my job and make my life miserable. I am open to any advice! If someone can recommend me a good lawyer, I will be very grateful.
Thanks for reading!