Salt Lake Cop Crosses 3 Lanes of Oncoming Traffic to Give Ransom

Submitted anonymously.

When: 9/16/2014, around 1pm MST
Individual Responsible: Officer Baldwin, Badge# K29
Responsible Individual’s Place of Employment: Salt Lake Police, 801-799-6397

I was traveling from my doctor’s appointment with the VA back to my home. I was heading west on 400S going towards Redwood Rd. and moving with the rest of the flow of traffic. As I was traveling, I crossed over an overpass for the railway and was coming down the hill on the other side of the bridge when I was stopped.

Officer Baldwin, of the Salt Lake PD, Badge # K29, a motorcycle officer, was at the bottom of said hill, hiding in the shadows underneath the Interstate 15 overpass that crosses over 400S. The officer steps off the sidewalk and walks full long across 3 lanes of oncoming traffic to step in front of my vehicle to stop me for allegedly speeding.In the shadows, initially, I had no idea it was a cop. I first thought it was a mentally ill homeless person just walking into traffic. It wasn’t until he turned to face me and that I saw the pistol on his hip that I realized I was being shaken down by the SLPD revenue generators.

The officer, after forcing me off the roadway, approached my vehicle, claimed I was speeding, gave me a glance of the reading on his radar gun, took my license, and proceeded to write me a ticket. When he approached the window again, he claimed he was gonna do me a favor by writing the ticket for less miles over than what he claimed I was doing, so that the fine would be less. I find it funny that he would think that by attempting to steal less of my money, he was somehow doing me a favor.

Anyways, after explaining how I could settle my ransom notice, I asked the officer if he felt that by stepping into oncoming traffic to make stops, if he wasn’t being more unsafe than the infractions he was accusing innocent motorists of committing. He responded to me in true cop for, stating that he “does this everyday and that I haven’t been hit yet”. He immediately followed that statement up with a claim the he “has the authority to do so”. I have been trying to find where that authority exists in SLPD regulations with no luck thus far.

I find this situation very troubling. The officer’s blatant disregard for his own safety, not to mention mine and my fellow motorists, could have led to getting himself, myself, or other travelers killed. What if I had been a nervous teenager instead of the experienced driver, and had freaked out with a person walking into traffic? What if he had actually caused an accident that led to injuries or fatalities? Is the desire to generate revenue for the state so great that cops will potentially get themselves killed to enforce arbitrary laws?

I’ll answer that last question with a yes. I say that because after Officer Baldwin was finished holding me for ransom, as I drove away, he stepped into oncoming traffic to shake down his next victim.

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