I was pulled over last night by a Texas State TrooperSubmitted by RoadtoSurfdom on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 22:41
for having one of the two lights over the license plate faulty.
I care about police officers. In fact for a long time I aspired to be one. My goal with any law enforcement is to disarm the appearance of a physical threat - which is hard to do sometimes at 6'0 and 240 lbs and a former power lifter. And the second goal is to show cooperation.
So last night when I was pulled over, this short but stocky Texas State Trooper walks up passenger side with weapons drawn. I had both hands on the wheel and the engine off with the keys sitting in the passenger seat.
After a few minutes of me assuring him that there was no threat, no drugs, and no weapons in the car, he re-holstered what looked like a SIG 226, he asked me to get out of the vehicle so he could "search me".
I had nothing to hide. Nothing to find. Nothing to see. No criminal record. Never an ounce of trouble except a speeding ticket back in 1998. I am squeaky clean.
I reminded him respectfully that it is my 4th amendment right not to do so and by him ordering such a request was a violation of that amendment. I repeated politely that "this is a violation of my 4th amendment." I said it 3-4 times clearly so the police audio could pick it up on tape.
I said to him, "Look Trooper Ramos, if you want to search me, you're the one breaking the law. Not me. The Constitution is as clear as a Sunday morning sermon about this issue. Unless you have probable cause, and you have not demonstrated that, you have no delegated authority to initiate an unauthorized search. And unless you can write your own search warrants like the FBI can, you will neither search my person or my private property without cause." I was cold & shaking, partly from the 40 degree weather and partly from standing up to a clear Constitutional violation. But the Ron Paul nation would have been proud.
He asked "Do you have any weapons on you?" I paused for a second and thought of my Karambit fighting knife positioned in my right pocket for quick access, the AR-15 at home, 30 other assortment guns and rifles scattered throughout the house, the tactical shot gun with 400 rounds in my trunk, the Louisville Sluggers strategically placed behind doors and under beds at the house, and the Glock kept out of view wedged deep in the driver's side seat...I replied with a smile showing him the palms of both hands, "No sir, I sure don't."
He ran my license and had me stand outside the car. I checked the light at the rear of the car and found one of the two operational. When he returned he said "I'm going to give you a warning." I said in stride, "Well, it does need to be repaired now that I am looking at it. I appreciate you pointing it out to me. But the other one on the right side here seems to be working." He handed me the warning and my license back before he realized I was politely challenging. He replied sharply, "Yeah but this one is NOT." Pointing to the one not working on the left. I calmly noted that one of the running lights on the bottom right of his cruiser was out pointing to his vehicle and that I noticed he was not wearing his seat belt as be pulled me over. I then said, "Don't worry Trooper, I won't pull you over, ask you to get out of your vehicle, interrogate you with irrelevant drug questions, and occupy an hours worth of your time or anything. You probably have to work in the morning or something anyway. But I hope you realize that my taxes go toward vehicle upkeep and unit...", Walking over to his patrol car searching for the identifying number, "...Tx-6539 does need to go into the shop."
I was walking back to my car and he said something that really surprised me. He goes, "You know you're a real lucky SOB." Again I paused and thought of another person on the Daily Paul who had a run in with the police who harassed him and disconnected his battery who said sort of the same thing. I grabbed a Ron Paul super brochure and walked over to him. I said, "No citizen in a free society is lucky to be pulled over by law enforcement. Besides, I'm something much bigger then anything or anyone would consider 'lucky'." I handed him the super brochure. "Oh, yeah?" He said, "What's that?" I replied, "Innocent."
"Have a good night Trooper. Be safe."
I got in, shut the door to my car, took a deep breath, and drove home.