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Stay safe but be professional. You don't know who you're stopping.

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September 05, 2011

Stay safe but be professional. You don't know who you're stopping.

Submitted by:
Samuel Cowey
CDCR, California

My daughter was recently stopped by her local PD by mistake. A rookie officer called in her plate and erred on one of the numbers. The plate came back as a white full size domestic pick-up and stolen. She was driving a purple import sedan with her husband and their two children under two years old and she was seven months pregnant. As expected, the officer recruited back up and executed a felony stop. The stop went smooth until my daughter asked why she was being stopped (as she was on her knees being cuffed roughly by the rookie officer) she was instructed to "shut the [bleep] up."

My son-in-law was not too happy about this and got a little verbal about his pregnant wife being disrespected. They informed the officer their two infant children were the only ones left in the car (they could be clearly heard crying). She also gave the officer the registration and her ID when she was cuffed. It was about this time, our rookie realized his mistake. He unfortunately still approached the vehicle and yelled at my two-year-old grandson to open the door and step out. My grandson and his step sister were both in child seats and both doors had child locks activated.

Fortunately, the Sergeant and the Chief rolled up shortly before and ordered the officer to stand down after the officer’s back up explained what was going on. The chief issued apologies to my daughter and son-in-law. In addition, my son-in-law’s father is a Fire Captain in the small town they live in and heard the entire ordeal as the PD and FD share radio frequency. I calmed my daughter down and explained to her that while he made a mistake with the plate, it could have easily have been that she was driving with a stolen plate or that she could have been held hostage and that the officers were doing their job and protecting themselves. I also warned my son-in-law about keeping his cool. My only complaint about the whole incident was that the officer while doing his job with the stop was using proper safety, he didn’t have to be rude or disrespectful. The rookie did receive OJT from the Chief regarding being professional even to possible felons.

Remember to be safe, but maintain professionalism because you never know who you’re stopping.

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