Unable to Stop Criminals, Texas Cops Now Pull You Over for “Driving Safely” to “Reward” You

Texas-Cops-Now-Pull-You-Over-for-Driving-Safely-to-Commend-YouBy William N. Grigg

Police in Lakeview, Texas are routinely conducting traffic stops without probable cause that a violation has occurred – and have packaged these unlawful detentions in a way that has earned media approval.

The pretext offered by the department is its “Doing it Right Safe Driving Campaign,” through which officers who lurk in the shadows like rapists stop drivers who appear to be following all of the rules  and then given Starbucks gift certificates – but only if a scan of the driver’s license and registration reveals no outstanding warrants or violations. The confused and anxious motorists are not told the purpose of the traffic stop until the officer returns with the surprise gift – which is actually a species of Trojan Horse that permits the officer to sneak a peek at the driver’s record without a legally valid reason.

“Recently, we’ve seen a lot of negative things about the police,” explained Lakeview Police Chief David Hotchkiss to the Baxter Bulletin newspaper. “I just wanted to do something that let the community see us doing something good and let us look for drivers doing good things.”

The idea earned the approval of Lakeview mayor Dennis Behling and the City Council, and attracted the interest of local citizens who donated the money to buy gift certificates ranging in price from $15 to $25 dollars apiece.

According to Chief Hotchkiss, the “Doing it Right” initiative offers “an opportunity to interact with people for a positive reason. For the community, it allowed them to interact with us when there was nothing wrong and we were giving them a gift. That allowed us to start relationships on a positive note and that’s great.” The Chief expressed satisfaction over “looking for someone doing something right.”

If this were the case, of course, police who stopped drivers for the supposed purpose of commending them for their careful and responsible conduct would not be reviewing their records in search of something “wrong.”

There is no such thing as an innocuous contact between a citizen and a police officer, especially when that contact involves a demand for identification and scrutiny of the citizen’s background. In every contact with a citizen, a police officer treats the latter as a potential suspect and a threat to “officer safety.” Police are taught to treat every encounter as a potentially life-threatening situation, and citizens would be wise to do the same. Citizens should also assume that the police officer is not looking for an excuse to commend you, but rather for a reason to arrest you, especially when they refuse to provide any explanation for the stop.

Texas residents, in particular, have reason to understand that reality. Because of the unwarranted actions of the officer who initiated it, Sandra Bland’s encounter with the police escalated from a routine stop to an altercation that led to an arrest, spurious charges of “assaulting an officer,” and the motorist’s still-unexplained death in a jail cell. The officer in that incident treated Bland’s assertion of her rights as a threat to his safety, and a form of “contempt of cop” that supposedly justified summary punishment.

The “Doing it Right” program was brought to the attention of The Free Thought Project by a Lakeview resident – a recent arrival who asked that her name not be used.

“If the police want to reward somebody for doing things right, give the driver the reward without treating them like a suspect first,” she suggested.Reasonable as that recommendation may be, it would vitiate the entire purpose of the exercise. Other

Reasonable as that recommendation may be, it would spoil the entire purpose of the exercise. Other residents of the town of roughly 6,600 – with a crime rate much higher than the national average — might find it curious that the police are spending time on a low-risk, high-profile PR campaign that allows them to rummage through the records of harmless drivers, rather than dealing with the city’s ever-growing number of robberies and burglaries.

Given the choice of trolling for revenue or protecting property, police in Lakeview – like their comrades elsewhere – will always opt for the first alternative.

William N. Grigg writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com

  • Unapologetically White

    Why are the going after drivers? Because real criminals are scary.

    • laura m.

      I refuse to report any criminal activity I see in public, near a bank or stealing items in a store because it doesn’t concern me and I don’t get paid for my time, and/ or no one shows me appreciation for reporting this activity, and besides the bastards you report to may accuse you of being an accomplice. No one appreciated the two men that held a man stealing from Best Buy, in fact they were fired! Seems now days you can’t trust anyone, which is why everyone should refuse to vote in any election, incl me in over twenty five years. Local state and federal political corruption gets worse every year. Politicians are bought and cops get bribes for drugs, etc. older and wiser and cynical on people in general.

  • jas

    This isn’t legal. They can’t detain people without cause. It’s complete BS that will never pass in court to say they just want to stop you and tell you they appreciate you.

  • yEshUA ImmAnUEl * ben-‘Adam

    “It is the flesh with its carnal desires which blinds the eyes, the reason, of humankind. It is the flesh that desires this and that; and, as the unhallowed desires of the flesh are obeyed, the voice of the soul is hushed. The man in authority takes great care to keep humanity living in the desires of the flesh only; for well does he know that, when man is freed from the unworthy desires of the flesh, he is also freed from slavery to others who profit by that slavery.
    The first step in freedom is therefore for man to free himself from his own carnal, or fleshly, desires. When he has accomplished this, he will become free from all other undesirable conditions, from all bondage, no matter what may be its nature.”

  • Philip

    How about if we just walk into the police station with a loaded gun that will penetrate the bulletproof glass behind which these coward thugs hide, demand to know why there isn’t a website detailing their crimes against us, then hand them a coupon for a product they don’t want nor need, if they provide satisfying answers?

  • Foghorn returns

    The gentle tyrants lol. It just doesn’t seem to phase me anymore since I have gotten so used to it by now. I wonder what they will do next. Its not like anyone can stop them.

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