Phoenix Police Officer writes me a ticket because I won’t let him search my car.
This happened to me when I was working at Greyhound Lines as a computer programmer.
In this incident the Phoenix Police probably violated my civil rights by stopping my car illegally, because they did not have “probable cause”. But I would not learn that for several years, until I worked with Jim Forsberg, who was a Reserve Phoenix Police officer.
I was in Phoenix driving my VW over by the Circle K on Dunlap and 12th Street. The Circle K is across from Palma Park and the cop that stopped me said there were lots of crime at Palma Park and that since I was near it I was suspicious and that was the reason he stopped me.
Of course at the time I didn’t know that cops can’t just stop people because the “look suspicious”. Cops can only stop people when they have “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” and that Phoenix Police officer had neither.
By the time the Phoenix Police officer had stopped me I was over on 7th Street and Butler. I think I pulled over in the gas station on the northwest corner of the intersection.
The Phoenix Police officer told me I looked suspicious and that was why he stopped me. He ran my drivers license thru the computer to search for warrants and he didn’t get any on that.
The car was currently registered, and had current license tags. But I only had copies of old registrations in the glove box. I did not have the current registration. He ran my car’s plates thru his computer and it came up as currently registered and it was not stolen. So the issue of the car being registered was not a problem.
Next the Phoenix Police officer asked to search my car. I told him that unless he had a search warrant he could not search my car. I didn’t refuse to let him search the car because I had anything illegal in the car. I refused to let him search the car because I didn’t want him to trash the car like the last time I allowed the cops to search my car by the Fullerton, California police and they totally trashed the car.
To try and force me to let him search the car he said if I didn’t allow him to search the car he would write me a ticket for not having the current registration with me. That was despite the fact that he had just run the car thru his computer and it was currently registered.
I told him he did not have permission to search the car and he wrote me one ticket. I am sure he did not have probable cause to stop me. That was because if he had probable cause to stop me for any other traffic violations I sure he would have written me tickets for those violations, which he didn’t. He just wrote me one ticket for my car which was registered.
Later on in life I would tell a Phoenix Police Officer he could not search my car and I would get beaten up for it. But that didn’t happen today.
I didn’t know at the time that he had violated my civil rights by stopping me with out probable cause. So I was not angry about that. I was angry because he wrote me a ticket for my car not being registered, when it was in an attempt to force me to let him search the car.
I went to court to fight that ticket because I though it was unfair. The clerk at the court also thought the ticket was unfair and canceled it the first time I went to the Phoenix Court to contest it. I never even went to court on it. It was dropped.
Hey do we live in a police state or what. When the Phoenix Police will write you a ticket, to punish you for demanding that they honor your Fourth Amendment right. Damn right we live in a police state!