A columnist for the Columbia Daily Tribune recently released an article discussing a traffic stop. Bill Clark, the author of the piece, states he was “lucky” the police officers didn’t shoot him and asserts he had found himself “in the shoes of the minority.” But Clark wasn’t counting on the release of evidence showing his claims were false.
As reported in the Independent Review Journal, Clark was pulled over and ultimately received a ticket for not using his turn signal. In the column, Clark asserts a “warning would have been sufficient” and tells a tale where he claims his life was in danger during the routine traffic stop.
In the piece, Clark says: “I can fully understand how easy it is for police to make random stops. I have a rear bumper full of liberal bumper stickers and a dent. My car is old, with 425,000 miles, which probably makes me an aging hippie with a weed habit. So why not pull me over.”
He continues, “I’ve just come to appreciate even more the words of those minorities when they speak of harassment and police arrogance. I had a good dose of arrogance in this evening and, in my rear view mirror, the image of the second office out of the car, his hands ready in case I made the wrong move. My life seemed to be in danger.”
After Clark’s article had been published, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department did something Clark wasn’t counting on: they release the dash cam video from the traffic stop.
The clip shows a fairly textbook traffic stop on the part of the officers. Clark’s vehicle is seen as it is pulled over and two officers approach the car. The female officer identifies herself and states the reason for the stop is for “failure to signal.”
After acquiring Clark’s documents, the two officers return to their cruiser, likely to confirm his identity and run his information through the system.
The officers are in their vehicle for several minutes before they head back towards Clark. The female officer informs Clark he is receiving a citation for his “failure to signal when turning right” and provides instruction regarding how to handle the ticket.
Clark then begins arguing with the officer regarding the incident. She states he can fight the citation in court, to which Clark replies loudly, “I probably will.”
The female officer then goes back to explaining the ticket and starts to address another issue when Clark interrupts saying, “You know what, I hadn’t done anything wrong at the point.” He states he was pulled over toward the right to ensure the officers had the ability to drive around him, but the female officer asserts that failing to use a turn signal is a violation.
Clark demands his ticket, which the female officer provides, and after wishing Clark a good day, both officers returned to their vehicle.