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Letter: Alarmed by frequent traffic stops

December 10, 2013

By show of hands, how many have been stopped four times for minor vehicle infractions in the last year? How many have been stopped four times in the last six months? How many have been stopped, made to exit the car and frisked in front of neighbors, without a vehicle infraction as the stated reason, and interrogated to boot?

How many, by show of hands, have been stopped and the officer lies about the infraction, asks where you are going, where you live — your license, with Glendale address, in his hand and already run through the computer — and asks if have you ever been arrested, been in jail or on parole? By show of hands, please. I have. And I have never been issued a ticket for the offending infraction.

And having filed complaints with said department, I have been told variously, by a certain sergeant who shall go unnamed that (I paraphrase) I could be stopped and interrogated thus everyday; and by a curbside interrogating officer on Dec. 3, who, noticing my upset, “intuiting” that I must be stopped often, said whimsically: “Glendale hasn't had a murder in four years...”

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Kudos! So I must fear nightly driving home after work (I have only been stopped at night). So I must weekly, bimonthly, monthly, etc., bear the burden.

This unnamed sergeant, and several sundry officers other, revealed the name of this policy: “aggressive policing.” Or(I translate): profiling, racial or not, by another name.

Phillip Herndon
Glendale

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