Over the weekend a reader sent this video to me showing a McLean County deputy pulling over a lady who didn’t seem to be interested in doing anything other than cursing the poor guy out.
The stop apparently happened on the 4th of July – they reference the holiday during their discussion and you can actually see fireworks going off in the background – and ultimately the woman didn’t get a ticket. She got a warning because one of her headlights were out, which was the reason the deputy gave for the stop.
Warning, the language here is pretty brutal.
The video was posted by McLean County State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson. I reached out to him to ask why he’d put it online.
“My Sheriff and I did deputy training last week and part of that dealt with demeanor during traffic stops and how we would like our guys to stay professional and don’t get suckered into nonsensical reactions to insults,” he told me. “That was just one of the videos, but I thought it was funny especially when the lady gives my sergeant the finger when he is running her drivers license in his car – that’s mostly why I posted it.”
Erickson said the training focused on the deputies keeping their cool even in heated situations where someone in the public might be “trying to bait them.”
“We have a number of young deputies and my sheriff and I don’t want them getting short with people too fast,” he said.
Important training, it would seem, given the heightened tensions between law enforcement and the public of late. Particularly when some of the tensions are coming from activists who would love to bait a law enforcement officer into losing their temper or making a bad choice.
The altercation above, though, just seems to be a lady having a really, really bad day. This sort of behavior, while certainly not typical, isn’t all that rare either according to my friends in law enforcement.
I post it here on SAB because sometimes it can be easy to forget just how difficult a job cops have. Even, at times, on routine traffic stops.
Cops aren’t above criticism. Yes, they sometimes do dumb things. Yes, some of them have that “warrior cop” mentality and patrol as though they were in a war zone. And yes, some of them are even criminals.
But most of them? They’re just people trying to do a job we all want them to do.