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Thread: Greenville PD, Terrible experience

  1. #1
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    I just found this site with some help from guys attending an OC dinner in Cary the other night, so this encounter is about 2 years old but I thought I'd share anyway.

    I'm an ECU grad heading back for a homecoming weekend on a Friday night, 9pm. I'm close to my destination but in a pretty crummy neighborhood (gvegas has plenty). I made a left turn maybe a little too quickly and as soon as my headlights swept down the residential block I saw 6 or so people standing in the middle of the road, 3 of which were uniformed GPD near their unmarked squad car, the other 3 were local yokels. This "quick left turn" was far from a Bo and Luke Duke maneuver, but I was driving a transam with offroad pipes that unfortunately attract a lot of leo's while sounding bad ass.

    So as I drive past the group I'm painfully aware that the three cops are scrambling to get in their squad car as I'm making a scorching getaway at the posted 25 mph. They pulled me over after another block or two.

    At the time I carried a taurus pt92 but a friend in Greenville was dying to shoot my "big baby" as hellboy would call it; a Taurus Raging Bull .454 SS with a 6.5" barrel. So that was all I brought with me on the trip and it was sitting, loaded of course, right on my passenger seat for the whole ride, and I left it there as I was getting pulled over. I didn't think that with blue lights in my rear view this would be the best time to try and move, and anyway I understood it to be perfectly legal right where it was.

    So I pull to a stop, shut my engine off, turn on my interior light, place my left hand on my open window sill and my right hand on top of the windshield in the t top opening. I thought they would appreciate the consideration. Well they all 3 get out of the car, one stays back, the other two begin approaching my car on each side. The one on my side is at my rear bumper when he starts in with the "I need to see your license, reg, yadda yadda yadda" . I left my hands where they were as he came up to my window and of course he immediately sees big baby on the seat beside me. Despite my attempt to look disarming he screams to the officer on the other side "MIKE! HE'S GOT A GUN!!!!" and grabs both of my wrists yanking them over the side of my door and pinning them there. Mike rushes over and reaches in to secure the gun.

    I get physically yanked out of the car (they were nice enough to open the door first) and perp walked to the hood of their car. I am literally in shock. My exact thoughts were oh crap, someone in a black TA just robbed a liquor store and they think they've got their man! They put my hands behind my head and tell me not to move while they empty my pockets. Cell phone, wallet etc.

    I'm a big guy at 6'5 215, but let me tell you any one of these three officers looked like they could have ripped my arms off before beating me with them. Plus they looked and acted like the Aryan Brotherhood.

    The officer that patted me down turns me around and starts in with the why do you have a gun questioning, and I simply replied it was for protection. Of course that leads to a miniature spanish inquisition which I really wasn't game for. He then asked where was I going / coming from and I replied "I'd rather not say". Usually when I've been pulled over for speeding I'm more than cooperative with these invasive questions but at this point I had settled down a little and was getting pissed off at the way they were treating me. He looked at me like I had just called his mother a terrible name and said excuse me? I repeated my line and he said "Fine, you wanna play hardball, we can do that all night buddy" He spins me back around and whips out his cuffs. I look over my shoulder at him while he's putting them on and he smiles at me as he gives them that one extra click that transitions from securely manacled to downright uncomfortable. Nice...

    The one officer that removed my pistol is now trying to release the cylinder. I silently count time while he figures out there is a double release. While the other two officers are tearing my car apart without even asking for my consent, this one is pointing my pistol at nearby streetlights like a child, before practically dropping it on the three pound piece on the spoiler of my car. Nice again...

    I called out to them asking what they were looking for and why are they searching my car, no answer. When I say searching my car this is nowhere near a cursory look for additional rocket launchers / expired hookers in the trunk. They are picking up floormats, opening envelopes and reading material from my glove box, pulling out the spare tire panel, checking my engine bay, literally every inch of my car. I'm not experienced in hiding contraband but I would have been hard pressed to get anything by them on this search. After a solid 15-20 minutes of searching with no consent the officer who cuffed me approaches me again and asks me if I've been drinking, smoking etc and where did I hide it. There was no way in hades that my car smelled of any contraband and I knew the guy was clumsily fishing for PC when his tone turned all friendly and sympathetic and he asks for the third time, "Well, maybe one of your friends smokes dope and HE was in your car?" I answered, "Sir, I've already told you I have nothing to hide and my I'm sticking with that response." He goes on to tell me that I'll be going to jail tonight because I've been so uncooperative, but the charge will be careless and reckless, an arrestable offense.

    Another 15-20 minutes goes by with the officers taking turns playing with my shooter when a second squad pulls up with the sound of a dog barking in the back. The k-9 officer walks around my car and taps on the window sills, which makes rin tin tin put his front paws on the top of the door to pull himself into the car by scrabbling with his back claws against my door paint. My groans of protest regarding my cherry paint go unanswered. Dog crawls around my interior, then they open the hatch and he does the same thing, scratching my paint to get into the rear compartment. After a few minutes I hear the k9 officer APOLOGIZING that he was unable to get anything out of the search. The whole time I'm thinking about all the COPS episodes I've watched where they use a k9 unit to walk around a car to ESTABLISH PC, not to follow up on an already exhaustive search to no end.

    The main cop finally comes back over, uncuffs me and writes me a ticket for C&R which is just below passing a school bus in terms of points I think. He says he's letting me off easy by not taking me to jail and hands me the ticket. I'm not going to argue at this point but I asked for my gun back. He said I could go down and pick it up at the station later. I basically said HELL NO. He says fine but you're not getting the bullets back. I said HELL NO!!!! Those hornadys are worth about 7 bucks! So he walks me back to my car where I can finally get a close look at the damage done. I have scratches on my rear bumper all the way through the paint, same on the passenger door. My ashtray assembly (I don't smoke ANYthing, it was clean as a whistle) has been ripped out and is sitting on the seat. The spring cover for it is broken off at the hinges. With my jaw on the floor I look at all three of them with smirks on their faces and asked what they were going to do about the damage to my car. They said oh that's routine, get in the car right now. So I get in and the officer with my gun leans in the passenger window and says "As soon as I drop this pistol in your car you are to IMMEDIATELY pull away. DO NOT reach for it!!". So I start the car and he throws the pistol in the back seat with the equivalent of smacking a horse on it's flanks and yelling giddyup get out of here. I leave and make it about two blocks before I pull over and start trying to reach a supervisor. I have to leave a message stressing the importance of meeting with one asap. I call every hour on the hour, refraining from having that much needed beer with all my drunk friends which is what I came in town to do, hoping for a meeting to show someone first hand what had happened. No one became available for me all night, or the next day.

    The next Monday I went and paid for a drug test at an official place, clean of course. Got an estimate for $1,300 dollars worth of paint and mailed both of them with a letter of explanation to the GPD. Wednesday I finally get a call from a supervisor who is completely unapologetic but takes my complaint against the officers. I only had one of their names and he refused to disclose the other two names to me but said he would include all parties in my complaint.

    I never got paid a dime, and didn't pursue the case in court although I'm a little regretful of that to this day. My C&R got dismissed when the officers didn't show up (they weren't traffic cops to begin with).

    Every time I have recounted this story, from the first time I finally talked to a supervisor until today I still think to myself, no one is even going to believe this in all its gory detail, it's just that bad. But I still tell the same story with a little humor added in, but nothing made up whatsoever.

    I was a smartass with cops when I was real young, maybe this was karma catching up to me but I still get pretty nervous every time I return to Gville that I will bump into those same cops again.
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  2. #2
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    That is one heck of a story.





    I have had my car damaged once by an officer. It was the Raleigh CCBI, and during the coarse of an investigation they scratched the paint of my door. I had a check for the damages within two weeks. I'm sorry your situation wasn't similar.

  3. #3
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    Found this:


    "We've long been concerned about the ability of police to use arrests for
    minor crimes as a way of overriding a citizen's refusal of consent.
    Since many states (and Supreme court precedent)
    allow officers to perform a full arrest for certain traffic offenses,
    we've often worried that police could sometimes strong-arm their way
    into a vehicle by arresting the driver for a traffic violation instead
    of just writing a ticket. Today's ruling in Gant, however,
    creates an obstacle to these types of "pretext arrests," because
    traffic violations are observed infractions for which relevant evidence
    will not be contained in the vehicle. In that sense, the ruling will
    likely result in some extra protection for citizens who exercise 4th
    Amendment rights during a traffic stop."

    I guess since they said I was C&R that gave them the PC to search my vehicle? Now I know why I got the trumped up traffic violation
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  4. #4
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    While I can see the use of force for securing you and your firearm, the rest of the story is rediciulous, I cannot believe those Police Officers acted this way. I would have taken this as ffar as possible, especially with the K-9 damaging the finish of the car. My main point for taking this to court would to put the officers in question in a bad position and hope that they would not pull this stunt on another law abiding citizen.

    My neighbor is a police officer and he has stated (off the record) that 9 times out of ten most officers are going to treat you like a criminal and work any angle they can to make you angry enough to lash out verbally or physically. They are after control and when they finally realise they aren't going to win the battle they let you go. It's rather scary when a lot of them aren't on your side or even want to be. I'm not saying all LEO's are bad people, but the bad negate the good IMO.

    You did well, and I', glad they didn't attempt to pin a charge on you, they could have...

  5. #5
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    Cracker wrote:
    While I can see the use of force for securing you and your firearm
    Thanks for the rest of the support but really? I've been pulled over before with a pistol in plain sight and had a much more reasonable response...
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  6. #6
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cracker wrote:
    While I can see the use of force for securing you and your firearm, the rest of the story is ridiculous, I cannot believe those Police Officers acted this way.
    There is NO EXCUSE for infringing on someone's rights and assuming a person is breaking the law simply because it suits an officer's M.O.

    Sorry. This pack of wild dogs would have heard from an attorney. In Virginia these "men" would be lucky to still have their jobs, much less be on the street acting like common thugs.

    They damaged his personal property, infringed on his civil and Constitutional rights and he was not only NOT compensated, but their supervisor defended them? Unconscionable and inexcusable.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7
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    A major part of my reluctance to pursue this beyond the formal complaint was seeing how these officers treated me in the first place. I asked the supervisor who took my report if he would be able to review it on their dash camera and he said it was unavailable without elaboration. Certainly it was unavailable to me as I asked for a copy of it. These did not seem like the good guys in blue who would faithfully recount the stop anywhere near the same as I did. You pegged it with the "pack of wild dogs" comment! If I could have obtained something as concrete as their audio / visual documentation I would think I'd have had a slam dunk...
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

    I don't bother with pragmatic statistics while discussing my constitutional rights. The issue is far less complex, to me. Free men should be able to act like free men.

  8. #8
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    Sorry to hear about that, i've had one of my AK's scratched because of an over zealous officer. Incidents like this happen all too often, i'm very much pro LEO that do their duty, however i'm very against officers who abuse their power. Knowledge is power, if i'd known then what I do know, I would have taken actions to get money for the damage. I'm sure you feel, if not the same than similar. I won't let it happen again though.

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