Liberal columnist claims his life was in danger during traffic stop . . . until cops release video

By —— Bio and Archives--July 6, 2017

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There’s a massive outbreak of police violence against civilians, especially black civilians. That’s what you’ve heard, right? Colin Kaepernick says it. The Washington Post says it. Must be true, since you hear it all the time.

What you rarely hear with these stirring tales is any rebuttal from the police. The people making the claims are sure they were mistreated, and they’re sure that whatever procedure was used on them was brutish and horrible and impossible to justify in any way. Of course, most of these people have no training in police procedure and really have no idea why a certain thing was done.

Also, sometimes when people tell this hair-raising stories, they’re just lying. They have an ideological agenda, or they want attention for themselves, or they just hate the police. Whatever the reason, they lie. And the liars usually figure the police will not come forward with evidence to refute their lies. But sometimes they’re surprised, as was the case with liberal columnist Bill Clark of the Columbia Daily Tribune after he wrote this piece of garbage.

It’s actually hard to tell upon first reading if Clark is serious about any of this. The story is that absurd. And I don’t know if it’s long-established schtick that he refers to himself as “Ol’ Clark,” but it makes him sound a lot more clownish than earnest. Then again, all his writing does. But if the whole thing was tongue-in-cheek, I don’t think he would have ended it like this:

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 on this evening and, in my rear view mirror, the image of the second officer out of the car, his hands ready in case I made the wrong move. My life seemed to be in danger.

I fully understand how a person can lose their respect for law officers. When you are in the shoes of the minority, you learn a lot more about their journey.

So here we have it: An aging, liberal hippie columnist gets pulled over for a mundane traffic violation, and suddenly he knows just how minorities feel because he felt his life was in danger!

What a story!

Except for one thing. The cops have video of the incident, which as it turns out was no incident at all:

The only thing mildly noteworthy here is not something the deputies did, but something “Ol’ Clark” does. After pulling over and stopping in response to the deputy who’s pulled up behind him, Clark suddenly starts driving again, which all police officers are trained to recognize as a potential fleeing suspect. That prompts the sirens, which Clark doesn’t like, but it’s his own fault. His excuse is that he didn’t think he was the one they were stopping, which might be an honest mistake, but you can’t blame the police for sounding the sirens as a result.

Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey also took the time to review the video extensively, and offered a detailed rebuttal of Clark’s claims. Here are the highlights:

Ol’ Clark turns right on to St. Charles Road off of Grace Lane. He doesn’t use his turn signal, which is the probable cause for the traffic stop. The female deputy, who is driving, activates her emergency lights to get Ol’ Clark to stop. Ol’ Clark gets to the intersection and clearly steers his vehicle to the right, as if he is stopping for the deputy. You can hear the deputy put the patrol vehicle in park, you hear the deputies release their seat belts and the female deputy notifies Joint Communications of the stop location and provides the license plate. Pay attention to the intersection light, as it is red at the time. You will also see a four door Ford truck pull up next to Ol’ Clark’s Toyota, occupying part of the driving lane. Thus, his vehicle is not blocking traffic.

As the deputies begin to exit their vehicle to approach, the intersection light turns green and there goes Ol’ Clark cutting in front of the Ford truck. In the law enforcement world that is an indication that the driver is going to flee. This is the reason for the audible siren. Ol’ Clark does pull over and initial contact is made. In his column he indicates, “I’m lucky I didn’t get shot”. There is never a weapon drawn, the deputies don’t take a position of cover, there are no loud verbal commands, no panic or anything else for that matter by the deputies. Would you agree this is sensationalism at its best? I say yes!


Continued below...

Our deputy identifies herself and provides the reason for the stop. Ol’ Clark was addressed as sir a number of times and thank you was expressed at least twice, as the deputy asked for and waited for Ol’ Clark’s driver’s license and insurance card. I kept waiting for the “official arrogance” that Ol’ Clark wrote about, but I only observed a professional young deputy do exactly what I expect her to do; her job in a manner consistent to our motto. The field training deputy is on the passenger side of Ol’ Clark’s vehicle listening to the interaction, which is common for a two person unit and especially for a deputy in training.

Our deputies leave Ol’ Clark in his vehicle and return to the patrol vehicle to run the license check on the Mobile Data Terminal (in car computer) and subsequently write a summons. The important thing to note during the “mundane” time I told you about is the deputies are not engaged in conversation about the liberal bumper stickers, the type or age of the vehicle, or the fact that Ol’ Clark was a little crusty on initial contact. If you listen, the only thing you will hear is the patrol car’s law enforcement radio.

The female deputy recontacts Ol’ Clark, while the training deputy stays back in between the vehicles on the passenger side. You can tell Ol’ Clark is becoming increasingly unhappy, as the deputy attempts to explain the summons she is issuing. Again, you will hear Ol’ Clark addressed as sir and the deputy stays professional as Ol’ Clark begins to escalate. Pay attention to the training deputy as he hears Ol’ Clark raising his voice and becoming more argumentative. You see Ol’ Clark being demonstrative with his gestures and he clearly indicates he doesn’t want to hear anything further by asking for the ticket two different times. He does sign it, but obviously didn’t like the fact he received the summons (i.e., the reason for the column).

The deputy also wanted to educate Ol’Clark on not moving his vehicle, but he wasn’t in the mood for listening to the lesson. It is actually a good lesson for everyone, so I thought I would expound on the do’s and don’ts. If law enforcement wants you to move your vehicle, they will tell you with loud verbal commands or over the patrol vehicle’s public address system. If they don’t tell you to move, then stay right where you are. If you pull off like Ol’ Clark did, they are going to think you are attempting to flee and that will always raise heart rates!


The deputy finishes her contact by telling Ol’ Clark to drive safely and she then thanks him. The nerve of law enforcement these days! Both deputies walk back to the patrol vehicle and again no inappropriate conversation, no derogatory comments about Ol’ Clark, no laughing or joking, just professional conduct. The video and audio runs for a short period before the emergency equipment is deactivated, which then shuts the camera system off. As far as Ol’ Clark’s claim that the deputy didn’t use her turn signal when reentering traffic, I will take my deputy’s word that she did.

Did you ever see a point where Ol’ Clark’s life was in danger (other than when he cut in front of the truck)? What about that good dose of arrogance he received from the deputy who addressed him as sir and thanked him numerous times? How was he in the shoes of minorities as an elderly white male? Was he saying minorities don’t follow traffic laws or was he saying they are argumentative when stopped by law enforcement? I don’t know, but Ol’ Clark was guilty of both. If he believes this is how minorities are treated, then minorities can be assured from this video that they will be treated professionally by Boone County deputies.

I don’t want to be too hard on Clark because he seems like a confused old guy who’s already made up his mind about just about everything, and isn’t interested in learning anything news. Oh, and he’s a die-hard liberal and he doesn’t think too highly of the police.

A guy like this is never going to change, and I’m sure he’s just following the lead of the culture and trying to get his moment in the victimization sun. Fine. Whatever. But the more serious problem is that he’s propagating a lie. Law enforcement offers are not running wild all across the country mistreating civilians. Yes, there are some incidents in which this happens, but they are far and away the exception rather than the rule. And if people feel as though their life is in danger from the police, it’s probably because they’re reading nonsense from the likes of Ol’ Clark.

By the way, if you missed my own personal encounter with the police from last summer, enjoy. And I didn’t get stopped for not using my turn signal. I got stopped on suspicion of bank robbery. Maybe if Ol’ Clark had first read about what happened to me, he would have known what to do instead of being such a jerk about it.

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.

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