• October 1, 2014

Heights reader troubled by police officer’s lack of compassion

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 4:30 am

To the Editor:

On Feb. 7 we had a memorial service for my father who had very unexpectedly and suddenly passed away. When we got to the church, we discovered that the video we had carefully prepared to celebrate his life had been left at my mom’s home in Harker Heights.

My nephew volunteered to go home and get the video, knowing that he would miss a part of the service to do so. Just as he exited U.S. 190 (with a speed limit of 75) and entered the access road (with a speed limit of 40), he was pulled over for speeding. A police officer approached the car and very brusquely asked, “Why are you speeding?”

My nephew was very obviously shaken and had been crying. He explained to the officer that he was slowing but had not had time to slow to 40 before he was pulled over. He explained to the officer what was going on and even showed him the folder from the services. The officer appeared to be non-caring and issued a ticket without so much as a “sorry for your loss.”

My nephew did not deny speeding. He is from out of town and did not realize how short a distance he had to slow down. Technically, the officer followed the letter of the law. However, he totally missed the spirit of the law. A warning and a little show of humanity would have been so much more appropriate.

Perhaps the complaints that the police force receives little respect or support are not altogether without merit. At some point, the officer will face a personal tragedy. One can only hope that he will receive more mercy and understanding than he was willing to give.

Carol Thompson

Harker Heights

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

12 comments:

  • Wobblysun posted at 8:50 pm on Tue, Sep 24, 2013.

    Wobblysun Posts: 3

    Whats strange is you all think he was caught going 75. The original comment said the highway speed limit was 75 and the expressway is 40. Then he got a ticket because he failed to slow down fast enough.. How do you know he wasn't going 41? That certainly isn't going to merit wreckless driving. Had he been going 75, that is wreckless driving and he would have been arrested. So he wasn't going 75, which means he was slowing down, just not fast enough. Yes the officer is sworn to uphold the law, he had a right to give a ticket, and he could just be a jerk and has no compassion. But, his/her duty is to protect and serve the public. He had an obligation to show respect to this young man. Now this young adults possible first encounter with peace officers was a disrespectful uncaring individual, that cop just gave this person a life long opinion of police officers. And the individual who called his video stupid can use some compassion himself. That was unkind and an awful thing to say about someone who just lost their family member and is saying his final good byes. You sir are probably that uncaring police officer who gave the boy the ticket.

     
  • barbie500 posted at 10:22 am on Sun, Apr 7, 2013.

    barbie500 Posts: 135

    We don't really know how the officer acted, we just have a statement from an aunt that the nephew said the officer was uncaring. We don't really know what happened, the nephew got a ticket for speeding and he boo hooed about it to his aunt. It is a one-sided story, maybe we should give the benefit of the doubt to the officer till we hear his side. Take in to consideration this was a teenager and he got caught speeding so he has to have an excuse>

     
  • Eliza posted at 11:49 am on Tue, Mar 26, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 785

    @ Technically, the officer followed the letter of the law. However, he totally missed the spirit of the law.

    The technically of the law is what the law is all about,even the writer states that in her statement.

    Yes the officer could have accepted that the nephew was under stress knowing his grandfather had just died, especially when the funeral folder was shown as proof.
    It wouldn't be the 1st time a warning alone has been given in such a matter.

    However the fact a person was exiting off of a high way at a speed of 75 miles per hour and under the stress of hurrying to get back for his grandfathers funeral, put his own life in danger plus others his auto could have met up with at the end of his exit.

    Since all stated in the letter is a 3rd party's thoughts in how the situation should have been handled, and they weren't on the scene to know what had really happened,I believe if there were any complaints to be made.

    It should have been left up to the nephew. If he's old enough to drive,he is old enough to speak for himself.
    If the nephew feels it is important enough, and even if he lives out of town as stated,He can still write a letter to the Chief of Police and state his arguement about the stop.
    The Chief will take into consideration the nephew's own complaint about the incident and may want to change his depts. policy about warnings.

    However by the nephew's receiving the ticket for driving at such a dangerous speed may be to his benefit and his own safety in the future, and help him take closer notice of the rules of the road he's driving on at the time.

     
  • Bubba posted at 9:04 am on Tue, Mar 26, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 707

    I do not have a problem with the officer stopping the driver. Nor do I have a problem with the officer enforcing the rule of law. Nor do I have a problem with public safety; I for one wish every day that Central Texans would learn to drive.

    Many here have made suppositions as to how fast the driver was going-and it's baloney-you weren't there. That is a matter for the court and that is not my problem.

    My problem is the alleged unprofessional and discourteous behavior of the officer involved. Period.

    That is what now requires the attention of the chain of command and the symptom is right here in the arrogant letter above, which also completely missed the point.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 7:29 am on Tue, Mar 26, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 479

    Viktor sometimes you make logical comments other times you’re off the wall like this one. If you’re under that much stress or anxiety—DON’T GET BEHIND THE WHEEL! There is no excuse for putting the public in danger for a stupid video tape. You wouldn’t be saying this if he killed one of your family members in an auto accident.
    [thumbdown]

     
  • Viktor posted at 10:56 pm on Mon, Mar 25, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 317

    Apparently all the people backing up the officer's decision are capable of demonstrating accepted standards of behavior (such as following the speed limit) when under stress or anxiety. Who knew this many people with nerves of steel lived in the Central Texas area?

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 11:14 am on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 479

    Bubba I usually agree with you but I have to disagree with you on this. The guy entered an off ramp at 75 MPH that’s very dangerous. He was clocked at 75 MPH slowing down on the off ramp so I bet he was probably driving around 100 MPH on190. She stated he appeared to be uncaring not that he was rude or anything. I’m pretty sure his grandfather would not be happy if his grandson killed someone on the day of his funeral.

    As for retraining I think the nephew needs retraining with a safety driving course. I can see breaking the speed limit if you’re rushing someone to hospital. He was putting himself, other people’s lives in danger for what? A video; I agree that the police officer issued him a citation.

     
  • Bubba posted at 9:22 am on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 707

    Certainly, there is room for your opinion-enforcing our laws is a difficult task.

    As a citizen for 53 years, and a member of the Texas State Troopers Association and the Sheriff's Association of Texas, I believe that there is no circumstance calling for the rude, discourteous, and unprofessional behavior of a law enforcement officer.

    Behavior like yours-rude, arrogant, and self-serving. Remember who pays your salary.

    The citizen is free to file any complaint she wishes-and does not need your permission to do so. Nor is such a complaint "frivolous"-you just don't like it.

    Instead of coming here and ranting, maybe you should find the officer involved and retrain him.

    Fortunately, this incident does not typify the attitudes and behavior of our various law enforcement officers, who are Great Americans doing great and wonderful things for our community. They continue to do so in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner, even when issuing a citation.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 6:20 pm on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 479

    Logical Thinking HOOAH!

    Also thank you; people forget what would happen without the brave men and women in law enforcement out there 24/7 who they going call?
    [thumbup]

     
  • Logical Thinking posted at 5:32 pm on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    Logical Thinking Posts: 1

    So from your opinion post Carol it appears that you have a poor grasp of what the letter and the spirit of the law are. Here is the definition; When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording.

    Having been a law enforcement officer for 20 years I have a sore spot for frivolous complaints against officer. First your nephew is totally in the wrong and so there is no basis for any complaint. Two you would not be the person to file any complaint as you are a third party and have no place voicing a complaint with the agency or the officers supervisor. Under the circumstances there is no basis for a "Formal Complaint".

    I guess it would have been okay if your nephew had killed an entire family to get a video to a funeral? That is just ridiculous and does even merit further comment.

    Maybe if you thought it through before making remarks as you have, you would have thought otherwise.

    I regularly avoid posting comments as there is always some uninformed person that will chime in and I'm sure that this post will be no different.

    This last note; your last comment about the officer having a tragedy befall him and having no compassion? That was not necessary, seems like most of the people forgot the sacrifices that police officers make each day leaving their families to protect yours. That is a tragedy in itself, maybe you should be thanking that officer for possibly saving your nephews life and that of someone else. The traffic laws are in place for a reason to prevent accidents and unnecessary injuries.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 9:49 am on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 479

    I would show compassion for the loss of your family member I would not have compassion for your nephrew; the police officer is in the right. Your nephew has no right to break the law. Entering a 40 mph zone at 75 mph is a danger to public safety! What if your nephew hit another car and killed someone—no video is worth that.

     
  • Bubba posted at 9:48 am on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 707

    You are free to take the issue to court. More importantly, you might track this oficer down and file a formal complaint with the department for the alleged unprofessional behavior. Maybe have a nice little chat with the patrol supervisor.

     

Featured Events