Gary Canterbury shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.
I was in a 25 MPH school zone driving my “slammed out” tuner sport compact ALL the cops know (it’s a small town). A woman in a mini-van came tearing around me doing no less than 45 MPH. I saw the nose of a police cruiser pop out from behind a local business where it was running a speed trap, lights on.
He was obviously going after the crazed bitch in the van. I slapped on my left turn signal and quickly moved into the left lane (4-lane highway) to allow him to exit and go after her. He jumped out, pulled in behind me, and hits the sirens. I pulled over. I WAS doing 25 MPH as indicated by the flashing school zone signs. He let the crazed woman continue down the road and pulled me over because of the car I was driving. He said it was because I made a “violent lane change.” I said, “I signaled, the lane was clear, and I pulled over TO LET YOU OUT TO CHASE THE CRAZY WOMAN.”
He said I was driving a “…type of car that’s often involved in illegal street racing.” He made me sit there for 10 minutes while people drove by waving (they know me) and laughing (my pals), before finally coming back up and handing me my license and papers back.
I then did a series of videos in Dothan, AL to show how the vehicle you drive can influence the behavior of the police. The local Fox affiliate came out and interviewed me after the videos grabbed some attention, as they showed officers ignoring speeders and aggressive drivers in favor of following me (doing the speed limit, using signals, obeying traffic laws); so much so that the Chief of Police held a press conference to announce an “…expanded enforcement detail” on the roads I had focused upon.
The following month, I was pulled over and/or followed for extended periods of time in 9 instances. In one of them, as I was sitting at a light waiting for it to change, a Titan truck pulled up next to me and started revving its engine. It then started “power braking,” smoke billowing off the tires as a Dothan Police cruiser rolled in behind me. The light turned green, the truck tore off at high speed…and the cop followed me into a Home Depot parking lot, sat there until I came out, and followed me for another 10 minutes until I left the city limits.
The following month, I was pulled over 13 times in Enterprise, AL, in what was obviously harassment. I was the President of the largest “street performance” car club in the area, “Shattered Concepts,” and was ‘flying’ our club banner on my rear window in perfect placement and size according to Alabama laws, so I’m easy to spot (along with the bright red car, the matching red-tinted windows). We would meet in a public parking lot every Friday and Saturday with approximately 30 vehicles (or more). The Enterprise, AL police would usually stop in and stand around talking with our members, as would many civilians. Because it’s a ‘smallish’ town, many of our members knew the officers who would stop. We were a regular attraction and had some very unique vehicles. If you were out cruising on a Friday or Saturday, our “car show” was a place to stop. One night, an unidentified Sergeant stopped and chewed out his officers for standing around. The pull-overs happened the rest of the month. I was never issued a citation, but was detained while they “ran my information” time and time again.
Eight members of our group were charged with “drag racing” one evening while leaving our gathering. They were all military members transiting the parking lot going back to base. They were two across, four deep in heavy traffic (30 MPH) and there were several video cameras running which clearly showed the traffic, the speedometers and the police “lighting them up.”
They were not permitted to admit video evidence, or any evidence, during their subsequent hearing in Enterprise Traffic Court. The judge told them “I don’t need to see that.” $350 fine each.
This harassment continued until I witnessed a fleeing armed robbery suspect who had successfully eluded police, turned my vehicle around and followed them while my lovely wife phoned 911 and we guided the police to the residence the vehicle finally stopped at. I went from “zero” to “hero” in .01 seconds.