Boone County, MO - When Columbia Daily Tribune columnist Bill Clark wrote a piece attacking the Boone County Sheriff's office, claiming "I’m lucky I didn’t get shot," on a traffic stop, Sheriff Dwayne Carey released video of the traffic stop which shows the truth (video below.)
Bill Clark wrote the piece for the Columbia Daily Tribune, and the newspaper editors apparently approved it. In addition to claiming that he's lucky he didn't get shot, he claimed that he now knows, "how minority motorists feel," and that he was subjected to "official arrogance."
The reason for the stop was because Clark hadn't used his turn signal. However, Clark suggests that the real reason for the stop was because he had an old car with a lot of liberal bumper stickers and a dent.
In the article, he claimed that he pulled over to yield to the police car, assuming it would pass. When he realized that he was being stopped, he took off in order to avoid blocking the road, prompting the "arrogant" deputy to ask him not to drive off during a traffic stop.
Bill Clark even finished off his article by saying:
"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."
When Sheriff Dwayne Carey found out about this, he investigated. What he found was an normal traffic stop for a driver who failed to signal their turn. In part of his rebuttal statement he says"
"The female deputy has been with our department for about three years. Not only does she serve citizenry locally, but she also serves our country as a member of the military. She recently returned from a 10 month deployment overseas.
The male deputy is a field training deputy. We always have our deputies returning from military duty ride with a training deputy for a few weeks after they return. It is a good practice, as it allows the returning deputy to get back into the swing of civilian law enforcement and feel comfortable doing things, such as making traffic stops.
Our department receives a lot of traffic complaints from residents on Grace Lane (one resident in particular) and we are often criticized for not working traffic enough on that road (i.e., a good place to go work traffic for a deputy needing to make traffic stops). Now to the play by play!
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!
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."
You can see the video of the mundane traffic stop below. WARNING - It's mundane: