Update: The sheriff is getting the cars marked. But its seems it’s only because we called him out. Listen to this interview and see what he says.
So I made this traffic stop today…
It’s very off the cuff. I had about 60 seconds from the moment I thought “NOW is the time to address this” and flagged the officer over, to the moment I was engaging him.
Email Sheriff Tom Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask him to get Grant County and it’s subordinate agencies in compliance with the law.
In Washington we have unmarked police vehicles impersonating citizens. If you think it’s not a serious issue, try asking those that have been raped or lost loves ones because of unmarked cars. It’s already illegal in WA for public vehicles to be unmarked, unless designated for “special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.” I’ll post the legal details and debunk the myths at the bottom. It’s also worth noting that this was not the first the Grant County Sheriff’s office heard about this. I called about a month ago and filed an official report addressing my concern with unmarked cars in the area.
Tolerating lawlessness does not fix anything and at this stage of our decline, neither does writing a letter. I get called every possible name for taking up the liberty conversation. Sadly many Americans hate America and hate liberty. But as in my courthouse incident, standing firm and principled works. If I’m dealing with a disrespectful tyrant, I put them in their place. It’s a matter of safety to never allow a bully to feel they can intimidate you. We can stand up them. — Thankfully that was not a problem today because Deputy Canfield handled this well. I informed him of the law and and he now has the opportunity to fix it. — I want officers to treat people with respect and I in turn do the same. Disrespectful public servants should never be tolerated, respectful ones should be commended.
Ordinary looking unmarked police cars slink around and entrap, so they can write folks up (read tax) for petty faults. That’s not protecting. As my brother Blake says, “serve and protect, not harass and collect.” — But this is also a major safety issue. Unmarked vehicles are a ripe opportunity for confusion in a citizens reaction and for criminals to impersonate lawful authority to get people to stop.
People have been raped and even murdered because of this, so the law is good sense. In WA, all municipal and police vehicles must be marked UNLESS they fall under special exemptions. These exemptions do not apply to patrol vehicles. There’s even a past WA State court precedent where a man fled police and his felony charge was thrown out because the pursuing vehicle was not legal. Pretty interesting. There have also been traffic infractions thrown out because the officers car was not marked.
Ask yourself. Do you want your sisters and daughters stopped on the road, not knowing if they are facing an officer or a killer until it’s too late?
Check the laws in your State and if you see an unmarked vehicles running around your community, go question your officers. If it’s a local police unit and they refuse to comply, report the offense to your County sheriff who is responsible to make sure the law is followed. In this case we have local police, Sheriff and State police violating our law, so we have work to do. If there is no law in your State, call your legislator and demand that it be addressed for the safety of our roads.
If you’re stopped by an unmarked vehicle I would not suggest running. But don’t pull over on a dark lonely street either. Indicate to the officer that you see him, drive to an occupied well lit area like a gas station. You can also dial 911 and confirm if the officer at your location is legit. And if you question that an officer might now not be who he says he is, don’t be afraid to demand ID. We have a right to be safe on our streets.
Finally, ALWAYS film the encounter. I cannot stress this enough. If you stand your ground, stand principled and film everything, you will be much safer than cowering before lawless authority. It’s our job to police the government. We the people have all the authority and we must hold them accountable. I wrote an article here with some tips on filming police.
Small issues lead to big ones. This is not simply about unmarked cars. It’s about accountability and a government that respects and obeys the people, their rights and the law. We are losing our country America, but if we all stand up we can take it back. Liberty is not the fringe. It’s the foundation.
UPDATE 10/21/14: I went in yesterday to setup an official meeting with Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones so we could address compliance with State law and have an open dialogue. 15 minutes after I set the meeting, I received a message from his office saying he WILL NOT allow recording and there will be NO MEETING if I’m recording. We showed up anyways for the meeting and he met with us in the lobby.