This morning, I was the victim of police misconduct. I was pulled over for the first time in my life, shortly after leaving my home. As I approached the flashing school zone lights of John Baker Elementary on Comanche, officer J. Hunt stepped into the crosswalk. At first, I thought he was assisting the children who were ready to cross the street. He held his hand out for me to stop, which seemed strange because I was very far from the crosswalk, then he motioned for me to drive forward. I was baffled! I moved closer, then stopped to let the children cross, but he motioned me forward again. I approached, confused by what he was doing, as he seemed to be motioning for me to continue through the crosswalk but did not move out of my way. It was creating a very dangerous situation for the crowd of children that had gathered to cross! I rolled down my window and was told to pull over for speeding - quite a shock as he had been motioning to me from before I even entered the school zone! I turned onto the side street he indicated, Chelwood, but stopped halfway because there were several children crossing Chelwood directly in front of my car. He told me several times to pull forward and seemed to be getting upset, but doing as he ordered would of course have meant running over several children! When I parked, he told me I was doing 29 mph in a 15 mph school zone. I pointed out that, no, I was not in the school zone yet and my speed proved this (the usual speed limit is 35 mph, but I was slowing down because I was approaching the school zone.) He said it didn't matter because children were present, so I had to slow down whether I was in the school zone or not. Yes, there were children present - in the school zone! Had there been a child trying to cross the street away from the crosswalk, I would have stopped for them. But there weren't any children present! They were all coming from the Comanche neighborhood toward the crosswalk. I said the entire point of the flashing school zone lights is to mark the beginning of the school zone, and that if he wants it to start sooner, the lights need to be moved and the street marked accordingly. He said many school zones don't have lights, so they can't be used as an indicator of where a school zone is - but this school zone DOES have lights to mark its boundaries! I wanted to know exactly where he had clocked me, as I was not in the school zone, and he simply said he wasn't going to argue with me about whether I was or was not in the school zone. When he took my insurance information, he got upset with me for having expired insurance, which sent me onto the verge of a panic attack because I was sure my insurance was current and I knew I didn't have any other insurance cards. I searched my car anyway, shaking and terrified that my only car was going to be impounded, only to have him say that the card I'd given him actually was current all along. Then, he asked why I was crying. Why was I crying?! Then, he told me it was going to be a $100 ticket and asked if I'd like to pay it now or go to court. There was no sense in arguing with him anymore, so I told him I'd pay it now. I had another question for him and called out, but he ignored me and walked away. When he returned, he told me he hadn't heard me (though he obviously must have if he was apologizing for "not hearing me" without another word from me.) Imagine my surprise when he handed me a ticket marked "I acknowledge my guilt of the offense charged and my options as explained to me by the officer." Nothing was explained to me! Our entire conversation, officer J. Hunt had been as stubborn as a mule. I had made it 100% clear that I did NOT agree with the ticket (I was NOT in the school zone!) Additionally, the location entered on my ticket was "C10MANCHE CHEL", which I think he entered intentionally as he knew he had pulled me over too early (and as I was in the process of slowing down for the school zone, he wouldn't have been able to pull me over at all if he had waited until I entered the school zone.) Comanche and Chelwood was where I was stopped and received the ticket, not where he recorded my speed. He never would admit to me where I was when I was going 29mph. I drive through that same school zone on my way to work every day and am a model citizen. Even the crossing guards will tell you I always drive slowly, stop for the children, and even wave to them. It's a Chevy Volt - they'll remember me. The guard on the westbound side is the same woman as the previous school year. Officer J. Hunt had already pulled over another car before I was even able to leave. It was another young woman, also alone in her car and looking terrified, which makes me wonder if officer J. Hunt targets women.
I would like the video of me "speeding" to be reviewed, as I believe this will prove I had not entered the school zone. It will also show that officer J. Hunt was dishonest when he marked my ticket as acknowledging my guilt, when I made it clear to him that I did not.
Also, I've lived in this same house for 8 years and have driven through that same school zone every school year and have watched dozens of other cars be pulled over but have NEVER received a ticket because I always obey the school zone speed. You always remember one more important thing to add immediately after sending your message, right?
When I returned home that day, after working 8 hours for zero profit (seriously, I could have stayed in bed all day and broken even!!!) there was no sympathy to be found. Here is what Sexy Nerd posted to my Facebook page: