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  • Cop cuts loose DWI... arrests passenger for PI

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/investigate...118399904.html

    We expect the police to enforce the law, yet are relieved when they decide to cut us a break.
    But one North Texas woman is outraged over the actions of two officers whom she believes let their discretion get out of hand.
    Ferris police Oficer Christopher Ellis had just pulled over a suspected drunk driver last July when this tale of two females began.
    In just minutes after the stop, Officer Ellis had the female driver out of the car and was giving her a breathalyzer test. A driving while intoxicated charge plus a citation for having an unsecured child in the back seat would equate to a felony offense.
    But as a dashcam video of the incident would reveal, the serious encounter appeared to turn playful as the officer loosened his resolve to assert his authority.
    As Ellis administered the breathalyzer test, both he and the driver appeared to giggle and engage in playful banter.
    Then — seconds later, according to the video exchange — the breathalyzer registered a 0.136, well over the legal limit of 0.08.
    But rather than arresting the driver, Officer Ellis told the driver, "I'm gonna cut you a break this time."
    Several times, the officer reiterates he is doing her a favor. "Next time you ain't gonna get no break," Ellis is heard saying on the recording.
    Meanwhile, sitting quietly in the front seat of the same car was 22-year-old Rebecca Bruce, whom Officer Ellis suspected had also been drinking.
    Bruce told the officer she had two drinks earlier in the evening, but insisted she was not drunk and volunteered to take a breathalyzer test as well.
    This time, however, the officer was less charitable. Bruce was arrested for public intoxication.
    The driver, who registered above the legal limit, was allowed to walk home.
    "It was very humiliating," Bruce said. "I've never been inside a jail, so I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, I don't belong here'. I was crying and everything."
    Bruce hired attorney Monica Bishop to handle her case. Bishop said she was alarmed when she saw how her client was treated differently than the suspected drunk driver.
    "The first girl that he made contact with was awful flirtatious, and my client was clearly not flirtatious," Bishop said. "Of course, you are not under a duty to flirt with him nor does she have to give up any of her civil rights while she's speaking to him."
    When Bishop showed the video to prosecutors, they immediately dismissed the case.
    Even though the case was dismissed, Ferris Police Chief Sam Love said he supports his officer's decision in the field.
    "Maybe I would have done something different, maybe I wouldn't have. I don't know. I wasn't there," Chief Love said.
    Love said he is now reviewing the case, but Bruce says a review now is too little, too late.
    "That makes me mad," she said. "I feel like they had no right to do that. I wasn't even doing anything (wrong)."
    Bruce said she may sue the City of Ferris, at least to get her legal fees back.
    But what she can't get back is the respect she once had for those charged with upholding the law.

  • #2
    A few musings after watching this.

    The video was edited. Why? If the police edited the video before they gave a copy to the press there would be hell to pay.

    What happened to the kid in the back seat?

    The chief needs to come up with a better way of making statements to the press.

    I will bet that no one gets any "slack" in Ferris after this.
    Ut humiliter opinor

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    • #3
      *IF* you're going to let a felony DWI walk, which I wouldn't recommend, don't mess with the passenger over a class c misdemeanor. disclaimer, i wasn't there.

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      • #4
        Pure laziness and/or just plain stupid. Yep I said it.

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        • #5
          I'm not going to Monday morning quarterback as I wasn't there and haven't heard the ENTIRE story, but.....the news story didn't look good.

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          • #6
            "You're barely over.". Last time I checked .136 is one and a half times over. If there's more to it, I hope the department releases it because it doesn't look good at all.

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            • #7
              Could have been several reasons not to make the DWI hook. Maybe he didn't have time or staffing to mess with a DWI or to deal with a county charge. Maybe he is scared or not trained well enough to file a DWI. Maybe the brass encourages class c arrests/tickets but discourages other stuff unless there is no choice.

              A lot of that video was edited. I am willing to bet that little princess passenger ran her mouth and jumped into those handcuffs. Sounded like the Chief knew the real deal and wasn't too concerned.

              I ain't gonna armchair QB dude over this. There are times when I don't/didn't make a hook (that some may suggest I should) due to a variety of reasons, from staffing, to time, to "I have an EJ I need to be at in an hour", etc.

              And there are times when I chose for whatever reason to give someone a break, but another person in their party wouldn't stfu and got hooked up anyway. I'm sure this particular outcome is not what the Officer wanted, but if the passenger decides to be a turbobyotch with him, I could see things panning out like they did.
              Last edited by 913; 03-22-2011, 01:05 AM.

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              • #8
                They're hiring.. coincidence?

                http://tml.associationcareernetwork....3e8493&stats=y

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Se7en View Post
                  [url]
                  "Maybe I would have done something different, maybe I wouldn't have. I don't know. I wasn't there," Chief Love said.
                  Wow. Imagine if this same incident happened in Dallas. Can you imagine Dallas' chief saying that? Wouldn't happen. That officer would've been crucified twice.

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                  • #10
                    "A lot of that video was edited. I am willing to bet that little princess passenger ran her mouth and jumped into those handcuffs. Sounded like the Chief knew the real deal and wasn't too concerned."

                    That would be my guess as well.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by creedstaind View Post
                      Wow. Imagine if this same incident happened in Dallas. Can you imagine Dallas' chief saying that? Wouldn't happen. That officer would've been crucified twice.
                      that depends on certain factors....
                      “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                      "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do think theres more to the story of the passenger than the news lets on. The last statement the officer makes "You had your chance" kinda shows that.

                        However, if your not trained in DWI's, dont have time to mess with em, (especially a felony), then why go through the trouble of getting her out of the car and do a breathlyzer?

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                        • #13
                          I do not believe that the NHTSA Manual recommends simply asking someone to step out of the car and shoving a PBT in their face. Were the SFST's edited out of the video? The passenger clearly has a bad attitude, but I don't think I'd pass up a DWI with Child Passenger charge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Actually giving a PBT b4 the sfst's will get you shredded in court...makes it seem as though you knew they were drunk beofre the field sobriety tests, instead of using the tests to determine they were drunk. IMO, if your not trained in SFST's, you shouldnt have an intoxilyzer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bell4fan View Post
                              Actually giving a PBT b4 the sfst's will get you shredded in court...makes it seem as though you knew they were drunk beofre the field sobriety tests, instead of using the tests to determine they were drunk. IMO, if your not trained in SFST's, you shouldnt have an intoxilyzer.
                              I don't see how it would get you "shredded" in court as long as you could articulate why you did so. I'm new to Texas, so maybe things are a tad bit different here, but in Arkansas some PBT'd first, others didn't. It appeared to be popular with the troopers to PBT first.

                              Comment

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