Flutterby™! : Not stupidity?

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Not stupidity?

2003-03-13 19:20:41.525367+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Over at FactoVision, there were some deriding words about a guy busted for 300 lbs of marijuana after being pulled over for speeding.

Some years ago, probably somewhere between 1988 and 1990 because I think Kermit was my passenger, I was driving home from kayaking on the Ocoee, and as we came on to I-75 from the 64 bypass there were a gazillion cop cars lined up across the bridge and down the entrance ramp. At least 15. We thought it was kinda weird, but being long-haired hippy types with kayaks on the roof we weren't about to do anything to arouse attention, so we continued on our way. A few miles down the road we were in the left lane passing some semi-trailers when a sport-ute of some sort came up behind us, flashing headlights. We thought this was aggressive, but aware of the gazillion cop cars behind us went for the left shoulder rather than speed up to pass the trucks. After that vehicle passed we got back out, still trying to pass the trucks, when the cop cars came up behind. Again we went for the shoulder, this time stopping to let everything go by.

A little closer to Chattanooga we saw a whole bunch of police activity on the shoulder.

The papers later reported this as "a routine traffic stop" in which some large amount of cocaine was seized. I mention this because now any time I see "routine traffic stop" I'm very aware that this is probably just another case where they couldn't get a warrant and spooked the guy into speeding so they had an excuse.

[ related topics: Drugs Privacy Law Law Enforcement Civil Liberties Chattanooga Whitewater ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-03-13 22:28:01.981275+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

there were a gazillion cop cars lined up across the bridge and down the entrance ramp...We thought it was kinda weird,

This seems to be a regular tactic (for "speed traps") up here in Washington - or at least it was in Pierce County about four years ago when I lived there.

I don't know that I'd jump to the conclusion that the forced speeding was to catch a druggie. I think it more likely it was simply to create/catch a speeder.

#Comment made: 2003-03-13 22:54:27.95354+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, but all 15 cop cars after the same speeder? If there had just been one or two chasing that truck I'd buy that explanation.

#Comment made: 2003-03-14 00:06:14.046744+00 by: Dan Lyke

I should also mention that I've driven that particular intersection probably over a hundred times (I've run that bit of the Ocoee a lot) and never saw that many cop cars in Polk County in one place before or since.

#Comment made: 2003-03-14 09:42:41.779523+00 by: Shawn

I'm not doubting the validity of your evaluation of that particular situation. Just saying that I see the line-o-cops fairly often and that I'd be more inclined to think that, on the balance, "routine" traffic stops generally do have more to do with moving violations, manufactured or not.