The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So. Dak. businesses should thank Trooper Oxner for keeping riffraff away

Newland note: Got the following in an email today...

Every so often I search Oxner on the web and today found your blog post:

I used to drive between Seattle and K.C. MO via S.D. regularly. But after being stopped by Oxner in November 2007 I haven't been back to S.D. and never will be. He followed me for a few miles, eastbound on I-90, and when my tire grazed the shoulder stripe his light bar fired off.

"Lane driving" he called it, "a violation here in South Dakota. Now just get out of your car and empty your pockets."

I got to meet his puppy Keya and I sat for 30-40 mins. in his patrol car while young Master Matt searched my vehicle for "drugs and guns." I received a lecture about Washington State being the source of all of South Dakota's drug woes and then, since I was clean as a whistle, I was sent on my way with a "Thaynk yoo fer yer co-op-er-ation. Have. a. good. day."

I called my wife, who had stayed in Seattle for that trip, telling her to cancel my S.D. motel reservations. She booked a room in Iowa for that night and switched my return trip to take me through Nebraska.

I am a longtime civilian member of a metropolitan police association from a "cop family" with no priors, no tickets, no drugs. It was a classic pretext stop. My out-of-state plates caught his eye and he whipped out of the median following behind me, then driving next to me, pulling ahead and falling back hoping to find a cracked taillight, bald tire, missing lug nut ... anything. My tire just touched the fog line and I could virtually hear him yell "Gotcha!"


Wayne Gilbert said...

The story is of course a familiar one. I'm surprised that the author got an apology. In court cases drivers such as the author are targeted and followed for unbelievably pretextual reasons, including supposed facial expressions of alarm, and, on the other side of the spectrum, not looking over at the trooper's car as it passed. Based on such things, motorists are tailed until they make the smallest of mistakes, thus giving the officer probable cause to pull them over. Those who defend the AZ immigration law because cops there will only question the status of people lawfully stopped for a suspected violation of law should consider Trooper Oxner's practices. People he targets are only stopped for suspected violations also, such as "lane driving" or the fabled "66 mph in a 65 zone." That is probable cause my friendss

Michael Sanborn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Sanborn said...

I have been training my dog, a Golden Retriever to "alert" upon my folding my arms, much as one would suspect a trooper to do while his dog was "searching" the perimeter of a suspect car.

The dog will bark, get excited turn circles, and if I decide to teach her to do it, scratch at the trunk or tailgate.

Upon seeing me fold my arms, she will think she's getting braunschweiger.

I believe, if jurors were able to see me get my dog to alert on a silent, seemingly innocent command, it would cast reasonable doubt on Keya's believability.

With patience, you can teach a dog to deal cards. I have a few doubts about whether Keya's nose is good enough to recognize and distinguish the smells of marijuana, other drugs, guns and cash.

I have trained a few labs in my time. Real good ones. They are not bred for their nose. Dogs with that degree of olfactory sensitivity are more likely to come from the hound group or from the pointing dogs in the sporting group.

I do believe Keya has been trained to "alert" upon the trooper's command, which is likely a silent command or hand signal, which usually goes unnoticed by the suspect.

What is always upsetting about Trooper Oxner is that we will never know how many U.S. citizens have been stopped in our state, made to feel like criminals and sent on their way because Keya's "alert" gave probable cause for a search that turned up nothing criminal.

Duffer said...

didn't used to be probable cause, when America was still spelled with that "c" - and not a "k".

Republican judges - lest ye doubt.

The political party of the Right has a Fascist view of personal liberties, despite their rhetoric .

Oxner Victim said...

I'm the Washington guy who's the subject of Trooper Oxner's attention in this topic post.

I don't use drugs but I'd be fine with reversing every drug law going back to and including the Harrison Act.

If you are having difficulty getting pulled over by Trooper Skidmarks, here's what worked for me: milk and vitamins. He said that while following me, in addition to my tire touching the fog line, he'd observed that I had been drinking something and popping pills. I pointed out the empty container of milk and a sack in the seat with Life Extension Foundation nutritional supplements. It was noon and I'd stopped to grab a bite to go.

Matt wasn't impressed with my "story" and placed me in his 4x4 cruiser with the warning "Do NOT look at the dog!" I think he was pissed off because Keya took a bit of a liking to me. I'm a natural with dogs, including K9s.

By the time the dust cleared he had searched my car and belongings, had called in a "crime gun" check on my .45 ACP, had lectured me about the evils of WA state and had written up a warning for "lane driving."

No one in South Dakota will ever again need to lose sleep over my lane driving. It's a gorgeous state but ... life's too short.

Ha. Ha! I just had to fill out a "word verification." It was "expot." Heh. Heh.

grudznick said...

BAH. Victim guy, I for one hope you stay out of our state.

TGrindAdams said...

Grudznick, why the hell would you say that?

If I know anyone having to travel to South Dakota I always suggest they stay off the interstate. I do not have criminal friends. They don't need to be treated like criminals by South Dak law enforcement.

Bob Newland said...

Grudz, you added essential nothing, as usual.

DDC said...

Very impressive that Trooper Oxner left such an impression on this guy that he still looks him up after 3 years.

Not what you want people to remember about SD.

Wayne Gilbert said...

Re grudznick: If you allow anonymous postings after all, you should at least make them choose appropriate nicknames: I suggest dickwad.

Douglas said...

Is "dickwad" anything like "ditchweed"?

My son herds around old cars he has repaired and right now needs a haircut. He had an SD patrol car pull out behind him. Follow him for some time, pass him. Then accelerate away cross to other side of interstate and return. SD plates on the vehicle. We vacuum every junker we mess with and scrub any removable carpets. So far we have found a lot of dog and cat hair and a fair amount of drywall cement.

Trooper Oxner will have a new target. It will be gray or blue haired old ladies who are unable to get drivers licenses because they were born before birth records were kept here or in their birth state.

A neighbor in such a situation brought with her medicare card, social security card, phone bill, tax records, two expired passports, and divorce papers. The examiner demanded that she get a notification from Iowa that she was born there before birth certificates. That according to Iowa will take at least 35 days. They took her $15 fee, but so far she has heard nothing. She has lived in South Dakota for over 80 years. This makes about as much sense as demanding women get marriage certificates and to do that are required to present a driver's license for identification.

High silliness in South Dakota without benefit of mood-altering drugs.