Just to make it clear, I have a lot of love and respect for the police, who are generally respectful upstanding guardians of the law. However, I think this guy made a few good, ableit definitely biased, points. And for the most part, you did not.
1. Point to the guy. Her tail light was, most likely, not out. As this guy points out, she was not ticketed for it and no warning was recorded. Now, I know cops sometimes let you go without official warnings, but if he's actually taking her down to the station, there's no reason not to ticket or official warn her for the tail light. That, coupled with Hoyt/Gina's assertions, point to it being not out. If they got it fixed real quick, there would also probably be a record of that fixing since this story is so hot right now. And if that tail light wasn't out, under the 4th Amendment, applicable to the states by the 14th, this entire stop/search was illegal.
2. Your point. I agree with you that, given the situation, calling the police officer a liar for saying he thought he smelled alcohol on her breath was extreme. Even if we agree that this officer made up the tail light, and thus the stop was illegal, smelling alcohol later on simply wouldn't make the stop any more legal. Her having Hoffa's head in the car wouldn't have made that stop legal.
3. Point to you. Even if she didn't want to perform a field sorbiety test, she should have submitted to a breathalyzer and, naturally, if you choose not to, you will be taken to the station to do so. She must have known that, but really, I don't think that was what Gina/Hoyt had a problem with this situation.
4. This point goes to the guy. Evidence suggests that the Trooper amended his report to include an allegation - that Gina had sipped alcohol at 6:30 pm - which was not on the initial report. That definitely supports her story, and moreover, saying "yeah, well, she should have just complied like a good girl with the field sobriety test" does not make the officer's actions any more honest.
5. Again, this point goes to the guy and not you. You're getting off topic dicussing the rights of troopers generally to speed. The point is that Hoyt could not have been speeding any faster than the officer in front of him, who knew Hoyt was following him and for what purpose. He was pulled over by another office who was alerted by the trooper who had Gina in his car. No amoutn of love for the police could make such a situation anything less than completely intimidating - knowing your wife is in a car with someone else, whom you believe has no right to hold her there, while you are stopped by his friend from following them to where they are going.
6. Point to the guy on this one because texts released show that the troopers were texting to each other en route, and beforehand. So this Trooper lied, both by omission and explicitly.
7. Point to neither of you! First of all, accusing all troopers or police officers of being deviants with guns is completely disrespectful and out of line. Kind of like accusing all lawyers of being liars with degrees. Nonetheless, you can't just pull the "we're all people" card when it comes to officers. Police officers must show extra restraint and follow the law to the letter. Why the double standard? Because they have badges and guns. Something benign that any normal person off the street might say or do is something terribly intimidating and harrassing when coming from someone armed with both a firearm and a cloak of authority. You'all are right: we should trust the word of a police officer over that of your average citizen. That's why when there's evidence of lying and discrepancies on the part of police officers, to whom we naturally give the benefit of doubt, we average citizens get pretty damned pissed.
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