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Thread: My encounter this weekend with the Arkansas "task force" officer

  1. #1
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    My encounter this weekend with the Arkansas "task force" officer

    So I am in the near the end of a 400 mile ride from my place in Kansas City to where my girlfriend is stationed in Little Rock AR. My favorite way to ride is to go through springfield, MO to Branson. From Branson to Little Rock AR is some of the pretty wooded hills, with some nicer twisties, cooler temps, and supposed 55 to 65 MPH speed limits. While I dont consider myself a speed freak, the bike (12RT) just loves to run nicely at about 10-20 over most speed limits.
    As I start getting closer to conway AR, the urban area starts picking up with sporadic smaller towns separated by 10 mile legs of open road. On one of these roads I see a white dodge charger PO with a guy pulled over on the other side.... dont take notice of the type of PO, but knowing that they usually roll backup in smaller towns, i slow to speed limit so I dont get popped by his fellow PO. Sure enough, along comes another white charger with the light bar going past. I feel good about my self for recognizing and defeating the 'threat' and twist the bike back up to around 70 (in a 55).

    I am in the right hand land, and honestly, am not the fastest traffic on the road... all of a sudden in my mirrors, I see flashing blue lights on what appears to be some sort of SUV, from the left lane coming to over take me. I figure something is going on, but given the lane they are in, they arent after speeders. I pull over to the side and rapidly stop like a dutiful citizen should, at the rate a BMW bike can. The cop goes flying past me, and then pulls into a convenience store parking lot about 1/3 of a mile ahead. I wait for a second, but then all the traffic ahead and behind me pulls out to the road and drives on, and so do I. As I pass the cop, I look at whats going on.. Im thinking there is an issue at the liquor store. Not seeing anything to terribly exciting, I resume highway speeds.

    About 3 minutes later, here comes the blue lighted SUV again.. again in the left lane while I am now at 65 (in a 55, though I thought it a 65) in the right lane. Again I pull over and come to a rapid stop. Again, the cop goes flying past me.. this time I am fully stopped and turn the bike off to watch what I think is the show. The cop pulls around, floors it, goes past me and does another U turn.. finally pulling in behind me. It is at this point I figure out its me the cop wanted to pull over. I am over on the side of the road enough, but the cop isnt, and we are on the downside of a big hill. I get off the bike and stand off the side of the road by about 10 feet. I dont want the cop vehicle getting hit and then plowing into me.

    At this time the cop gets out, about 23 year old blonde girl with a strong southern accent. I ask, "have you been trying to pull me over?" as I remove my glasses and helmet. She doesnt respond, but instead creeps toward me with her hand close to her sidearm, and talking into her mic about my bike. Finally I ask was she trying to pull me over back there the first time when she went past, and she responds, "you mean when you almost wrecked you bike going over that curb?" I respond, "I at no time lost any control of my vehicle and I never went over any curb... only pulled over to the side of the road and stopped like I was taught to when and emergency vehicle approached from behind." She responded, "well didnt say you lost control of your vehicle, but you were clearly speeding." I said, " ok then, not sure I was, but allow me to get my information for you." After producing my ID/ins/registration, I explained that I had seen the other two POs and though she was conducting other police business in conjunction with them, since she was going much fast than me and in the other lane. At this point she told me that she didnt know those local cops, and she was with the AR task force (drunk driving? speeding? who knows). She then lectured me on my evasive tactic of excessive braking that she couldnt keep up with. I told her that she was never in the lane behind me with her lights on, how was I supposed to know she was trying to pull me over. I came to a quick stop only on the side of the orad, and with no traffic behind me. The whole time I was remain polite, calm, and cooperative. At this point she asked if I had any weapons and after telling her no, she told me she would be right back.

    At this point I am thinking my goose is cooked... I was speeding, she was confused and accusatory as to how I handled my bike, and evidently she thought I was trying to evade her. Well she comes out with my info after a couple minutes and proceeds to tell me "as you can see I have to ticketbook; but I did have you doing 72 in a 55." Like and idiot I question as to whether she has Radar or video of this, and she says she has both. I realize she is going to let me go with a warning and a misunderstanding! I quickly apologize for being fast, and any actions I committed that lead to confusion, I was merely trying to be a good citizen and get out of the way.

    From this instance I learned a couple things (some are assumptions / beliefs based on the incident).

    The BMW can come to a safe stop pretty dang fast.
    If a cop goes flying past, give them a couple potatoes to see what they do, even if the cages around you begin driving.
    If dont think you did anything wrong stick to your guns, but remain polite, calm, and cooperative, and respectful.
    I really think that what you ride and wear matters. I was ATGATT with my 'stich, etc. on. When she made comment about how fast my bike could stop, I took the polite opportunity to explain that I was trained in quick safe stops through the experienced MSF course, and that a BMW bike was not a crotch rocket to do dumb things on but a high performance machine with safety in mind and ABS. She remarked she had never seen one before.

    All in all it was an interesting experience... one that could have been avoided if I wasnt a lead wristt, but was for the most part avoided by some luck, some courtesy by me, and some leniency by the PO.

    My next assignment is to Germany... hopefully I dont have these problems on the autobahn


    B-1
    Last edited by B1Pilot; 07-27-2009 at 04:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Sounds like one very poorly-trained cop. I hate dealing with badged idiots.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  3. #3
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Those are odd facts. Two thoughts:
    • Why would you pull over if the officer is in the left lane and you're in the right? I'd certainly let the bike slow down a bit so its easier for the officer to pass. But it wouldn't occur to me to pull over unless the squad car hung out a couple of car lengths behind me in the left lane making it obvious that I was the vehicle being watched. If that's what happened then you were dealing with a poorly trained officer.
    • I'm curious as to what "Task Force" meant? The task force that I've worked with are a part of some agency. As an example, the Dallas Police Department has a DWI task force, but when they pull people over they don't say "I'm with the task force." Rather, they wear the uniform and badge of the Dallas Police Department, and they identify themselves that way. Did you see her badge, uniform patches, or markings on her vehicle? If it were me I'd politely ask what that meant. If the officer is remotely professional he or she will politely tell you. After all, they're just people, too.
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  4. #4
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    If you speed and get stoped/ticketed don't complain/whine. 70 in a 55 is a bit much.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  5. #5
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1Pilot View Post
    one that could have been avoided if I wasn't a lead wrist, but was for the most part avoided by some luck, some courtesy by me, and some leniency by the PO.
    Don't think I was whining, just telling a story.... her reasons for pulling me over weren't to blame, I admitted to my speeding, her technique was odd....

    to answer other comments:

    From AR rules of the road: Drivers should pull over to the right edge of the road, or as near to the right as possible, when you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching from any direction. --- to me pull over means on the side of the road and stop, not get over a lane and drive at a slower speed. I may not have stated that they had their lights on and were gaining on me (i was going about 65 at the time). I thought they were on their way in a hurry to some other business, not making a traffic stop on me.

    Yes she was a AR state trooper, wearing the proper uniform, and identified as such, for brevity of the story I left out that she had stated that earlier; it was just a super -troopers like moment where she claimed she had no knowledge of the 2 'local smokies' and what they were doing a half mile back.

    I was, and am, always polite... this alone is what I believe solved the misconception of my events, and why she gave me a warning... I definitely agree and respect that they are people doing their job, and have found that if you give them an ounce of respect and show you will cause them no trouble they almost always let you off with a warning.

    Dont think she was an idiot... just posted here to highlight an encounter I had on my bike, that was out of the ordinary for me and probably for her...

    thanks for the comments though,

    B-1

  6. #6
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    Hope you LOVE your time in Germany!

    Thanks for the read!

  7. #7
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    methinks that you ran into an incompetent (I want to say Airhead, but you know). Luckily she was unsure of herself that she chose not to be a knucklehead and cite you for something that she could not substantiate. I'll bet the rest of the troopers are thrilled to have her on the force.

  8. #8
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1Pilot View Post
    I definitely agree and respect that they are people doing their job, and have found that if you give them an ounce of respect and show you will cause them no trouble they almost always let you off with a warning.
    You obviously have never been pulled over in TexSux.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  9. #9
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    Last weekend was driving my commercial cargo van thru Forrest City Ar.. on I-40 east bound at dusk Running 65-68 mph. Speed limit is 70. Pasted a leo in the median, then came out of the ridge to the lowland and saw 4 or 5 leo's with a variety of pulled over traffic. They were on the left side of highway. Looked in my rearview and the leo had his flashing lites on behind me. Pulled over on the right side. Cop comes on right side, reached over and I opened the passenger door. Said I had a lite out and wanted to show me. Got out went to the back, he said my licence plate light was out. Opened my rear door and pulled the lighted bulb out and showed him it was lit up. Oh, ok he said. Walked off. Traffic passing at 70 mph in both lanes. I could understand a tail light, brake light, turn signal ight warrenting a pull over. A licence plate lite, nah.

  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    You obviously have never been pulled over in TexSux.
    And that's the truth! They are training young DPS Troopers in the Big Bend region...0 tolerance...you get stopped for 2 over when they are out-n-about...they claim they are looking for the big score...we asked
    Steve Henson
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  11. #11
    Manfred
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    And that's the truth! They are training young DPS Troopers in the Big Bend region...0 tolerance...you get stopped for 2 over when they are out-n-about...they claim they are looking for the big score...we asked
    I wish the local Harris County coppers would enforce some kind of speed limit on residential streets. Louetta Drive, near me, has a 35 MPH posted limit. People routinely drive 45 - 50 MPH, making it difficult to pull out onto the road. Constable told me they only ticket when executing a special enforcement action.

    That doesn't do much to generate respect for the police.

  12. #12
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryg View Post
    Last weekend was driving my commercial cargo van thru Forrest City Ar.. on I-40 east bound at dusk Running 65-68 mph. Speed limit is 70. Pasted a leo in the median, then came out of the ridge to the lowland and saw 4 or 5 leo's with a variety of pulled over traffic. They were on the left side of highway. Looked in my rearview and the leo had his flashing lites on behind me. Pulled over on the right side. Cop comes on right side, reached over and I opened the passenger door. Said I had a lite out and wanted to show me. Got out went to the back, he said my licence plate light was out. Opened my rear door and pulled the lighted bulb out and showed him it was lit up. Oh, ok he said. Walked off. Traffic passing at 70 mph in both lanes. I could understand a tail light, brake light, turn signal ight warrenting a pull over. A licence plate lite, nah.
    Probably used the stop as an excuse to see if he could find some cause to do something else to you.

    I was once stopped by a local in the North Dallas 'burbs for a bad license plate light...and before letting me go, he checked my registration, state inspection, license and insurance, and shined his light through all the windows.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  13. #13
    Registered User parkec's Avatar
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    TASK FORCE?!


    I need to sell enough speeding tickets to pay my salary+bennies task force.
    .................................................. ..................................
    IBA #50026

    www.devilrays.com

  14. #14
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    "Task Force" here in TN usually means drug interdiction. They sit on I-40 in their all-white vehicles. I'm not sure how they are profiling what they are looking for, but I don't think it is necessarily just speeders.

  15. #15
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    B1 Great Read I'm glad you got to slide

    I recently had a similar story in AR. I took a little day ride with some other Beemer riders. After we had split up and two of us were passing through rural central AR the bikes we we riding R1200RT 2008 and a R75/6 !973 were seen by a local PO. We impressed him with our passing skills and he wanted to talk to us about it. He was very aggressive at first but after talking to us for several minutes it seemed his personality shifted. He realized these two old coots were not the typical M/C riders he stopped. He warned us about his prejudice for motorcycles and his hating to scrape us off his pavement. Then told us to continuse to ride save. About this time another PO arrived first guys uncle and they became cusrious about a 73 model bike still being riden daily and running so fast. We thought oh no here comes the speeding ticket ( they had us dead to rights there) but we did pass safe. Quickly but safely. They let us go. Thank You AR PO's

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