Saturday, March 5, 2016

A plea from Bob Ruff from the Truth & Justice Podcast

A student and aspiring firefighter may potentially have his life ruined by a Michigan State Trooper with a massive chip on his shoulder, and all over a traffic stop because of a "dim" tail light. That's right folks, not a broken tail light, not a tail light that wasn't working properly, a dim tail light...Oh and I should mention that the Trooper noticed this dim light in snowy conditions with poor visibility.

This case was given to Bob Ruff from the Truth & Justice podcast, so I'll let him tell you about it...

"Please share this video with any and all media outlets. This case was brought to me last night. Abi is a student of mine. Young, sweet, Christian boy. Michigan State Trooper Cameron Sweet pulled him over last week. He said he was stopped because one of his license plate lights was "dim". Both of his lights were on and working. Trooper Sweet approached on the passenger side. Abi is a "poor college kid" as he puts it. The passenger window in his car doesn't open. He cracked the door open, explained to the trooper that that window doesn't work, and asked him to come around to drivers side. At that point, Sweet opened his door and started searching his car. Abi says that he told him to stop, and Sweet started cussing at him. That's when Abi started the video from his phone. You'll see the trooper threaten to rip him out of the car by his face. Abi is trying to find his drivers license. You can actually see in the video that it fell out of his bag of documents. Abi is scared and nervous, and can't find it while Sweet is yelling at him. Sweet then yanked Abi out of the car. He pulled his hands behind his back. Abi pulled one hand forward to lock his phone, in fear that the trooper would delete his video. Then he put his hands back behind his back and submitted to being cuffed. Abi says the trooper then put him in the squad car, and slammed the door on his head as he was getting in. Sweet then told him he was going to search his car. He said he had probable cause because he thought he smelled marijuana. He searched Abi's car, where he found his drivers license and nothing illegal. He then returned to the car, and told Abi that he's under arrest for resisting arrest. Abi spent two days in jail before bonding out. He missed work and after paying the bond, he can't afford to make his rent now. I would like to know if this is the kind of behavior that the Michigan State Police expect from their troopers."

Video of Abi's wrongful arrest 

 We're very lucky here in New Zealand, because it's very rare to see the kind of aggression and unprofessional behaviour from our police, that we see in this video, and in a number of other cases out of the US.  That's not to say that our police are perfect, they're certainly not and there have been some shocking incidents of police misconduct over the years.  Mark Blower for instance, who was in charge of Northland's organised crime unit, and was stealing drugs from evidence to sell back to the same criminal organisations he was meant to be prosecuting.  

My point is that we're very sheltered here at the bottom of the world, our cops are taught to de-escalate situations like this, our cops also don't carry sidearms so the number of police shootings is very low here.  However, that doesn't mean that we should turn our backs on what's going on in countries like the US.  We can lend our voices to the voices of those calling for change, and let them know that the whole world is watching.  This isn't just a few agitators like Bob and Rabia Chaudry and others who are making noise for personal reasons, this is a movement demanding systemic change on a global scale.

Abi is facing some potentially very serious legal costs to defend himself in this incident, so please, if you can help, consider donating to the GoFundMe.  Even a few dollars makes a difference!

Please help Abi cover his legal expenses!!

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