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Now, using ORS 153.058, Bryant — as a private citizen — has initiated violation proceedings against Officer Stensgaard. Bryant alleges Stensgaard was in violation of state statutes on illegal parking, illegal stopping, obeying parking restrictions on state highways, and illegal operation of an emergency vehicle or ambulance — the violations carry fines totaling $540.

Officer Stensgaard has received a Multnomah County summons to appear in traffic court on May 23. Meanwhile Bryant denies he is just stirring up trouble.

"Citizens should be concerned that he used his status as an officer of the law as justification for breaking the law," he says.

Thank you, Eric Bryant. Unlike my similar situation, Bryant was a lawyer and knew the proper way to proceed. All I got from my complaint was a phone call from an investigator at the police department who said he'd let me know the resolution by mail, then didn't.

Public servants cannot be allowed to abuse their position. Petty tyrants cannot be allowed to become powerful tyrants. (I automatically think of Eliot Spitzer.) "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

h/t Jacque

Comments: 23

1: Poison Ivy
2008-04-20 03:05:11 UTC

Yet ANOTHER class I wasn't aware I could take. Sigh.

2: Anonymous
2008-04-21 22:13:50 UTC

Maybe you'll be thinking differently when the cops take too long to get to your house to catch the guy stealing your $3000 TV because they had to go a long way to get back to their cars when the call comes in.

3: Captain Arbyte
2008-04-22 00:30:09 UTC

#2, I have no problem with police (or other emergency vehicles) breaking the ordinary rules in an actual emergency.

An emergency is precisely what was absent in both my case and in Mr. Bryant's.

4: Anonymous
2008-04-22 01:18:11 UTC

I didn't realize that police can predict when there is going to be an emergency. My bad, certainly they should always park legally when their magic 8 ball says it is safe.

5: Captain Arbyte
2008-04-22 05:25:09 UTC

I think it's time you offered a justification for police to be exempt from the rules the rest of us have to follow. Tell us what principle equailty under the law should be subordinate to.

Tell me why I should look the other way when, in the absence of an emergency, a police officer parks in a fire lane in front of a grocery store for 45 minutes right next to signs explaining that parking there endangers children. Tell me with a straight face that they're enhancing public safety when they do that. Make me believe it.

6: MDM
2008-04-22 12:41:14 UTC

I mean, I can see where anonymous is coming from, it's not like they have radios or anything, informing them of when emergencies are occuring...that would just be silly.

7: Anonymous
2008-04-22 13:37:59 UTC

It when there is NO emergency and they abuse their power. For example, we saw two cops in houston hit their lights, navigate thru a traffic jam and stop across the street at a fast food joint. by the time we cleared the traffic, they were leaning on their cars eating. I see no justification for using their lights to get thru the lights faster than the rest of us.

another example is when we're passed on the highway by a dps officer traveling 80 + in a 65 zone, when there is no emergency. a few miles later, we see him sitting on the side of the road with a radar. i mean what justification can there be for that.

in the absence of an emergency, law enforcement officers must act according to the law.

8: ARW
2008-04-22 13:46:46 UTC

It's part of the society we live in. People break the law if they can get by with it...speeding, red lights, stop signs, etc. Cops can get by with it, just like the person with a handicap tag for an aged family member gets by parking in a handicapped spot when the handicapped person is not along. We are a nation of law breakers, and cops should be the FIRST to set a better example.

9: Chris
2008-04-22 13:48:16 UTC

If emergencies are a concern and being away from their car is a concern then a policy to restrict the officers from leaving their car would be appropriate. There are many jobs that do not allow the workers to leave a particular area unless it is for the purpose of completing the job. For instance Bus Drivers cant just pull over because they got a hankering for some take out.

10: Edubya
2008-04-22 13:58:28 UTC

I'm hoping that someday the police will figure out that they are hired and trained to enforce the law. This is not Judge Dredd, they are not THE law. With that said, it stands to reason that if the people hired to enforce the law are also disregarding it, aren't they just as liable as the rest of us for their actions? The only problem is there is no recourse unless you take the correct avenues as Mr. Bryant has. I believe lawyers should step up and advertise taking on legal proceedings against misbehaving lawmen. (I know these lawyers would get little done on other fronts b/c of discrimination from those same folks they're attempting to prosecute, but what the heck...)

11: Anonymous
2008-04-22 14:26:02 UTC

While trying to make it better, we might also want to be thankful it isn't worse. We could live in a police state with TOTALLY corrupt "law enforcement." I was in West Texas doing 68 in a 70 and was stopped and given a ticket by a trooper for 85. He specifically said he had me on radar at 85. There were no other vehicles around for him to have made a mistake. When I contacted the Attorney General I was told their job is to back the cop. When I contacted Austin DPS I was given a very brief one sentence reply, dismissing my complaint. The reason: the cops had signed affidavits that what they did was as they had said. It burned me for a long time, but in the end I just am grateful to live in America where it's not as bad as others have it. But, cops could really improve their overall image if they ALWAYS obeyed the law (the law allows for emergency vehicles), were totally HONEST in enforcing the law, quit the promiscuous behavior for which they are famous (right or wrong), and slowed down on the doughnuts (joke). But, then couldn't we all.

12: jay
2008-04-22 15:40:37 UTC

Now I thought that all full time jobs require a lunch break by law, so if he was on lunch someone else would be in his jurisdiction for coverage. So number 2 your a complete idiot. Just a cop that thought he was above the law

13: mike
2008-04-22 16:31:01 UTC

I agree with jay

14: Grammar Police
2008-04-22 17:20:23 UTC

Jay, "your" a complete idiot.

15: Cozmo
2008-04-22 17:59:41 UTC

I have NEVER met a cop that had anything but a bad attitude and was power drunk! (Espically a female cop). It is like they have something to prove. They want to intimidate citizens every chance they get. I have never so much as had even a speeding ticket, but everytime I have spoken to an officer (of any sort) it has been met with arrogance and sarcasim. There needs to be some recourse for everyday citizens to combat this "ATTITUDE"!

16: Anonymous
2008-04-22 20:24:17 UTC

My favorite was the officers smoking in a no smoking area outside a public building telling other smokers they can't smoke there.

17: Anonymous
2008-04-22 20:26:37 UTC

Number 11: When that happens, ask for the radar print out when you get pulled over and the calabration records of the radar gun itself before you go to court. Most states require the police to give you both upon request.

18: Anonymous
2008-04-22 21:36:54 UTC

read about this lovely story:

i wish i had get out of jail cards like that

19: Anonymous
2008-04-22 22:36:18 UTC

Wow Cozmo, I think you need to check your attitude! Police Officers usually feed off the attitude and actions of the persons they are dealing with. Respect is usually met with respect when dealing with the police. And for crying out loud, learn how to spell Especially and Sarcasm.

20: Captain Arbyte
2008-04-23 01:14:04 UTC

Local news station KGW ran a story about this; I found it on YouTube:

21: Cozmo
2008-04-23 16:57:55 UTC

"Anonymous" I can tell you for certain that I have never treated ANY official with one ounce of disrespect! MY attitude is not what is in question here. The last incident I had with our illustrious law enforcement officers was when I asked two female police officers for directions. Before I could even get a word out of my mouth, one of them said "keep going, you'll figure it out!" They didn't bother to ask if I had an emergency, if I had been robbed or if I had witnessed a crime that I wanted to report. "Respect is usually met with respect" That is not true (at least in the situation I have witnessed). Cops are power hungry A-holes who need to be taken down a notch or two. They think that because they are wearing a little tin badge, the rules don't apply to them. As far as my spelling is concerned, I wasn't aware we were being graded on spelling. (That is "Sarcasm")

22: Myra
2008-04-26 02:09:53 UTC

Wow you all sure have had a rough time with the police. I've been pulled over for speeding, once. I've stopped and asked a cop for directions, I've even been hit buy a guy running a red light and in each case the cops involved were very polite and kind. I don't like to see them abuse their power, and I know that many do but I haven't seen much of that around here (in AZ).

23: Mrs. Flik027
2008-04-30 16:30:23 UTC

#19 Anonymous

I've encountered cops on a few different instances. Some were very pleasant and friendly, but some weren't. It had nothing to do with my attitude. They were just being mean.

One of the times I was still in school. The cop was angry with my father and ended up taking it out on the rest of us in the car. How does my father's actions warrant aggressive/intimidating behavior from the cop toward me?

It's interesting how you even used the word "usually" in your arguement. Even you admit that it's not "always" the case. Perhaps Cozmo's experience was one of the rare unusual cases. If you weren't there you have no real idea of knowing what actually happened...

There are some "bad" cops, but there are also "good" cops too. We've always had good and bad in every aspect of our lives and we always will have good and bad. That's just humans for ya.

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