Police in Wausau, Wisconsin, released body camera footage of an officer pulling over an irate driver who was speeding on Oct. 1 in a school zone.
Throughout the exchange, the officer, who is not named, remains calm and collected.
“Do you know what the speed limit in a school zone is?” the officer asks the man, who responds with profanity. Then man then responds that it’s 25 mph, and the officer corrects him, saying that “it’s 15; you were doing 31.”
The man then accuses the officer of being “a stalker … you sit around and stalk the people that pay your [expletive] check.” He added, “Every [expletive] morning I see you waiting out there.” He’s presumably referring to the officer parking his car in an area to catch speeders.
The officer then asks for the man’s insurance and license. Later, he asks the man for his phone number, leading to another string of angry comments from the driver.
“What do you need my phone number for?” he said, adding that “I don’t have to answer questions” after asking the officer if he’s getting a ticket for speeding.
“You got my driver’s license. That’s all you’re getting,” he then tells the officer. “I don’t have to answer your questions.
The officer then goes back to his vehicle, according to the vehicle.
The police department said that it released the footage to show the difficulties of the job. “We know it’s not fun to get pulled over, but this officer works to keep his cool when faced with an unhappy speeder in a school zone.”
The office then captioned the video on Facebook: “Our officers work hard to keep Wausau’s roads safe – particularly in school zones. They occasionally have to exercise great patience during some of their interactions with drivers. (You may need to turn your volume up a bit, as the officer remains pretty soft-spoken.)”
The footage was released on Oct. 4.
Traffic Stops Are Dangerous for Police
On Sept. 18, a sheriff’s office in Colorado posted footage of a man rolling out of a stopped vehicle, pointing a gun at officers. “As he continued to advance out of the vehicle deputies shot Askins multiple times, fatally wounding him,” the office said.
The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (pdf) said traffic stops are notoriously dangerous for police officers in the United States. The leading causes for officers being shot and killed in 2017 occurred when they were responding to domestic incidents and while conducting traffic stops, the group’s annual report states.
And, according to the most recent figures published by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A greater percentage of male drivers (12 percent) than female drivers (8 percent) were stopped by police during 2011.” It adds: “In 2011, about 3 percent of traffic stops led to a search of the driver, the vehicle, or both. Police were more likely to search male drivers (4 percent) than female drivers (2 percent).”