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Old 12-11-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
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Question for Law Enforcement Officers or others...

who have knowledge of their methods.

I got pulled over the other day for a traffic violation. Silly reason, new enforcement of a loooong violated no passing zone. Officer was super nice, seemed annoyed that he had to be pull me over. "Sorry. You were the tail on the mouse." Meaning there were 7 cars that did it ahead of me but I was last. No worries, he gave me a warning. As he was approaching my Jeep, both initially and to present my warning, he very deliberately placed his hand on my driver-side rear turn signal for about 1 - 1 1/2 seconds. My question, is this for time/place marking on the dash cam (wife's thought) or was he molesting my Jeep (My thought, closeted Jeep lover)? Just curious, no actual bearing on life.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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He was touching/pushing on your tailgate. Officers are trained to do this for the following reasons:

1. Pushing on the trunk/tailgate to make sure it's closed. There have been situations in the past where someone was hiding in the trunk area and waited until the officer walked past the rear of the vehicle so that person could exit the trunk and ambush the officer. Rare situation I know, but there are plenty of times someone is pulled over that have warrants or are trying to flee in some way.

2. The officer is leaving fingerprints on your vehicle: If he/she isn't wearing gloves, leaving the officer's fingerprints on the vehicle is a method of leaving trace evidence if an agency has to prove that vehicle was stopped. This was bigger before dashcams became popular.

These are both unlikely scenarios, but one of the most dangerous situations for an Officer is on a traffic stop and anything can happen.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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What he said.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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Seems believable. I don't think he touched the tailgate, it was just the tail light so likely the evidence thing. (I could see where he touched in the side mirror.)

I know they're crazy nervous on traffic stops. My Dad always said, get your license and registration, hold them in your hands ON TOP of the steering wheel. I truly admire them for what they do so I don't want to add any stress to their day. Just like everyone else, they have a job to do, no sense in giving them $#!+ about it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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I'd read the fingerprint thing online before. Not sure how true it is or if it still applies as it seems pretty much all traffic units have cameras running now a days. Perhaps it's an old habit he can't break. Perhaps during the pause, he was observing the OP to see how he was acting. Perhaps he burped and wanted to enjoy the aroma of whatever it was he had for lunch before going any further.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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One of the most dangerous moments on a traffic stop is on the initial walk up for several reasons:

1. Driver hits the gas and runs
2. Unknown persons in the back holding or firing a weapon
3. Driver waiting for the officer to approach so he/she can shoot them (this one happens a lot)

Most SUV's and vans have factory dark tint so you can't see much inside too.

As far as touching the vehicle, it is a little outdated but they still teach it for added piece of mind and the theories still apply.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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All the above, plus

God, forbid, if a fatal assault occurs, the print may be the link that ties the car to the assualt. (even if it is a few days down the road.)

and to also verify if a car is running or turned off.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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I was told it is two fold by a few officer buddies.

1st is to give the officer a forced pause to examine the scene (in the car/jeep)
2nd is to give evidence (in case he is found on the roadside) that your specific car was stopped

But as mentioned, there are quite a few reasons it makes sense to do it.

Where I come from the 'furtive' movements of getting your ID ready makes LEOs uncomfortable. Wait for em to ask, they got time - after all they can't tell if your fumbling for an ID or a bazooka.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeYJ View Post
- after all they can't tell if your fumbling for an ID or a bazooka.
This is why Dad always said have it in hand on top of the steering wheel. The driver has a minute or two while the officer runs their plates. If the officer can see you hands, it puts them a little more at ease. He also said if you can't find it fast, wait for them to arrive at the window and ask.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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I always wait for them to ask. they are watching you as much as possible from the time they decided to stop you.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0II1II0

This is why Dad always said have it in hand on top of the steering wheel. The driver has a minute or two while the officer runs their plates. If the officer can see you hands, it puts them a little more at ease. He also said if you can't find it fast, wait for them to arrive at the window and ask.
I appreciate that, and it isn't bad advice, but I have had more than one officer on a stop tell me not to. That is all I was saying.

I also grew up in a place officers got shot frequently, so it's all perspective.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:10 PM   #12
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I love living in a place where, if I get pulled over, it's one of my buddies stopping me to see if I want to have a barley pop later...
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:17 PM   #13
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I've had officers ask that when pulled over to not pull off to a side street or vacant parking lot since most shooting happen in these locations. Unless the weather is too harsh I remove the keys and place them on the dash and wait for the officer to approach. I usually engage in a bit of small talk so I relax. Had a female officer years ago snap at me and firmly say that I wasn't getting out of my ticket. I tried to explain but she was too quick to return to her car.

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