Police: “Shut up or get ticketed” – Vermont traffic stop leads to federal civil rights dispute (VIDEO)

Rod MacIver received a faulty ticket in December which lead him to suing the small Vermont town of Shelburne. He arrived at court to fight the complaint but the judge in small claims court had to postpone the hearing. The police officers who were defending themselves were advised by their attorney to skip the court date and go to a local coffee shop instead. Now the ACLU has gotten involved and slapped the town with twin federal civil rights cases.

The ACLU believes that the officers violated MacIver’s Fourth Amendment rights in pulling him over for no reason and his First Amendment rights when the officer told him to “shut up or get ticketed”. Police initially argued that their video showed a violation, but then conceded later he was wrong and the man apparently committed no crime. Now the police are left to fight off MacIver and the ACLU.

The traffic stop in question:

MacIver has set up a website to draw attention to his case. On it he writes

“I’ve set up this website because I’ve had three contacts with the Shelburne Vermont Police Department and in all three instances, including once in court under oath, the officers of that department have been deliberately deceptive and dishonest. For instance, please see the judge’s reaction to the testimony of Officer Jason Lawton in “Court Testimony.” Dishonesty seems to be ingrained in the culture there and encouraged, or at least condoned, by the management of that department (see email from Sergeant Allen Fortin under “Complaint”).

The assumption seems to be that dishonesty is okay because it is unlikely that the general public will ever find out about one-on-one dealings between the public and its officers. I’ve set up this website to prove their assumption incorrect.

Basically, I was pulled over in the middle of the night for no reason, and when I objected, admittedly in strong terms, the officer gave me a ticket for something he knew I didn’t do — run a red light.”

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15 comments
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15 Comments

  • Yourownfault
    November 14, 2013, 11:50 pm

    The officer thought he went through a red light. There was no singling anyone out he made a mistake. Now if you are police officer, its your job to pull people over and give them a ticket kinda how they get paid. They are not there to argue with you, that is what COURT is for. so yeah, shut up take the ticket and go to court. If everyone argued with the police on these things it would be a mess and you are wasting time.

    Bottom line: If you are pulled over, 95% chance you deserve to be pulled over. Its not the police offers job to argue with you. Just take the ticket, go to court and fight it. IF you dont want to be in these situations, avoid racing through yellow lights.

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  • JLou2@Yourownfault
    November 21, 2013, 6:56 pm

    If you actually watch the video, at no point does the guy run a red light. Stop defending corrupt cops.

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  • Yourownfault@JLou2
    November 21, 2013, 7:09 pm

    The officer thought he ran a red light, he was wrong. I dont get why he would pull him over for fun, does not make sense to me. Even Corrupt cops would not randomly stop a man in a regular car. I think there was a lapse and judgement, they guy pulled over should get paid and that’s the end of it.

    Media blows these things out of proportion. And no matter what it does not dismiss my point i mentioned earlier

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  • JLou2@Yourownfault
    November 21, 2013, 7:23 pm

    He “thought” the guy ran a red light? How? All the lights he went through were solid green. The only red light encountered was for the turn lane at the intersection. The cop most likely was just trying to get his quota.

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  • Yourownfault@JLou2
    November 21, 2013, 7:27 pm

    We all have lapse in judgement, its not like he shot at him, arrested him or profiled him.

    He screwed up and got in trouble for it. As for quota, its not that hard to get them i dont think he would pull some one over for no reason for that.

    Pick on the cop who shot the kid with the hose, or the one shooting at a van full of kids, this really is not comparable

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