Letter to the Editor

To all citizens: Be careful

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To the Editor:

I would like to warn the drivers of the City of Brazil to be very, very careful.

My son recently purchased a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was legal in every way except one. He didn't have the motorcycle endorsement on his drivers' license.

Here is where the story gets interesting.

He rides his bike to and from work daily. He gets off at midnight so he was on his way home rather late.

A city police car followed him a couple of nights ago and apparently ran his plate and discovered he did not have the endorsement.

Last night (Saturday) my son had been out riding his bike and was stopped within one block of home. Four policemen were needed for this routine traffic violation.

They asked if he was carrying either a gun or a knife and he replied he wasn't. Then, he was padded down.

Now remember, this was an ordinary traffic stop. If this doesn't sound like profiling, I don't know what does. My son is a typical Harley rider. He has long hair, wears a "dew" rag, boots and is over 6-foot-3.

This so-called stop was for a minor traffic violation. He has a valid driver's license, insurance, has the bike properly registered and has no outstanding traffic tickets.

Why did it take four of Brazil's finest for a routine stop? Why was he searched? Why did they run his plates (he hadn't broken any laws) in the first place and finally, why did they lay in wait for him so they could issue him a ticket?

I want to go on record right now and tell the Brazil City Police that if you stop me for a minor traffic offense (such as forgetting to use my turn signal) and determine that I need to be searched, you will be sued.

Of course, that won't happen because I am 67-years-old and am a typical little old gray haired lady.

Motorists be warned. At any given time or place, your plates can be ran even if you haven't broken any driving laws.

Don't our local law enforcement people have anything more pressing to take care of? I find this type of behavior by police more than a little distressing.

I don't dispute the ticket my son received. I do object to his treatment and the way in which the police went about "catching" him.

All of this, because he didn't have a motorcycle endorsement on his regular driver's license.

Any comments from the residents of our city?

Shirley A. Thomas,