This past Monday my wife and I were detained and humiliated by officers of the Farmington Police Department and we deserve an apology for their unprofessional actions. it began with a four-way stop at the corner of Arrington and Orchard, with me waiting for the officer in his patrol car to take his right-of-way. I just waited and waited -- a good twenty seconds while the officer just sat there, invisible behind his dark-tinted windows. When I finally crossed in front of him, he began to follow me closely, for five blocks to west Broadway, where he pulled me over in front of Jack's Boots and Saddles. I was informed I was stopped because the registration sticker was in the wrong location on my license plate. For this heinous offense, a total of two police cruisers and three officers were soon present.
My wife Irma, who was driving in her car ahead of me, parked and walked back to see what had happened. Officer B ordered her to remain in her car. If she had, she could not have witnessed what was taking place. Because she was standing on a public sidewalk and refused to leave, she was suddenly told to turn around and with no further words was placed in handcuffs.
Irma is a 65-year-old retired social worker who stands 5 feet, 2 inches tall. She was neither aggressive nor verbally abusive to the officers, but was apparently perceived as a threat by the paranoid Officer B. When Irma asked why she had been handcuffed, the answer was "You are interfering with a traffic investigation."
My wife was embarrassed and humiliated to be standing on Broadway in cuffs, stared at by everyone driving by.
Officer B, finally deciding he had no case worth pursing, let us go after spending a lot of time checking registrations, insurance certificates, IDs, etc. Irma was kept in handcuffs about ten minutes and the whole incident took close to 30 minutes of taxpayer-paid police time.
If Officer B wishes to be an effective traffic officer, he must stop looking at the tiny stickers on New Mexico license plates, which will sooner or later cause him to rear-end some unsuspecting motorist, and instead watch out for Farmington's more important traffic problems:
1) The constant use of cell phones by numerous drivers who text and talk to their friends.
2) The non-use of turn signals by up to a third of vehicles turning left and right
3) The dead skunk in the middle of 20th Street that has been there for at least two days.
We were clearly intentionally intimidated and harassed by an officer who created a street drama of anger and disharmony where no problem existed before. We deserve a written apology from Officer B and Police Chief Westall for the stupid and unprofessional actions we suffered.