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10-23-06, 12:30 PM #1
Sheriff's deputy fights transfer after he pulls over NAACP president
Sheriff's deputy fights transfer after he pulls over NAACP president
Here's a quick lesson for all police officers: Pulling over the president of the Dallas NAACP branch could be hazardous to your career. Just ask Dallas County sheriff's Deputy Mike Baker, who was ordered to be transferred out of patrol last month even though two separate investigations exonerated him of any wrongdoing.
On May 30, Baker and rookie officer Patrick Arnold stopped a white minivan in Northwest Dallas with expired tags. Arnold, who was in training, talked to the motorist, filled out the ticket and returned to the patrol car. So far, so good. But Baker noticed that the motorist wrote "refused" on the signature line of the ticket. As everyone who has ever been pulled over knows, signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, just an assurance that you will pay the fine or appear in court. Without the signature, however, officers have no way to know that you'll do either of those things and are typically instructed to arrest the offending motorist. For obvious reasons, this doesn't happen too often.
So, needing a signature, Baker, a 15-year veteran of the department, left his patrol car to talk to the motorist.
"I went up to him and said very politely, 'There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding about signing the ticket,'" Baker recalls. "He said,'There's no confusion. I'm not signing it.'"
At that point, Baker told the motorist he'd have to arrest him. The man wanted to call his wife first, but Baker told him to hang up the phone and repeated that he was under arrest. But the motorist insisted on calling his wife.
"I then reached in with my right hand and took his sleeve between my thumb and forefinger and started to pull so he would know I wasn't kidding," Baker would later tell investigators from the department. "And he needed to get out. He said real loud, 'Don't you touch me!' I let go and said, 'If you don't get out of the van, I will put you to the ground.'"
The motorist decided to sign the ticket after all.
If you think Baker acted a little harsh toward the motorist, he explains that officers have to assert control in that type of situation.
"He was trying to take charge of our traffic stop," says Baker, who is built like a nose tackle. "He was trying to run the show, and we're trained that we have to be in charge. You can't let the violator take charge of your traffic stop."
After the motorist signed the ticket, Baker returned to the patrol car to give him his copy. Somehow, Baker dropped the ticket on a clipboard the motorist was holding and a breeze blew it to the ground. That seemed to be the tipping point.
"He starts screaming that he's the president of the NAACP," Baker says.
Soon after, Bob Lydia, whose wife is also active with the NAACP, met with Sheriff Lupe Valdez and her chief deputy, Jesse Flores, and filed criminal charges against Baker, claiming that he abused his authority. The department launched both a criminal and internal affairs investigation of Baker. A few weeks later, both inquiries exonerated him.
It was probably an easy call. For one, Lydia admitted to investigators that he initially refused to sign the ticket and only afterward did Baker grab him. Baker himself admitted as much, saying that he touched the motorist only after Lydia continued to talk on his cell phone even though he had been informed he was under arrest. Finally and perhaps most important, Baker's partner corroborated his story.
Patrick Arnold says that Baker never used excessive force, and Lydia was the one making a scene. "He wanted everyone's name and badge number," Arnold recalls. "He pulled out his business card, and it said 'president of the NAACP.'"
Baker says that Lydia also wrote down their license plate number.
"It appeared to me that he was being rather hardheaded," Arnold says. "I thought the whole situation was kind of silly."
So that should have been the end of it, right? Well, here's where things get murky. Last month, Flores transferred Baker from the traffic division to court services, claiming he did so only because Baker requested a new assignment. But Baker says that he never asked to leave and claims that Lydia is using his political influence to get him off the street. Lydia did not return several phone calls, but the Dallas County Peace Officer's Association, which represents black officers, backs up Baker's claim and says that they talked about Baker in a meeting with Flores.
"The president of the NAACP requested that Baker be removed from the street," says Charles Bailey, the first vice president of the association. "We did bring it up [in a meeting with Flores], and he advised us that he would remove Baker from the street."
Bailey insists that the association was merely relaying a message from Lydia and not acting in anyway as an advocate. In any case, Raul Reyna, a spokesman for the department, says that Flores did not respond to any political pressure to transfer Baker.
Meanwhile, Baker's black friends are sticking up for him. "Mike is no racist. I've known him for 13 years," Deputy Keith Johnson says. "If he was cleared by IAD and CID [internal affairs and criminal investigations], I don't understand why he was transferred."
For Baker, being transferred after enduring two separate investigations into a routine motor stop is simply adding injury to insults. He plans to fight his reassignment and is talking to an attorney.
"I feel like Flores is throwing me to the wolves, taking one civilian's word over mine and my partner and everyone else who has investigated this thing," he says. "He is attacking my character, making it look like I have done something I didn't."
link"When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!
10-23-06, 12:37 PM #2
I feel bad for minorities who don't ask for morons like this to represent their race.
10-23-06, 12:57 PM #3
to bad stupid is not against the law.
"A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others."
The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented
on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you
expecting trouble?" "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have
brought my rifle."
(just stole this one hope you don't mind)
10-23-06, 01:26 PM #4
Thanks for posting the story because it's an interesting read. Unfortunately, I can't say I'm surprised.
10-23-06, 01:41 PM #5
excuse my ignorance what does the NAACP really stand for?the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
( Baltasar Gracian )
10-23-06, 02:02 PM #6
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
I kid you not.
10-23-06, 02:17 PM #7GrasshopperVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Rep Power
Not for nothing, but this is in no way going to change me giving a ticket should I ever pull a NAACP anything.And Shepards we shall be,
for thee, My Lord, for thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls will it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.
10-23-06, 02:22 PM #8
it is amazing...
i am not even gonna say anything..
just dont have to lolhttp://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
10-23-06, 02:50 PM #9
what a joke, the sherriff should be fired for harrasment. I hope officer baker sues the balls of the department. this is just stupid!Giggity giggity Goo!
Glen Quagmire,Family Guy, Pick any Episode
10-23-06, 03:08 PM #10
I've been there, done that with the NAACP. I won't go into details since this is a public area, but I fought the NAACP when they went after me at work. I wrote the chapter's Vice President a ticket. She made wild allegations against me and tried defaming me in the media. This story does not surprise me at all.
10-23-06, 03:12 PM #11
10-23-06, 03:13 PM #12
I think he should sue the Deptartment and the NAACP. Turn the damn tables around for a change. Shit like this gets me so damn mad.
Ok breath........deep breath.
Ok Im better now."An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
"Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."
" I believe that forgiving them (Terrorist) is God's function. OUR job is to arrange the meeting."
General Norman Schwartzkopf
Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
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10-23-06, 04:16 PM #13
10-23-06, 04:18 PM #14
10-23-06, 04:24 PM #15
[QUOTE=1sgkelly;110242]I'm white, white is a color, do I qualify.
No not unless your gay as well.the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
( Baltasar Gracian )
10-23-06, 04:28 PM #16
So when is the Reverend coming to town?
Kudos to the officer involved for upholding his principles and not being a coward like most department administrators in these situations. I hope it all works out for him in the end.
It is a shame when you are doing your job and catch hell for it only because the person who broke the law is someone "special". You can't win these days.
"Stupid should hurt."
10-23-06, 04:52 PM #17
But no, that's not what they mean.
10-23-06, 05:41 PM #18
10-23-06, 09:22 PM #19
I think if people like this make BS police complaints they should be sued civilly to recover the costs of the investigation. Many times, such as this, the circumstances don't warrant a criminal charge for a false complaint.
So, lets take them to civil court where the burden to prove false and malicious would be less!
That would a put a real quick end to this kind of BS.
10-23-06, 09:31 PM #20
You get 3 chance's with me to sign. If you don't sign that 3rd time you are getting cuffs on you and there is no turning back. There is no "Ok ok I'll sign it now" as the cuffs go out on the 3rd try.
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