Officer directing traffic from inside his car

I was heading to my shop this morning on a regularly trafficked residential road. Up ahead was a cruiser in my lane, lights running, with a tree trimming truck of on my side of the road. Another 40 yards from that was another truck on off to the opposite side of the road.

I stopped 50 yards behind the cruiser then slowly moved up to about 30 yards behind him. I then came to a complete stop and waited about a minute or so. Coming in the other direction a can came up and stopped shortly behind the other truck. Another 30 seconds went by with both of us stopped waiting for any indication of what to do. The officer stuck just his hand out the window and made a Waving motion. I took that as an indication to pass. The other driver seemed to as well but stopped when he saw I had committed to pass. As I passed the cruiser he immediately turned on his siren and puled me over.

He came to my car irate telling me wonderful things like ‘you’re a fucking idiot’ ‘it is people like you that cause accidents’ ‘you blew by me paying no attention’

He took my license and registration went back to his car then came back shortly.
He told me I was lucky this time and he wouldn’t be issuing me a ticket. My response was along the lines of ‘I’m sorry officer but I thought you were waving me through’

He said ‘no you weren’t paying any attention’
My response being ‘I’d come to a complete stop behind you’
He said ‘do you want me to write you a ticket’
I said ‘no I’m just trying to explain what happened’
He said ‘you were wrong you don’t have a fucking case get the hell out of here before I do give you a ticket’

What I wanted to say is ‘if your fat ass got out of the car and did your job correctly there would have never been any confusion’ Instead I went on my way.

My take on what happened is he was never aware I was behind him and never saw me until I was passing him. If he was outside the car he would have been able to tell I was there and would have been able to indicate which vehicle he wanted to move forward. Instead he was inside the cruiser reading a newspaper and wasn’t aware of anything until he looked up and say the other guy in front of him and waved that guy forward. If I had known that I guess I should have sat there until he checked he rear-view

So fellow dopers what is your opinion here? What should I have done differently? Is it acceptable for officers to direct traffic from their car?

You could report the incident to the Police Department. Basically what you wrote above.

Still debating on that end of things. I drive through the town near daily and the police force has been shown to as a whole hold grudges. While it’s entirely possible they could take the incident as a issue to be looked at they could also instead band together and take me as an enemy to harass. I just want to get to where I’m going.

I must admit, I’ve never been pulled over for a traffic violation.

But I think if I was, and the officer was being as obnoxious as this one was, and swearing at me, I’d say darn little to the officer. “I’m sorry” “I didn’t understand”

Without having been there, it’s hard to judge whether your actions prior to being pulled over were reasonable or not, though I think that your complaint that it was hard to know who was supposed to be moving when-especially with the officer inside his car-- is valid.

You could have said, “I’m terribly sorry, Officer. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, could you please tell me what I should have done in this situation?”

I think you handled the situation just fine. The genuflecting that others are suggesting is the right thing to do in retrospect, now knowing what an ass that cop was. But at the time you had no way of knowing.

I’d make a complaint. He clearly wasn’t doing his job properly.

I gotta agree. It sounds like he screwed up because he was lazy, and then came down on you.

Depends if you live in that town. As a voter you may be able to get a city councle member on your side. Other wise it can cause you trouble. My experience with the police department is that they are paid professional liers that will hold a grudge. I know a woman who filed a complaint against the police, she ended up recieving several tickets for running a stop sign. One her tire was just over the first line of a cross walk, another her tire was on the line. The judge threw them all out and on her last ticket after dismissing the case the judge insisted that the officer stay because he wanted to talk to him.

And forget IA, the so called “rat squad” it is the “white wash team”.

No, always assume you’re going to get an asshole on a power trip. It’s a very basic life skill, like treating every gun as if it were loaded.