I have been conducting an independent undercover investigation into certain allegations that have been made concerning the unfair practice of selective enforcement and what I have found is rather disturbing.
After receiving numerous complaints about certain motorists receiving fix it tickets for having tinted front windows while others are simply allowed to go about their business, I decided to do some investigating of my own, and what I found out in the course of my investigation is that several members of the law enforcement community own and operate vehicles that have tinted front windows, however, they are not given fix it tickets by their fellow officers and neither are they written tickets by the members of the California Highway Patrol.
On Sunday, 3/10/2013, at approximately 10:05am, I decided to visit a street called Cuesta Drive which is near Norwalk Blvd. since this Cerritos California street was previously identified as a problem street, meaning a street where motorists of a certain gender and ethnicity are routinely targeted by the California Highway Patrol and by certain members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department that camp out in the same area. While driving east on Cuesta Drive and while going approximately 30 mph I immediately spotted a Highway Patrolman hiding in the corner that I had previously been told that certain members of the law enforcement community routinely choose as their staging area and as an area where they normally lie in wait for a number of unsuspecting motorists that aren’t aware of the sting that’s underway. In addition to seeing the patrolman parked in the area that is normally out of view, I also heard the patrolman start up his vehicle prior to racing up behind me and prior to pulling me over and giving me a Fix It Ticket for having lightly colored tinted front windows, which had a visible light transmittance of 88 percent, which is described in VC Section 26708 Material Obstructing or Reducing Driver x2019 s View. I was never asked for any documentation from the company that installed the window tint, which met the 88 percent visible light transmittance requirement, and the Highway Patrolman never conducted an onsite scientific test that would have revealed the fact that the tint had an 88 percent light transmittance. The patrolman simply concluded without any scientific analysis and without requesting any information on the company that installed the window tint, that I was in violation of the vehicle code that everyone is supposed to be subject to.
The fact that I was not asked for any documentation is troubling since documentation is specifically mentioned in the vehicle code that the Highway Patrol is supposed to be enforcing, and since the motorists stated that they are not allowed to provide any documentation from the company that installed the window tint that clearly states the light transmittance. The fact that I was not asked to produce any documentation from the company that installed the window tint, some eight years ago, which met the 88 percent visible light transmittance, is a plus since it’s a part of the independent investigation that I have been conducting for a number of months after being advised that this sort of selective enforcement of the law has been going on for quite some time and that certain high ranking law enforcement officials are part and parcel of the problem since they’re aware of the practice of targeting certain motorists without any scientific analysis while allowing others to escape.
Now let me just clearly state that when you’re first given the information about certain members of the law enforcement community actively engaging in selective enforcement of the law, you immediately take a wait and see approach since journalists are supposed to remain objective at all times despite the amount of emotion that might be behind the claim of selective enforcement, however, the claims were substantiated once I was pulled over by Highway Patrolman D.C. Williams ID# 20305, who works out of the Santa Fe Springs California station, which is some 8.1 miles away from the City of Cerritos California. The traffic stop did not occur while I was traveling on the freeway which is exactly what others have been describing and which was confirmed through my investigation that culminated on 3/10/2013 when I was pulled over and written a fix it ticket without being asked for any documentation from the company that installed the tint and without any scientific analysis being performed to determine the light transmittance of the window tint that was installed by a company that is licensed to do business in the state of California.
Patrolman Williams immediately asked whether or not I knew why I was being pulled over prior to requesting my driver’s license and registration as well as a copy of my current insurance which I gladly supplied upon request since all motorists are required to furnish their driver’s license as well as proof of insurance whenever requested to do so. Patrolman D.C. Williams never asked for any documentation on the company that installed the window tint and he immediately started to give me a lecture about the California vehicle code, however, I continued to conduct the independent investigation, and I asked Patrolman Williams why he hadn't stopped any of the other motorists that had passed him before I had and that also had tinted front windows and he claimed that he had observed my vehicle while writing some notes regarding another stop that he had just made on a motorist that also had tinted front windows, however, when I mentioned the term selective enforcement of the law and the fact that millions of Californians have tinted front windows, he became nervous and said that they can’t stop everyone that has tinted front windows because it would become an issue of safety, which basically means that they’re going to continue to discriminate against the drivers that are given fix it tickets for having tinted front windows while members of law enforcement and others are allowed to continue to drive with tinted front windows without being required to remove the tint that was installed by a licensed business that is not prohibited from placing tint on the front windows of their customers vehicles for an additional fee, and who routinely tell motorists that the lightly colored tinted is permitted by law since the visible light transmittance is 88 percent, which not only complies with the California vehicle code section 26708, but that also complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 (49 C.F.R. 571.205)
Now if safety is truly a concern of the California Highway Patrol, as patrolman Williams stated, then why stop anyone for simply having tinted front windows when the patrolman that’s conducting the traffic stop can’t very well determine the state of mind of the person that he or she is pulling over for simply having the same kind of tinted front windows that certain members of the law enforcement community and others have on their privately owned non-government vehicles? One has to question the explanation that was given concerning safety since the patrolman wasn't concerned about approaching my car or requesting my driver’s license and registration as well as my proof of insurance. These items were requested and I was stopped even though I was not speeding and did not run through a red light or cut anyone off during the course of changing lanes.
The patrolman never drew his gun nor did he place his hand on his weapon, so how concerned could he have really been for his safety while pulling someone over for having tinted front windows that he never performed a scientific test on to determine the light transmittance? Well, being a professional as well as a law abiding citizen, who was just doing what the members of law enforcement have done by getting their front windows tinted, I signed the fix it ticket and I immediately went home and removed the tint from the front windows prior to taking my vehicle for a vehicle inspection at the Cerritos Sheriff’s station, which is where I met deputy AT. Ripley who laughed in my face once I told him that I received the fix it ticket for having tinted windows.
There were several vehicles that were parked in the parking lot where my car was inspected by Deputy Ripley, however, none of those motorists were given fix it tickets by Deputy Ripley even though they had tinted front windows, which is contrary to what Highway Patrolman D.C. Williams told me because he stated that the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department should be giving the residents of Cerritos fix it tickets and that the Los Angeles Police Department and that the Costa Mesa Police Department and that the Palm Springs Police Department and that the Anaheim Police Department and that the other law enforcement agencies that saw me with tinted front windows should have given me a fix it ticket since the vehicle code doesn't allow anyone to have tinted front windows.
Deputy Ripley’s behavior once he learned that I received the fix it ticket for having tinted front windows is indicative of the, 'It’s us against them attitude,' that we often hear about, and it may also be indicative of the lack of a four year college degree that should be a requirement before one is given a badge and a gun and unleashed on the public. The F.B.I. has a much higher standard than the local law enforcement agencies, and given the fact that I was dealing with a law enforcement officer that is not required to meet the same high standards as an FBI agent, I decided to pull into the Shell gas station parking lot where there were multiple cameras that could capture the traffic stop. I chose the gas station since I didn't want to end up like Mr. Kelly Thomas out in Fullerton California, who was beaten to death by a number of Fullerton Police Department employees that were simply out of control and who felt that they could act as judge, jury, and executioner due to their badges.
If you have been singled out by Highway Patrolman D.C. Williams or by any other member of law enforcement and want to share your story, please contact me, so I can investigate the circumstances of the incident.