Citizen Pulls Over Police Officer in Unmarked Car: “You’re in Violation of the Law”

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Published on: October 18, 2014

Most of us think nothing about being pulled over by police in unmarked vehicles. In fact, if the truth was known, most of us don’t think about police at all. We have busy schedules and are just trying to make ends meet. However, one activist thinks differently and pulled over a police officer in an unmarked car and told him he was in violation of the law. What happened next might surprise you.

Gavin Seim, a Washington state resident and activist, who is also “a small business owner, a Christian and a father” pulled over a Grant, Washington Sheriff’s deputy who was driving an unmarked patrol car.

Why did Seim do this? He did so to inform the officer that he was in violation of Washington’s Revised Code, RCW 46.08.065C.

According to the code:

It is unlawful for any public officer having charge of any vehicle owned or controlled by any county, city, town, or public body in this state other than the state of Washington and used in public business to operate the same upon the public highways of this state unless and until there shall be displayed upon such automobile or other motor vehicle in letters of contrasting color not less than one and one-quarter inches in height in a conspicuous place on the right and left sides thereof, the name of such county, city, town, or other public body, together with the name of the department or office upon the business of which the said vehicle is used.

This section shall not apply to vehicles of a sheriff’s office, local police department, or any vehicles used by local peace officers under public authority for special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.

Clearly, the last part does not apply to the sheriff’s deputy that was pulled over. He admitted that he was not involved in “special undercover or confidential investigative purposes.” He was on the streets pulling over people for traffic violations.

One wonders about any person that was arrested or written a ticket by Deputy Canfield as to whether or not they would be able fight their ticket or arrest in court due to the violation of the law by the officer involved.

I think Mr. Seim handled things without being demeaning to the officer and I think the officer received the correction well. Of course, at first the officer seemed to think he was beneath having to provide identification, but Mr. Seim seemed to conduct himself respectfully and make the point to the officer that if the shoe was on the other foot, the officer would deal with the situation in the same manner.

This is exactly how citizens should deal with law enforcement that are acting in a manner that is contrary to the law. They are not above the law, but rather called as peace officers, to enforce the law. As such, they must follow it as well.

I would say well done to both Mr. Seim in his correction and the officer in his receiving of that correction.

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