A Texas county sheriff's office is hitting back against a state legislator's allegations that one of its officers was "rude and nasty" during a traffic stop and released video evidence of the encounter to let the public judge for themselves.
"He talked to me like I was a child," said State Representative Garnet Coleman, a democrat for the 147th district in Texas, at a hearing last week regarding the Sandra Bland case, according to KHOU-TV. "He was so rude and nasty. Even when he found out I was a legislator, he became more rude and nasty. And I didn't understand why this guy was continuing to go on and on and treat me like a child. And basically like I'm saying is treat me like a boy. I want to be very clear about that."
On July 14, Coleman was stopped on I-10 by an Austin County Sheriff's sergeant who clocked him going 94 mph.
"It's a state official car. Had him at 94," the sergeant relayed over radio to a dispatcher before stepping out of his vehicle.
"How are you doing today?" the sergeant asked Coleman, adding "What's the rush?" after the greetings were out of the way.
Coleman said he was on his way home.
"You can't do 94 miles per hour though," the sergeant said.
He then asked if Coleman had any previous tickets and walked to the front of the vehicle.
"Did they give you any front plates for this car?" he asked.
"I know who you are. It doesn't matter, OK," the sergeant said.
"I'm not trying to be a jerk," Coleman said. "I just [inaudible.]"
"You're doing 94 miles per hour in a state vehicle though. It looks real bad on the highway. The public looks at you and sees state official and you're doing 94 miles an hour, that's the bad part," the sergeant said, before returning to his car.
Watch the beginning of the exchange:
KHOU reported that Coleman was let off with a warning for a similar offense in another county last year, and this sergeant decided to do the same. Based on a prior ticket though that still had points on his license, the sergeant noted that if he and the other county had decided to issue him tickets, he would have lost his license.
"Stop speeding in a state car, OK? You got state plates on here, man. It's a state official plate. You realize how bad that looks?" the sergeant told Coleman after returning to the vehicle and informing him he was only getting a warning.
"I understand what you're saying. The speed got away from me. I understand (inaudible) but I'm not a child," Coleman said.
"I didn't say you were a child," the sergeant replied. "I'm just trying to make you understand that ... just slow down some, OK."
Sheriff Jack Brandes said he didn't find the sergeant's interaction disrespectful.
"I think the video needs to be seen because it depicts exactly what happened," Brandes told KHOU. "He did not write him a ticket. He took the approach to help the gentleman and that was his objective and I think he accomplished it quite well. We treat everybody fairly and honestly and that's the way it should be."
Coleman was out of town and unable to respond to KHOU's inquiries. His office also did not immediately respond to TheBlaze's request for comment.
Here's KHOU's report: