ASK A COP — Why do cops shine their flashlights directly into side mirrors?
Published 12:04 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Glen asks: I was stopped recently for speeding. I’d admit it. I was speeding, but I really felt uncomfortable during the police stop. I was uncomfortable because the officer shined his bright light on my side view mirror and I couldn’t see him as he approached my vehicle. When he spoke to me, it startled me because I couldn’t see him. It’s not fair for him to do this, and I asked him if he would shut the light off. He refused. I thought this was rude and insensitive. I support police officers, and I’m not a common criminal where I should be treated as such. In case I’m stopped again and this same act by the police officer occurs, what should I do to address the blinding light from the police car?
Answer: I’m doing something that I don’t usually do and that’s speaking on another officer’s actions when I wasn’t present. Let me assure you and any other reader that the officer was not being malicious or demeaning in any way. When you described what the officer did, I truly believed you because I do it all the time. We are taught this procedure of shining our spot light on the vehicle being stopped’s side view mirror for officer safety purposes. This procedure allows the police officer to approach your vehicle safely. Shining the spot light on your mirror makes the traffic stop safer for you and the officer because he will be aided by identifying occupants and their actions in your vehicle at night. Although this procedure may be uncomfortable to you, I encourage you to look away from the side view mirror. The light will not be bothersome to you if you don’t look towards the mirror. The spotlight also aids the officer in reading any documents that are presented during the stop.
Harold asks: My daughter received a text message from an unfamiliar number claiming to the police department, urging her to respond to the text by calling the number that showed on the caller’s ID. We are law abiding citizens and huge supporters of our local police officers who put their lives on the line daily to protect us. So receiving this text startled us, and my daughter doesn’t recall having any communications with the PD, so why would the PD be texting her? What should she do about this text urging her to call?
Answer: I can truly understand you and your daughter’s concern, which can be quite alarming. If the police department is needing to contact anyone, it surely will NOT be via text message. They will call or email you. Here is a phrase you and all readers should familiarize yourselves with “Beware SCAMMERS are everywhere!” Scammers are trying to instill fear into suspected victims by using governmental entities like the IRS Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Office, Law Enforcement Departments to deceive innocent victims into giving certain personal information or giving money. We should always be in a guarded state of mind when we are dealing with anyone we are not familiar with. The police department “DOES NOT” send out random text messages requesting someone to call a number. There should be red flags popping up any time someone your not familiar with asks for money, your address, your social security number, any debit or credit card number, bank account number and even your phone number. You don’t have to engage in a conversation with them. Simply HANG UP!! What gets my goat the most is when these unsavory people prey on the elderly. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is NOT true! I receive an email almost monthly now telling me that someone in a foreign country has died and they had millions of dollars that a family member is wanting to give to me and all I need to do is provide my name, bank account number, date of birth, social security number, and they will transfer millions of dollars to my account. BEWARE SCAMMERS ARE EVERYWHERE.
Yolanda asks: Not long ago I observed a child riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by an adult. Is there an age limit in Texas regarding children riding on the back of a motorcycle? Do they have to wear a helmet?
Answer: In the state of Texas, child passengers on a motorcycle MUST be at least 5 years of age to ride. All motorcycle passengers and drivers under the age of 21 MUST always wear helmets. This is actually a law I don’t agree with, because in a car or truck, a child must be 8 years of age or 4 feet, 9 inches tall or they MUST be in a booster seat, but a 5 year old child can ride on a motorcycle. Does anybody else find this as strange?
Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW, Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington and Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze radio station every Tuesday for at least two hours from 1 to 3 p.m. You can also tune in at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in and ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Feel free to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 409-983-8673 and leave a voicemail question or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always feel comfortable to approach and “Ask A Cop!”