Shelburne Vermont Police Traffic Stop and Misconduct
After many hours of mind numbing meetings March 31, 2014 with lawyers, I agreed to settle my lawsuit against the Town of Shelburne over police misconduct for $25,000 plus the $4200 mediation fee, all of which I’m donating to the ACLU in appreciation of all their good work — on this case and on the Snowden situation among many others.
I appreciate the goodwill and serious commitment to addressing the situation by Gary von Stange, Chair of the Town Select Board, so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to others.
Below is the background on the case. It is my hope that Mr. von Strange is successful in his efforts, and if he is, plan to take down this site in a couple of months.
This website was set up because I had three contacts with the Shelburne Vermont Police Department and in all three instances, including once in court under oath, the officers of that department have been deliberately deceptive and dishonest. For instance, please see the judge’s reaction to the testimony of Officer Jason Lawton in “Court Testimony.” Dishonesty seems to be ingrained in the culture there and encouraged, or at least condoned, by the management of that department (see email from Sergeant Allen Fortin under “Complaint”).
The assumption seems to be that dishonesty is okay because it is unlikely that the general public will ever find out about one-on-one dealings between the public and its officers. I’ve set up this website to prove their assumption incorrect.
Basically, I was pulled over in the middle of the night for no reason, and when I objected, admittedly in strong terms, the officer gave me a ticket for something he knew I didn’t do — run a red light. I filed a complaint and the officer’s supervisor, Sergeant Allen Fortin, responded that the cruiser video indicated that I did drive through the red light. I sent a letter of apology to the officer and requested a copy of the cruiser video. No response. After repeated requests, and sending in $45, still no video. When I started throwing around terms like “suppression of evidence” and “obstruction of justice,” the video was forthcoming. It indicated (see video above) that I did not drive through the red light.
In court, the officer tried to have the charge dismissed rather than testify. I objected. The officer testified under oath and committed perjury. See the judge’s reaction.