Photojournalist Harassed by Eureka Officer Cooper, 10.26.12

The author sent this report to the Eureka Police Department and to the Eureka Times-Standard.  Officer Cooper was accompanied by  2 other cops in their 2 patrol cars.

Incident Report:
 
At 2:00 AM at 605 4th Street on October 26, 2012,
Officer Cooper pulled me over for not having
an illuminated rear license plate (stating that
this is the #2 violation in the State of California).
 
He seemed determined from the outset to prove me guilty of
   a) DUI   b) using illegal drugs  c) having weapons
       none of which has any basis in reality.
 
Contrary to his perception or predetermined motive,
not everyone driving into Eureka at 2:00 AM is a criminal
(e.g., drug dealer) -- and driver's fatigue is not against the law.
 
My eyes were very tired from driving 630 miles
in 12 hours from a photojournalism trip to Nevada and
then back to Eureka: one of my favorite American cities
until this morning.

(Eureka features excellent food and service at Kristina's
and superior mechanical work at Antich Automotive
as well as a fine public library and the wonderfully
designed new jazz club Speakeasy on Opera Alley.)
 
I was less than a mile from my destination, Denny's Diner,
when I was intimidated into (1) following the tip of a silver pen
with my tired eyes and (2) walking heel to toe with my
weary legs, so I insisted on taking the breathalyzer test to
confirm my statement that I did not have any alcohol for 27.5 hours.
 
When the machine indicated that the alcohol level was zero,
Officer C. appeared so disappointed and frustrated that he
ejected the plastic tube onto the street (submitted herewith).
 
I also observed that Officer C. may be hard of hearing
because he asked me three times if I used illegal drugs,
to which I replied, "You've asked me that three times and
the answer is still "No."  The first time he asked me,  
I was still seated in my car and I took two seconds to respond, to which he replied, "Are you sure? It took you
a long time to answer" to which I replied, "2 seconds is
a long time?!"

(He also asked me three times if I had any weapons,
to which I replied, "I've never had a weapon in my life")
It appears that intimidation is his agenda
and he needs a reality check.
 
In other words, he was adamant on concluding that
any person he pursues is guilty.  Perhaps his aggressive
behavior is to make himself seem more productive
as a law enforcement officer but he's trying too hard to
make criminals out of innocent citizens.  As an officer
who says he has ten years experience, he is exhibiting faulty instincts and poor judgement, not to mention
a crude (bully) manner.
 
In summary, this method of operation
is needless and offensive public relations and
a waste of police department resources / taxpayer dollars.
 
Sigmond Twayne, Author
National Traveler - Photojournalist