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Woman arrested during traffic stop

Some South Carolina drivers may have witnessed it before - police officers that seem like they are in a foul mood when they pull you over. When an officer acts in an intimidating fashion, this can scare a motorist far more than the thought of receiving a traffic citation.

Last year, one South Carolina woman received a lot more than just a speeding ticket when she and her husband were pulled over by a police officer. The officer claimed that he pulled the woman over for speeding. He told her she was caught doing 77 mph in a stretch of road where the speed limit was 55 mph. He also told her he would write on the ticket that she was only going 64 mph as a courtesy to her.

She told him during the stop that she thought he racially profiled her. She claimed that those words angered the officer at the time.

The officer, who received back-up from fellow officers, eventually arrested both the woman and her husband. The woman was cited for speeding and resisting arrest while the man was charged with interfering with an officer. Those charges were eventually dropped.

However, the woman said her arrest for speeding was unnecessary and painful. She said being handcuffed caused her wrists to swell and being put into a patrol car aggravated a hip issue that she also suffered from.

An internal investigation into the arrest revealed that the officer was in the wrong by not controlling the situation. A spokesperson for the police department confirmed that he was suspended for 10 days without pay. He was also ordered to undergo anger management sessions.

However, the investigation also concluded that the man's actions were not racially motivated.

Getting pulled over and forced to pay a disproportionate fine is inconvenient enough, but being arrested for speeding is completely excessive. Motorists must remain vigilant in holding police accountable, ensuring that they follow the letter of the law during traffic stops.

Source: WLTX.com, "Traffic Stop Could Land Highway Patrol in Court," Jennifer Bellamy, Feb. 22, 2013

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