Univision "Bait Car" Gotchas Glendale Cop: PD Cries Foul

Cuoto said that the station will be posting more video from the incident on its website, after it responds to a request for all of the video from the Glendale Police Department.

"We were never saying that it was racial profiling," Cuoto stated. "We just asked the question...and let people make up their own minds."

Without making any final judgment until more of the video is released, I have to say I like the idea of doing reverse stings like this. It's something many in the activist community have thought of, but have yet to implement, as far as I know.

Potentially, it could act as a legal check by the citizenry on law enforcement, as long as Senate Bill 1070 remains in effect.

SB 1070 requires cops to look into a detainee's immigration status if there's reasonable suspicion to believe the person is undocumented.

Thing is, any cop can follow any car for a few minutes and find some reason to pull it over.

Which is where the possibility of racial profiling rears its head. The fear in the Latino community is that cops will find a reason to stop Hispanics, just to check their immigration status.

It happens, and a lot of nativists want it to happen.

But if activists started doing this bait car thing on a regular basis, documenting everything that occurs, law enforcement organizations might end up begging the state legislature to repeal SB 1070.

At the very least, it would give any ill-intentioned cops out there some second thoughts about using pretextual stops to ethnically-profile Latinos.

And it sure would be fun to watch.

The Glendale Police Department's Friday statement on the Univision segment:

The Glendale Police would like to take this opportunity to address the video production that aired on the Univision "Premier Impacto" news segment by expressing our disappointment in how our officer and department were portrayed.

Here is a summary of what actually occurred based on the information available to us:

On October 30th, in the early afternoon hours, Officer Jamie Nowatzki, a 30 year police veteran, was on duty assigned to traffic enforcement. Officer Nowatzki was in a fully marked patrol vehicle working the area of 6750 N. 59th Avenue when he observed a traffic violation. From Officer Nowatzki's vantage point, he clearly observed a red sedan at a stop sign for an unreasonable amount of time, causing two cars to drive into the opposing lane to get around the vehicle. For several minutes, Officer Nowatzki observed this Arizona Title 28 violation of impeding traffic, and how other drivers were now being affected by the red sedan including one of the other drivers even honking its horn at the red sedan for blocking traffic.

When the red sedan turned north onto 59th Avenue, Officer Nowatzki initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver in a professional and courteous manner, requesting information appropriate for a traffic stop. While contacting the driver, Officer Nowatzki was approached by a reporter demanding answers about the stop. Officer Nowatzki appropriately answered her questions.

Concluding the stop, Officer Nowatzki used his discretion by issuing a warning for the violation. In compliance with policy, the Public Information Office was notified reference the media contact. We pride ourselves on having good relationship with media. The PIO office made attempts to contact the local Univision affiliate to provide them information, answer any questions, and to make ourselves available for comment. The local Univision affiliate never returned our calls.

The Glendale Police Department learned about the Univision video production that aired just a few days ago. The "Primer Impacto" video that was aired appeared to be heavily edited and did not show the entire incident, including the amount of time the red sedan impeded traffic to the exchange between Officer Nowatzki and the driver.

Today we have successfully contacted management from the local Univision affiliate and we were advised that they had no involvement in the production. A local Univision manager advised us that it was a production involving the national Univision network only. The local manager provided us with a national contact late this afternoon. We will continue to attempt to make contact with a responsible representative from the national Univision network concerning this matter.

The Glendale Police Department is standing behind Officer Nowatzki and the appropriate actions he took. We again want to emphasize our severe disappointment at the editing used for this video production that appears to be trying to 'create news' by being misleading, inflammatory, and apparently intends to portray the Glendale Police Department in a negative light by suggesting we engage in racial profiling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My Voice Nation Help
64 comments
solrac57
solrac57

I reserve judgement until the unedited video is released. But, god@&# it, unless you have been pulled over by law enforcement for no apparent reason and given just warnings you can't know how humiliating it is.  I have a clean driving record but, if I had been given a citation each time I've been stopped I wouldn't have a license. I try to look white but I just can't pull it off.

youproductsucks
youproductsucks

The only mistake the Glendale Officer made was using his discretion and not citing the driver.

 

Standing orders with the guys that I work with will be to cite for any and all violations that apply.  That way they can't be punished for doing a good deed.  See y'all in court.

gladyshowe54
gladyshowe54

The arid zone stands for white, GOP, bigoted, America. John McCain is chief cheerleader and he is not very smart. 

JoeArpaioFan
JoeArpaioFan

Na, Na, Na....I get to suck Arpaios dick for another 4 years and loving every minute of it !

Jessie Garcia
Jessie Garcia

There needs to be more "bait cars" riding around Glendale and Scottsdale, it'll be interesting to see the piggies squeal for a change, lol

Richie Barriga
Richie Barriga

whats this?? no blame on sheriff joe this week...taking on glendale pd now??? i will stay tuned to next week....let me guess.....gilbert pd???

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

Wouldn't want to impede the speeders. There should be a law about them

member
member

The message is pretty clear- if you are brown, stay out of Glendale....and thsi comes from a cop! :-)

lapazjim
lapazjim

Yeah sure!!Next time go to the border and film the people and drugs coming across.Why are you Univision clowns filming something that if it does happen is infrequent as a snow storm in Phoenix.If you weren't so prejudice against Americans you would be able to see that Police Officers are doing their jobs and not corrupt like you try to make them out to be.

Univision if you filmed the goings on on the border you will find something that happens every day.You wouldn't see something that happens every Blue Moon or every time a Hispanic cries foul.Show both sides of the street and maybe you will see your side needs cleaning more than the police side!!!!!

danightwatchman
danightwatchman

keep filming these cowards, they cant help themselves...

robert_graham
robert_graham

And Glendale PD needs to set up their bait cars in Hispanic neighborhoods so they can prove that those cars need to be pulled over.

mandymountain
mandymountain

The cops have no problems with video taping others. Others should have no problem taping the cops. This is the surveillant society. Might as well get used to it.

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

Mr. Lemons, I would encourage you to view the entire unedited video and then report your thoughts. Not excusing for, or validating the actions of, the officer, but if the red car sat at the stop sign on a public street and other vehicles had to go around it, then impeding likely was correct. Let's see the whole video.

wanumba
wanumba

I love this...sting the cops.  Driving while brown/black/etc. is not a crime, and the cops need to stop being thugs.

phxfblogger
phxfblogger

Why do the Glendale police refuse to issue an apology and admit that this officer was profiling the vehicle and driver?  Don't they understand the word "busted?"

 

They expect us to believe them instead of our lying eyes, well No Way, José.  Or is that no way Jamie, we're not buying your Gestapo bullshit.

MeShugena
MeShugena

@stephenlemons that was hilarious!

youproductsucks
youproductsucks

...oh, and deciding to wear those godawful shorts to work.

azlefty
azlefty

So snow storm happen several times a day in Phoenix?  that is news to me!  But I guess according  to your warped  thinking investigative journalism into the  possible violation of peoples civil rights  is not important to you!

 

Why do you hate the Constitution?

robert_graham
robert_graham

 @Tommy_Collins Exactly. Don't be like NBC and cut out the most important factors. I'm sure the patrol car has a dash-cam and the truth will be revealed as time goes on.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @Tommy_Collins  it wasnt a 4 way stop so i dont think the guy has to go until  he feels confident he could merge into traffic. some people just whip in and some people take longer to feel safe than others. there is no law i know of that says you have to go just because someone else feels they could have made it. and since the guy was turning and people shot out and around him according to the cop......why didnt he stop them?

squash
squash

 @Tommy_Collins To be fair, Lemons said that he isn't "making any final judgment until more of the video is released". 

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

 @Tommy_Collins The question -- did the Univision producer/bait car driver commit a violation of ARS 28-???? -- is secondary. By approaching the officer when she did, the reporter tipped off not only Officer Nowatzki but the entire Glendale PD that they are being watched. Of course, that MIGHT prevent some harassment, but it also likely altered the decision of the officer as to what he was going to do with, to or about this particular driver.

 

A quick search of A.R.S. Title 28 shows NO language that matches the claim about a vehicle stopped too long at a stop sign.

 

Search for the words "impeding" and "impede" turn up ONLY a section on fuel tax reporting and driving on divided highways (both of which do NOT apply in this situation) AND a section on MINIMUM SPEED limits (28-704).

 

A. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when either of the following applies:

1. Reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

2. The reasonable flow of traffic exceeds the maximum safe operating speed of the lawfully operated implement of husbandry.

B. If the director or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the director or local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which a person shall not drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

C. If a person is driving a vehicle at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place on a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe, and if five or more vehicles are formed in a line behind the vehicle, the person shall turn the vehicle off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the director or a local authority, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed.

 

NONE of that language appears to justify the action of the Glendale officer.

 

Further, searching Title 28 related to intersections (Chapter 3, Article 8, sections 751-756) shows NOTHING relevant to or justifying the stop made by this officer.

 

 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @youproductsucks i dont care what anybody says about you, you do have a good sense of humor. you really ought to excercise it more often

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

 @azlefty I think lapazjim actually wants Univision "clowns" to go to North Scottsdale and film the fine upstanding citizens there laying out lines of coke at their tables at the many fine restaurants there.  Another site I think he would think might make good investigative journalism is EVERY BACK YARD PARTY in the Phoenix Metro area from which the sweet smell of GANJA wafts every weekend!

 

JoeArpaioFan
JoeArpaioFan

 @azlefty

 Yes, my Mom does Donkeys, how do you think I got to be the Jackass I am.

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @danzigsdaddyZIGS, this is why I would like to see the entire video. It would help answer a lot of questions.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @Tommy_Collins also since the van was behind him, that would mean those cars had to be passing multiple cars in the oncoming lane to get around 2 vehicles. wouldnt that be reckless driving and worth stopping someone?

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @squash  @Tommy_Collins

 Yep, I read that. I was encouraging him to update this article once he's seen the entire footage. I think it could be interesting.

youproductsucks
youproductsucks

 @arizonaeagletarian  It's important to refer to the appropriate statute when making such an argument.   Here is the statute that applies (and it is clear and concise).

http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/28/00873.htm

 

A. Except if necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or if in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or traffic control device, a person shall not stop, stand or park a vehicle in any of the following places:

 

7. Within thirty feet on the approach to any flashing beacon, stop sign, yield sign or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.

 

15. On a controlled access highway except:

(a) For emergency reasons.

(b) In areas specifically designated for parking such as rest areas.

 

 

2. "Controlled access highway" means a highway, street or roadway to or from which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right of access except at such points only and in the manner determined by the public authority that has jurisdiction over the highway, street or roadway.

 

You can't stop and remain on the roadway.  Everyone knows that.

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @arizonaeagletarian

 I've noticed, by comparison to similar laws in Colorado, that Arizona statue is VERY vague and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. As a former President once said, "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is". Is being actually 'stopped' a form of speed, since there is no movement? Or was the slowest movement forward prior to termination of forward momentum the actual impediment to following traffic? For instance, many folks think they have a positive defense to a stop sign violation by saying, "I did a California stop". Silly stuff, but people think it's ok. In any case, again, I am NOT defending the GPD officer and yes, you are correct that the reporter jumped in too soon, but may have done so intentionally so the driver wouldn't get a summons and have to deal with it.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @Tommy_Collins i agree. but like i said, the big friggin camera pointed at the cop from the passenger seat and the broad running up with a camera crew kinda screwed our chances of seeing how it all would have really gone down from there

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @Lone_Wolf  Interesting observation. The entire video could clear up a lot of this conjecture.

 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @Lone_Wolf  since you can see the camera in the passenger seat also, i bet it just started to dawn on the cop that something wasnt right 

Warrior-X
Warrior-X

 @danzigsdaddy  @Tommy_Collins You beat me to it. I was thinking the same thing. Noticing a van sitting behind the red "Barrio Bait Car". One has to wonder why "Officer Friendly" did not stop the first car that passed the first 2 (or more) vehicles at the stop sign. Which you are correct in your assertion of reckless driving by the passing impatient vehicles. I'm surprised "9er guy" T.C. did not noticed this one. Given that he's a retired motorcycle cop.  I hate to say, but I smell "racial profiling" on this one. 

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @arizonaeagletarian  I went to a three day seminar at C.U. Law one time. So, I guess like the disgraced former state senate president is wont to say, I suppose I could say I "attended law school". Have you played a lawyer on TV? JK, of course...

 

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan @arizonaeagletarian @Tommy_Collins Who knows, she might like it as much as you.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...