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RCMP Reach Settlement With Off-Duty Policeman Posted by CN Staff on January 29, 2005 at 07:44:38 PT By Rod Mickleburgh Source: Globe and Mail
Canada Vancouver -- The long arm of a Texas state trooper is long, indeed. Just how long an off-duty Vancouver police officer discovered last summer when he was driving along the highway just beyond Hope, 150 kilometres east of here.
Who should wave him over and ask to see his driver's licence and vehicle registration but a tall man with a thick Texan accent?
Yep. Sure as shootin', it was a state trooper from Texas, all right.
Constable David Laing, a 10-year veteran with the Vancouver police force, was taken aback.
"He thought he'd taken a wrong turn somewhere," his lawyer, Marilyn Sandford, said yesterday, confirming an out-of-court settlement with the RCMP of Constable Laing's claim that his constitutional rights were breached. The amount of the settlement has not been made public. "He was completely astonished."
When Constable Laing asked who he was, the Texan trooper, in plain clothes and wearing a traffic vest, said he was "with them," pointing to a group of RCMP officers down the road.
Asked whether he was an American, the trooper replied: "Yes, sir," according to Ms. Sandford.
Although the RCMP then took over the situation, the Vancouver policeman was aggrieved. He did not identify himself as a police officer and refused to allow his car to be searched.
Thirty seconds down the road, Constable Laing was stopped a second time, and yet another trooper from the Longhorn State appeared, again in the company of the RCMP.
This time, matters took a more serious turn. The RCMP officer accused him of driving under the influence of marijuana and proceeded to do a thorough search of his car.
The state trooper kept Constable Laing at the front of the car while the interior was searched with his two-year-old son inside.
No marijuana was found and Constable Laing finally drove off, fuming at the way he was treated and the involvement of Texas troopers on a Canadian highway.
"As a Canadian I have a different policing style than a Texas trooper," he told CBC News.
"We have different freedoms than they do down there. You don't want your police meshing to the point where we start taking on the policies of another police jurisdiction."
The two troopers were in B.C. last year as part of an exchange with the RCMP's "pipeline convoy" program that targets criminals using the highway to transport illegal products.
"We lead the nation in highway drug seizures," said Texas Highway Patrol spokesman Tom Vinger. "[The RCMP] came down here last year to examine our highway patrol drug apprehension program."
RCMP spokesman Sergeant John Ward rejected Constable Laing's contention that the state troopers played any role in his roadside incident.
"They have no authority. They're not in uniform. They don't carry guns and they work under our supervision," he said.
fucking Texas state troopers i fucking hate those pricks only fuckign ticket i ever got was for "racing" while going 5 miles over the speed limit. Constable Laing should be glad there are only two of them in BC.
"He said there would have been no trouble if Constable Laing had not been evasive"
BULLSHIT they would have made up trouble just because they think they are fuckign god and everyone else better get of their way. UGHH i hate those pricks.
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