Lawmaker to state troopers: 'silly for a state rep to get a ticket'
ARCHDALE, NC (WBTV) - A member of the North Carolina House of Representatives told state troopers he should not get a ticket for a seat belt violation during a recent traffic stop.
Trooper JD Allred pulled over Representative Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) on November 30 for failing to wear his seat belt.
On Your Side Investigates obtained a copy of dash cam video from the stop through a public records request.
The stop begins with Allred trying to pull Brockman over on Main Street in Archdale. In the video, Brockman drives for more than a minute with Allred behind him before pulling over.
Shortly after Allred approached the car, Brockman said he didn't immediately stop because he didn't see the trooper's flashing blue lights in his rearview mirror.
Brockman: 'I'm a state representative'
In response to a request for his license and registration, Brockman tells Allred he is a state representative.
Ultimately, Brockman said he did not have his registration with him.
The dash cam video shows Allred and a second trooper assisting him on the stop were unsure of how to run his NC House license plate.
According to the video, the two decided the easiest way to enter the vehicle into the system would be to run the car's VIN number.
When the second trooper came back with the VIN number, he told Allred that Brockman was not happy with how he was being treated.
"What's he saying?" Allred asked the second trooper.
"[He's saying] he's a state representative from this area and he doesn't appreciate the way he's been talked to and treated," the second trooper responded.
According to the conversation between the two troopers, Brockman also questioned why it took three officers to conduct the traffic stop.
"Well, he wouldn't stop," Allred said. "That's what I told him. Whenever someone doesn't stop, we're going to be out here checking on each other. It's about officer safety," the second trooper responded.
When Allred finally returned to the car with a citation for the seatbelt violation, Brockman made it clear he was displeased.
"I just think it's amazing that you can really write a ticket to a state representative who was literally at the First Citizens Bank just to here and that you guys literally think that this is any type of; I don't know what you guys think this is doing. This is very frustrating," Brockman said.
At one point, Allred asks Brockman if he has any questions.
"I'm very pissed off," Brockman responded. "I think if I was a white representative that you guys would've been like 'ok, sorry sir'."
Allred responded to Brockman's accusation by saying race had nothing to do with the stop.
"Why would I get a ticket for just forgetting my seatbelt?" Brockman asked.
"I would think you guys would be like 'ok well I'm sorry about that sir. Being that who you are, I'm sorry you forgot that for just a few seconds.' That is ridiculous to me," he said.
Representative Brockman responded to a request for comment with a phone call and email to On Your Side Investigates.
"I just made a simple mistake," Brockman said by phone. "They should know who I am by my House license plate. They automatically know who I am."
Both on the phone and in his written statement, Brockman continued to claim the trooper's actions during the traffic stop were motivated by race.
"While I know I made a mistake by not wearing my seat belt, I think my treatment during this stop was excessive. I am uncertain why three state trooper cars were necessary for a very routine traffic stop and to hold me while I voluntarily offered my license and information. I referred to my position not to try to avoid a ticket, but to make my recognition easier due to my license plate and further let the troopers know who I am. Despite this, they remained suspicious of me, still not believing my identity. They then checked my VIN, for no other reasons than to make sure I had not stolen my own car. I do not expect special treatment as a state representative, however I do believe I deserve the same treatment as anybody else and I believe this stop was excessive."
Highway patrol responds
A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, which oversees the Highway Patrol, responded to WBTV's request for comment on Saturday, the day after our story first aired.
"The video speaks for itself and shows that Highway Patrol troopers are professional and treat everyone with respect as they enforce the laws of North Carolina," spokeswoman Pamela Walker said.
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