An incident occurred not too long ago that has me questioning how the officer handled this incident.
My juvenile child (17 y.o.) was with a friend who was looking for a car since his was in an accident. They stopped off at a lot next to a convenience store where they saw a small car for sale and decided to check it out. My son was driving. They got out of his car and were looking at the car for sale. The side window was broken and my son opened the car door to see the mileage on the car. When they realized the mileage was high, they decided to leave. He and his friend both got in his vehicle, and my son started to back the car away when an officer pulled up behind him flashing his lights. At this point, the officer got out of his car, stood behind his vehicle door and started yelling PUT YOUR HANDS UP, PUT YOUR F***ING HANDS UP! GET OUT OF THE F***ING CAR! My son and his friend didn't know WHAT was going on, remained seated in his car and they put their hands up. They both told me they thought the officer had pulled his gun because of the way he was screaming "put your hands up."
They then said that he came running up to the vehicle and tried to yank the driver's side door open. The door doesn't work from the outside. At this point, the officer was yelling at my son and asked him if he was trying to steal the car - my son told him NO. The officer asked my son "What were you doing in the car then?" and my son told him he was looking at the mileage. The officer laughed at him and said "yeah, I never heard a more stupid excuse in my life!" This officer told my son that the owner of the vehicle could have him arrested for car theft because his fingerprints were on it. My son told me that the Officer also went back to the vehicle for sale and inspected it for anything missing. He asked my son if he broke the window on the car - my son told him NO. He asked if my son was going to steal the stereo in the car - my son told him NO. My son said that the officer said to him that he thought he needed backup and called for another police officer. The first officer asked my son if there were any weapons (guns or knives) in the car that he should know about - my son told him NO and even told the officer he could check for himself. The officer took my son's credentials and when he came back he tells my son "Well, you're lucky because I already knew that window on the vehicle was broken." He told my son that he was going to call his parents and then let my son and his friend go.
This officer DID call my home, but by then I already knew about the incident because my son called home to tell us about it. When the officer called, I spoke with him. He told me that my son was SITTING in the vehicle and he thought he was going to steal it. (My son told me that he NEVER sat in the vehicle, but opened the door and looked in.) I asked the officer if he questioned my son about breaking the vehicle's window. I had to repeat the question because he did not answer the first time. When he finally did answer me he said that he had asked him that question. I asked the officer why he would ask that question if he already knew the window was broken and he told me "because I wanted to see if he was lying." I asked him, How would you know he was lying if the window was already broken? This is when the officer started to get a little testy with me.
I told him I had another question for him and asked him if he pulled a gun on my son. This is when he went absolutely beserk over the phone! He was SCREAMING in my ear "I DIDN'T PULL ANY F**KING GUN!" and a whole lot of other things I couldn't even understand because he was yelling so loudly! I thought he was TOTALLY out of line and to be heard I had to yell myself. I demanded he give me his Badge Number more than once and when he finally realized what I was asking for .. HE HUNG UP ON ME! Needless to say, I never got his badge number!
From there I immediately called the police department he was affiliated with and told them I wanted to file a complaint against the officer. The officer's supervisor was on another line so he had to call me back. When he did I told him what I knew and told him how RUDE and OBNOXIOUS this officer was and how he was yelling at me over the phone. His supervisor told me that the officer told him that "I" was the one that started yelling. I told his supervisor that was NOT how it was. I told this cop's supervisor that the officer started yelling when I started questioning HIM. His supervisor insisted that he knew the officer well and "didn't think he would use that kind of language." I told the supervisor "Well, I'm telling you he did!" He also told me that my son could be arrested for saying that this officer pulled a gun!
My questions are these: Was this incident an abuse of authority? There was no cuffs, there was no arrest, there was only harassment. Then when this "officer" called ME, he was absolutely out of line, treating me with the utmost disrespect, yelling AND cursing. I now feel like they're trying to turn this whole incident around and place blame on my son by threatening to have him arrested. I'm absolutely FLABBERGASTED and feel that not only was my son treated abusively, but I was, too! Where do I go with this? Who do I talk to? The police in the state I live are KNOWN for stepping out of bounds and abusing their authority - even to the point of shooting people in the back (yes, that case was in the News). If this officer truly felt my son was stealing the car, why didn't he arrest him? CAN they actually have my kid arrested for saying he thought the officer pulled his gun? What are the laws in the State of Arizona concerning an officer of the law refusing to give you his badge number? What is my recourse to this kind of abuse?