It was back on June 6, 2007, at 2am in the City of Cocoa, Florida, when my son was returning from a WWE event that he went to in Orlando earlier in the evening on the 5th, his birthday, when he was pulled-over by the constitution violating asshat with the Cocoa Police Department. This was Alex's first encounter with a traffic stop in Cocoa. The cop was Officer David Allen Baker and he was on a motorcycle.
Yes, this is the first post of many on the topic of abusive police officers and Cocoa has always had a bad reputation so I figure that it's a good place to start. There is not much information out there about the abuses in Cocoa or nearby Rockledge and I feel that there should be. I probably have 10 different stories to tell and I certainly intend to.
I heard this freak scream at my son like a Marine drill sergeant. Shortly after the initial screaming Alex was ordered to end the call and get out of the vehicle. The location of the traffic stop was less than 1/2 mile from the Cocoa house that we lived in at the time and I could testify to the fact that he did not make it home for more than 45 minutes.
After Officer David Baker ordered Alex out of the vehicle, he ordered him to place his hands on the trunk area while he awaited information from dispatch. He demanded (not asked) to search the vehicle and even though he was clearly told that he did NOT have permission, he proceeded, looking in the glovebox, the center console, and in and around the seats. Alex was ordered to stand aside while he searched the trunk.
Throughout this encounter the abusive officer screamed like a drill sergeant. According to documents that I later received showing the call-log, he was trying to get a dog there, but the only available dog at the time was busy in Melbourne. It is a commonly known fact in this area that former Officer Frank Carter kept the dog busy harassing motorists in Melbourne, so that was not surprising.
Baker did not discover anything illegal in the vehicle, of course, and then chose to write two tickets: The first was for "driving a vehicle in unsafe condition" and was written based on 1 of the 2 tag-lights being out. The second was for "failure to stop at a traffic signal" and was pure BS. In other words, this was a false arrest.
When a police officer pulls a motorist over and writes a ticket, it is indeed an arrest. It is immaterial that the person is not taken to jail or that it is a traffic ticket: it is an arrest. In Florida there will always be a record of that arrest even if the motorist or defendant is found not guilty or chooses to take a traffic school course to avoid conviction and it should be taken more seriously than it usually is.
By the time Alex finally made it home at close to 3am, I was frantic. I had no clue what had transpired in such a length of time. At most, writing a traffic ticket (whether right or wrong) should take less than 15 minutes. We then drove to the 7-11 about a 1/2 mile past the stop and on Dixon Blvd. so that he could show me what happened and where it happened.
There were several Cocoa P.D. officers in 7-11. I do not recall what specifically I stated that started the conversation, but I ended-up describing the right turn that resulted in the "failure to stop at a traffic signal" ticket to one officer and he informed me that all my son needed to do was take pictures of the intersection and the traffic lanes with him to court because a motorist does not need to stop at that light before making a right turn. As a matter of the fact, the vehicle would turn right 25+ feet before the light and never actually reaches the intersection anyway. A driver could not stop at that light when in the far-right lane if they wanted to.
So Alex pled not guilty and went to court and was found not guilty on that particular ticket. The judge was nice; however, would not let him state for the record what happened during this traffic stop. She kept stopping him by stating, "Mr. ---, you have already won...." It is my opinion that the particular judge had previous experience with motorists that Officer Baker had written tickets and already knew exactly how he abused people and violated constitutional rights.
Alex chose to plead guilty to the "driving vehicle in unsafe condition" ticket as at the time, it cost a mere $7.50 to the clerk's office and $4 for any officer to do a safety check of the vehicle. For $11.50, it seemed like the best option at the time.
I must finally take a moment to say FU to Officer David Allen Baker for that BS ticket. If he was truly unable to see the tag # (his claim) because one of its two tag-lights were out, he should get his flippin' eyes checked. But then we all know that is not the case. The one light worked fine and the tag # was easily viewed by anyone driving behind the vehicle. That ticket ended-up costing Alex an added $100 per month in insurance for three entire years. The total cost for that ticket was $3600 + the $11.50. FU again David Baker.
Would you like to know what former officer David Baker does today? He's an attorney. This constitution violating, screaming asshat is an attorney in Brevard County. Lucky for area defendants that he is not in criminal defense: