The Austin County Sheriff’s Office has released dash cam footage from a July 14 traffic stop where a sheriff’s deputy pulled over State Rep. Garnet Coleman for speeding, an encounter in which the lawmaker said he had been “treated like a child.”
Coleman, chair of the House Committee on County Affairs, shared his experience during the panel’s Thursday hearing regarding the traffic stop arrest of Sandra Bland in Waller County and her death in jail.
“How you doing?” the officer asks Coleman, leaning closer to the window.
“I’m doing fine, how are you?” Coleman says.
“Pretty good,” the deputy says. “What’s the rush?”
“I’m just trying to go home,” Coleman answers.
“You can’t do 94 miles an hour though,” the deputy says.
“I didn’t realize that,” Coleman says.
The deputy and Coleman speak for a few more moments before the officer moves to the front of the car. He asks Coleman why his car does not have front license plate and Coleman says something that is hard to discern before informing the deputy that he is a member of the legislature.
“I know who you are,” the deputy says. “It doesn’t matter, OK?”
“Can I say something to you?” Coleman asks. The deputy says yes.
“I’m not trying to be a jerk,” Coleman says. He continues talking to the officer, but what he says is unclear.
The deputy cuts in and says, “You’re doing 94 miles an hour in a state vehicle, though. It looks real bad on the highway. The public looks at you and sees state official and you’re doing 94 miles an hour. That’s the bad part. ”
It seems that those at the top expect, and demand, once again exemptions from the rules. Thankfully this time there was video to make the hypocrisy apparent.