Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts

Kari Byron news

previous posts:

Considering suicide's effects...

Pondering Posterizing Pictures

Are we talking infanticide here?

Miscellaneous 2008 Updates

"A solution that doesn't exist"?!?

Thoughts on my leadership style

Automatic home-building?

So I'm listening to...

Driving home, and using...

Alive and well but not blogging...

earlier posts:

09.2002   10.2002   11.2002   12.2002   01.2003   02.2003   03.2003   04.2003   05.2003   06.2003   07.2003   08.2003   09.2003   10.2003   11.2003   12.2003   01.2004   02.2004   03.2004   04.2004   05.2004   06.2004   07.2004   08.2004   09.2004   10.2004   11.2004   12.2004   01.2005   02.2005   03.2005   04.2005   05.2005   06.2005   07.2005   08.2005   09.2005   10.2005   11.2005   12.2005   01.2006   02.2006   03.2006   04.2006   05.2006   06.2006   07.2006   08.2006   09.2006   10.2006   11.2006   12.2006   04.2007   05.2007   06.2007   07.2007   08.2007   12.2007   01.2008   02.2008   05.2008   06.2008   07.2008   08.2008   12.2008   01.2009   02.2009   03.2009   04.2009   05.2009   06.2009   07.2009   09.2009   10.2009   11.2009   12.2009   01.2010   02.2010   03.2010   04.2010   05.2010   06.2010   07.2010   08.2010   09.2010   10.2010   11.2010   12.2010   01.2011   02.2011   03.2011   04.2011   05.2011   06.2011   07.2011   08.2011   09.2011   10.2011   11.2011   12.2011   01.2012   02.2012   03.2012   04.2012   06.2012   07.2012   10.2012   11.2012   12.2012   01.2013   02.2013   03.2013   04.2013   05.2013   07.2013   09.2013   10.2013   11.2013   12.2013   01.2014   03.2014   05.2014   06.2014   07.2014   08.2014   09.2014   10.2014   11.2014   12.2014   01.2015   02.2015   03.2015   04.2015   05.2015   06.2015   07.2015   08.2015   09.2015   10.2015   11.2015   12.2015   01.2016   02.2016   03.2016   04.2016   05.2016   06.2016   07.2016   11.2016   04.2017   05.2017   06.2017   09.2017   10.2017   06.2018   01.2019   04.2019  


Trooper Carrie Rindal

UPDATE: 03.20.2009 Carrie Rindal has been reprimanded!

The KARE-11 story disabled comments after at least 62 came in (according to the homepage), so let's see if we can get a conversation going here. Longtime readers of my blog know that I have a passion for pointing out police incompetence, arrogance and abuse of power -- not because I hate police, but because I have so much respect for them and their jobs (having both friends and relatives on the force) and I can't stand it when a few bad apples freak out and do something stupid that gives their uniform a bad name.

Carrie Rindal is one such "peace" officer.

When driving his kids home on New Year's Eve (as I was doing with Ruth and our girls a month ago), Sam Salter made one mistake: He followed the same instructions I've read dozens of places. If you're hit with lights and sirens from a squad car, you to find a safe place to pull off the road and should get off on the nearest exit if you can. (And, as I'll advise my daughters when the time comes: If there's any question about the squad car or it seems "unmarked," you drive to the nearest gas station or other store that has personnel and security cameras present so you're not attacked by an impostor.)

Whatever you do, you don't stop in the middle of traffic and put your life (and, more importantly, the life of the officer who needs to leave the minimal protection of his/her vehicle) in danger. "Don't worry," we're told; "No officer is going to punish you for maintaining safety."

Sargent Carrie Rindal, hyped up on a bit too much testosterone thanks to the rock music she was blaring in her car, decided to bash this guy's minivan van (to the tune of $1,500) because his pulling over wasn't fast enough for her.

There's more out there on this story, including the completely nonsensical argument that Carrie makes to the driver. Read the Star Tribune's transcript of the in-car recording:

Rindal: Well, that's why we are in this spot that we're in, Samuel. When you see red lights and sirens, you don't keep on driving and driving and driving [so] you decide here you are going to stop. We decide that.
Salter: I understand that, but I feel that I [didn't] have a safe place to stop between
where I saw your lights and here.
Rindal: OK, well that's why we're at where we're at, OK? Next time, maybe you'll realize that we decide where the safe spot is.

"We control the horizontal. We control the vertical..."

Oh, sorry.

So what Sgt. Rindal is saying is that the moment you see lights and sirens, you should immediately pull over. Immediately. But not to the left -- only to the right, according to Carrie on the recording. (This isn't true; it's actually much safer to pull over to the left if there's a clear line of sight behind you, because then you and the officer get to exit on the median side rather than into traffic...)

Why not just lock up our brakes if there's an officer behind you, hope he or she doesn't rear-end you, and then use the "Carrie Rindal defense" that you were afraid you were going to be dragged off to jail with your kids left in the car? Bad move, but isn't that what she's teaching our kids?

According to WCCO's story, Sam was told not to bother trying to fight this because, to be blunt, you can't fight city hall. Very true. But common sense and the court of public opinion might prevail here, if we can raise enough visibility to the fact that Carrie Rindal is a threat to safety-minded dads driving their kids home.

Anyway, let's go back to the full Star Tribune story, which includes more detailed video. Sam gets out and, over the noise of a siren still blaring at him, yells to the cop, "What are you doing?" (because she just rammed into his car as he turned onto a side street at five miles an hour). From off camera, she yells "Get your hands up!" He immediately puts his hands up, turns, and puts them on top of the van up above his head. Carrie's reply? Again, "Get your hands up!"

I thought Sam showed remarkable patience when he yelled back over the sound of the still-blaring siren, "They are up!" Any reasonable person would realize that he's dealing with a cop who's not playing with a full deck here. Up is up, right?

In the recording she insists that Sam, while driving on the freeway, should have pulled over to the right, not the left. But as anyone who has driven that area knows, there isn't anywhere to pull over to the right; as you move right on I-94, Highway 61 merges in with extra lanes from the right, and as you move further right there's no shoulder because the exit ramp is there. When you come down the exit ramp, Burns Ave. is at the bottom, which is where he turned and pulled over when she rammed him.

Various commenters on the Star Tribune site have said, "He drove for an entire mile! What took him so long?" At 55 miles an hour, that's one minute: not very long at all. As you watch the video, that "entire mile" mostly consists of him moving further and further to the right (as Carrie agreed was appropriate) as he worked to avoid being boxed in by the other cars in those lanes.

And one more thing: Though we don't like to stereotype, you don't see too many high-speed chases through residential neighborhoods by crooks in minivans. It's just not a very hip vehicle for the criminally-minded. Come on.

At the risk of being overly dramatic here... what do you do with this? All of the public statements from the State Patrol so far are very clearly saying, "We protect our own". Why do they say that? It's not like crooks are paying attention to news articles and are going to stage their next heist using a coasting minivan as their getaway car because it's the new secret to a successful crime spree. It's not like choir boys are going to turn into drunk drivers once they realize that there are cops who disagree with ramming minivans full of kids. "They said that this Carrie Rindal cop was wrong and that traffic stops should be done safely, so that means we're free to tank up and go looting!"

Why not be honest here? She screwed up, big time. Pay the guy his $1,500 for his bashed sheetmetal. Mail a formal letter of apology. Give Carrie a token suspension and put her through a documented aggression-management course. And send a high-ranking officer (make Carrie stay as far away as possible) to the kids -- maybe at their school with a really cool special assembly -- to tell the truth: Their dad loves them and was trying to keep them safe, and our officers of the law try hard to do the same thing but make mistakes sometimes. Real peace officers have the integrity to stand up for what's right, not for what can be excused and hidden and ignored because it's an embarrassing failure of a fundamental institution.

The only thing gained by the ongoing cover-up in the Carrie Rindal case is that good citizens and their kids start wondering if cops really are the bad guys. And that's the real tragedy here.


At February 5, 2009 at 8:43 PM, Blogger Evil Baby said...

Eric, you're being much too kind to Bitch Rindal by suggesting she be given a "token suspension" and aggression management. She should be fired. Caned, actually, but I suppose that's asking too much.

My brother was a police officer (his wife still is, in animal control) in another state. I once told him I thought 50% of cops were corrupt. He laughed at me. "It's more like 90%," he replied. Bitch Rindal is just one more example.

I noted in the Strib article that Salter plans not only to file a complaint with the state patrol, but also a small claims lawsuit for his auto repairs. Honestly, the state patrol will be lucky if this is all he asks for. The gross misconduct exhibited by Bitch Rindal would probably not sit well with a jury, which would likely award Salter a considerable sum. I hope Salter has contacted an attorney and proceeds with a huge lawsuit against Bitch Rindal.

I, for one, have a serious distrust of police officers, not in small part because of stories like these (and there are a lot of them floating around). Being a member of an unpopular minority group doesn't help. I hope the police officers in your family exhibit better judgment and display more professional conduct than Bitch Rindal did in this case.

At February 6, 2009 at 10:22 AM, Blogger John said...

I totally agree with Evil Baby. This bitch needs to be fired and charged with vehicular assault. I am so sick of female cops who take the job just to try to prove how big their dicks are.

At March 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM, Blogger Daughter Number Three said...

Thank you, Eric, for your measured take on this, unlike the above comments. Like you, I've written to praise Sam Salter's settlment on my blog, http://daughternumberthree.blogspot.com.

To Evil Baby and John, I'd say it's fine to criticize police, but calling a cop a bitch doesn't help the cause of advocating for peace officers.


Post a Comment

<< Home


emlarson.com:   Home | Blog | Work | Tech | Life | Lord | Play | Mail

Entire site contents Copyright © 2000-2005 Eric M. Larson

All rights reserved, please don't steal my stuff, etc. etc. etc.