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Why are Florida police using armored vehicles to make traffic stops?

Published: April 13, 2015
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The escalation of police militarization continues.  None of the supposed “violations” in this police report warrant the use of an MRAP.  What this does seem like is dudes on a power trip who don’t like their authority to be challenged. 

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into why deputies in a beefy armored vehicle performed a traffic stop on a Gainesville man who allegedly directed an obscene hand gesture toward them.

Lucas Jewell, 23, recorded his interaction on a cellphone with a team of ASO deputies in special-operations uniforms after the imposing Lenco Bear Cat Armored Personnel Carrier stopped his Ford Taurus at the Alachua County Headquarters Library downtown.

In an ASO report written for “informational purposes,” Deputy Charles Drake wrote that he and his colleagues were headed east along the 1400 block of West University Avenue in the APC when he spotted the Ford and its driver extending a hand gesture toward them. Inside the car, the deputy also saw a woman with her head in the lap of the driver, later identified as Jewell. The woman pulled up her head from Jewell’s lap and smiled at the deputies as the Ford passed. The deputies suspected the woman was performing an oral sex act on Jewell, the report states.

The deputies in the APC caught up with the Ford at the downtown library and made a traffic stop. Jewell told the deputies federal law permitted his use of the middle finger toward law enforcement and that the woman had her head in his lap because she was sleeping, the report states.
The incident – including the conduct of the deputies – was placed under investigation, according to ASO spokesman Art Forgey.
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