Man’s Facebook post about traffic stop goes viral

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TUCSON, Ariz. — A man’s Facebook post about a recent traffic stop is going viral.

Steven Hildreth Jr. says he was pulled over by the Tucson Police Department for a broken headlight. When the officer asked if he had any weapons, he told him he is a concealed carry permit holder and had a gun on his right hip.

Because his wallet was in his back-right pocket, the officer needed to disarm him to check his ID. Hildreth wrote about his experience with the officer and posted it to his Facebook page.

Hildreth’s Facebook post has been shared more than 135,000 times.

So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop.

The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.

“Yes, sir. I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket.”

The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and I unlock the vehicle. I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it. He also sees my military ID and I tell him I’m with the National Guard.

Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them.

Officers return with my Glock in an evidence back, locked and cleared. “Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.”

I smile. “Thank you, sir.”

I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities.

Maybe…just maybe…that notion is bunk.

Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you.

Police officers are people, too. By far and large, most are good people and they’re not out to get you.

I’d like to thank those two officers and TPD in general for another professional contact.

We talk so much about the bad apples who shouldn’t be wearing a badge. I’d like to spread the word about an example of men who earned their badges and exemplify what that badge stands for.

#BlueLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter

15 comments

  • Mary

    Of course the way he was treated has nothing to do with his Military ID. lol He’s naive. Good thing he doesn’t appear to have been smoking a cigarette or listening to loud music.

    • Loki Laufeyson

      Really? That video is your argument?…. The cop didn’t shoot him “just because”. He shot at him for, as he said, “diving head-first” into his vehicle. He shouldn’t have done that and anyone with common sense knows that. To me (and everyone else who isn’t a blind rat), that movement he made was not only uncalled for, but aggressive. He may not have done it aggressively, but that type of movement usually means something along the lines of, “I’ve got a gun and I’m going to quickly grab and shoot before you get a chance to.”

      The cop made an honest mistake. Partially his own, partially the other guy’s. Unfortunately, both of them paid a price – though thankfully, none were killed.

      • Dankfull

        He did not dive back in. He reached in a very non aggressive manner. Did you even watch the video? Also, the guy was clearly turned around and had his hands up in the air Before A Single Shot was fired.

  • Pedro

    Our society is doomed until people start using the skill of critical thinking again. People love reacting to sensationalized stories from the media without regard to facts. Scary.

  • James

    this is stupid. you srsly giving the cops a pat on the head for not killing you? completely ridiculous. do not trust the police.

    they hate us, we hate them.

  • Allison Anastasio

    Military don’t count – police can’t count on “not being given grief” and use that as an excuse to kill people. And most of the encounters that said “social movements” are talking about didn’t begin with the officer being respectful. Would he say that to Tamir Rice? Yes we’re talking about the bad apples, why should the good cops have a problem with it? They are contributing MORE to the distrust of police than even the bad apples themselves.

  • Eddie

    Weak argument. He was pulled over for a broken taillight. Sure, faulty equipment is a legal basis to pull someone over, but the police know and this man even seems to acknowledge that the stop was pretext for a fishing expedition.

  • Allen Kinchen

    excellent review , this guy has lots of common sense , do not try and make an enemy out of someone simply because they are doing their job which you may not understand . Hatred fills the air coming from haters of all people . They hate Cops, they hate Oil companies , they hate Christians , they hate Muslims , they hate rich people, they hate white people , they hate black people . Be smart do not act like Jerk and people will not treat you like a jerk

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