Man’s Facebook rant about traffic stop gets praise

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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Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date.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

54 comments

  • Aging Hippie

    So one cop does the right thing on one occasion, that’s supposed to negate the thousands of cases of abuse by police everywhere? I don’t think so.

    • Educated Americans

      You sir are an idiot. 99.997% of all interactions with police, whether white, black, asian, etc, have no issues. Stop following the liberal media and educate yourself and that for the dozens or so of incidents where police do go over the line, there are MILLIONS more where they do not. Stop looking for the needles in the haystack.

      • Tiffany

        So speaking his opinion makes him an idiot? Well sir you are too just for being so closed minded and childish.

        • mrmcshroom

          I believe he is an idiot because of the ignorance of the true facts, not because of his opinion. Also, I don’t see where he acted close-minded for defending his view on things? So having an opinion you defend is close-minded? Are people not allowed to state their opinion of the ignorance of others?

      • Mark

        Totally agree, you are fucking idiot. The media only shows what is going to sell. Most of those situations the officer was in the right. So tired of the racism card always being thrown out there so they can get off , knowing those individuals are criminals and deserve what’s coming to them regardless of race. You are labeled because of your actions, not your color. Ignorant and a menace to society is what you are.

      • Mark

        It’s not “liberal media”. It’s “sensationalist media”. “Entertainment.” In a world/society where money is needed for everything, click-bait and similar such things are how the information’s given/wanted to/by the general public.

        I think the point of looking for the needles in the haystack, is to weed out the needles, not to ignore the fact that the haystack is good.

    • you're ignorant

      Miss hippie .. I would like to inform you that there have been more cases than bad when it comes to white officers dealing with black Americans .. People and social media ONLY broadcast and speak about the bad than good. So with that being said, yes, by this one american who was RESPECTFUL to the white officers! ( which respect plays into a major part as to why society is the way that it is) does indeed prove that not all officers are unlawful .. With the mind set that you seem to have, keep that in mind if there ever comes a point in time that you yourself need to call officers for help!

    • Wayne

      You go by “AGING HIPPIE” but I’m willing to bet you’re nothing but a person looking for attention. Perhaps still living in mommie’s basement, being supported by her social security checks. In other words dude, you’re a low life and the problem. Just can’t stand to see one article about a black and white confrontation coming up where one person praises the other can you? If you’re a white person, you’re a disgrace to my race!

      • Aging Hippie

        I don’t know why I bother – there’s no group of people on earth more ignorant, prejudiced, judgmental and unreflective than the morons who watch Faux Noise.

        • Bud

          You “bother” because you are a judgmental, smug, self-righteous waste of skin with such an utterly empty and trite existence that one of your only ways to actually feel worth a crap is to troll the comment sections of news stories that give you a visceral and emotional knee-jerk response because they contradict your pot-haze tainted perspective. To follow up on your original point, do you actually have any hard data or facts to show at what rate minorities are unjustly harassed by police or were you just talking out of your nether region – something par for the course from your type?

          • Galo Vasquez

            Stop discounting the problem. Any amount of unnecessary violence is too much. There tons of numbers on the disproportionate amounts of blacks and Hispanics arrested and abused that’s not a point of argument. It’s hard to respect those u fear, but yeah there could be more of that in office interactions on both sides. Plus maybe this guy got off easy b/c he’s obviously involved in a similar service as cops, the national guard.

    • David

      In the news yesterday was a report from the Washington Post. While trying to do an expose on police brutality they discovered that in the “vast majority” of police shootings the police were justified. They also discovered that over 50% of those shot by police were white, 25% black, and 1/6 were Hispanic.

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    • dirty hippies

      You’re the reason everyone hates hippies. Go somewhere communist, you America-hater.

      Take a bath, put down the dope and get a job!

    • C. Anne

      He did not state or imply that. At all. But you’d have figured that out if you didn’t simply read what you want to read.

    • StephenITang

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  • David Burgreen

    This article seems to purposely try to get people in an angry state of mind with the word Rant. There is no ranting in the post. Hence, just use “Post” instead of “Rant”. Tribune Media Wire has never been a “news site” I trust anyway, and this title to their article is just another reason why I usually ignore anything by them.

  • joe

    I have been pulled over literally dozens of times. I like to drive fast, always have always will. The point is, I say yes sir, no sir, and tell them what I am doing before I do it. Never ever ever had a problem. You mouth off to cops, run from cops, talk trash to cops, or act like an idiot then bad stuff is going to happen.

  • Brian Johnson

    These kinds of stories being presently like a large scale statistical study irritate me. We shouldn’t be pleased, but not overjoyed when cops do nothing wrong in a minor run in with someone calm, innocent and willing to follow procedures once pulled over. I have an experience where a cop wasn’t kind to me under a similarly menial instance. A cop was stopped at a traffic intersections with his lights on. No Sirens. And he was stopped for a while. I was driving the other way and had a red light. I waited till I had a green light. The cop was still stopped at the intersection. I was the only other car. I cautiously drove forward. The Cop flipped around turned on his sirens. I pulled over at my soonest opportunity. I followed all his instructions to the best of my ability and didn’t show any resistance. He was incensed at me. He said he had a problem with my generation. He said he was certain I didn’t respect the police. He threw my license back into the car. In essence, he was sure I was someone only worth hating over this minor mistake and he had no interest in actually giving me an opportunity to represent my side of the minor incident. He also didn’t want to consider that me might be wrong in any of his inaccurate presumptions. I don’t know why he would leap to so many wrong conclusions about me. For all I know I, I could have been the only person he has ever mistreated or this could have been his first time acted nastily presumptuous toward someone as a cop. My encounter doesn’t prove all cops are bad and overreact to respectful white people any more than this other incident proves that all cops appropriately react to respectful black people. Statistics and studies with a large sample sizes yield actual knowledge of cops as a whole. A single significant negative incident by an officer should be taken seriously in understanding the misbehaving cop. Not all cops, but that one cop. Every cop is held to high standards and they have a lot of responsibility. A single properly handled situation should be treated as the pleasing expectation not as a new understanding of how cops always behave. That is unfair to all the cops who misbehave, just like how one misbehaving cop shouldn’t be taken to represent all cops.

  • Aaron

    And still, it doesn’t explain why I, a white man in a suit and tie, was hassled by no less than 4 cops for simply walking through their town. Fact is, there are bad cops. I know that from personal experience. I also know there are good cops from personal experience. BUT… this argument fails for the simple fact that he said “the police” and not “some police”. It’s little things like that that debunk an argument.

  • Common Sense

    While Steven’s post points out some obvious truths (treat others as you would like to be treated yourself), you can’t argue with the fact that even ONE instance of unnecessary police brutality in this country is one too many. And if your answer to police killings is “be more respectful,” I can’t help but think back to when a lack of respect by a black person in this country was ACTUALLY punishable by death. Obviously being respectful will lead to less confrontations, but is being disrespectful really a reason to be shot dead in the street or slammed out of your desk at school? I don’t know how anyone can still operate under that mindset.

  • laallard0361

    I think a lot of people are missing the point the guy is trying to make. A large portion of the country seems to be under the impression that ALL police officers will just shoot a black man for any reason possible, god forbid if he actually has a gun on him (that’s an automatic death sentence if you ask the right people), but it isn’t who is interacting with the police but how that interaction is carried out. Had this guy pulled a “Mike Brown”, this could have had a different outcome.

  • Mr. Dr. Professor.

    Not to take sides on anyone but this cant justify anyone because i have friends (white) who bring up all the infractions with cops who were caught with drugs and speeding and get off with warnings wear as ive been drug free and have gotten taken out of my car and searched. Ive only gotten on ticket speeding 40 in a 30 being late to work. Handled myself very professionally and still got a ticket. And a rude cop. So yes there is racism this guy couldve gotten lucky. I have tons of white friends who have done way worse but have better encounters with the law than myself a guy whos only trouble came on a ticket, more often than not im mistreated. Dont let the medias views fool you. There is racism and not every cop is a killer, But its still out there. Stop being ignorant people

    • vmarie

      So wait, because he gave ypu a ticket and was rude, he was racist? I am a white female who has never been stopped by a cop that wasnt rude. I have had many nice encounter with officers but not when im committing a traffic violation, it tends to get them.

  • Mobias

    Doesn’t count… told them he was military… from that moment on he was protected from abuse. I also wonder if he had military plates. Sorry,but that kinda rigs the game.
    -fellow military guy

  • tomas

    This guy is with the national guard.in the eyes of the police, hes one of them.I was born and raised in the ghetto.when I was in high school and refused to go because of an illness, a police officer was called in.he snatched me out of bed then choked me.I had no other choice but to fight back.I broke free from his death grip and he drew his stick.I panicked and threw a chair.finally more officers showed up.I then surrendered.the officer proceeded to choke me after I was cuffed.I sat I the back of the car for about an hour or so.I was then set free.this guy was clearly in the wrong and needed some type of mental health counseling.I’ve also witness a white man getting hit repeatedly on rib cage until he coughed up blood.the list goes on.police brutality is REAL in my area.many blacks, Latinos and whites suffer here.

  • Ronald Miller

    People driving cars with headlights burned out Kill people! Instead of trying to be a problem, if you can afford such an expensive gun, fix your damn light, so typical of people who carry guns.lol

  • Craig

    I think this is very well composed. I know that his situation is not stereotypical for many people and that many cops handle situations aggressively when it is not necessary. With this being said I think that the media feeds off of peoples fears and misunderstandings. I think that when we share posts like the girl who was assaulted in school or the police officer who was shot in New York we share it in such a way that stigmas are attached. The plain and simple fact is that the world is full of more good than bad, yet only the bad things seem to get proper attention. This creates further feelings of hostility towards people who are different from ourselves. Rather than simply saying its sad that “this individual” situation happened we say things like COPS NEED TO BE STOPPED. We make drinking games out of political debates and publicize worst case scenarios as common occurrences. If instead of focusing on the negative and having cynical attitudes towards those ideas that do not agree with our own, we focused on what we have in common progress could be made. So before you share a political, religious or opinionated post think about why you are sharing it. Share it unbiasedly, share it to inform others and work towards sharing a common ideal. Dont share your post to enrage those who disagree or to rally radical support. This only creates further negativity. The world would be a much better place if we only accepted alternate perspectives without anger or fear. You don’t have to change your opinion if you do not want to but don’t let a difference of opinions separate yourself from those in the world around you.

  • Seth

    I think that this is a story worth reading, but it’s just as relevant as any individual anecdotal story on Facebook about someone who felt they were persecuted by a police officer: not very. This story, like any other story, is part of a larger, complicated picture. It is true that most of the stories of police abuse feature a victim who could have had more respect for the police officer, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that in almost any situation where an unarmed person is injured or killed by a police officer, that police officer did not do their job well, regardless of the specific circumstances.

  • april

    someone’s good experience with the cops doesn’t prove that they’re all good, and someone’s bad experience doesn’t prove that they are all bad. the end.

  • Any CCW

    What does this prove? Conceal Carry Permitted Vets/Duty/Reserve always get away with traffic stops. They stopped for a headlight, that’s normal.

  • wyatt burt

    Whenever I get pulled over I have my license in insurance card in my left hand out the window and back so they can take it from there without asking.
    I had a friend get pulled over doing 35 and 8:30 in the policeman came back and gave him a warning and my friend handed him a Jesus track and said here I got a warning for you too! lol and then he said, Jesus loves you and they both laughed and left.
    get a first name and pray for that officer.

  • JCL

    If this happened in Los Angeles it would have been a different story, just because one incident went well don’t mean all cops are good, stop sucking the police dick because you feel you have to, or feel you are a better person for doing so. FUCK THE POLICE!

  • Janet

    A black apologist is worse than a racist. What exactly is your point. Can you imagine what Tamir Rice’s mother would feel after reading such nonsense? Or Eric Gardners wife? As an employee to any employer the service that I provide is not limited to the way I am treated. I am expected to take the high road because just like me, customers are human. Black Death at the hands of law enforcement cannot and will not be justified because of lack of respect. Just bullshit.

  • Jen

    Telling folks that if they speak respectfully to police, they won’t have to worry about getting hurt is like telling women that if they make sure to keep their bodies covered, they won’t have to worry about being raped. This oversimplified logic shuts down the national dialogue that needs to take place in order to keep this country a safe and wonderful place to live.

  • Amy

    Well….the notion isn’t “bunk” but I am glad to hear about cops doing it right because SO MANY do it wrong.

Comments are closed.