Houston Police Department started an investigation into an officer's unorthodox methods of issuing speeding tickets.
Emanuel Morfin was surprised to receive a speeding ticket by certified mail. Morfin claims he was not in town during the period in which the ticket claimed he was driving 90 mph in a 60 mph zone.
“Actually I was down south in south Texas, so I'm like, well how am I speeding in Houston if I'm out of town?” Morfin told KHOU. "It was kind of ridiculous, I was kind of shocked."
After further investigation, KHOU's I-Team discovered other incidents in which David Carter, senior police official with HPD, sent speeding tickets through the mail without pulling over the alleged violators.
"You have an officer who is abusing their discretionary authority," said Larry Karson, professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston-Downtown. "You have no idea who's driving that car. You're sending that ticket to a registered owner, who may or may not be behind the wheel."
According to police records, Carter said he paced the alleged speeders in his personal car, not in a patrol car.
"He's actually making the situation worse, because what he's doing is he's becoming another vehicle flying down at 90 mph and no one knows that he is a police officer,” Karson explained to KHOU. "All they know it's another crazy person on the highway."
Carter has been temporarily relieved of duty while the investigation is taking place. A member of HPD since 2002, Carter no longer has the power or badge granted to him as a member of the force, but still receives a salary. He must stay at home during work hours while the investigation continues.
The city's legal departments have dismissed the cases for those accused of speeding under his watch.
On WFAA's Facebook page, some people are not surprised by the incident.
"Totally believable, I received tickets from the Houston Police Department back in 2003, and I had never even been to Houston," a Facebook user said.