Suspect Records Police Officer Texting - Opposing Views

Suspect Records Police Officer Texting

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A suspect arrested for misdemeanor theft caught a Texas officer texting and driving in a cellphone video that has had more than 600,000 views.

From the back seat of the patrol car the suspect, John Glover, was able to reach his personal cellphone to record the video, reports reports KEYE. Glover was arrested after trying to pawn the items he had allegedly stolen. The officer who arrested him was "being nice" and allowed his hands in front of him because the handcuffs hurt his wrists.

This gave Glover the ability to reach his phone to catch the officer committing a crime himself.

Starting in September, Texas law states it is illegal for drivers to use a phone to read, send or write messages while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers are allowed to check a phone while the vehicle is stopped at a red light, notes Dallas News.

The law was signed by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in an effort to make regulations more consistent throughout the state. Many jurisdictions already had laws against cellphones use while driving. The supporters of this bill hope it will lead to fewer accidents.

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Texas Department of Transportation statistics indicate 1 in 5 crashes involve driver distraction, reports Dallas News.

"We see it all the time, maybe a car swerving or crossing lanes of traffic," Garland police spokesman Pedro Barineau told Dallas News. "You might think it's an intoxicated driver, but more and more we're finding people texting and driving."

According to the CDC, sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for around five seconds and would equal the length of a football field if traveling at 55 mph. In that distance, an accident could occur. The CDC reports that texting while driving leads to approximately nine deaths and more than 1,000 injuries a day in the U.S.

Under the new law, Texans are allowed to use their phones for GPS, emergency messages and other utilities they may need, leading to loopholes within the law.

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The first offense is a $99 fine and on the second offense the fine goes up to $200. This law is similar to those adopted in other states, including California. In California, police officers are exempt from this law because they are considered emergency services, reports Santa Cruz Live.

The Fayette County deputy, who was not identified, is being disciplined for his actions, reports KEYE.

The Fayette Sheriff's Department says it gave Glover the option to file an official complaint, but he has yet to do so.

Sources: CDC, KEYE, Dallas News, Santa Cruz Live / Featured Image: Corey Leopold/Flickr / Embedded Images: Intel Free Press/Flickr, Joe Strupek/Flickr

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