November 4, 2010
On October 6, 2010, at approximately 12:30am, Benson police officer MERRILL (badge #132) pulled me over because my license plate light had burned out. Officer MERRILL greeted me and asked for my license, registration, and insurance, which I handed him immediately. He told me why he had pulled me over, and I responded, “Okay.” He then asked me where I was headed, which I told him was my own business. He then asked my passengers for their ID’s. I began to remind him that in the United States of America, passengers do not need an ID card to ride in a vehicle, which prompted him to tell me, “You keep your mouth shut!” I didn’t appreciate being interrupted and spoken to in such a rude manner by one of my public servants who was apparently there to protect and to serve me, the citizen.
I invoked my 4th amendement right to be secure in my property, and my 5th amendment right not to answer any questions of the officer who had stopped me. As a result of me peacefully asserting these rights, officer MERRILL became very emotional and angry and removed his GUN from its holster. His partner (hereafter referred to as officer JOHN DOE) drew his taser and pointed it at me. I told officer JOHN DOE, “That is a deadly weapon!” to which he responded, “Yes, and it’s gonna get even more deadly!”
Officer JOHN DOE announced his intent to kill me when he stated that his deadly weapon “was going to get even more deadly.” Officer JOHN DOE admitted that his weapon was a deadly weapon, and then explicitly threatened to kill me, thereby committing AGGREVATED ASSAULT. I exited my vehicle and was then placed in handcuffs and sat on the ground humiliated for about 20 minutes. Eventually I was allowed to go free and was not charged with any crime. I am the pastor of a Baptist church, owner of a small business, father of five, and an upstanding, law-abiding citizen.
A video-recording of this incident can be found here:
I would like to file a formal complaint against officer MERRILL for his emotional, irrational, and militant behavior. Officer MERRILL threatened and intimidated me with a DRAWN GUN and a BATON into answering questions that I was not legally obligated to answer, but that I answered under duress.
I would also like to file a formal complaint against officer JOHN DOE and press criminal charges against officer JOHN DOE for committing AGGREVATED ASSAULT against my person. Please inform me of any other steps necessary and/or any other forms necessary to press this matter to the full extent of civil and/or criminal law. Please respond to this letter as soon as possible to inform me how you will resolve this matter.
Pastor Steven L Anderson