I first came to North Dakota to work in the oil field in May of 2011. For the first two years, I primarily worked around Dickinson, North Dakota. I realized very soon after arriving in Dickinson, that the police were very eager to stop people for DUI.
There is very little to do in Dickinson, North Dakota. Especially if you are not from Dickinson, don’t have friends, don’t have family, and don’t own a home here. There is very little to do here, except go to bars and restaurants. The police drive around and around the downtown areas, waiting to try to get a chance to stop someone.
The police have already driven past the Paragon, the Spur, the Rock, Bernie’s Esquire Club, the Eagles Lodge, and Applebees several times, and noticed what vehicles were parked outside. When a customer has to drive home on Villard, State, or Main, the police already know where the person just left.
I don’t call this policing, or law enforcement. Policing and law enforcement would be to deter and detect crime. This is more like harassment and corruption, starting out with the intention of making an arrest, pulling over as many motorists as possible, and trying to come up with something illegal that you can accuse them of.
Over the past three years, I have written several blog posts about getting stopped by the police in Dickinson, North Dakota, and Watford City, North Dakota. I try to not ever drink alcohol at bars and restaurants in North Dakota, because I know that the police are very aggressive in stopping people for DUI. When I have not been drinking alcohol, and have not been speeding, I have gotten stopped by the police more than several times in North Dakota. The police are hopeful that once they get you pulled over, they will find something that you can be arrested for.
Beginning this spring, the police and Highway Patrol in North Dakota have become much, much more aggressive in trying to stop motorists for anything they can possibly come up with. I would say, that this behavior of the police and Highway Patrol in Dickinson now amounts to violating people’s Civil Rights, and constitutional rights.
I have been a licensed driver for 30 years. In my first 15 years of driving, I got two moving violation tickets, and had one accident. In my second 15 years of driving, I have gotten no moving violation tickets, and had no accidents. I got stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol in March of this year, and I was given a “failure to wear seat belt” citation. I got stopped by the North Dakota Highway Patrol last weekend, and I was given a “failure to wear seat belt” citation. In both of these stops by the Highway Patrol, I was going under the speed limit, and I was towing a trailer.
Let me repeat, and point out again, that prior to being stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol in March of 2017, and by the North Dakota Highway Patrol in June of 2017, I had not had any moving violations or vehicle accidents in the past 15 years. During the past 15 years, I have driven to Florida, through Utah many times, and I lived in Arizona, Texas, Idaho, and North Dakota.
I am writing this blog post because I have had enough of the police in Dickinson and the Highway Patrol in Dickinson trying to stop me for something.
In the beginning of June, I rented an apartment in downtown Dickinson. In mid-June I got stopped by the Highway Patrol when I was towing a trailer from the north side of Dickinson across town to where my new apartment is. The following weekend, I was continuing to make trips to move things to my new apartment.
I was driving west on Villard, driving the speed limit, 25 mph. My police radar detector started beeping just as I was passing through the stoplight at 3rd Avenue. I saw the front end of a Dickinson Police vehicle sticking out beside the wall of the Sax Motor Company building. He was hiding. There were very few vehicles on Villard, it was approximately 9:00 a.m. As I passed the police vehicle that was parked, the police vehicle did not pull out onto Villard.
After I had driven three blocks further, I looked in my rear view mirror, to see if the police vehicle had pulled out onto Villard, and it had not. I did not want to get stopped by the Dickinson Police. I did not want them following me.
Just before I reached the west end of Villard, just before the very last stop light beside the gas station, I needed to change into the left lane, because the road narrows from two lanes to one lane. I didn’t plan on using my turn signal to change lanes, I just looked in my rear view mirror and my side mirror to make sure that there were no vehicles beside me. Whoa!, there’s that Dickinson Police vehicle, he got behind me and he stayed back three blocks behind me, for about a mile, with his radar turned off so that I didn’t know he was there.
Attention Dickinson Police, this is beyond ridiculous, this is going too far. First, you are hiding behind the wall of the Sax Motor Company building with speed detector radar on, and then you are pulling out behind passing motorists on Villard, and then following them for one mile, hoping to be able to stop them for speeding, changing lanes without signaling, turning without signaling, failure to come to a complete stop, not maintaining lane, expired registration, brake light not working, etcetera.
This is not policing and law enforcement, this is harassment, and interfering with people’s Civil Rights, and constitutional rights to travel freely, and not be required to explain and prove that you are not engaged in any illegal activity. I don’t know if the Chief of Police in Dickinson has instructed the police officers to stop, question, and ticket every vehicle with an out of state license plate, or if the police officers in Dickinson have decided to do this all on their own.
Whenever I have to drive in Dickinson now, I have to try to find a way to not get stopped by the police. I have to watch out for where the police are hiding, and watch out for them trying to sneak up behind me. Figuring out ahead of time, that there is a temporary construction zone ahead, where you have to change lanes and reduce speed, and that this is why the police are trying to follow behind me right here, without me noticing them.
To answer a question, why do I have an Idaho license plate on my truck? I have two trucks with North Dakota license plates, and two trucks with Idaho license plates. I own a home in Idaho, which is my primary residence. I have the full amount of income tax withheld from my pay checks by the State of North Dakota, and, I have to pay Idaho income tax too. I pay motor vehicle registration, and income tax, equally to both North Dakota, and Idaho.
I purchased two trucks, thousands of dollars in construction equipment, thousands of dollars in personal property, paid thousands of dollars in truck repairs, and paid $25,000 in rent, all in North Dakota. I wish that the police would leave me the fuck alone, instead of trying to harass me and try to get me to leave North Dakota.
I think that the police are trying to force people from out of state, to leave North Dakota, so that the less able and less qualified North Dakotans will be able to gain employment. Also, I think that this is part of a strategy to get the people in North Dakota back under control.