Name of officer: EID #119158
Date and time: July 12, 2018
Location of interaction: 1700 block of 139th St x Western
Citizen Name: Humberto Fierro
Description of incident: July 20, 2018
City of Gardena
c/o Citation Services Center
Citation Number: 155135845
Issue Date: July 12, 2018
I am writing to contest and submit a complaint with officer EID #119158. A citation was issued on the date of July 12, 2018 at approximately 10:45 A.M. on the 1700 block of 139th St. cross of Western Ave. in Gardena. At about 50’ west of the intersection I realized I was not on the street that I was looking for so I was going to make a U turn into a drive way but could not since there was vehicles right behind me. So, I pulled to the far right to allow traffic to pass me at which point I observed officer serial # 119158 driving west bound on 139th street and when he passed me as I was attempting to make a 3 point turn to go west bound myself the officer made a U turn as I was getting ready to make my U turn as well but was visually blocked by the officer as he was making his U turn at which he ended up right behind my vehicle. I didn’t think anything of it when he made his U turn because it appeared he was going to complete his U turn and go east bound. But instead he stayed behind my vehicle for a couple of seconds at which I proceeded to make my turn since he visually saw me in my vehicle with the brake lights on and attempting to make my turn.
When I made my turn I mentioned to my wife that I believe the officer was going to write a violation for parking in the red based on the fact that he moved down the street and parked in a drive way as I was waiting for the signal light to turn green. Something told me that I should have called the Gardena Parking violations bureau that day but I knew that the information would not be available till the next day since the violations are not downloaded till the end of their shift. I gave the benefit of the doubt that the officer wouldn’t written a citation for being in the red since he saw me and I was attempting to make a U turn. Had I been parked and or the vehicle unattended in the red I can certainly see getting a citation. Once I made my u turn I was looking at the parking enforcement officer and he never looked towards me nor motion at me for any reason as to show I was driving away from a violation. As I looked behind and observed the officer parked down the street in the drive way I thought maybe there is a sign that I over looked saying “No Stopping Anytime” but there was no such sign as well. But long behold I got a citation for exactly that reason, parked in the red and drove away!!!!
I myself was a Traffic Officer for the City of Los Angeles before and if there was one thing that some of the officers would do and bug the hell out was writing citations that were not issued properly or in the wrong. This officer clearly decided to write a citation and state that we drove away. I saw this officer coming down east bound on 139th St. and I was getting ready to make my U turn but instead he made a U turn blocking my view of rear oncoming traffic so I waited to make sure no cars were coming, once clear I then proceeded. Again, the entire time I was making my turn the officer never stepped out vehicle and or made any motion that there was a citation being issued or in progress. Passing by his vehicle i looked on pressing my brake briefly to see if the officer was going to step out for any reason but he did not.
I know I will probably have to pay the citation because unfortunately I know how parking violations work, but what I am requesting is for I to have a formal meeting with the officer and his sergeant and discuss his actions and why he would issue such a violation when I was not parked and in drive attempting to make a U turn! The first thing he did after making that U turn was take a picture of my vehicle and if you see the citation you can see my vehicle has the brake lights on right before I was making the turn!! I was in the car as I was waiting
for him to either pass me after he made his U turn or for me to continue making my turn. I ask also if you have body cams or dash cams for them to please review the video and or any GPS tracking system so as to verify my statements. I am very bothered at the fact that the officer has issued the violation in such a way. Its shady none the less and brings discredit to the rest of the officers who honorably do their job honestly and with integrity! It is quite difficult to see that the Gardena violations bureau has a policy in effect that if an officer observes a violation from afar that they are able to write a citation and place it as “drove away”! In the years that I served as an officer myself I took the time to make every attempt to make contact with them and informed them of the violation or motioned to them I was writing the violation and if they proceeded to drive away then I would have made that comment on the citation. We physically had to get the last 4 of the vin which would have shown that we made contact with the vehicle! In this citation unfortunately its already shown that there is a last 4 of the vin which is automatic because I can assure you there was no contact made between the officer and myself!
I ask if you may please forward this letter to his supervisor or sergeant and address this matter. I am very upset at the fact that the officer issued the citation the way he did. It would be one thing if I was in the wrong and I would own up to it, but with that not being the case is why I am making a big deal of this issue. As a former officer myself I then strived to do the right thing and would eat me alive to see other officers issue citations that were wrong and or shady. I attempted to attach a picture of the location where I was cited but unable to but on google maps you can see the trash bin in the picture is where I merged over to the right to allow traffic to go passed me and for me to make my turn once clear. If it was such a traffic hazard I would imagine that there would be a violation for the business leaving the trash bin out there for hours till the trash company picked it up. I wish that the officer corrects his enforcement procedures and if I am in the wrong and this practice is policy of the Gardena Police or parking enforcement bureau I would like to be informed that it is policy to write citations the way it was issued by the officer. I would appreciate your follow up and response to this matter and i thank you for taking the time to read this complaint.
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