Dev Sanders is a veteran who lives in Maryland and works for the state. But not even serving his country could have prepared him for the treatment he says he received at the hands of the United States Park Police.
Officers Keyes and Easter (Sanders claims) pulled him over on I-295 near the National Security Agency and told him he was stopped because he was following the car in front of him too closely. We at The Free Thought Project have published many stories indicating it’s one of many excuses police will use to unlawfully stop someone, mostly in an attempt to see what’s inside a car or fish for anything to use to extract revenue from a citizen or deprive them of freedom.
Sanders disputed their claims that he was following too closely, and cooperated with police up until the point that they wanted him to exit his vehicle so they could search it. He told them they had no probable cause to search his car and was not willing to allow them to do so. That didn’t sit well with the Park Police who reported called him a “smartass.”
Sanders told them they had 15 minutes to get a police dog to the scene or else he was a free man, free to go about his life without being harassed. Sensing something was going to happen, he began recording with his cell phone.
From the 15-second video, officers can be seen reaching into his vehicle, unlocking his car door and dragging him out into the road, arguably a dangerous thing to do for all parties involved. He says he was nearly choked out as officers dragged him away.
They pulled me over, said I look like a suspect. how, i don’t know. windows tinted so dark and they were behind me …said, ‘can they search car for weapons or drugs.’ I said, ‘no.’ they just unlocked my shit, choked me out and what not.
Sanders says they immediately knew they had violated his civil rights but tried to get him to make a deal with them to keep them out of trouble. They allegedly told him if he said he’d just gotten into an argument with him they’d let him go.
They knew they were wrong… said they would let me go if I told his supervisor he just got in a argument. But when he got there they didn’t even let me move off the back of the car. they approached him (Supervisor) to tell their side and make themselves look good
His dogs were very agitated at the sight of seeing their owner being kidnapped. Sanders’ girlfriend started recording from her seat as a passenger. Her video shows a compliant Sanders, handcuffed on the side of the road where the patrol car was parked behind him.
That’s when it happened. As another officer was coming over to speak with Sanders’ girlfriend, his dog “Dinero” jumped out and made an aggressive b-line towards the officer who ran in fear.
The police, as TFTP has documented, are quick to kill dogs who go after them. This time, however, the officer maintained his composure and didn’t shoot the dog.
Sanders was allowed to return to his vehicle, and leave without being arrested, but he feels his 4th Amendment rights were violated. He claims police had no probable cause to search his vehicle. There were no weapons or drugs in the car and he says his vehicle does not smell like marijuana. He wrote in a Facebook post:
united states park police, READY TO SUE THESE COPS TRYING TO DROP MY GIRL OFF AT WORK 295 pulled me over and dragged me out in the middle of the highway by my neck almost got hit by a car because I said they couldn’t search my car got mad and did the most then going to let me go and said ‘my supervisor is going to come down ask why someone’ was detained just say we got in a argument and we will let you go “listen close he even says ‘their recording’ at the end …YOU HEAR MY GIRL IN THE BACK ‘YOU GUYS CANT DO THAT TO HIM’ PLEASE share/like …let the people know it has to stop
We at The Free Thought Project couldn’t agree more. These types of baseless traffic stops (he didn’t get a ticket for the alleged moving violation), and unwarranted searches must come to an end if police will ever return the level of trust they seem to have lost. No one should be forcibly dragged from their vehicle because they match a certain profile or because a cop is having a bad day. When will it all end?
Sanders told one of his friends he’d wanted to be a police officer at one point in his life but being racially profiled, apparently on more than one occasion, changed all that. He wrote;
See it’s funny because the people defending them have never been profiled or taken advantage of illegally. I use to think the same things. I was going to be a cop at one point but you finally experience what they do and you don’t want any parts of it
Sanders’ interaction with police, we would love to say is atypical. It’s not. It happens to thousands upon thousands of people every day, and yet nothing happens to the perpetrators. Very rarely, if ever, do they get held liable. Most of the time it’s the taxpayer who carries the financial burden of their abuse. Sanders is currently seeking an attorney and plans to file a civil rights violation lawsuit against the officers and the Park Police.