West Lafayette, IN — In a blatant example of the double standard within the U.S. justice system, a current university president and former Governor of Indiana was recently caught on dash cam video driving over twice the speed limit and rolling through a STOP sign. Instead of issuing a ticket or shooting the suspect for exhibiting suspicious behavior, the officer apologized and didn’t even bother giving him a written warning for breaking multiple laws.
Around 7:50 a.m. on October 20, a Purdue University police officer observed a silver Toyota Avalon driving 42mph in a 20mph zone and began following the car. According to the officer’s dash cam video, the cop decided to pull over the speeding vehicle after it rolled through a STOP sign. Instead of immediately pulling over to the side of the road, the vehicle continued driving before turning left into a driveway.
In addition to his dubious behavior, the driver suddenly opened his door with the engine running instead of shutting off his car and waiting for the officer to calmly approach him. Although most cops would be legally justified in pulling out their service weapon and taking cover at this point, the officer can be heard giggling while saying, “Good morning, sir.”
“Hi,” university president and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels replied.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” the officer asked.
“I don’t know,” Daniels said. “Too fast at the stop sign, or…”
“No, you were like 42 in a 20,” the officer sheepishly responded.
“I left my phone here, I’ve got a call coming at 8 o’clock,” Daniels rambled. “I know it, I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” the officer reassured him. “I’m going to let you go.”
As Daniels continued spouting excuses, the cop stammered out, “I…yeah…I thought…I, but yeah, I just, you know what you did. I stopped you for speeding. That’s why I stopped ya, so…”
“I’m always slow through there,” Daniels interrupted her, “if I wasn’t racing to the phone.”
“I understand,” the cop acquiesced. “You have a better day and stay safe, okay?”
Without bothering to ask for his driver’s license, vehicle registration, or proof of insurance, the officer also neglected to mention what a poor decision Daniels made by suddenly opening his driver’s side door during a traffic stop. Captured on video driving over twice the speed limit and rolling through a STOP sign with a marked patrol car right behind him, Daniels didn’t even receive a written warning for breaking the law.
After media sources requested copies of the dash cam footage, Daniels wrote about the incident several hours later on Twitter, “Warning for speeding. Good job PUPD for usual alertness. Note to self: Don’t lv cell ph at home on nightstand when expecting an 8 AM call.”
Warning for speeding. Good job PUPD for usual alertness. Note to self: Don't lv cell ph at home on nightstand when expecting an 8 AM call
— Mitch Daniels (@purduemitch) October 22, 2015
In contrast, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing pulled over Samuel DuBose for a missing front license plate on July 19. Instead of issuing a verbal warning, Tensing shot DuBose in the face as the unarmed man attempted to drive away. In Tensing’s defense, DuBose was neither a university president nor a former governor.