A judge in Lancaster County, PA flexed his judicial muscles in a corrupt way which has now placed him in hot water, accused of using his position as President Judge to get out of a traffic ticket. President Judge Dennis E. Reinaker was pulled over for reportedly tailgating the vehicle in front of him—who happened to be a cop in an unmarked car.
Acting in what some could claim was an insolent manner, Judge Reinaker exited his vehicle and began arguing with East Lampeter Township Officer Chad Snader who pulled him over. Reinaker immediately questioned Snader’s decision to pull him over saying:
What do you think you’re doing pulling me over? For blowing my horn?
After turning away momentarily following Snader’s demand the judge return to his vehicle, Reinaker then issued what many believe was a veiled threat.
You better check the registration on this plate soon, mister.
The ominous warning appeared to some to imply the judge was using his position as a public servant and elected official to gain favor with the police officer. It worked.
After the officer went back to his car for less than a minute—apparently adhering to the judge’s threat—he returned to the vehicle to let him go.
Not only was Reinaker allowed to leave without a citation, but he was encouraged to “have a good day, Judge” by the officer.
Following criticism by members of the community and scrutiny by the press, Judge Reinaker issued the following statement which reads in part;
I respect and greatly appreciate the hard work of our law enforcement officers in Lancaster County.
The judge then defended his actions saying he’s always paid his tickets without incident and rejected the notion he used his position to get out of trouble with the law.
Any parking or traffic citations I have ever received were paid without objection. I neither expect nor deserve any special treatment and made no such request on this occasion.
Reinaker then claimed his actions had more to do with wanting to know why he’d been pulled over instead of using his position to get out of a ticket (implied).
However, I am not immune to an instance of mild frustration during a morning commute. In this case, it was not clear to me why I was pulled over. I obeyed the officer’s directives and intended no disrespect.
The judge’s words above ring hollow after watching the video below and seeing exactly what this judge did by telling the officer to run his plates. He knew full well that his political status would grant him a pass, and he was correct.
Using one’s position in government to garner favor with other public officials is a violation of State law and such actions can lead to reprimanding for breaking the state’s Judicial Code Of Conduct.
Sadly, this is the norm within policing and government. Known as blue privilege, there is an unwritten law among police officers: when they catch their fellow cop, or even their fellow cop’s family member, or a politician breaking the law, they are often times let go without consequence.
Last year, dashcam video was released showing preferential treatment of an Arkansas police chief who was let off — without so much as a warning — after speeding to an off-duty job as a referee at a football game.
The examples are unlimited.
In one case, in particular, an entire caravan of cops was given a pass for needlessly and dangerously speeding through town. An audio tape and video were published online of a conversation between a Washington State Patrol aircraft and a patrol car on the ground.
The aircraft kept identifying speeders while the ground unit would let them all go by since they were LEOs.
The cars were both marked and unmarked. There was also a dangerously driving motorcycle in the mix as well, weaving in and out of cars, who was actually stopped and then let go after realizing he was an LEO. Nothing happened to any of the officers for speeding.