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Video shows judge barking at officer during traffic stop

June 13, 2019

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A judge was allowed to go on his way after aggressively challenging a police officer during a traffic stop and ordering him to “check the registration on this plate soon, mister.”

Police dashcam video obtained by the LNP newspaper in Pennsylvania shows the April traffic stop of Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker, who police say was pulled over for tailgating an unmarked police car.

The video shows Reinaker getting out of his SUV after being pulled over and barking at the officer, “What do you think you’re doing pulling me over? For blowing my horn?”

After the officer ordered him back into the SUV, the judge said, “You better check the registration on this plate soon, mister.”

The officer sent him on his way about 40 seconds later, saying, “Have a good day, Judge.” Reinaker replied, “You bet.”

Reinaker said in a statement to the newspaper that he did not expect or ask for special treatment.

“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,” he said.

The judge added that he told the officer to check his registration because he wanted to leave as soon as possible.

“If my intent was to tell him who I was, I could certainly have done so,” Reinaker said.

East Lampeter Township Police Chief Stephen Zerbe said Reinaker was irritated and “wanted to bring to the officer’s attention who he had stopped.”

Zerbe said the summary offense of following too closely does not usually result in a citation unless it causes an accident or is connected to some other violation.

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