Man says he was ticketed after honking at cop stopped at a green light


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ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man claims he was ticked after honking his horn at a police officer who was stopped at a green light, the Riverfront Times reports.

Computer programmer Scott Smith and two co-workers were coming back to work after lunch when they stopped at a red light. Smith said when the light turned green the vehicle in front of him didn’t move.

Smith said he honked his horn multiple times but the car only slowly crept forward even when it did start moving.

“So then I just laid on the horn for a minute as he slowly crept forward,” Smith told the newspaper.

It turned out the car was an unmarked police car. When Smith got around the vehicle, he said he was pulled over.

Smith pulled out his phone and started recording the traffic stop. In the video, the officer can’t be seen but the audio captures a heated exchange between Smith and the officer.

“Is your horn stuck?” the officer, later identified as Detective Steve Burle, asks Smith.

“Is your brake stuck?” Smith shoots back.

“Is your f***ing horn stuck, smarta**?” Burle says.

Burle demanded to see Smith’s driver’s license and ultimately told him he will be mailed a ticket.

Smith said the traffic stop took about 45 minutes in total and he thinks Burle was deliberately punishing him by making him late to work. Smith added he was never told what exactly he was being ticketed for.

St. Louis Police Department spokeswoman Schron Jackson told the Riverfront Times that the department has launched an Internal Affairs investigation into the stop.

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