Yesterday, 9/25/08 at about 4 pm I picked up my 4 year old son from his preschool in Burbank, California near the intersection of Alameda and Glenoaks. I was parked on the street in the front of his school. I made a U turn to go to the opposite way of Alameda and I was immediately pulled over by a Burbank motorcycle officer, last named Peterson; a man in his mid 50's to early 60's, fair skin, light hair. I saw his lights and immediately pulled over, there was no where I could stop because cars were parked very tightly on the side of Alameda, right before San Fernando Rd, so I stopped where I could and that was blocking a driveway to an apartment complex. I put the car on park gear, I pulled down the windows and I put my hands on the steering wheel and waited for the officer to approach my car.
Upon approaching my car, he immediately started HOLLERING, not talking, YELLING AND SCREAMING at me in a VERY HIGH TONE OF VOICE saying, "What do you think you're doing! Making a U turn! You just violated three traffic laws! You should not be driving!" and on and on. I could not even get in a word, I was not going to argue with him, I then and there realized I should not have made that U turn, but at this moment, within 30 seconds of him approaching my vehicle and starting to yell, I immediately realized how scary this officer was and I immediately felt intimidated and scared. I immediately asked him nicely if he could please not yell because he was scaring my 4 year old son in the back seat and the officer kept going off...I mean, like angry...like the type of tirade you see in movies. I have NEVER EVER EVER been treated like this by ANY police officer EVER.
I could not believe this was happening. The more I pleaded for him to lower his voice, the more aggressively, loudly and condescendingly he screamed. I HONESTLY FELT SCARED AND I STARTED SHAKING AND CRYING. My son started to say "stop yelling at mama" from the backseat and asking me in a very scared voice, "mama tell that man to go away" and he soon started crying. I felt like I was in a surreal moment, I felt like he was going to ask me to step out of the car and beat me or something, this man was angrryyy. I gave him my license, registration and insurance and soon after, a Glendale city police car pulled up behind his motorcylce. Glendale and Burbank are divided by Alameda so I thought it was logical the Glendale cops be there.
When Burbank Officer Peterson realized the Glendale police had stopped and was standing behind him, all of a sudden he started calling me "ma'am" and calmed down a bit. I was so scared and shaking, and crying as was my son, that a one of the Glendale officers gently came to the side of my car and asked if I was ok, and I said no. He said if he could talk to my son and I said yes. He tried to give my son a sticker and asked my son if he was ok and my son said no, "I'm a little bit scared" ....I could tell by the look on the Glendale officer's face that he knew the Burbank cop had really ripped into me IN FRONT OF MY SON, no less. Since I was blocking the driveway to an apartment building, there were several cars waiting to get out of the complext and while the Burbank Officer was writing up the ticket, I moved forward a few feet so the cars could go by and IMMEDIATELY put my car in park again so the officers would see I was just trying to let the complex's cars go out. I NEVER EVER INTENDED TO RUN AWAY...why would I move forward one or two feet at 2 miles an hour and immediately put my car on park if I wanted to run away?
The Burbank Officer then came over and starts YELLING even louder, very abusively, "YOU MOVE AGAIN AND I WILL GET YOU OUT OF THIS d**n CAR AND ARREST YOU AND IMPOUND YOUR CAR!!" Forget trying to tell him I was trying to let the THREE OR FOUR cars I was blocking out, he was screaming and all I could do is cry an shake and plead for the FOURTH OF FIFTH time to stop shouting and scaring my son, and I then said I was going to call 911 and he immediately yelled, "CALL 911 LADY! I AM 911!!!!"
Again, never in my life of growing up around Burbank have I ever ever been treated this way. My son was yelling and scared, I was horrified and the Glendale cops were standing there, looking to scared to intervene. I felt totally defensless and verbally and emotionally abused like I never ever have before by anyone.
Finally he let me go and I drove to Burbank Police Headquarters that's just 2 minutes down the street and I walked in holding my son, both of us sobbing and shaken. I muttered out words as best I could, and showed her my ticket so she could see the Officer's name to the receptionist for help to talk to someone and she had me sit down, I just kept crying and I called my husband. After a few minutes, a Sargeant who is Officer Peterson's supervisor walks out, very coldly and says he had spoken to Peterson and he had said "things got heated"...I started sobbing, I could not believe it. The Sargeant made it very clear with his face and body language that he didn't give a s**t. I grabbed my son, walked out sobbing and drove home. I got home and my son was crying, telling my husband that "the police man scared us and was yelling at mama"...I sobbed for about an hour and I felt so uneasy the rest of the night, I slept but 2 hours maybe.
I feel very very traumatized by this and I fear my son will never ever be able to trust a police officer again so I'm looking into taking him into therapy immediately.. This all happened yesterday evening. I need help. I plan to file suit against Burbank and the Burbank Police Department so this never, ever happens to ANYONE again.
Toluca Lake, California