Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (PSTA) President Stephen Polishan today condemned the decision by the Pennsylvania State Police to fire a trooper who conducted a March 2 Philadelphia traffic stop along Interstate 76:

“This decision is reprehensible. This young trooper, on the job for only six months, deserved better from our department. The department’s leadership should have fought against the attacks made about this young man’s character. Instead, they abandoned him. We can only conclude this decision is a response to a politically charged atmosphere in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania, which is making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement to carry out even their most basic duties.

“Like countless other traffic stops, this incident should’ve ended with a traffic ticket or warning and the driver being sent on their way. But a driver in a second car pulled up directly behind the trooper’s cruiser with dark, blacked-out windows, in violation of stopping on a limited access highway. Blacked-out windows also are illegal in Pennsylvania because they’re considered potentially dangerous to law enforcement officers, who cannot see if a threat exists in an automobile.

“The trooper, in the field on his own, now has his attention divided. He approached the second car with blacked-out windows, and the driver ignored orders to leave the scene. Following his training, the trooper arrested both individuals when they refused to cooperate and follow his orders.

“The growing lack of respect for law enforcement and the rule of law and the failure to understand when one’s actions may lead to a member of law enforcement feeling threatened are becoming an epidemic that must end. All this is being done at the expense of those who are putting it on the line every day.

“Every member of the Pennsylvania State Police is required to recite our Call of Honor, which includes a line we all take very seriously: ‘It is my duty to obey the law and to enforce it without any consideration of class, color, creed or condition.’ Those are words we live by. Today, our department sent a terrible message to all troopers that politics matter more than doing the right thing.”

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