Lebeau, Louisiana Speed Traps
My wife and I were traveling back north from a wedding in Baton Rouge a few months back. Cruise was set on LA190 @ 68MPH. We were not in a hurry so exited to LA71. Bumped the brakes, took the exit, and instantly the radar detector went off. (Escort Max360 has pretty amazing distance for detection in case you’re looking for one!) I re-engaged the cruise and set it to 58MPH as I travel the road frequently and know they hunt on this stretch daily; meanwhile the detector is still alerting that there is radar ahead. As we were coming up to the Wilderness lake community a truck with a trailer was pulling in, behind it a silver car was passing them. I started slowing as we were fairly close in proximity, the car merged back over into their lane & I resumed the cruise. Ahead in the distance I see what looks to be a white SUV on the shoulder (maybe 2 miles) We are chatting along, I ease over centerline as we pass as he is sitting on the fog line and instantly he whips out and lights me up. Both of us are confused so I pull over and my wife says “wonder why he’s pulling you over?” A St. Landry deputy in a baseball cap walks to the door and commences to tell me he clocked me at 72MPH in a 55. I told him there is no way. My cruise was set below 60. He instantly says yea you were, I got you coming off 190… you went from 61 to 72 back down again to 61 …then made a snide comment of “figure because you have that detector”. I told him no I was not doing 72 on HWY190, much less on HWY71, especially when I was alerted to him when I hit the highway. He took license back and on the return tells me he is only going to cite me for speeding, and would let me go on the other. I said what other, he lied and told me my tags were cancelled. Let me back up and say I was a deputy for quite a few years and am full aware of the sketchy activities by guys like this….and could instantly see what he was doing. Cutting me a break for a fake find so I wouldn’t argue. I questioned him about what his system pulled and used LEO verbiage and codes. He instantly asked me if I was LEO. When I said no, but I used to be his tone changed. He crawfished and said oh its probably a DMV error, they make those all the time, that’s why he is ignoring it. Technically if a vehicle has cancelled tags it is supposed to be impounded, that’s not officer discretion. I am tempted to reach out to the St. Landry SO and inquire with their IA as well with the DA’s office if it is common practice for deputies to lie to the public only to create a revenue stream. Perhaps I need to file a request for his bodycam footage as well as the logs when he ran my information. I reached out the state DMV as well as two other local LEO contacts, all three informed that my plates/registration were clean with no flags. This deputy was extremely unprofessional and is the type that gives a department a bad name. Coming from a LEO background, I have always supported them, and defended. However now after encountering this, I see why this career field is on the decline in both new officers and in public opinion. If anyone from the state level is looking for a department to investigate for malfeasance, St. Landry may be a good place to start. After doing some asking around apparently this is a common practice down there; and sounds like more of criminal enterprise than an honorable department. Because of this, I have already ordered a dash cam to protect myself. Next time I will be prepared to embarrass whomever decides to play this game. I will not alert the officer to the camera, I will however be present for my court date along with a very hungry attorney with the intent to sue for anything and everything the law allows to the maximum. I recommend all drivers to protect themselves with a dash cam. We need more accountability from law enforcement, this has gotten out of hand.
All vehicles should be alert in curves and staightaways. Lebeau and all nearby towns are patrolled by Opelouses Sheriff Dept. Citizen may want to use a Detector span of 2 miles.
St. Landry Sheriff Dept. & La. State Police