How Officer James G. Page wrongfully ticketed me
In October 2012, my wife, our daughter, and I flew from Iowa to McHenry, IL, in order to attend a birthday party and spend time with my wife’s family. As we were headed back to the airport, we drove through Prairie Grove, IL. I was seated in the front passenger seat of my brother-in-law’s pickup truck, which he was driving. My wife was seated behind me, and our daughter was in a car seat behind my brother-in-law. A Prairie Grove, Illinois Police Officer named James G. Page, Badge Number 8227, stopped the vehicle and claimed that he saw me not wearing my seatbelt. I was most certainly wearing my seatbelt, as I always do when in a vehicle (I’m a very safety-conscious person). After running my ID, Officer Page returned it to me and began walking back to his vehicle, ending the traffic stop. I politely asked Officer Page for his name and badge number, as I wished to address this improper stop with the Village of Prairie Grove. In response, Officer Page demanded my ID again, stated that he would write me a ticket with his name and badge number written on that ticket, and proceeded to do exactly that. Myself, my wife, and my brother-in-law all observed that I was wearing my seatbelt throughout the trip in my brother-in-law’s truck.
Through Freedom of Information Act requests, I eventually obtained video from Officer Page’s squad car, which revealed that he pulled over several Ford pickup trucks in a row, as if he were looking for someone in particular and using pretextual reasons like a supposed missing seatbelt as an excuse for the traffic stops. I say that I “eventually” obtained that video, as the Village of Prairie Grove initially tried to say that it was unavailable due to an “error,” and it took my submission of multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to finally obtain that video. In court and under oath, Officer Page later admitted that he wrote me the ticket as retaliation for my request for his name and badge number.
It would have been economically beneficial for me to just to pay the fine – but it would not have been truthful for me to admit fault for not wearing a seatbelt when I knew that I was wearing my seatbelt. So, I am determined to fight that and any other injustices committed by Prairie Grove and Officer Page – despite the costs.
[Note: There are many more details; however this is intended as just a basic summary for those visiting this website.]
Why I say that this is vaguely gun related
Gun rights, like all of our basic rights, relate to the most basic principle that law abiding citizens who are going about their peaceful business should not be subjected to intrusion into their lives, mistreatment, or false charges at the hands of the government. When an police officer such as James Page is allowed to get away with wrongfully charging a citizen who has broken no laws, we take a small step closer to becoming a police state where individual rights mean nothing.