Once again, a law enforcement officer is under scrutiny, this time after allegedly groping a woman during a traffic stop.
The Layton Utah woman says that after she was struck by a car, she notified police who soon responded to the scene. After that things go downhill very quickly for her. And may soon go downhill for the involved officer as well.
Amanda Houghton says that she was returning home from the pharmacy where she was picking up a prescription for one of her children who was sick at home, when she stopped at a traffic sign. Suddenly a car going thirty five miles an hour slammed into the rear of her car.
Shaken, she immediately dialed 911 for assistance and moved away from the vehicles to the sidewalk.
When officers arrived, they claim they observed her behaving in a manner consistent with being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and began to administer a field sobriety test.
Of course, being the victim of a hardcore fender bender, and having been the person who alerted the authorities to the accident, submitting herself to the test seemed bizarre to her. Eventually, the officers determined that she failed the exam, and began to place her under arrest.
Still upset from the accident, Houghton becomes agitated that the officers are treating her this way, and why they are not allowing for the fact that she had just been hit at thirty five miles an hour as reason for not being able to walk a straight line.
Here is where things get really touchy. One of the officers places her into handcuffs, and then says he is going to search her. Moments later his hand crosses her chest, and Houghton resists, telling him he has no right to touch her like that.
Now, according to the Layton Utah Police Department, a review of the officer’s pat down doesn’t suggest a failure to follow procedure or to behave in any untoward manner, however, the footage that has been released seems pretty open to interpretation.
After being taken into custody, Ms. Houghton was administered both a breathalyzer and blood sample test and cleared both, being found free of any traces of drugs or alcohol. Still the charges originally filed against her have yet to be dropped.
She filed a civil suit against the city of Layton, but she is also seeking to have criminal charges brought against the officer as well.
They city and police department are standing by the officer involved, saying that it appears as though he was following procedures correctly, but that may be the exact point of current law enforcement culture’s clash with the communities they serve.
Not even being able to take into account the possible shock or head trauma that she could have experienced as being a more likely explanation for Houghton’s inability to walk a straight line or follow a finger seems like poor training and procedure.
As you can watch the police footage of the arrest, what do you think about how the officer handled the situation? Please share your thoughts with us here.