Prior to a “high risk” traffic stop, a Frisco, Texas, police officer made a typographical error. Due to an upsurge in vehicle theft, particularly of Dodge Chargers, the Frisco PD officer ran the license plate of a Charger she saw exiting a hotel parking lot. The officer suspected the vehicle was stolen based on the information obtained from the query.
The officer initiated a high-risk traffic stop for a stolen car in accordance with procedures. The officer waited for backup before approaching the Charger after the driver stopped off the road.
According to protocol, police encircled the vehicle with firearms drawn. The occupants, a father, mother, and two juvenile boys, were told to get out of the automobile and walk away from it. The family described themselves as Arkansans traveling to a basketball competition.
Officers kept the family at gunpoint, handcuffing the mother and one boy, leading the family to grow upset.
When a sergeant arrived, he noticed that the information entered into the computer system by the officer who started the traffic stop was erroneous. For the state of registration, she had entered AZ (Arizona) rather than AR (Arkansas). The vehicle seemed stolen in the system due to a simple error. The officer instantly admitted her mistake and accepted full responsibility, apologizing to the family.
The cops apologized sincerely, and the officer who made the blunder emphasized that she would accept the repercussions of her mistake. The Frisco police chief issued an apology to the family as well. He admitted that cops are fallible and make mistakes. He informed the family that the Frisco Police Department does not hide from its mistakes, but rather endeavors to learn from them.