Mass. state trooper treats man like criminal for failing to show "respect"

On June 10, Anthony Destefano was pulled over in Revere and treated like a criminal by a Massachusetts state trooper who apparently wanted to punish him because he felt disrespected. A pair of YouTube of the traffic stop show that Destefano repeatedly asked why he was pulled over. The police officer, who identified himself as Trooper Taylor Robidoux, refused to tell him until he handed over his license and car registration. After Destefano produced the documents, the officer told him he was pulled over for having tinted windows.

Trooper Taylor RobidouxAfter telling him why he was pulled over, Robidoux began trying to lecture Destefano.

"By you acting the way that you're acting--," Robidoux said, before being interrupted.

"How am I acting? I'm just asking why you pulled me over," Destefano said.

"By questioning my authority," Robidoux replied.

Robidoux returned to his cruiser, then approached Destefano for a second time with back up, opened the door to his car without permission, and ordered him out of the vehicle.

"For what reason?" Destefano asked.

"Because of your behavior, sir," Robidoux replied.

After Destefano exited his vehicle, the police took his phone and handcuffed him.

"If you treat me with respect, I'll treat you with respect," Robidoux lectured.

Destefano accused the cops of slamming him around, although it's impossible to see what's going on at this point in the video. Eventually, the video stops abruptly, possibly after being stopped by one of the police officers.

In the comments under his videos, Destefano said the police locked him in one of their cruisers for an hour while they "ransacked" his car. He said the cruiser was hot and the police left the windows rolled up and the air conditioning turned off.

Destefano said the police eventually released him after giving him a warning for having tinted windows. He said the police never tested the tint of his windows to see if it was too dark. In one of Destefano's videos, Robidoux admitted that he didn't know how dark the windows are.

Attempts to reach Destefano for more information about the traffic stop were unsuccessful.

Correction (same day as original post): This post originally said Destefano said he got a citation. It's been corrected to say he said he received a warning.

Update (6/21/14): When asked about Robidoux's behavior on Thursday, Colonel Tim Alben, the head of the state police, dodged the question and instead sent a link explaining how to make a formal complaint against a state trooper.

It was not clear from Alben's comment whether the state police would investigate the incident if Destefano does not make a formal complaint. Alben has not yet responded to a follow-up question asking for clarification.

According to a press release from Governor Deval Patrick's office, Robidoux graduated from the state police academy in 2012. The press release calls his class the "most highly trained graduating class in the history of the State Police."

According to The Boston Herald, Robidoux made $80,859.92 in 2013.