Man’s Facebook post about traffic stop goes viral

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TUCSON, Ariz. — A man’s Facebook post about a recent traffic stop is going viral.

Steven Hildreth Jr. says he was pulled over by the Tucson Police Department for a broken headlight. When the officer asked if he had any weapons, he told him he is a concealed carry permit holder and had a gun on his right hip.

Because his wallet was in his back-right pocket, the officer needed to disarm him to check his ID. Hildreth wrote about his experience with the officer and posted it to his Facebook page.

Hildreth’s Facebook post has been shared more than 135,000 times.

So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop.

The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.

“Yes, sir. I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket.”

The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and I unlock the vehicle. I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it. He also sees my military ID and I tell him I’m with the National Guard.

Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them.

Officers return with my Glock in an evidence back, locked and cleared. “Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.”

I smile. “Thank you, sir.”

I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities.

Maybe…just maybe…that notion is bunk.

Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you.

Police officers are people, too. By far and large, most are good people and they’re not out to get you.

I’d like to thank those two officers and TPD in general for another professional contact.

We talk so much about the bad apples who shouldn’t be wearing a badge. I’d like to spread the word about an example of men who earned their badges and exemplify what that badge stands for.

#BlueLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter

54 comments

  • Majora Luna (@majora_luna)

    Yes because a sample size of 1 is totally enough to make a resounding generalized assertion. This man is retarded. Yes, he got off lucky. Does he live with his head stuck up his ass? No, as I said he’s just retarded. The #AllLivesMatter bullshit only exists to snuff out the injustice faced by countless people daily. I have no idea what kind of schooling the vast majority of people who espouse ALM but I want the tax money wasted on them refunded to me because they sorely lack reading comprehension skills.

    BLM does not mean BLM more than other lives. BLM does not mean ALM is false. BLM means “Black lives matter TOO”. TOO. As in, INCLUDED. Anyone who does not comprehend this needs their voting privileges revoked.

      • dash

        Actually a lot of ppl do care…ur the damn idiot. The fact that you said no one cares is the exact reason for BLM

        • iceabod

          I think what this points out is that the difference between how you do and how you do not respond to the police. Yes racism is a problem, yes black people are targeted by police more frequently and yes it ends badly. Why? Because you don’t hear the frequent stories like this. The media fear mongers you and then you become more defensive naturally escalating the situation. Nobody likes being harassed by the police but there is a right and a wrong way to deal with it. On the scene with two armed officers is not the right way. Agrressive behavior towards the police will result in increased force. Trying to pull away = restraint. Stop the car, take the keys out and put them on the dash board. Keep your hands on the wheel until they ask you to move them. Answer their questions truthfully and if you’re confused why you’re being pulled over ask politely. Don’t assume racism. There’s a lot of laws we break daily without realizing it. Not all will result in a fine or an arrest but all require the attention of the police to investigate. They are just doing their jobs like you. When you realize that they have no reason for the traffic stop calmly ask if you’re free to go. When they say yes request their badge number and make a complaint against them. Nothing will come of just your complaint but if he is as you say being racist then he will earn a lot of complaints very quickly and there will be an investigation into why. A lot of people do not know this and that is part of the problem.

      • Matt

        The man serves in the national guard. What have you done with your life Majora? A large percentage of these hugely viral issues that have been running around. The person either resisted arrest or did something stupid initially to get themselves involved in the scenario. I am not condoning shooting people or being overly aggressive but all a cop is trying to do is get through his/her day and get home to their family. If someone is doing something to interfere with that they are going to take action and do what they need to to keep that mission on course. Sometimes in moment you make poor choices. Everyone that encounters an officer for any reason should respect the officer at all times. I have gotten out of several tickets myself from just being honest and speaking with the cop. I give a big kudos to Steven for posting this and trying to show that you cant judge an entire group of people based off a few peoples actions. That in itself is the same concept as racism.

    • one

      One act can make a difference. Respect for those who risk their lives so that you may have freedom to speak your opinion. Respect to those who serve and protect so that justice can be obtained for those hurt by people that don’t value life and the property of others.

    • Rhoda Pennmark

      Majora Luna you are a embarrassment to any cause that you support. Your own words make you look like a five year old picking his nose.

    • Corey

      You are a complete waste of oxygen. The so called sample size is much larger than one. These past months I’ve seen quite a few videos posted to various social media by people wanting to show the good deeds of LEOs. BLM is nothing more than a terrorist hate group/cult, whatever you want to call it. I’ve been paying close attention to BLM and they do not preach about any lives being equally or more valuable than their own. They spew hatred and bigotry. They encourage attacks on cops and whites. You are a clueless dolt who thinks you know it all. I’ve been around people who are mentally handicapped, or “retarded”, as you like to put it, and all of them have had more common sense and smarts than you.

    • frank

      So let me get this straight…

      This man had first hand experience with police, so for all intents and purposes, he should right now be contributing to the hysteria-fueled MYTH that all police officers in the United States are racist sociopathic killers that are out to get minorities. Instead, he’s giving a great example of a situation that would have been very tense from the get-go because he had a weapon on him that the officers had to confiscate in order for him to show them his ID. The situation resolved peacefully, with merely a warning to him to get his headlight fixed soon.

      There are over half a million sworn-in police officers on active duty in the United States. You’re telling us that “this sample size of 1” shouldn’t be taken seriously, and to make a statement that cops should be treated with respect leads to a “generalized assertion”, and that he is retarded?

      Wow. I think YOU are the retarded one, and I don’t mean that to offend those with legitimate mental retardation as a disability. You are a special kind of moron that defies classification.

      And btw, did you realize that the “#BlackLivesMatter” mantra you are so fond of is rapidly becoming a cheering line in the call for violence against cops and whites? THIS is why no one takes #BlackLivesMatter seriously anymore, because it has been twisted.

    • Malia

      “Retarded”? Lovely choice of words. It’s people like you who love to spread hate and discrimination that are ruining this country. You don’t want equality, you just want to “win” some non-existant “war”. It’s more sad than anything.

    • KevinMO91

      This is the most idiotic post I have seen. This isn’t limited to a sample size of just one person, not to mention the examples you’ll pull out of you ass are all cut out of context cellphone video’s that could make even an angel look like a demon. The point the man here makes is that if you just follow instructions (even if they are unjustified) and use common sense, you can easily “survive” an oh so evil encounter with the police. Almost every out of context internet cellphone video you can provide, to scream oh god cops are out to get black people there’s a common theme in almost every single one of them and that is that the person RESISTS ARREST COMPLETELY or EVEN ASSAULTS the officer.

      Problem is people don’t know how to look at both sides of a coin and put themselves in a situation or even have basic knowledge of police tactics or the mindset of an officer in a situation. I have a little bit of insight since I’m enlisted in the Army as Military Police, but Military law differs greatly from regular civilian the tactics however don’t change. Common sense themes are put into your head that when someone reaches for something swiftly without instruction to do so or ignores other instructions, lethal force might be needed because you don’t wanna chance being shot. You also hear idiotic phrases like shot the arm or leg which makes me giggle, because then you know the person watches too many movies and has no grasp on how real life works, Accuracy in real life is not gonna be some matrix shit, not to mention in the heat of a situation, Police aim for center mass period because it’s the BIGGEST EASIEST target to hit and they shoot to incapacitate the target completely meaning until they are for sure neutralized. The goal is not to kill but sadly is the result most of the time, as as far as why legs and arm’s would still be an amazing retarded choice to shoot I dunno maybe major arteries that would cause an extremely painfully death via bleeding out in minutes?

      It’s also more idiotic to make statements about an entire race by racism but then make a stereotypical broad statement about an entire workforce based on incidents that involve these then 1 percent of the force and even more so when many of them can be justified easily with common sense. I dunno if you know this but there’s a lot of people in america incidents that even end in death result on in hundreds of deaths a year out of hundreds of millions of people, not to mention statistically there’s hundreds of thousands of arrests made per day that don’t end in fatality in fact car crashes kill more black people that cops, also black people kill more black people then cops. I guess cars and black people are also on some systematic racist path against Black people as well?

      Now is there bad cops? Sure, there’s bad apples in every profession but common sense would tell a rational person that it’s a case by case basis and not to label an entire group more so when talking about incidents with the police. Training varies from state to state county to county etc etc not to mention what the individual officer is gonna do with the training they receive. It’s even more idiotic to think the police actually have an agenda against black people that they follow and have meetings on or something. I think the evil and racist thing in todays society is grainy ass cellphone videos, that people can take out of context and form entire opinions of groups of people based solely on a clip of video that’s taken usually at one some part of an incident that doesn’t give the full story and we get idiotic shit like this

  • Luis A. Bolaños

    This is a great share from Mr. Steven Hildreth Jr. . All traffic stops require RESPECT and COMMON SENSE from both sides……especially if you are legally carrying a firearm. Mr. Hildreth’s honest insight on how this traffic stop was conducted is a VERY positive step.
    Well done officer and Mr. Hildreth!

  • Ea

    I have friends that are officers, we know all police don’t have that itchy trigger finger, I would not be here today ,if that was the case . I can feel the brother in more than 1 way . lucky you had those 2 instead of the other 2 ! To be real about it, this kind of behavior has existed of more years than anyone can imagine. This guy had all the paper work needed in the eyes of the law to roll strapped, but still he said he moved slow , why should you have to act a certain way when confronting an officer of the law ? I’m glad you’re still alive

  • Mercedes

    Well, if the man was dressing as Kaney West what color did you expect his face to be pink, yellow, magenta, green or white. The man is black so it was a Halloween costume. For crying out loud….. LIGHTEN UP!!!!!

  • David Roach

    [7A Am Jur 2d § 17 AUTOMOBILES AND HIGHWAY TRAFFIC] preemption of state and local regulation The Motor Vehicle Safety Act 28 does not generally pre-empt the field of regulation of motor vehicle safety, 29 but it does pre-empt state standards relating to the same subject that are either more or less stringent than the federal standards. 30 Only state statutes that conflict with federal safety standards are pre-empted. 31 Thus, pre-emption should only occur where compliance with both the federal and local regulations is impossible. 32 Moreover, while a state may be pre-empted from establishing its own standards, it is not pre-empted from enforcing the federal standards. 33 Thus, federal safety standards on motorcycle helmets do not pre-empt state laws requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets,
    34 but the state cannot prescribe helmets that differ from those in the federal regulations. 35 State laws requiring proof of compliance with federal standards before automobiles not originally designed for the United States market may be licensed and registered are also not pre-empted by the federal regulations. 36 IN OTHER WORDS THE STATE CANT SET THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS OF WHAT A MOTOR VEHICLE IS so title 18 § 31 applies

  • kingadrock

    Maybe, just maybe, this is called “anecdotal evidence”. One black guy not getting mistreated does not mean no black people are being mistreated.

    • Jacob Moore

      Pretty clever wording there. Id wager to say some black people getting mistreated doesn’t mean all black people get mistreated either? or does this same principal not apply when it doesn’t agree or back up your view?

      • Jaime

        Nobody ever said that ALL black people are being mistreated. Rather, it is an ongoing problem that many cops profile and mistreat black individuals m

  • J. Martinez

    I live in Tucson. I’m a small white woman. I was respectful when officers came to my house because my (now ex) husband was trying to kill me and my 14 year old called them. They said because my husband had a scratch on his face, I was being arrested for domestic violence (I scratched him to get his hands from around my throat). I asked them if it would be possible to cuff me outside, and not in front of my three children. I was told “you will do whatever I tell you to do”. The officer (about 6’2″ and well over 300 pounds) grabbed my hands behind my back and kicked my feet out from under me. He couldn’t hold me and tripped landing on top of me. My chin was split open requiring 5 stitches. I was 6 weeks post spinal fusion. There is much more to the story, on their end, but ever since this happened to me I have lost all respect for TPD and most other officers. I’m glad your encounter with them was a positive one, but so many others are not.

  • CHERYL BROOKS

    Thank you Steven Hildreth Jr for telling your story. Police officers are human just like the rest of us only they may be taking their life in their hands with every traffic stop. We should all remember they deserve respect and they should all remember to give respect back when due.

  • Carol

    The police officers definitely handled that in the right way, for once something done right without disaster to follow. The guy was handled with respect that he deserved as the police officers got respect back as they deserved. Bravo!!!!

  • Marcus

    This MAJORA LUNA person is retarded & whoever agrees with what this person said is retarded as well. All lives matter not just one or the other so try to comprehend that you stupid fuck. This man wanted to tell people how his encounter with the police went when he was pulled over & is putting his opinion out there on how to act toward police. If you obey the law & are respectful you’ll get treated with respect back, you wanna act like a jerk off well you get what you get.

  • Denny Steele

    You experienced the one percent of actual “Protect and serve” police Officers on that stop. He will be forced out of that organization or eliminated by the 99 soon enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re white,black,brown,pink, yellow or red…Know this… your life is less than zero in the minds of the enforcers. If you or I live or die means nothing to them. The only thing that matters to coward punk bully enforcers is that THEY live another day period.

  • Vonna

    I’m still trying to figure out why this went viral you can’t brain wash people with this foolery and he need to be ashame of his self he probably got a white wife

    • richie

      Vonna are you serious? First of all in the last 3 days I saw 2 white people killed on camera one 17 and the other 19 so being white doesn’t mean your safe from police brutality either. Continue to make excuses, point the finger at other people, and live with no accountability and you’ll get nowhere in life. Grow up

    • Mike

      Can you please explain why you would assume he has a white wife, that statement in itself is rascist and you should be ashamed

  • richie

    Luna people like you do nothing but promote racism in America. You could’ve been happy to see progress and praised black lives matter but instead you disgrace them by turning something positive into a complete negative. Isn’t that what BLM is all about? Just seems like your miserable and you need something to complain about. You should be held accountable for your actions.

  • Barry

    You had a good interaction with the police department and you behave respectfully – hooray, that’s what should happen! The point is, all too often it doesn’t work that way and that is the problem. Yes, chances are if you don’t run from your car, you will not be shot in the back, but the problem is – that, as we’ve seen on TV with our own eyes, is not guaranteed. What we know to be true is, you can stay in your car, behave civilly, not have a weapon and be shot; you can behave civilly, not have a weapon, panic and run because you’re behind on child-support payments and be shot or you can behave civilly, legally carry a weapon and not be shot. You tell me what’s wrong with this picture? The problem my friend, for people of color, it seems to be the luck of the draw…and we have been very unlucky, statistically abnormally unlucky, since Plymouth Rock landed on us – and that is a very, very long time. I’m glad you drew a high card. Peace!

  • Debbie

    I agree with you Majora Luna. Everyone is so angry and rude and mean. I expect to hear shit about this post even though it’s not gonna be very long. It’s a pain to comment these days because the nasties just dump their anger on everyone.

  • Barbara

    I’m a black woman, and I was pulled over for making an illegal U-turn last Friday. I was very polite with the police officer and admitted I had knowingly made the illegal turn (I missed my stop and didn’t feel like waiting to turn around. Totally 100 percent my fault). When the police officer (a white man) gave me the ticket, he thanked me for being so pleasant and we even chatted for a bit about some construction further up the road. He then gave me directions for a short cut to my destination that helped me avoid most of the construction. Even though I got a ticket, the situation actually brightened my day. Police officers are people too. Some are jerks, but most are just people trying to do their job the best they can. Treat them with respect, and they’ll respect you in return. In all the craziness of today, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  • Alexander Grant (@adgrant35)

    Even though I really believe there are more good cops than bad ones, that isn’t going to stop me from being terrified if I ever have to interact with them. Being able to give everyone around you the ‘benefit of a doubt,’ is a very under-appreciated privilege…. not one that is available to all of us in this country

  • Priyanka

    I’m not American so I ask this in total earnest; is it standard practice to ask people if they are carrying weapons when they are pulled over for an out-of-order headlight?

    • Barry

      Priyanka – you ask a very good question which I never thought about. No, that question is not a normal one for a “headlight out, traffic stop.” During a search it’s common to ask if you have any weapons or sharp objects, but not during a normal traffic stop. Steven Hildreth, Jr. should’ve actually been offended; I wonder if the officer next would have asked if he had any drugs? Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Ken M.

      To my knowledge, this is fairly standard practice in US states that permit concealed and/or open carry. Being from the NJ/NY area (with notriously strict gun regs), we don’t typically get asked this, but I have gotten this question during routine pullovers in PA, Florida and Texas.

  • desta k

    Look at that fool face he looks like a fucking faggot that just got done putting on make up on his face and he want us to believe that all these fucking whiye pigs aren’t racist u stupid fuck negro. U just a fucking coon who’s is being used by these white devil’s if I were u I would never join any white devil’s military. But I’m not u so I’m thankful and greatful to god for that.

  • Tish

    Sorry don’t buy it. You were stopped because you had one headlight out. How convenient. In my lifetime I’ve only seen black and minority peoples pulled over because of a headlight. I have ALWAYS seen white people just drive by with the police staring right at that broken light and not stop them. Ive been driving for over 50 years and have seen what the police choose not to see. Also if this persons story is true, why did the officer still lecture him? If everything was fine, then all that had to be said was have a good day. His experience was the exception to the rule.

  • Ken M.

    Certainly a nice story, and we should absolutely hear tales of police doing their duty properly.

    That said, this does not discount the staggering amount of officers routinely on a power trip, and the complete lack of accountability of their improper actions. We’ve still got a long way to go to get back to “Protect & Serve” from “Keep in Line, Citizen.”

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