This Michigan Police Officer Gets Real About the Negative Impact of Citations

April 25th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

A Michigan police officer is being applauded for helping out a struggling father he pulled over for driving with tinted windows, rather than issuing him a ticket. The story is going viral, in large part because it appears to stand in stark contrast to the commonly reported incidents of policy brutality faced by Black communities.


When Westland officer Joshua Scaglione noticed that the daughter of 27-year-old LaVonte Dell was riding without a car seat during a traffic stop last week, he declined to issue a ticket for the tinted windows and, instead, offered to buy a car seat for the 3-year-old, Fox 29 reports.

In a Facebook post about the encounter, Dell said the officer asked him to step out of his car so they could talk privately. He explained to Scaglione that his wages had been garnished and he needed to prioritize feeding his family, making expenses like a car seat out of reach.


"Do you know this white police officer told me to follow him to Walmart on ford road and he purchased my daughter a car seat with own money," Dell wrote. "Never judge a book by its cover its most def is some good guys left."

Scaglione said that, in certain cases, issuing a ticket does more harm than good.

The burden of civil citations was made clear in Texas just last week, when a judge condemned the state for profiting off citations that disproportionately affect poor communities, as ATTN: reported.

"One of our primary roles at the Court is not to collect money but to see that every individual is treated fairly throughout the process," Judge John W. Bull wrote.

car seat

"A citation or ticket is not always the solution to somebody’s problems,” Scaglione told Fox 2 News. “There are other routes we can take by using discretion as police officers to solve somebody’s problem. That’s the road I decided to go.”

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