A veteran police officer in Texas lost his job after his bizarre ticket-writing habit came to light where he would send citations through certified mail to people he had never pulled over.
Houston police officer Dave Carter claimed he determined these drivers were speeding by pacing their speed from his own car while off-duty.
However, at least one person who received a citation was nowhere near the area he allegedly was speeding. The routine was uncovered by KHOU 11 in Houston.
One such driver was Emanuel Morfin, who says he was shocked when he received the ticket, being that he was not even in town when this speeding supposedly took place.
“Nobody was stopped, nobody was given an actual citation other than what I received in the mail,” Morfin said. “Actually I was down south in South Texas, so I’m like, well how am I speeding in Houston if I’m out of town?”
The ticket that Morfin says he received stated he was going 90 mph in a 60mph zone.
“It was kind of ridiculous,” Morfin added.
Like Morfin, Larry Karson who is a Criminal Justice Professor at the University of Houston Downtown, says this weird ticket-writing spree from Carter raises major concerns.
“You have no idea who’s driving that car,” said Karson. “You’re sending that ticket to a registered owner, who may or may not be behind the wheel.”
Karson added that the biggest red flag is that Carter was intentionally “abusing their discretionary authority.”
When confronted by the KHOU 11 team, Carter simply said he had “no comment.”
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland turned in Carter’s indefinite suspension on Oct. 15, according to Houston Police Department Spokesperson Jodi Silva.
Carter had the opportunity to appeal the ruling under the state law but never did, Hosuton Police Officers Union records show.
All drivers who Carter mailed fake tickets to were dismissed by the City Legal Department.
“I do not believe the citizens had any knowledge of the citations,” Randy Zamora, Criminal Law Division Chief with the City Legal Department in Houston said. “Therefore, I did not think it was in the interest of justice to prosecute the cases and asked that all of the citations be dismissed.”