Saturday, November 6, 2010

Complaint Letter Sent to Benson Police Department

November 4, 2010

Dear Sir/Madam:

On October 6, 2010, at approximately 12:30am, Benson police officer MERRILL (badge #132) pulled me over because my license plate light had burned out. Officer MERRILL greeted me and asked for my license, registration, and insurance, which I handed him immediately. He told me why he had pulled me over, and I responded, “Okay.” He then asked me where I was headed, which I told him was my own business. He then asked my passengers for their ID’s. I began to remind him that in the United States of America, passengers do not need an ID card to ride in a vehicle, which prompted him to tell me, “You keep your mouth shut!” I didn’t appreciate being interrupted and spoken to in such a rude manner by one of my public servants who was apparently there to protect and to serve me, the citizen.

I invoked my 4th amendement right to be secure in my property, and my 5th amendment right not to answer any questions of the officer who had stopped me. As a result of me peacefully asserting these rights, officer MERRILL became very emotional and angry and removed his GUN from its holster. His partner (hereafter referred to as officer JOHN DOE) drew his taser and pointed it at me. I told officer JOHN DOE, “That is a deadly weapon!” to which he responded, “Yes, and it’s gonna get even more deadly!”

Officer JOHN DOE announced his intent to kill me when he stated that his deadly weapon “was going to get even more deadly.” Officer JOHN DOE admitted that his weapon was a deadly weapon, and then explicitly threatened to kill me, thereby committing AGGREVATED ASSAULT. I exited my vehicle and was then placed in handcuffs and sat on the ground humiliated for about 20 minutes. Eventually I was allowed to go free and was not charged with any crime. I am the pastor of a Baptist church, owner of a small business, father of five, and an upstanding, law-abiding citizen.

A video-recording of this incident can be found here:

I would like to file a formal complaint against officer MERRILL for his emotional, irrational, and militant behavior. Officer MERRILL threatened and intimidated me with a DRAWN GUN and a BATON into answering questions that I was not legally obligated to answer, but that I answered under duress.

I would also like to file a formal complaint against officer JOHN DOE and press criminal charges against officer JOHN DOE for committing AGGREVATED ASSAULT against my person. Please inform me of any other steps necessary and/or any other forms necessary to press this matter to the full extent of civil and/or criminal law. Please respond to this letter as soon as possible to inform me how you will resolve this matter.


Pastor Steven L Anderson


Anonymous said...

From the moment you answered him with "That is my business" you created a hostile situation. Maybe for a father of five with a another on the way, you might want to chill out a little bit!!

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Unfortunately, there is not such thing as aggrevated assault (capslock or not.) Aggravated assault, however, is another matter.

Anonymous said...

You interpret the laws of the United States of America as well as you interpret the bible.

There are consequences for both.

Anonymous said...

What happened to your complaint to the Benson PD? Have they responded ?

Anonymous said...

I agree with all that you siad, but I have a question concernig foreign languages. Is there a German equivalent to the King James Bible? I've been trying to learn German and would like to read the Bible in German. Thank You.

Seeker Onos said...

@anonymous posting on December 20, 2010 4:42 PM --

You want to find a copy of the German "Luther Bible" (auf deutsch: Die Lutherbibel) 1569 edition, based on the same Textus Receptus as the KJV.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it is almost word-for-word equivalent to the KJV English, aside from a few grammar/verb-subject order, this sort of thing.

Like the KJV, the German in the Luther Bible is somewhat dated, although not as far divergent from modern vernacular German as the KJV can be from modern vernacular English.

For the blogger (Mr. Anderson) -- Sometimes it is wise to stand up for what you think are your rights... other times, it is helpful to humble yourself and play nice with the cops making a routine revenue/traffic stop. ;)

Anonymous said...

its never ok to give up your rights. Even if it is for a routene traffic stop.

Mr. Anderson, you need to lawyer up and document every interaction with the police. It sounds like this little gang you got on the hitlist of is still sore from that traffic stop.

No one deserves this kind of treatment, and your local community should be out raged with the resources wasted in this childish situation. A juvenile mentality with the power to explain off committing crimes, armed with tazers and guns.

Anonymous said...

Would love an update to where you are with this scenario. You should proceed.

The cops should be held to handling their aggressiveness to look at your ID only and let you go. They should not have tried to threaten, cajole, or lie to your friends to have them step out of the car. Clearly, they had no intent to use a dog...and if they were they had no probably cause to suggest the need for one.

You were within your rights...and thankfully fighting for all of our rights.

Please pursue them to help make them think twice regarding treating the taxpayers poorly. Any TV crews interested in this?

Anonymous said...

Please publish off. Merrill's full name. Thks

Beth said...

To "Anonymous" from November 7, 2010: He has every right to say it is his business where he's going or coming from. Unless or until you can show me where he's required to answer such questions, I stand by Pastor Anderson's right to respond as such.

It seems to me you've been a wee bit too conditioned to accepting these things as the norm. Unless and until we stand up against this soft tyranny, we will all be in a world of hurt very soon.

Anonymous said...

Pastor, when I watch your video, your contentious and belligerent attitude is immediately apparent. You certainly weren't asking yourself "What would Jesus Do?". When, later I read the Benson News article ( ) about your prior behavior, it all became clear. Please leave the good men of law enforcement alone. If your real intent is to find bad apples, you've set about it in a very poor way since even the very patient and longsuffering will be taunted by your cajoling.
Finally, (the linchpin evidence of your tackiness) if you want to bring action against the officers, as your letter alleges, you need to pay your own lawyer, and not ask the police service whom you'd like to sue to provide further information for you to go about your evildoing.

sanderson1611 said...

Thanks for sending me that news article so I could finally find out the names of the officers who threatened to kill me!

Braulio Hammons
Dustin Merrill

Anonymous said...

Based on this letter, plus looking at the video and the article sited in the comments, it looks like you have a "persecution complex." It's clear that you are simply asking for trouble, making routine questions and procedures by law enforcement into an ordeal. No wonder those officers were immediately suspicious of you. The fact that you video taped the encounter to post on Youtube only points to you being the trouble maker. Get a life, and stop thinking that being a baptist pastor excuses you.

Rachel said...

The day will come when you make the wrong move, and one of these upstanding officers blows you away. And the world will be a better place.

geoh777 said...

Ironically, the same applies to you, Ms. Rachel.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are a prime example of Matthew 7:22-23!

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

"Many will come in my name..." are one of the deceiving "many"! Please check yourself fella!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are a prime example of Matthew 7:22-23!

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

"Many will come in my name..." are one of the deceiving "many"! Please check yourself fella!

Anonymous said...

Would like to hear your comment on the Kelly Thomas verdict? I am utterly flabbergasted.

Zepharia Andres said...

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