Police admit error, dismiss citation against SLO County Observer

August 12, 2022

Officer Blake Etherton

By KAREN VELIE

Following allegations of retaliation, the San Luis Obispo Police Department dropped a traffic citation given to a man who had previously video taped an officer hitting a suspect in the head. The tape led to a use-of-force investigation.

Four days after the use-of-force incident, on July 25, Officer Blake Etherton appears to follow videographer, SLO County Observer, for seven minutes before pulling him over and citing the man for not properly using his turn signal at the intersection of Higuera and Pismo streets. However, SLO County Observer did not turn at the intersection and was not required to activate his turn signal.

SLO County Observer accused Etherton of retaliating against him while the officer asserted they were just headed in the same direction.

On July 22, SLO Police Chief Rick Scott sent an email to SLO County Observer saying he also had concerns about the citation, and that he planned to review the allegation Etherton was retaliating against the videographer.

“Disputes regarding interpretation of the traffic code are generally brought and heard before the court,” Scott wrote. “However like you, I do have significant concern regarding the information you were provided by our officer for the traffic movements at the Pismo/Higuera intersection.”

In response to Etherton’s claim he and SLO County Onserver were headed to the same call, and that Etherton was not following the videographer, SLO County Observer produced a video that appears to show Etherton was following the videographer. An investigation into the retaliation allegation is ongoing.


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ffarmchicken

Can you imagine how many other people this so call man of the law has railroaded and lied about? Under oath. To a Judge. Typical cop. No wonder people are starting to question the integrity of our so called police.


obispan

“Interpretation of the traffic code”? We already knew the citation was BS. When are the likes of Susie and Josh Walsh, as well as the officers using third-world harassment of the press going to be removed? SLOPD is a pretty sweet high-paying gig, can’t we do better? But then the City attorney is completely corrupt and makes more than the State Attorney General.


derasmus

Hey there Chief Scott, hope you are reading the comments and giving thought to the perception of your Department


Downtown Bob

Everyone can make a mistake, this officer made one no huge deal. The guy being pulled over basically told him write me a ticket so he got his wish. Case dismissed nothing to cry about.


derasmus

Nope Bob, not so fast. I am pro law enforcement all the way, however, there must be accountability. These folks have a demanding job,I’ll give ‘em that. But they work for us, not the other way around. They are employees of the people, we are not their subjects. Being a police officer means you have to abide by a high standard. If you can’t maintain that high standard maybe find a different profession.It’s not for everyone.


kayaknut

You really think this is the one and only mistake these officers have ever made?


Last Individual

Dismissal of an intentional retaliatory “mistake” is not enough. The request for a ticket was to stop having to listen to Etherton’s stupid questions and copsplaining. Kind of dis-appointed in you D-Bob, to let this cop off the hook so easily. Without repercussions, he will just do it again.


jdchem

Good job, Etherton. Now everyone will remember this story where it could have been nothing.


JCILOALL

Wow. Good stuff SLOCO! Be safe out there always…


GrayGranny2010

I still would like to know, in the last five years how many citations have been issued by the San Luis Obispo PD for “not properly using a turn signal?” I personally use my turn signals (lever) but, through my observations, the majority of drivers do not use them.


Baywoodjones

I bet if you combed through all the DUIs you’d find a surprising number of them were initiated for failure to use a turn signal or other minor infractions that otherwise go unnoticed. My guess would be way over half the time. If a cop pulls you over for no turn signal, unless it’s egregious where you could have caused an accident, it’s not because you didn’t use your blinkers. It’s because they want to pull you over and that’s the excuse.


unusualsuspect

SLO County Observer constantly harasses, distracts, annoys, and antagonizes police daily. Only makes sense he would be the target of their ire. Deserves it too if you ask me; get a life dude!


justadad

He’s protected by our constitution, thankfully. See yourself to the nearest exit of our country if you don’t like free speech and press. I don’t always agree with what they do but I’m thankful they have the opportunity. Just look the other way, sir.


unusualsuspect

Clearly you’re unaware of the type of “press” this individual is pursuing. He’s nothing short of a vulture looking for prey and that is all.