Mass. state trooper treats man like criminal for failing to show “respect”

On June 10, Anthony Destefano was pulled over in Revere and treated like a criminal by a Massachusetts state trooper who apparently wanted to punish him because he felt disrespected.

A pair of YouTube of the traffic stop show that Destefano repeatedly asked why he was pulled over. The police officer, who identified himself as Trooper Taylor Robidoux, refused to tell him until he handed over his license and car registration. After Destefano produced the documents, the officer told him he was pulled over for having tinted windows.

Trooper Taylor Robidoux

Trooper Taylor Robidoux

After telling him why he was pulled over, Robidoux began trying to lecture Destefano.

“By you acting the way that you’re acting–,” Robidoux said, before being interrupted.

“How am I acting? I’m just asking why you pulled me over,” Destefano said.

“By questioning my authority,” Robidoux replied.

Robidoux returned to his cruiser, then approached Destefano for a second time with back up, opened the door to his car without permission, and ordered him out of the vehicle.

“For what reason?” Destefano asked.

“Because of your behavior, sir,” Robidoux replied.

After Destefano exited his vehicle, the police took his phone and handcuffed him.

“If you treat me with respect, I’ll treat you with respect,” Robidoux lectured.

Destefano accused the cops of slamming him around, although it’s impossible to see what’s going on at this point in the video. Eventually, the video stops abruptly, possibly after being stopped by one of the police officers.

In the comments under his videos, Destefano said the police locked him in one of their cruisers for an hour while they “ransacked” his car. He said the cruiser was hot and the police left the windows rolled up and the air conditioning turned off.

Destefano said the police eventually released him after giving him a warning for having tinted windows. He said the police never tested the tint of his windows to see if it was too dark. In one of Destefano’s videos, Robidoux admitted that he didn’t know how dark the windows are.

Attempts to reach Destefano for more information about the traffic stop were unsuccessful.

Correction (same day as original post): This post originally said Destefano said he got a citation. It’s been corrected to say he said he received a warning.

Update (6/21/14): When asked about Robidoux’s behavior on Thursday, Colonel Tim Alben, the head of the state police, dodged the question and instead sent a link explaining how to make a formal complaint against a state trooper.

It was not clear from Alben’s comment whether the state police would investigate the incident if Destefano does not make a formal complaint. Alben has not yet responded to a follow-up question asking for clarification.

According to a press release from Governor Deval Patrick’s office, Robidoux graduated from the state police academy in 2012. The press release calls his class the “most highly trained graduating class in the history of the State Police.”

According to The Boston Herald, Robidoux made $80,859.92 in 2013.

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37 Responses to Mass. state trooper treats man like criminal for failing to show “respect”

  1. Douglas Most Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    First, You have to speak in legal language.

    Ask am I being detained?  If no, then am I free to go?   If they say no ask am i being detained? (that means under arrest)  and keep doing till they say detained.  then ask why?
    then say I am taking my first ammendment  and then ask for a lawyer.

    • Citizen Reply

      June 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Actually Douglas Most, you are incorrect, but you have the right idea. Whereas you are correct is asking the police if you are detained, a detention is actually not an arrest (they are two separate things). However, both give you the right to counsel before being questioned, but it is not automatic- you must invoke with a detention. I suggest just asking the police if you are free to leave when they approach until you get a yes or no answer. If no, then you are detained, ask for an attorney and say you wish to answer no questions. Oh, and you are talking about the Fifth Amendment, not the First Amendment.

      • RW Reply

        June 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Well you both are kinda right, but also wrong! Being Detained is not the same as being in Custody. When in Custody, you have “Miranda Rights” ie: you can ask for a lawyer. A detainee, does not have “Miranda Rights”, thus asking for a lawyer, is not useful, and even ignored. SCOTUS Maryland v. Shatzer, __ U.S. __, 130 S. Ct. 1213 (2010) (“[T]he temporary and relatively nonthreatening detention involved in a traffic stop or Terry stop does not constitute Miranda custody.”) , however, a detainee, always has the right to remain silent

        • Jim Strathmeyer Reply

          June 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

          I’m not sure what the point of discussing the law is when we are talking about police doing whatever they want.

          • Adam

            June 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

            There isn’t a point. When police power trip and get entirely out of hand it doesn’t matter what you say or do, how well you know the law, or even if they are violating the law/your rights in a given situation. In that moment all you can really do is try to not make it worse. They’re going to do what they are going to do, you can only fight it later. Natural inclination is to mouth off and go against them, but you’ll only be making it worse on yourself. Pretty much the most you can do is not feed their ego and just be silent no matter how they prod you or threaten you. Let them work their bitch fit and small dick syndrome out themselves.

            That’s not how it SHOULD be, but that’s how it is. Cops tend to stick together, when one is doing something bad the others are not usually going to be standing up on your side to stop it. And you’re certainly not going to stop it.

    • Rion Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 4:25 AM

      I was pulled over for having out of state plates and passing an officer a few times driving around looking for an address.  
      “we’d like to search the vehicle”  “I do not consent to any search”  “step out of the vehicle and put your hands behind your head. ”

      Was neither arrested nor detained while my car was searched and impounded.  No charges filed against me after spending an hour in the police station and 125 bucks to get it out of impound.

      I contacted a lawyer, and after looking into it was told there was nothing to be done.  All by the books, SOP.

      Yes, knowing your rights can help you not get into deeper trouble, but you are still buggered when the police want to powertrip. 

      • Ron Smith Reply

        June 21, 2014 at 2:22 AM

        What do you mean ‘all by the book’, an illegal search was done! Find a better lawyer.

  2. eric Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    thats the FREE country you all talk about lol

    you guys live in a fake reality , consuming everything you can so you do not wake up to see that you are a slave in your own country. 

    • taylor Reply

      June 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Eric where do you live thats so much better?  You sound super judgmental of ingnorant slaves as you call them?  You sound cranky. Im sure that you consume nothing and are enlightened to your specific role in you country. Be more constuctive.

    • Groovy Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      You NAILED it, Eric!!

    • Jumpin' Jimmy Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Police are becoming more abusive and intrusive across the country. Exercising your rights and challenging them usually results in more abuse. It’s scary and sad, but law enforcement’s attitude is a symptom of the larger governmental abuses that we allow to happen. I’m sad to say that I agree with Eric. We are going to watch “the game” and munch on poisonous snacks while our vaunted “freedom” is gradually taken away. The Patriot Act. The NSA. Net Neutrality. MURCA.

  3. don bond Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Another power hungry asshole . Wanting to make a name for his lil ol self 

  4. Daniel Bustamante Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Why do we never here what happen to the officer’s.  If you are going to learn about your rights video tape the incident,  you should be willing to take all the way to courts and file a grievance . If that is not happening then you just wasted your time. 

    • Drew Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      …I imagine because TRUE corrective action rarely happens to the officers. Oh, besides ‘suspension with pay’.

  5. Vil Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Cops have rights. You don’t. You’re not a badge-wearing soldier of the empire. Oh, you think that the constitution means shit? You’re fools. The only freedom is understanding that you’re a slave.

  6. Bob Sarkest Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Real hard-hitting reporting here; completely unbiased … This man was detained for an hour? Is that a fact or just his account of what happened? Doesn’t seem that your website cares much about the truth, just that you like to promote half-told stories that perpetuate your own anti-police agendas.

    • Andrew Reply

      June 19, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      I never said that’s what happened, only that Destefano said that’s what happened. Do you disagree that Destefano said this?

    • Drew Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      “Anti-police agenda?” …someone has a little too much faith in the policing system and hasn’t really seen what happens. Or you’re a cop, or the relative of one. Yes, there are good officers out there, but there are an awful lot of power hungry douchebags with badges, too. Open your eyes, sheeple.

  7. zak Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    haaaaa they pull people all the time over there like that last summer the statie broke my car and didnt find shit all becuase a couple young dudes in a benz.. FUCK THEM

  8. Rusty Shakelford Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Taylor Robidoux is a little pussy turd.  I would like to invite this asswipe to contact me here in Montana.  Everyone here is armed and we treat each other with respect,  I would like to invite Taylor Robidoux, the little dictator to contact me so I can invite him out for a visit.  I suspect he is too ignorant to respond. 

    • jp Reply

      June 21, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      dam right!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. wolf Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Will be a cold day before i will crawl on my knees in front of a pig like this.  All you f—king pigs can kiss my azz.

  10. wolf Reply

    June 19, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Fuck all you Masshole bastards from Bawstun.  Let me know when you go to suck Oshitheads dick

  11. Patient X Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    Typical pussy trooper wearing his dick on his hip… If I went to school with that guy I would have eaten lunch with his money everyday.

    • scowlface Reply

      June 20, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      that’s probably why he’s being an ass now, hell its probably why he became a cop.

  12. Amalasan Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 2:50 AM

    Respect is *earned* not demanded!

  13. Pingback: One reason the police are your enemy | On the Mark

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  15. Rick Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    If this citizen had asked if he could get out of the car they would have said no.  If he said he wanted to remain in the car they would have said no.  It’s all just a matter of they want to be in control.  Remember they are not hired for their brains.  

  16. baron Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    you WERE being a disrespectful asshole. regardless if he was an officer or not. talking like that in any conversation with a man would get your ass whooped, especially in jail/the pen (which is where it seems like he wanted to take you). he showed restraint. if you want an officer 2 take your rights seriously and not LOOK for a reason to be an asshole and violate them for a stupid reason, try asserting your ‘knowledge’ with an air of discipline and composure (and make sure you even know what you are talking about in the first place). plus your voice was quivering damn near half the time even though your chest was puffed up..i know he could smell the fear on you, cause i could hear it

  17. Chris Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    This happens all the time, even to me, it’s not really news.

  18. Mark Shipley Reply

    June 20, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    If the driver wasn’t just wanting to be a troublemaker, first, he would not have had a reason to record, second, he would have been been on his way with a warning about his tinting in no time. I am truly sorry that I took the time to watch this little piece of trash. I’m not an officer and I hate being stopped, but I have been stopped for speeding a number of times and just had my license handed back to me with a “Keep it Down”, mostly because I wasn’t an a@$!!!!

    • Chris Reply

      June 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      I agree completely, why should we take some loud mouth jerk’s word on what happened ” off camera”

  19. Chris Reply

    June 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    My question is to the writer of this so called ” article” Andrew ( who can’t seem to use a last name )

    I am just wondering without a shred of proof how you can write that he was ” held for an hour, car searched and so on. Why is this video in 2 sections? Where is the raw feed? What I saw was a cop who is completely clam and respectful. On the other side of the table we have this loud mouth disrespectful asshole.

    Why should we bother taking his “word” for what happened off camera?

    I would like to point out that police are NOT required to tell you the reason you are stop before getting your license and registration and that failing to provide it is Failure to Obey a Police Officer under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 section 25

  20. cruisy Reply

    June 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    It’s no wonder that you support a knucklehead like this Andrew; He does the same stupid shit that you do. Both you and him always have a camera ready to record the police, antagonize them and then claim that you are both victims of something. You claim to be a “journalist”(which is hilarious by the way), have you ever though of acting like one? You know acting professional, not antagonizing people by sticking a camera in someone’s face acting like a boob, picking a fight just for the simple fact that you don’t like the police. Maybe if you requested public records in a professional way like regular journalists do, wouldn’t you think you would have better results. Nobody is ever going to take you guys seriously because your sole purpose is to antagonize, tell half stories of police encounters, and offer police opinions when you have no training or experience in the field at all. It’s like going to a dentist and telling the doctor he’s filling the cavity wrong when you have never been a dentist. 

  21. johnny rocket Reply

    July 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    I always laugh when butthurt people comment about how corrupt the police are, and furthermore acting like a tough guy with police never works out well yet people still do it sigh….

  22. Bob Reply

    November 29, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Massachusetts cops are jerks.

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