Thin Blue Lie? Florida Police Under Fire After Tape Surfaces Contradicting Arrest Reports and Later Sworn Testimony

In Florida, two Coral Springs police officers — Nicole Stasnek and Derek Fernandes — have been accused of false statements against a woman after an audio recording surfaced contradicting their claims about a roadside arrest of Susan Mait, 60.

The officers arrested Mait after she allegedly assaulted Stasnek after becoming abusive in a roadside encounter.

It began when Fernandes asked Mait about her disabled car. The officers say that Mait told Fernandes that she was on Xanax, and that she couldn’t move the car out of traffic. Fernandes told Mait to call for a tow with GEICO roadside assistance. Stasnek says that Mait refused to give her Mait’s license. This was stated in both a sworn deposition and in her police report. She says that she warned Mait that she “would be disobeying my lawful command and would be arrested for resisting my lawful command.” Stasnek says that she blocked the officer with her hand and resisted the officers as they pulled her from the car — pushing or shoving Stasnek. Stasnek denied in sworn statements that she ever cursed at Mait or acted in anything but a professional way. Mait insisted that Stasnek cursed and was abusive toward her. She denied resisting arrest.

Mait was charged with felony obstruction and DUI — for the Xanax. She spent the night in jail and the DUI charge was dropped after drug testing. But the officers continued to maintain the obstruction allegation (later reduced to resisting arrest).

Then, after sworn statements from the officers, a tape surfaced from that call to GEICO. Turns out that in the confrontation, Mait dropped her phone on the floor and the tape of the call continued to roll. The tape records Stasnek cursing out Mait and arresting her with no warning. Worse yet, it shows both officers discussing the filing of false statements.
The 17-minute recording includes this exchange after she is asked for her license:

Mait: “Did you not see me on the phone?”

Stasnek: “Did you not see this uniform I have on? Don’t give me any s— right now. Give me your f—ing driver’s license.”

Both officers also said under oath that they warned Mait that she was disobeying a lawful command — twice. However, there is no such warning on the recording. What is on the recording is the sound of Mait sobbing and this exchange:

Fernandes: “I didn’t hear anything you said. I was in the back of the car.”

Stasnek: “I did drop the F-bomb.”

Fernandes, laughing: “I didn’t hear that. In my [internal affairs] statement, I’ll say I didn’t hear that. … Don’t worry, I will put everything I heard beforehand.”

Once again, Mait would have had little chance in this case absent the recording from her phone — another example of the importance of citizens being able to record officers in public.

Not only does the recording destroy the basis for the charges against Mait, it now constitutes a case of perjury, false arrest and a host of other criminal and civil violations. It is also a chilling example of how citizens have little recourse in the face to two officers with coordinated statements. We have previously seen such cases of coordination or falsity in police statements refuting by tapes (here and here and here and here).

Source: Miami Herald as first seen on Reddit.

35 thoughts on “Thin Blue Lie? Florida Police Under Fire After Tape Surfaces Contradicting Arrest Reports and Later Sworn Testimony”

  1. I also have run into a cop run amok when I was younger. A report back to his station probably didn’t do much.

    Then again I have tried to investigate police abuse before, filing FOIA requests & talking to people involved.
    Until you have experienced it first hand you can’t believe how corrupt the system is.
    But Hope Steffey can…

  2. Well, you’re smarter than I, which is not saying much. but gratts anyway.

    Yeah, we read here the other day of the technique of accusing for weaving over the line—remember the long cross ex which followed like you fear in wisconsin.
    Well, obviously the door opening was to make you veer and give reason for a long cross ex beginnning with accusing you of veering. Or is veering OK in your state..

    But something about you put the fear of God into the one who stopped you. Could you teach us how to do that. You could get paid for that service. Put an ad and see how many friendly cops answer, all plainclothed of course.

    Knowing roughly where you come from tells me you folks have been persecuted by certain corporate blood suckers for over 100 years.

  3. Big tree,
    Just routine hanging on your tail. You cudda been a felony drug type and would have soon noticed him and gotten nervous and tried to get away…..
    Just speculating as usual. Have stopped watching police chase programs a year ago. hrmmmm!

    Anyway, where are you? Will avoid the cow state now

    Idealist…I figured he was looking for more than just a headlight to pull me over on.

    What’s interesting is that after the 2 miles or so, as we started up a hill another squad had a vehicle pulled over on my passenger side shoulder…as I approached, I slowed down and manuevered towards the oncoming lane (actually slightly into the oncoming lane, no traffic oncoming) as that other officer had basically flung his door wide open into the lane and I wanted to give him ample room for safety sake. That’s when I got pulled over, which is somewhat funny considering I was doing what, in fact, I was legally obligated to do in my State.

    I don’t like to indentify too much, but I’ll say I’m to the Left of the cows.

    Wisconsin is a tricky state, in my understanding, when it comes to getting pulled over.

    As I understand it, their State Patrolmen are quite inquisitive and enjoy pulling over out of staters and taking as long as they can in getting them back on the road. I also understand that if they ticket you for something, you have to pay on the spot or go down to the court house (with them giving you a ride) in order to clear up the fine. In our modern world this wouldn’t be as big of a hassle except that only about half the cars have credit card readers…and I’m told the don’t take checks.

    Now that could all be heresay, but I don’t want to find out.

    The reputation of the Townie cops just over our bridge is well established. Including personal experience of being a sober driver picking up friends at 1 am. Getting pulled over for ‘idling in a no-stopping area of the bar parking lot’ and spending an hour on the side of the road doing sobriety tests (had not a drop), getting accused of being high on pot (had never touched the stuff up to that point in my life), and having my truck and my friends searched…all without cause.

    I dislike that state.

  4. As is my wont I thought about these cops state of mind for doing this. All I could come up with was they were bored and have sadistic natures. In other words they should be fired as unfit for their jobs.

  5. WOW!!! Nothing is sacred and noone is safe anymore. I guess we just need to have a little love in our hearts for one another, stop all this hate. The hate is whats killing our entire world!!!!

  6. Fee,
    Which means they’ll be able to devote the time to whatever rackets they have on the side.

    On my business trip to Mexico, DF, on the way into town, was warned by my company greeter to avoid all parks, even in daytime. That was a favo rob place for the cops. That was in 1980. How is it today?
    I guess he’d heard that Swedes were fresh air and/or jogging freaks.

  7. Not to worry! They’ll both be put on administrative leave WITH pay, pending internal investigation, which will totally clear them of all wrongdoing. This is a rerun!

  8. PS Her tale is related with her permission. She sends greetings to Rachel.
    But has no time for JT’s. Although I send stuff occasionally.
    She said the AZ bill to get your boss involved in your contraception was killed in a vote. Good news there at any rate.

  9. Dear Jewish folks and others,

    Here is a plea for greater openness. Less fear, even if it is well-motivated.
    Here’s a, for me an ignorant person as to jewry, beautiful tale told by Levi’s mom from Tucson. She as you understand is not jewish, irish instead.
    “Joel started Levi in Hebrew school, and I really didn’t understand the purpose or what it leads up to. Mostly I had dealt with Levi’s speech delays and therapy and getting him in Wings on Words which the Masons helped with. Years fly by and then Levi starts getting invitations to the girls’ Bat mitzvahs and the boys’ Bar Mitvahs and there is even a set of twins. All of this is new to me. These parties are extravagant. Country Clubs and Ice Sculptures and food and DJs and the kids get all kinds of presents and they give their guests special T-shirts for the occasion and some of the parties have themes, it was new to me.

    Of course, they have studied and prepared and on Saturday morning they read to the congregation and the family members go up in front of everyone, too, and read religious parts and then the parents tell a background story and it’s usually things you would never know. Megan has epilepsy, things like that.
    A friend of ours said she overheard a couple of Jewish ladies who go every week saying Levi did the best job they ever heard.
    To me, it was amazing to watch Joel spend so much money toward Levi’s party that evening/night. We had it at the Hilton El Conquistador which is in the most beautiful mountain setting, one of my favorite places on Earth it is so beautiful.

    Well here’s the thing. After the kids have their party, a lot of them drop off and you never see them again. Joel and Levi still attend, and now I mentioned to you previously that Levi is paid as a teacher’s assistant to help the little kids prepare for their Bar Mitzvah. So the rabbi asked him to participate and read the same portion of the Torah as he did 2 years ago. So philip and I will go of course because Levi blows me away. He is an amazing kid.”

    Now how many of us non-jews have such togetherness to experience?
    Don’t know. Enlighten me. But felt honored to read her letter on what was coming up soon.

    Here’s one she related which might interest those so inclined in the occult powers of jews, and perhaps people in general.
    She was in Trafalger Square as a young girl and it began to rain:

    “…. but when I got there it was so rainy and everyone left. Except for me and one of those Jewish guys who have the long beard and dress all in black. Generally they don’t speak to anyone–especially a woman–outside their culture. But there we were. H e told me to sit with him. It is still raining, but lighter now. He said to me, “You are the daughter of the Jews.”

    to which I said, “No, I’m not.” He says, “You are the daughter of the Jews.” And I say, ” I am from Arizona.” He said something like, “You will see someday.”

    Just to show, large number of relatives are common in the Middle East, Kurds, Lebanese, Assyriac christians, etc. I’m can rest assured you all can more than I.

    Today it was my Kurdish cleaning lady who told me that her relatives in Suleymaniyah have gotten rich from OIL jobs since 1991. Her father and four brothers all have houses, cars, and good jobs
    So what to get for weddings when she goes home to visit in April, is a problem.

    Hope you enjoy the view from Sweden.

  10. Big tree,
    Just routine hanging on your tail. You cudda been a felony drug type and would have soon noticed him and gotten nervous and tried to get away…..
    Just speculating as usual. Have stopped watching police chase programs a year ago. hrmmmm!

    Anyway, where are you? Will avoid the cow state now.

  11. Police who engage in this sort of action should be punished so effing severely that no other officer will even think about acting in this manner.

    Makes me think that, no matter how law abiding I am, I should install some sort of audio and/or video recording device right above my driver’s side window on the inside, which I can turn on when getting pulled over.

    At the very least, makes me feel like the next time I get pulled over I should turn on the instar and just ask the onstar employee to just listen and record.

    I’m generally a law abiding citizen, but I’ve had my share of getting pulled over. Most recently for having a headlight out on St. Patty’s day…

    Thankfully the local police here are, in general, great at what they do and how they do it and I had a very brief discussion with him. He was obviously running DUI checks on anyone he could (he told me as much) and my headlight gave him the reason he needed to pull me…interestingly enough he waiting to follow me for about 2 miles before pulling me over. As soon as he released I was sober (it was 12:30 am and I was returning from dropping off my fiance) he did the obligatory license check and sent me on my way.

    Had I been across the bridge in Wisconsin, I KNOW I would have been out of the vehicle performing field tests and being forced into a game of “Just tell us what you’re doing wrong and we’ll take it easy on you.” Doesn’t matter what you do, across the bridge they’ll try every trick to get you to admit something…

    Either way, its good reason (beyond public safety) to leave your vices at home.

  12. Explains the bill of rights, and those who wrote them.

    They had been there and done that.

    Forward to the past, and back to the future.

    Deja vu all over again.

  13. I saw billboards in NM awhile ago where the police were looking for military type recruits. Scary.

  14. That’s not a “thin blue lie” Mr. Turley. Those are bald faced lies. I’ve read most of your links and it’s amazing to me that Dept of Justice, Congress or someone with common sense has not come up with some simple law/rule that covers these rediculous cases……. Ooops, never mind. I just realized that I used the words common sense when there seems to be non available these days.

    Police officers who conduct themselves like these two did should be kicked out of law enforcement, even prevented from being security guards and should have to repay tax payers for the costs of their training. & any problems they have caused. It seems that in recent years law enforcement officials all over are acting like thugs and getting away with it. I’m sure that the Patriot Act and the so-called Dept of Homeland (how Nazi sounding is that?) are responsible for a lot of this crap.

  15. How long before that tape is “lost” or accidently erased?

    Is it getting worse or ???? over time? I got busted for DWOS (driving while out of state). I got put down w/o warning while offering my driver’s license (OOS), a split lip from a rock, and some charge in ’64. Somebody got me a local former DA, who knew how to dispose of this when the officers were not in court. How many of you have been assaulted etc like this?
    What motivates you after reading this? Outrage? Professional pride? Compassion? Our nation’s future or rather lack of it?

    Who’s gonna represent this woman and the millions of other victims?
    I would guess it would be a fulltime job for the whole corps.

    Just hoping the day will soon come when we’re all wired for sound, video, and remote observance. Will the sadists become sick without their kicks?

  16. Cops never lie….. They are the good guys…..OK, some are…..

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