RHOME (CBSDFW.COM) – Amy Hedtke is facing charges for failure to report a change of address on her driver’s license, failure to register a vehicle and “obedience required to police officers and to school crossing guards,” but she says that’s not why she went to jail on Tuesday.
“In the activist world, we call it pissing off a police officer,” she says.
Hedtke, who spent the night in jail, says she was stopped while on the way to drop off her son at a Boy Scout meeting.
Rhome police say they stopped her for speeding.
Hedtke claims she started recording the traffic stop after her 17-year-old son got out of the car to buy a Coke at the gas station.
“As soon as he stepped out of the vehicle, the officer yelled at him to get back in the car, that’s when I got out and said, ‘Excuse me, he’s not the one that was driving this vehicle!'”
Rhome Police Chief Brendan Davis says for anyone to jump out of a car during a traffic stop is an unsafe act.
“You don’t know if that passenger is jumping out with a gun, you don’t know if they are trying to hide drugs, you don’t know if they are trying to hide from you. Maybe they’ve got felony warrants for murder, who knows — and they take off running — now you have a foot chase,” says Chief Davis.
In the video, the mom can be heard telling her son not to answer a Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was called in for backup. Hedtke made that call for backup herself.
“Say nothing, Eric,” she continues to tell her son.
“He should not have even identified himself. He was not the driver, not the subject of the investigation,” she says.
Both The Wise County Sheriff’s Department and Rhome Police say the 17-year-old was asked to identify himself only after he got out of the car.
In the video, the Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy can be heard saying the woman’s son is being detained because she is being “highly suspicious.”
“Me being suspicious for exercising my rights?” the woman asks.
“No, because you were concealing his identity,” the Sheriff’s Deputy says.
WATCH FULL 8-MINUTE VIDEO HERE (posted by Hedtke supporter):
Police say when they determined they would be taking Hedtke into custody, they needed to see her son’s license to determine whether the teen could drive the car home. He did not have a driver’s license.
“The young man was cordial, respectful,” says Chief Davis.
In the video, an officer is heard telling Hedtke to get back in her vehicle as she continues to record.
“What I am telling you to do, is get back in the car, right now, or I will arrest you for disobeying a police officer,” the officer says.
Throughout the video, Hedtke insists that the officer show her the law and says she won’t get back in the car without her son.
“You’re telling me you’re enforcing the law, but you can’t tell me what law you’re enforcing,” she says in the recording.
“I don’t have to show you any law — let me make that clear to you,” the Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy responds.
Peter Shulte, defense attorney and former officer, agrees that legally, police do not have to define the law for you.
“I felt like they showed some good restraint, I mean they probably could’ve placed her in handcuffs and arrested her a lot sooner than they did,” Shulte says.
The chief stands by his officer, saying he kept his calm throughout and abided by the law.
“The police officer did exactly what he should have done beginning to end.”
Hedtke, who is described by supporters as a “liberty activist” insists she was protecting her rights. The mom has a lawyer and says she will fight the charges.
Rhome Police say Hedtke’s supporters have been calling the police department nonstop, clogging up the line for people who need help. They say they are investigating a threat that was called in as well.