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Police Officer Accuses Chief of Encouraging Shady Traffic Stop Tactics

BETHEL HEIGHTS, AR-- A Bethel Heights officer says his chief would encourage officers to break laws to provoke a traffic stop and issue more tickets.
Just because he's the chief of police shouldn't make him untouchable. -- Bethel Heights police officer, Timothy Brasuell
A Bethel Heights police officer is accusing his chief of coaching him to find a way to pull people over.

"The message that he was giving me was do whatever it takes to get the tickets even if you have to make somebody do something wrong," says Corporal Timothy Brasuell.

"Every time I hear it, I get nauseous."

And he says audio recordings back up his claim.

A static phone recording depits a man who Brasuell says is his chief, Don Mckinnon, talking about the lack of traffic tickets being issued.

"We've gotta do something with this traffic," the voice says.

"The numbers are way low...You can only get those numbers if you're doing traffic stops."

Brasuell, whose been with the BHPD since 2008, says in an effort to issue more tickets, McKinnon encouraged crooked cop behavior.

The voice goes on to say in the reocrding, "If i seen a vehicle, I could always find some reason to stop them even if I made them do something stupid."

The voice, Brasuell says is McKinnon, goes on to describe his traffic stop method:

"I wanna stop that car load of dumb sh*** in the car, I wanna stop it, but they are not going to do anything wrong.
Hell, I'll get behind or the other lane and I'd start crowding them.
Kinda dirty pool but i got two or three arrests out of it."

The audio comes from a conversation between officer Brasuell and the chief, back in May, that officer Brasuell recorded with his phone and then played it for the mayor and the Benton county prosecutor.

"It's an internal matter and that's what we're saying at this point," says Bethel Heights mayor Jeff Hutcheson

Hustcheson is hopeful a resolution will come soon.

And Benton county prosecutor Van Stone says his office sent the recording to the sheriff's office, but details are too slim to investigate with no victims named and no dates of wrongdoing.

We visited mMcKinnon's home multiple times Wednesday.

And never got an answer.

"Just because he's the chief of police shouldn't make him untouchable," Brasuell says.

"There are police officers out here that I'm sure deal with issues like this that are afraid to come forward because they know they'll lose their job."

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