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Resource ID: #26961
Subject: traffic stop
Source: KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, La.)
Affiliation: 
Date: January 24, 2014-February 28, 2014

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Description

In January of 2014, an anonymous tip was called in to KPLC-TV about a U.S. District Judge who refused to stop her vehicle for officers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The officers were called out on a complaint about an erratic driver. The judge was eventually stopped and given a ticket for an open container. The caller claimed there was more to the story and a cover-up was underway. After multiple requests to the Lake Charles Police Dept., a press release was issued stating that Judge Patricia Minaldi was cited for having an open container in her vehicle. Initial open records requests were denied, claiming an open investigation. Once Minaldi paid a fine in Lake Charles City Court, KPLC-TV journalists requested a recording of the 911 call that led to the traffic stop. Later, KPLC-TV was able to obtain dash cam video of the judge arguing with officers and resisting their demands to get out of her vehicle. Once KPLC-TV's reports aired, Judge Minaldi was charged with DUI First Offense and was sentenced to probation. They believe the added charges were the result of public pressure after these reports aired.

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