Woman says she was targeted by Coopertown officer

Woman says she was targeted by Coopertown officer (Image 1)

A burnt out brake light landed one woman a ticket for over $200.

About a month ago, Mary Marshall said she pulled into the Mapco station in Coopertown at about 12:30 a.m.  to get some gas and money orders.

She said she was at the store for about 15 minutes and during that time, noticed a Coopertown police officer at the station.

Marshall said as soon as she exited the parking lot the officer pulled her over.

“I felt targeted, because I had been here at the store more than 15 minutes, more than 15 minutes,” she told News 2.  “He wasn't waiting on people, he was waiting on me.”

Marshall was stopped because she had a burnt out brake light.

She was given fine of $202.50.

“I got to work a lot of hours to get $202.  I have to work a lot of hours. That's money I can do something else with,” she continued.

Coopertown Police Chief Jesse Burchwell said their department has nothing to do with setting the fine amount.

He said, “It doesn't really matter if the fine is $1 or $900, all it is a measure to ensure that the violation is fixed.”

Marshall said the officer never explained to her that she could simply get the light fixed, bring the receipt to her court date and the fine dismissed.

“Coopertown's reputation is Coopertown's reputation and it's not going to change overnight we know that going in but for the month of July, 44% of our stops are warnings,” said Chief Burchwell.

He said the incident with Marshall is the first time he has written a brake light violation.

The officer has only been on the Coopertown police force for a few months.

For the same violation in Murfreesboro the fine is $116, in LaVergne its $95, Metro $62 and the Tennessee Highway Patrol issues tickets for $161.

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