"Serve and Protect" versus "Redneck Profiling"
Trucks Gone Wild came to Brick’s Offroad Park this weekend (June 7-9) and out came the big trucks and even bigger crowds. This is the sixth year that the video company has come to Southeast Missouri to capture trucks doing crazy things like launching into the air at 45 miles per hour to jump a 30 ft slough.
In years past the Highway Patrol monitored the area but this weekend it was described as more aggressive and an all out ticket-trap. One Brick’s fan called it “redneck profiling.”
A group of eight from Brick’s were eating at Colton’s steakhouse Saturday night. The talk bounced from one trailer being stopped for exceeding the maximum height by two inches; to the awesome slough-jump; to calculating the financial impact Brick’s has on the community; to the number of patrolmen in the area; to the Brick’s employee pulled over twice in less than two miles and ticketed for no seatbelt.
On Sunday morning at Heartland Express, Shayn Knupp from Jonesboro, Ill, held up a ticket he received on Friday because he “failed to drive within right lane of highway with two or more lanes in same direction.” Knupp explained he was driving south on his way to the Brick’s park and had just gone through the two-lane construction zone when the “cop started tailing me.” He continued south but was nervous and didn’t change lanes until he saw the exit for Hwy 160 [slightly more than 1 mile in the left lane]. “The cop pulled me over when I got onto Hwy 160 and gave me a ticket” he complained.
On Saturday night, the highway patrol set up a sobriety checkpoint for several hours at Hwy M at Hwy 67 stopping traffic at one of the two main routes to/from Brick’s. A K-9 unit was reported in the Cane Creek Flats area of Hwy 67 and multiple stops were also made along F Hwy (between Hwy 160 and Brick’s Park).
According to Corporal Slaughter of Troop E, Sunday’s supervisor, the Highway Patrol was working overtime this weekend on “a Special Operation” to help keep everyone safe and sound. “We’ve got people coming in from out of state for Bonestock and Brick’s. We want everyone to come and have a good time but we just want everyone to be legal.” He went on to state that they had received several calls from thankful citizens who appreciated their presence in the area because things had gotten out of hand over the years. Slaughter also confirmed that all officers of Troop E were asked to come to the area over the weekend.
When asked why the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers were stopping vehicles with trailers, Slaughter stated “Well, CVOs can stop for routine inspections.” But no explanation was given as to why the CVE taskforce “responsible for enforcing the laws, rules and regulations for the State of Missouri dealing with commercial vehicles” was stopping muddy, non-commercial pickups with trailers.
Brick’s co-owner and founder, Scott Brickell, told SEMO.net “I am glad they are stopping people who are drinking and driving. That is a good thing. But stopping people coming into our park for petty issues is not right.”
While the Highway Patrol’s stated mission to serve and protect aligns with their vision to ensure Missouri is a safe place to live or visit, there is a growing animosity among the Brick’s “visitors” who feel targeted and forced to think twice before heading into the Bluff for dinner or supplies.
One man, stopped for a routine inspection of his trailer by a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer, stated “If I was speeding, or drinking or doing something wrong then I’d understand being pulled over, but I didn’t do anything other than leave Brick’s.”