LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones traveled in a cluster of 100 or so vehicles, like a metallic herd on the 10 Freeway, as they made their way towards the cemetery.
But their funeral procession came to a halt when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled over one of their escorts, prompting all the other cars to pull over too.READ MORE: The Cosmopolitan In Las Vegas To Pay $1 Million In Cash Bonuses If 80% Of Workers Get Vaccinated
Reporter Erica Nochlin sat down with the family for an interview you’ll only see on CBS2.
The family says they were outraged when that driver was handed a traffic ticket. That anger can clearly be heard in a female relative’s voice during cell phone video taken of the stop: “These people just lost their mom…you stoppin’ a whole funeral…this is ridiculous man.”
Family member Ricky Powers says he’s still mad his chance to mourn his aunt, Sandra, was interrupted by the officer: “I asked him, I said, ‘You really think this is the time and place for that? I mean, we’re grieving right now.'”
CHP Officer Chris Baldonado says that lead escort was ticketed for stopping traffic in the far right lane of the eastbound 10 when doesn’t have that authority.
“It is a sad situation,” said Baldonado, adding, “I think [the officer] acted within his powers, and his best discretion.”READ MORE: National Health Foundation Hosts Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic For Pico-Union Residents
He says the officer told the lead escort he only needed his vehicle to stop and the rest of the procession could continue on to the cemetery.
But the family says the CHP went too far.
Powers thinks “it was just unnecessary. Someone took their job too serious, on a power trip, needs to be reprimanded, needs to give the family a public apology.”
Three LAPD officers told Nochlin that funeral procession escorts can stop traffic on surface streets. They were all surprised to hear what happened to this family.
CHP says freeways are different.
“Traffic doesn’t stop, so as big of a procession as that, you definitely have safety concerns,” Baldonado said.MORE NEWS: Restraining Order Issued Against Atlas Metal; Mountain Of Scrap Metal Towering Over Jordan High School Called A 'Public Nuisance'
The funeral home who hired the procession escort told Nochlin they plan to fight the ticket in court.