Bristol, TN writes 2x more window tint tickets than Kingsport, records show
BRISTOL, Tenn. —
Bristol, Tennessee police issued more than double the number of window tint violations than Kingsport officers last year.
The citations have been in controversy following the firing of a Bristol officer for citing senator Jon Lundberg's daughter. Officer Phil Kiersnowski covered his body camera microphone and spoke against the department's aggressive enforcement. Lundberg tried to get the officer reinstated and then helped him get a new job in Sullivan County.
In Bristol, Tennessee last year with a campaign to increase enforcement for safety, officers wrote 408 window tint citations, compared to 178 tickets in Kingsport.
Accounting for Kingsport having almost twice as many people, that means Bristol police are at least 4 times more likely to write a window tint ticket than Kingsport.
"Citizens saying they're getting ticketed,” Senator Jon Lundberg (R – Bristol) said. “It's costing them time and obviously money, and a number of officers say, 'This is not a safety issue we need to concern ourselves with.'"
Lundberg came to his defense and tried to get him reinstated. That failed, but Lundberg helped him get a job in Sullivan County.
Kingsport police spokesman Tom Patton said officers in the city enforce all traffic laws.
"We expect our officers to enforce all traffic laws fairly and impartially,” Patton said. “They're expected to take appropriate action whenever they witness a traffic violation."
But Lundberg said previously Bristol's enforcement is not only aggressive, it's selective. On his own, he requested records from Bristol. City police have said he is retaliating for what happened to Kiersnowski.
Police Captain Charlie Thomas denies any selective enforcement and said in a written statement, "Window tint enforcement has been emphasized, but no more so than other violations that we have focused on." Thomas also said the department’s enforcement has cut down on accidents.