By: Diane Benjamin
h/t To a Reader
I could have titled this article: So you think you are above the law?
Or: Policemen are Saints!
Or: How does she still have a State job?
Or: This reporter can NOT be allowed to cover crime
Or: How did police know she wasn’t driving stoned?
The possibilities are endless.
Judith (Judy) Valente was stopped by ISU police on 3/28/18 for an expired license plate sticker. It had expired in December 2017. Judy was on her way to teach a class at ARC – Normal’s Activities and Recreation Center.
One of the officers involved is in training, he was riding with another officer. The videos below show Judy mentions the “trainee” more than once in derogatory comments. The original stop was by these two officers.
When Judy acted belligerent and the first two officers smelled cannabis in her car, they called for backup. Later when Judy claimed officers “put their hands on her”, they called for a Sergeant. Eventually 4 police officers were on the scene – all from ISU.
It gets better. Judy Valente is an ISU employee, a reporter for WGLT:
It gets even better:
Yes, the wedding was announced in the New York Times. She is married to retired judge Charles Reynard. He also showed up at the scene (see 25:00), he turned out to be the sane member of the family. He does mention he wasn’t surprised by the marijuana smell. That comment wasn’t pursued by the police. (see 27:50)
Below are three dash cam videos, one from each of the vehicles that responded. Audio is mostly when the officers are out of their vehicles. One video does not have all the audio. For instance at 15:30 on the first video, two officers are searching the car. Judy is on the sidewalk with the officer from the second car, so audio from their conversation is on the second video. The video cuts out at times because personal information was redacted.
At 4:20 an officer asks Judy if she has a medical cannabis card. She acted appalled at the question. She also tells the officers who she is and that she works at WGLT. Around 6:30 the officers are discussing the smell in the car. They then call for backup.
At 11:41 Judy makes the mistake of getting out of her vehicle. She claims her husband is on his way and he may be able to explain the smell. The “hands on her” happens at 12:45, it is nothing more than a light touch to keep her from getting back in the car. They already told her they were going to search it. She also drops the police chief’s name, evidently thinking that will help. At 13:26 Judy claims to be totally opposed to cannabis. This is a CAN’t miss part, if she isn’t high she thinks laws don’t apply to her. Keep watching.
At 15:29 the sidewalk audio can only be heard on the second video. That video is cued to start there.
Don’t miss the Judy rant at 24:00 on the first video.
Judy appears to be calling her husband and she repeats that she will be calling the chief. She repeats numerous times an officer put his hands on her. She also asked the officer if “he is like 17”. Please note that NONE of these officers ever showed her anything but respect. She never returned any respect to them.
Keeping watching. Judy is taking video and the names of officers. Judy claims the ticket won’t “put a hole in her pocketbook”. She already knows it’s $120. She continues to claim an officer put his hands on her. The Sergeant arrives at 12:40. She must not know she is on both video and audio because what she tells him doesn’t match the audio or video. She AGAIN mentions the chief.
At 16:15, hubby tells her the police are just doing their job. That is exactly what they are doing.
This story never made the WGLT news. Maybe Judy’s boss watched the video and realized it isn’t a story. I need to FOIA any complaints she filed and the written police report.
Judy Valente obviously has no respect for law enforcement. WGLT needs to keep her from reporting on any stories involving police. She is not capable of fair reporting. All of her reporting should be suspect. Facts don’t seem to matter.
This is the dash cam from the Sergeant’s vehicle. It shows the judge arriving:
All she was charged with was the expired tags: