Arizona Trooper's Sexually Abusive Traffic Stops Lead to Lawsuit

Ex-DPS Trooper Tremaine Jackson was booked into jail on suspicion of 61 counts of sexual abuse and extortion, kidnapping, harassment, and fraud.
Ex-DPS Trooper Tremaine Jackson was booked into jail on suspicion of 61 counts of sexual abuse and extortion, kidnapping, harassment, and fraud. Arizona DPS
One of 16 women who have accused a state trooper of soliciting sexual favors in return for tearing up a traffic ticket has come forward publicly, suing the officer and the state in a federal civil rights case.

Jocelyn Kinsey alleges that former Department of Public Safety Trooper Tremaine Jackson pulled her over on March 17, 2019, and asked her what she was willing to do to avoid the ticket. After commenting on her attractiveness, according to her complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court of Arizona, he suggested that she flash her breasts, wash his motorcycle nude, and perform sex acts to make the bogus speeding ticket go away.

Kinsey’s encounter lasted close to an hour, about the length of time Kinsey had spent with eight other women who made similar allegations. Her passenger thought it was closer to two hours.

Kinsey’s attorney described her client as “a strong, independent woman” in her 30s, who works as a health care administrator.

“She’s not going to live the life of a victim,” said Jody Broaddus of the local Attorneys for Freedom law firm, which specializes in civil rights and abuse of power claims. “She wanted to come forward and knew what this guy did was wrong, and she didn’t want it to happen to other women.”

But several other women alleged it happened to them, too.

The details match what DPS reported about the incident involving her when the agency fired the 13-year employee and arrested him last fall. They also mirror the claims of eight other women, documented in a remarkable 26-page probable cause statement that DPS filed with the arrest. Typically, those run about a paragraph.

Jackson, who's 43, was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on $50,000 bond on September 10, following a lengthy investigation. He faces prosecution on a grand-jury indictment on 23 criminal counts including kidnapping, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, fraud, and more.

He pleaded not guilty and was later released on bond. His attorney did not respond to calls for comment about the new legal challenge in federal court.

The DPS declined comment, noting the agency doesn’t discuss pending litigation.

But the agency’s former boss had plenty to say when he announced the trooper's arrest.

“The temerity of Trooper Jackson is horrifying,” then-DPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead told the press. “He was using his positional authority to extort sexual favors during these traffic stops.”

The DPS set up a special web page to solicit tips from other women. Seven more “potential victims” came forward, the agency said.

Kinsey’s encounter was a harrowing affair, according to her attorney.

“She was terrified. It wasn’t about being pulled over at all. It was all sexual innuendo,” Broaddus said, noting that Jackson never used his client’s name during the stop, but always referred to her as “Buffy” and a “green-eyed Latina.”

According to court records, Jackson pulled Kinsey over for speeding on Interstate 10 near 75th Avenue. It was around 2:30 a.m., when she stopped at a nearby Chevron station.

Jackson turned his motorcycle off, oddly, Broaddus said, and approached Kinsey’s car. The motorcycle’s camera was now off.

He told her she was pretty, and he didn’t want to give her a ticket, before asking “What are you going to do for me?” court records state.

He held on to her driver’s license and suggested she expose her breasts, rub them on him and touch his penis. She said she couldn’t do any of those things in public, to deflect, court records state.

Then, according the lawsuit, Jackson turned the conversation toward getting access to her Snapchat account, a similar tactic he tried in other stops, according to court documents. Kinsey didn’t have Snapchat, so instead he asked, and she finally agreed, to give him her phone number.

Kinsey estimated the stop dragged on for 90 minutes.

“She felt confined. She was trapped. There was nothing she could do,” Broaddus said.

She had no intention of talking to Jackson on the phone. She immediately called her boyfriend and, later, DPS investigators, to report the encounter.

She hoped DPS would act. But time dragged on.

What Kinsey didn’t know until months later is that an additional eight other women had made nearly identical complaints about incidents between October 2018 and January 2019, which DPS was then investigating.

“When she learned there were other victims, it was a like a sigh of relief. She could say ‘See? I’m not a liar,’” Broaddus said.

After taking statements, the DPS Internal Affairs Unit ran electronic records of Jackson’s stops. Typically, DPS troopers pull over two men for every woman in routine traffic stops. Jackson had been pulling over more women.

Investigators noticed the time stamps and locations were off. Jackson falsified and concealed his movements in his official reports and timesheets, according to investigators.

Broaddus commends DPS for firing Jackson and credits most officers for trying to do a good job. But questions linger, she said, about the scope of Jackson’s activities and whether DPS had adequate procedures in place to stop him. She hopes the lawsuit will yield answers.

“If the other women hadn’t come forward, he’d probably still be doing this," Broaddus said. “I’m hopeful that even as bad as it is that something positive comes out of it.”

Still, the incident has scarred Kinsey.

Broaddus said her client has nightmares, headaches, and trouble sleeping.

“It increases her anxiety. Every time she sees a police officer, she questions what will happen,” Broaddus said.

Kinsey is seeking punitive damages.

Jackson has a tentative trial date of July 9, but since it's a complex case, it's likely to be delayed.
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Sean Holstege is a freelance reporter with a 30-year career in print news. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege