Body camera footage released today by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office shows what happened during the traffic stop, which occurred on Interstate 17 near Camp Verde on the afternoon of October 12.
YCSO Deputy Cody Winton stopped Arizona Department of Public Safety director Colonel Frank Milstead, who was driving a 2019 Land Rover. Angela Harrolle, the CEO of the 100 Club and Milstead's fiancée, was in the passenger seat.
"The reason why I stopped you is you guys are going about, over 90 miles an hour, weaving through traffic, not using your guys' turn signals," the trooper says in the video before asking for Milstead's license and registration.
The couple then tells the deputy they are driving to Flagstaff for a memorial hike for Harrolle's late husband, who was an officer killed in the line of duty.
The trooper starts walking back to his vehicle, but turns around and returns to the Land Rover, where Milstead presents him with his DPS badge.
"I don't know if that will help at all," Milstead says.
"Oh, well, pleasure to meet you," the trooper says after seeing the badge.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 at 4:55PM I was stopped for speeding by a deputy of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Unquestionably I was speeding and the deputy’s decision to stop me was valid. As with any traffic stop, the deputy requested my information and I provided it. (1/5)— Col. Frank Milstead (@frank_milstead) December 4, 2019
After taking down Milstead's information, the deputy returns to the vehicle. Milstead tells him the YCSO sheriff, Scott Mascher, is one of his "favorite guys" and would "bust my balls" for speeding.
The trooper tells Milstead, "I was just educating you," and lets the colonel off with a warning.
At that speed, in the 75 mph zone on that stretch of I-17, Milstead was technically committing a crime and could have been taken to jail. It's a Class Three misdemeanor that comes with a potential 30-day jail sentence and $500 fine.
In a statement released by the DPS, Milstead said he was "deeply regretful" of violating the law.
"Unquestionably, I was speeding and the deputy's decision to stop me was valid," Milstead said in the statement. "I recognize the seriousness of the speeding violation for which I was stopped, and I am deeply regretful."
He explained he provided his badge because that was what he had been "trained to do since the academy."
Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Dwight Develyn told Phoenix New Times in an email that the deputy's decision to issue a warning is not unusual, and "generally, deputies warn drivers far more than they cite."
Milstead underscored this point in his own statement, saying "warnings take place on at least a third of all traffic stops conducted by various agencies."
"This is certainly a regrettable event for me and one for which I will reflect and learn," Milstead said.
He published a five-part tweet about the stop, saying among other things that he "realized I had not identified myself as a law enforcement officer" while the deputy and Harrolle were chatting, which is also why he showed his badge.