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Monday, January 24, 2022

Police in this tiny Alabama town suck drivers into legal ‘black hole’

Ramon Perez came to court last month ready to fight the tickets he’d been handed by Brookside police, including one for rolling through a stop sign and another for driving 48 mph in a 40 zone.

He swore he’d seen the cop from a distance and was careful as he braked.

“I saw him and we looked eye to eye,” the Chelsea business owner said. “There’s no way I was going to run that stop sign.”

When he got to court Dec. 2, he saw scores of people just like him lining up to stand before Judge Jim Wooten, complaining of penny-ante “crimes” and harassment by officers. He saw so many people trying to park in the grassy field outside the municipal building that police had to direct traffic.
-WiscoDave

And here's a video about it from Bogside Bunny:
VIDEO  (23:19 minutes)

*****

I can honestly say I've never seen the cops in my small town do anything even remotely like this.

When I first moved here, I remembered how the cops were in Georgia when I lived there a couple hundred years ago, so I was always careful to not exceed the speed limit, not to roll through stop signs and just generally act like I was driving on a suspended license.
Now? Now I catch myself blowing past cops 10 miles per hour or faster than the speed limit and not even checking my rear view mirror to see if they got behind me. Half the time the cops wave at me as we pass each other.
And it's not just me. I rarely see anybody getting fucked with, even cars with out of state tags.
Of course it may have something to do with the fact that all our cops are local boys, born and raised here, and everybody knows where they fucking live.

36 comments:

  1. May have something to do with their revenue scheme too.

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    1. Right out of high school a buddy and I were headed up to NC/TN for a few days on the Appalachian Trail. We were going through a town that had one blinking traffic light in Tennessee. We topped a small hill about one o'clock in the morning and this stereotypical flat top pussel gutted 70 year old cop pulled us over for speeding. He said we could stay till Monday and see the judge or pay him the fine and he'd pay the judge for us. As you know in those days there weren't any ATMs etc. The fine was like fifty-three dollars. We scraped up enough between us and coins from the console to pay the guy. On Monday for whatever good it did, I called the mayor and told him about the episode. He said, "thanks. I'll look into it". Needless to say we bypassed that money pit going home.

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  2. Texas used to have some towns notorious for speed traps and crap cop behavior. At some point in the past the legislature pass a law stating that local jurisdictions could not pull in more that a certain percentage of their yearly municipal budget from traffic related fines. Anything above that percentage went to the state. That did wonders in ending policing for profit behavior.

    Right up until the expanded war on drugs and roadside confiscations.

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    1. Ahh, Don, I hear you talking about Lavon, TX. Bumper sticker used to say "Like living on the edge? Drive 56 through Lavon".

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    2. Sterling City - 'Nuff said.

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    3. Jersey Village is another
      MadMarlin

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  3. And people can't understand why cops are shot.....

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  4. Governor ought to step in. Here in Florida when I was a kid, the town of Lawtey was a speed trap. The governor had billboards at each end of town warning drivers. Walton is another speed trap, between Gainesville and Jacksonville. Oak Hill is a little shitburg south of Daytona that is notoriously bad. I try to support police but I hope the Chinee flu climbs up all their asses. Fuckin' assholes.

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    1. Lester Maddox did the same to the town of Ludowici when he was governor of Georgia, about 1970.

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  5. Dang auto correct. That is Waldo, not Walton.

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    1. Not any more Waldo was put out of business years ago.

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  6. Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

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  7. Policing for profit is a very real problem and is a disgusting policy for the cops.
    Here in my area we have a sheriff that I would not call corrupt but he's definitely over enthusiastic and it reflects in his deputies. Unfortunately the job tends to bring dumbasses and jackasses in and lots of Barney Fieffs so if you get pulled over you're not sure which you'll get.
    It wasn't like this before this sheriff took office, I didn't vote for him, and I'm hoping, I'm not voting to re-elect him either, he's gone sometime soon.
    JD

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  8. You are a lucky man wirecutter. It sounds like your police define their behavior as 'Peace Officers', not 'Law Enforcement Officers'. Not aiming to bother people who may be slightly bending the law but to prevent trouble from boiling over.

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    1. Well, I haven't done anything yet to get on their bad side. Yet being the key word here.

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  9. the older you get the less they bother you. it's the one good thing about getting older in a very rural area.
    i swear i could roll through a stop sign with a beer on the dash and a joint in my hand and they would look the other way. "it's just that old man again, he'll be OK. he's just going to the co-op or the piggly wiggly."

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    1. I noticed that when my beard turned gray, I started getting the stink-eye a whole lot less often.

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    2. The getting older thing only works when the officer walks up to your window. I'm a small person, well under average height. At night, in my small SUV, I look like a kid driving Daddy's car to a cop hidden some where. I've been pulled over 4-5 times in the last twenty years, only at night. A couple of the officers, when they arrived at my window actually said "Oh" when they saw me with my grey(actually now white) hair. On the plus side now that I have one those "national" licenses, they look at the little gold star in the bottom right corner and ask me when, what branch and where I served, tell me to drive safely and send me on my way.

      Nemo

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  10. Gridley, CA was/is like that. Speed limit is 60 on the highway leading into town. But hidden behind an overgrown bush is a sign saying speed limit is 35. No warning, no indication other than that one sign.

    That's where my sister got nabbed for speeding. To fight it she had to post a $400 bond with the court. Factoring travel expense and days off work, it was less expensive to pay the ticket.

    My brother warned her. That speed trap was well known.

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  11. I recall a military friend of mine was assigned to training at a base, and the town near there knew that the military personnel wouldn't be at that base long enough to spend much time going back and forth to court dates...so he got pulled over with a ticket for "35 in a 35 zone with an inhibiting factor of darkness" since it was close to dusk. He manager to see a judge, with a review something along the lines of 'How do you plead?' 'Not guilty.' 'Guilty (slams gavel), next case'.

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  12. We had a similar situation about 20 years ago on the west side of Columbus. Search for New Rome, Ohio.

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  13. My former next door neighbor, a local small town police sergeant, stole items from my wife that were mistakenly delivered to him. He kept that shit for 6 months only returning them as he was throwing shit out while moving. That's a class 3 felony in my state. I wanted to turn his ass in, but being a small town, it just would have caused more problems for me.

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  14. We've got some nice Sheriff's officers here at least. A few times they could have nailed me but didn't. I have 3 good drinking buddies that are cops in surrounding towns. If you want to hear somebody bitch about cops you ought to hear some of the old timers talk about things. They'll tell you how screwed up it can be nowadays. One of them got into trouble a few times for letting people go for various small offences. He told me they didn't need to be ticketed or arrested.

    Nolanville, near Ft. Hood, was a speed trap at one time. However the mayor was arrested for being a pedo and they cleaned house there. Not so bad now.

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  15. Thankfully Missouri has a law limiting what percentage of a municipalities income can come from traffic fines. A few years ago, they shut down one of these operations on a road I used to travel on my commute. They disbanded the police department of this small town (Randolph) that is surrounded by Kansas City. Any police calls are now answered by the county. It is a 95%+ industrial/commercial area, so there are very few homes within its boundaries.

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  16. Happened to me in the early 80s in Georgia. Barney hauled me before the "magistrate", who ran court out of the back of a furniture store. He asked me how I plead, I said, "Not guilty, your honor", he said, "Guilty. $100 + 50$ court costs. Payable now." That's what passed for a trial. I had no small bills -- a $100 and some $20s. When it was obvious I was supposed to pay the judge, he took my money, took a $10 out of his wallet, and put the $160 back in his wallet.

    Being a 20 something smart ass from the midwest, I objected to what appeared to be corruption. The judge looked at me and said something like, "It's not too late to lock you up. If I were you, I'd get in my little riceburner and never come back."

    Which I did.

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  17. Brookside seems to be in the news a lot lately.

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  18. Glad to see ol Bogs is still around. I had noticed the lack of his oft witty comments over the past several weeks.

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  19. When I'm passing through and this happens, I take the ticket and go home. I never go to court if I'm from out of state. Not appearing for a traffic ticket is a misdemeanor, and the statute of limitations on misdemeanors in most states is 18 months.

    Don't go back for 18 months, problem solved. Not a lawyer, not legal advice. It's what I do, however.

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    1. Not sure when the last time you checked for any updates to the laws, they might have changed since the last time you had to get involved with the system or it might just be out here on the commie coast.
      In WA, my stepdaughter had a hold or lien on her license from OR for a parking (maybe speeding?) ticket. She had to clear that up before she could renew her license and that was about 25 yrs ago.
      The days of riding across the river to another state while the state law had to stop are long gone.

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  20. Two types of cops: 1) Andy Griffith 2) Barney Fife.
    This is what it looks like when Barney is sheriff.

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  21. Small town about 12 miles from my town started this. Wasn't long before every cop car was "disabled" and houses of the cops started getting messed with. One actually burnt to the ground while the family was at church. Things settled back down to normal shortly after.

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  22. As CbusRog noted above, there used to be a little burg just west of Columbus, Ohio named New Rome. The entire village government was absolutely corrupt, raking in millions from traffic violations real or imagined. They had the balls to even post signs on a 300-yard section of the interstate freeway, dropping the speed limit to 45mph, and then stopping and fining people for continuing to drive at 65. It got so bad that the state Attorney General arrested the entire village government of New Rome, and revoked their charter, dissolving the township. New Rome no longer exists.

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    1. Those were the days. They ran the whole "operation" out of a mobile home.

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  23. 50% of the budgets of small towns in West Virginia come from traffic violations.

    Study done a few years ago.

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  24. Macks Creek, Mo was a notorious speed trap through the 80's and 90's. Speed went from 60 to 45 and then 25 in a matter of about 200 yards. God help you if you TOUCHED a line on the side of the road (Careless and Imprudent, at the best) Then MO passed a law similar to what Don Curton said happened in Texas. Suddenly the mayor, Chief of Police and one of the police secretaries went missing along with 3 or 4 million dollars from the "city Funds". Now the speed limit through town (still on the highway, though) is 45 and they don't enforce it.

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  25. Several years ago, a friend was cited in a small town in the Texas panhandle. When he called to discuss the fine and handling the ticket, they explained that for an additional "administrative processing fee" of $50, then the ticket would never be reported to the state and would not ever appear on hos driving record. He paid the fee.

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