Tom You're Up - Police gone wild, confiscating and fining their asses off

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,226
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Kent Island!
https://jalopnik.com/this-tiny-alabama-town-of-1-200-has-been-overrun-by-pol-1848389331


By 2020 Brookside made more misdemeanor arrests than it has residents. It went from towing 50 vehicles in 2018 to 789 in 2020 – each carrying fines. That’s a 1,478% increase, with 1.7 tows for every household in town.

...

Police stops soared between 2018 and 2020. Fines and forfeitures – seizures of cars during traffic stops, among other things – doubled from 2018 to 2019. In 2020 they came to $610,000. That’s 49% of the small town’s skyrocketing revenue.


 

Fakenews

Super Anarchist
13,099
1,614
https://jalopnik.com/this-tiny-alabama-town-of-1-200-has-been-overrun-by-pol-1848389331


By 2020 Brookside made more misdemeanor arrests than it has residents. It went from towing 50 vehicles in 2018 to 789 in 2020 – each carrying fines. That’s a 1,478% increase, with 1.7 tows for every household in town.

...

Police stops soared between 2018 and 2020. Fines and forfeitures – seizures of cars during traffic stops, among other things – doubled from 2018 to 2019. In 2020 they came to $610,000. That’s 49% of the small town’s skyrocketing revenue.
They did the same thing in a little town outside Gainesville, that happened to be a place you needed to go through to get to Jacksonville.  It took the State a couple of decades to shut that department down.

 

bridhb

Super Anarchist
3,267
893
Jax, FL
They did the same thing in a little town outside Gainesville, that happened to be a place you needed to go through to get to Jacksonville.  It took the State a couple of decades to shut that department down.
It was in a couple of the towns between Jax and Gainesville.  Waldo and Lawtey.  Lawtey is still somewhat active.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,961
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
https://jalopnik.com/this-tiny-alabama-town-of-1-200-has-been-overrun-by-pol-1848389331


By 2020 Brookside made more misdemeanor arrests than it has residents. It went from towing 50 vehicles in 2018 to 789 in 2020 – each carrying fines. That’s a 1,478% increase, with 1.7 tows for every household in town.

...

Police stops soared between 2018 and 2020. Fines and forfeitures – seizures of cars during traffic stops, among other things – doubled from 2018 to 2019. In 2020 they came to $610,000. That’s 49% of the small town’s skyrocketing revenue.
The article that one draws from has more details.

Naming a drug dog "K9 Cash" is remarkably honest about his purpose.

The charge of marijuana possession for the weed plus the paraphernalia charge for the rolling paper around it was creative.

Not sure why this story merits a new thread when we already have a perfectly good drug war looting thread. By the way, it could also go in the Qualified Impunity thread.
 

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Archibald reports the terrible tale of Rev. Vincent Witt, who was pulled over at a stop sign in Brookside by a cop because he had a paper tag. Witt's car was a new purchase, and the tag was legitimate. Witt says he asked if Brookside pulled everybody over like this and says the police officer called him a racial slur and told him to stay out of the town.

Witt called the police department to file a complaint and was told he would have to do so in person. Then things turned bizarre. Witt and his sister (who was not even in the car with him) were subsequently charged with impersonating police officers. Brookside put their pictures up on their Facebook page, and web site Crime Stoppers featured their photos as suspects. The case was eventually dropped after damaging the Witts' reputation.

Witt and his sister have sued in federal court for malicious prosecution. Brookside has claimed that the officers involved are entitled to qualified immunity from the lawsuit. As perhaps an indicator of how big the problem is in Brookside, District Court Judge Abdul Kallon for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama only allowed immunity for the stop itself.  He ruled that the "bizarre" police behavior afterward was not protected. "Given the alleged and, truthfully, bizarre conduct—issuing and approving fabricated charges against Pastor Witt and Ms. Witt for impersonating police officers, without probable cause, and publicizing the charges on Facebook and Crime Stoppers in retaliation for Pastor Witt's complaint—the court is unconvinced that [the officers] are entitled to qualified immunity."

...
You have to bring a really far-fetched argument to lose qualified immunity, so that's an achievement too.

But if you put it in the context of the rest of the looting described in the relevant thread, these podunk idiots are pikers. 600 grand in a year? Going after private vehicles? Real looters go to the source and go after armored cars.

I get why you would think I'm the only person here who might care about this topic. That's unfortunate. In case it's also not true, anyone else who cares could always donate to a four star charity that is a leader in fighting this shit.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,961
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
Well, the chief resigned.
 

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It turns out everybody else understood the corruption problems with police going around fining people solely for the purpose of funding the police department. Both the state's lieutenant governor (a Republican) and the chair of the state's Democratic Party said they're going to work on legislation to try to stop overly aggressive small-town policing that attempts to milk fines from drivers. There's already a law in the state that stops cities with populations of less than 19,000 from stopping speeders on interstate highways. Brookside's police have adapted to the rule by looking for any other possible justification to pull somebody over instead of speeding, like accusing drivers of following too closely or driving in the left lane (rather than just passing). Lawmakers are considering a bill to ban small police forces from ticketing highway drivers at all.

That would be good—pulling over drivers for minor traffic violations that aren't actual safety threats creates unnecessary opportunities for conflict as it is.

One of the ideas lawmakers noted is the possibility of directing the revenue for fines and forfeitures away from police and general city funds. That's a great thought that's worth exploring. Police being able to keep what they seize is one of the primary motivators for fine and forfeiture abuse, and it's obvious to everybody except for the mayor and the police department that's what was happening in Brookside. Without that incentive, the police would not be sniffing around every single car it comes across for a potential score. And, incidentally, a town of 1,500 people with no traffic lights and only one store probably wouldn't be able to afford 10 police officers, each driving a fancy vehicle.
The last paragraph has it right. Podunk speed trap towns are a problem. Equitable sharing and the profit incentive it creates for looting are the much bigger problems. But the looting enjoys blessed bipartisan unity and only a handful of nutjobs object, so it will continue. As will I.

 

mathystuff

Anarchist
860
460
Won't do any good.

As anyone who pays the slightest attention to this issue would know, the PROPERTY is charged with a crime. The individual who possessed the property often is not, but that doesn't matter. If he can't prove the property innocent, it belongs to the government.
I've had several Fiat Multiplas assault and insult me with their uglyness.

How can I file charges?

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,226
4,379
Kent Island!
Here on the Shore Centreville has a tiny police department, despite the fact the county sheriff's office is IN THE TOWN :rolleyes: They quite obviously are told their continued employment depends on writing tickets, the other day one of them was in full-on Delta Force tacticool gear looking ready to battle it out in Baghdad. He was hiding in a driveway spying on a stop sign to catch the rolling stop terrorist cell  :lol:

 

Happy

Super Anarchist
2,830
1,443
Tropical Oz
No commission/personal profit for the cops doing the over-enforcing? Sounds like socialism.

The Capitalist American Way is better illustrated by the Miami drug squad in the 80s and 90s, when suitably qualified officers were paying up to $250,000 to get a job, knowing that they would make more than that per year for tipoffs, eliminating competitors and guarding coke shipment offloads.  

 
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