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View Diary: Cops arrest, rough up, hold for 12hrs and charge woman with obstruction/resisting for jaywalking(!) (90 comments)

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  •  That Is Stunning If True (24+ / 0-)

    a few years ago I wanted to do away with my car. I use mass transit, walk, or most days on my bike. I break the "jay walking" law everyday. Heck when I come to the one stop light in my town I don't wait for it to turn green for me. If there are no cars I ride through. Cops where I live have no desire to arrest me. None. That these folks did is telling in an of itself.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:24:51 AM PDT

    •  It's the culture of obedience. (35+ / 0-)

      The law is seen as an instrument of coercion, not as a prohibition of certain socially harmful acts. The concept that individual behavior is presumably good, until proven otherwise (innocent until guilty), has been reduced to the starting point of a trial. Our agents of law enforcement are not being taught to be polite to the public; nor that they are public servants. The are being trained to be obedient and, since that's an abusive situation, they pass it on. Imposing obedience on others is their reward for subordinating themselves to their higher-ups. It's an organizational problem. It may be a consequence of the fact that incompetent people are being promoted into positions of authority. Just look at that emergency manager in Detroit who doesn't know how to keep his own accounts and has liens for unpaid taxes filed against him, four times.

      When they get into legislative bodies, these good talkers, who manage to talk themselves out of trouble, are scofflaws. They pass laws so they can scoff at people who obey the irrational restrictions they impose.

      Perambulation is one of the basic human rights because it is derived from an intrinsic function. Since it isn't mentioned in the Constitution, the culture of obedience violates it with impunity. Also, the law enforcers are parsing when an arrest occurs to avoid having to comply with the obligation to respect rights. That's why the victim of this assault was only detained, as are the foreigners without papers who are being rounded up for deportation and as are the captives in Guantanamo. The rationale seems to be that individuals have no rights until they are arrested. So, let's not arrest them.
      The main body of the Constitution is written up as a directive -- what agents of government may and must do. There was some concern about appending prohibitions, which is what the first ten amendments are, probably because of the human proclivity, when confronted with prohibitions, to find exceptions. Indeed, exceptions are written in. "You can't do a search except when warranted." So, for example, they routinely search people they stop (arrest, technically) because a fear for their safety warrants it. Finally, the law considers simple assault a misdemeanor, even though it violates bodily integrity -- more evidence that human rights, to which persons are entitled by virtue of being natural persons, are not a top priority. Humans exist to be exploited by their own kind is the belief that is in basic conflict with the commitment to human rights. At present, the authoritarians are in a hunt for some population they can exploit with impunity. "Immigrants" are a nice target because they have no obvious identifiers, so anybody could be one and all the law enforcers need is suspicion. Perambulators or pedestrians are all suspect. Bicyclists too, but they are harder to catch by cops in their cages on wheels.
      Why do caged cops want to put people in cages? They're under restraints, why shouldn't everyone else be, as well?

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:59:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  just hope you don't get an eager beaver (5+ / 0-)

      chief or some shiny new recruits who are just itching to "clean up" crime in your town

    •  Please be very careful (5+ / 0-)

      As someone who has to drive in a city from time to time, it's extremely nerve-wracking when a pedestrian appears out of nowhere in front of you. Many simply do not pay attention, and that is extremely dangerous. I can't tell you how many close calls I've had from people popping out into the street from behind a parked SUV. I simply cannot see them in time in that situation. Bikes are even more at risk since they move faster and provide drivers even less time to react. Going through a red light on a bike in a dense city is both illegal and recklessly dangerous.  I implore you, be very very careful when doing this. For not only your sake but to prevent someone from having to call in, say they hit someone, and then having to go through the pain of an investigation and potential charges from these same officers.

      While what these officers did to this lady is inexcusable, and many laugh at the idea of jaywalking being an offense, on dense city streets it can be quite dangerous. Pedestrians and bike riders are better for the planet than car drivers, this is true, but the Newtonian court of law is extremely strict and harsh when applying the rule 'F = ma', and going "green" grants no protections from that.

      The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

      by Cvstos on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but when you don't obstruct traffic, (5+ / 0-)

        or interfere with its flow, then you should be able to cross where you can safely cross.  There's a big difference between jaywalking and obstructing traffic.  That said, if this is true, the cops should be fired and sent to school crossing-guard duty.

        •  Jaywalking is dangerous, and in many cities (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, dfe, mkoz, irishwitch, Stwriley

          illegal. So is crossing where there is no crosswalk. Like I said upthread, what happened to this lady is totally abhorrent. I would NOT be upset, however, if she'd gotten a ticket.

          One of the things that keeps our small city traffic tidy and courteous in an almost Canadian way (I don't think I've ever seen a jaywalker in a Canadian city) is a great deal of respect for "don't walk" signs, and the threat of a ticket.

          What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

          by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:16:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry, can't agree (4+ / 0-)

            I know it's anathema to the majority assumption that automobiles trump everything else, but there's something downright authoritarian about ticketing people for walking. Call me a utopian anarchist, but I don't like it.

            •  I see where you're coming from, but imagine (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Swill to Power, Stwriley

              the chaos and danger if everyone simply crosses the street whenever and wherever they want to in a city? No matter how careful and obedient of traffic rules a motorist may be--including stopping for those pedestrians WHEN they can be seen--the number of fatalities and injuries would far outweigh the utopian anarchism.

              Just because we have traffic and pedestrian laws does not necessarily make us authoritarians. Now, what those cops did to the woman who is the subject of this diary, THAT was authoritarianism run amok.

              What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

              by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:17:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess I object to a series of assumptions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "What if everybody just ran out into the street in front of traffic?" Well, note that everybody doesn't run wildly into traffic; nor does the fact that everybody doesn't run out into traffic rely upon financial sanctions, a pervasive police presence, or deep respect for the sacred rule of law.

                On the other hand, twist your "what if" scenario slightly: what if cities were designed for the comfort and convenience of people rather than for the (seemingly) inefficient comfort of the private automobile? Now, I understand that most American cities are not designed this way (they used to be more so, but that's another story). But the first step to dislodging habitual thinking is to entertain the seemingly unrealistic in its pragmatic implications; my argument is that we're so accustomed to being herded, thwarted, sanctioned, intimidated, and ruled that we've lost sight of some things that used to be pretty common sense.

                Incidentally, I don't really believe in national characteristics, but I do believe in observing norms. If you want a glimpse into how little Americans actually value individual conscience, freedom of decision, etc., remain seated during the national anthem at a ball game sometime and listen to what people say. If you want a glimpse into what many people would view as a long-standing quality of Germans, cross a totally empty street against the "Don't Walk" signal.

                So yeah, I kind of went Godwin with the last line, but it's also true.  

                •  I tend to agree with you, on the other hand, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Swill to Power, Cvstos

                  I guess I just don't feel oppressed by common-sense rules for navigating congested streets down which potential death-machines in the form of cars, busses and streetcars travel. Or maybe I lived in Austria for too long. ;)

                  As far as the National Anthem is concerned, I used to be a shcoolteacher in public school and I neither recited nor compelled my students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds that I find loyalty oaths to be abhorrent AND many in the class were not citizens. This was in Texas. I am very well aware of the herd mentality. It's just that I think when it comes to city streets, if there were ever a place for herding (or at least obeying walk/don't walk lights), city streets is it.

                  What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

                  by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 02:27:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Many streets have no crosswalk (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Sam Berdoux, a2nite

            It is usually legal to cross at a corner. There are neighborhoods where there are no sidewalks, yet people must cross the street. Commonsense should rule.

          •  Those laws are also pretty universally not (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marvinborg, doinaheckuvanutjob

            enforced, and the woman was not charged with jaywalking.

            Whatever this woman was arrested for, it was not jaywalking.  Either the cop was having a bad day, or was low on quota.  If this was in part of the 0.001% of the US where jaywalking laws are actually enforced, it may have been because a cop with a severe anger management problem viewed not having an ID as giving him lip, and he has learned over the years that he can get away with being an abusive thug when he feels like it.

            Regardless of how you look at it, there's no way any of this makes sense.  There's no law requiring people carry ID.  IMHO resistance and obstruction charges should not exist when there are no other charges, or all other charges are dropped.

          •  I understand and agree with you, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but one other example that happens all the time.  You find a parking space in the middle of the block, and your destination is across the street.  If there is no traffic, you should be able to cross where without fear of a ticket.  I don't need government to hold my hand to cross the street.  If I interfere with traffic however, then I deserve the ticket.  

            Either way, I won't receive a ticket in my college town because that doesn't seem to attract the attention of our local police.  The natural outgrowth is the students never follow that law.  When passing the college, students cross against the light and REALLY interfere wiith traffic.  This gives me confidence I won't be ticketed.  

      •  So slow down and look for people. (0+ / 0-)

        Pedestrians rarely come out of nowhere. Drivers, on the other hand, frequently charge through intersections and crosswalks completely heedless of anyone who may be on foot. Slow down and look for others.

        Where was Jeff Gannon on Pretzel Day?

        by Sam Berdoux on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a very careful driver (0+ / 0-)

          Knock on wood, ZERO tickets, ZERO at-fault accidents. Ask any of my friends, they'll tell you I'm the most careful driver out of all of them by a very wide margin.

          And I don't mean just zero points on my license or zero tickets that stuck. I mean I have never even been issued a ticket, not even as a teenager.

          And I'm thirty years old, and have been driving for fourteen.

          I've only been in ONE accident, and for that one I was sitting still at a red stoplight when I got rear-ended. Naturally, I was NOT ticketed. (Side note: The guy that hit me was a teenager, and I honestly don't blame him a bit. The weather was god-awful, some of the worst I've ever seen, and the road super-slick. He was moving slow and STILL slid out of control it was so bad. I harbor no ill will, and the impact was only a few MPH. Only my bumper got damaged, no worries.)

          And pedestrians DO appear out of nowhere. Try driving in downtown Chicago sometime. I try to stay in slower lanes because I'm not a fast driver. Of course, this means that I have to be extra-careful when passing any larger vehicle (I drive a compact car) parked on the side. Any vehicle large enough to obscure an adult pedestrian (read: most any SUV) is one they're likely to decide to emerge from behind, without even slowing down.

          It's the worst in the Loop itself. I can remember driving down next to the Sears Tower, and the pedestrians there would manage to jaywalk at INTERSECTIONS. How? Well, the light is green for me, would be green for quite some time to come, and they still cross anyway. Despite having the "do not cross" light on for them.

          Despite the fact that I'm coming at them in my car. My BLUE, daytime-running-lights-equipped car. In which I then get stuck in the middle of the intersection, honking like crazy so I can try and fail to be able to proceed.

          Through the STILL green light.

          And when I honk? They don't rush back to where they were or even just stop where they are to let me through.

          They speed up to try to get across.

          I have to creep up to the edge of the crossing and honk THERE to get them to stop, and then proceed through the again STILL green light.

          Yes, there are pedestrians out there that do incredibly stupid things. It's not the car driver that's always at fault, but I'm willing to bet it would be hard to convince a judge or jury of that fact.

          In theory at least, this is why they have jaywalking laws. I rather wish they'd be enforced more.

          As I said, going to court for a jaywalking ticket is a lot less painful than going to the Newtonian court of law and paying the penalty for an 'F = ma' ticket.

          The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

          by Cvstos on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:08:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I had a similar accident (0+ / 0-)

            Stopped at a red light a woman slammed into me pushed
            me in a Aveo half way through the intersection.   Neck injury which is aching now.  Restarting physical therapy
            and fighting their insurance.  
              I paint for a living so it aggravates it.  And i just now got a mri. which indeed shows a messed up neck.  

            Politics is a contact sport

            by boudi08 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:13:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not stunning. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, elwior, a2nite

      It's becoming common.

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's one thing if no one is coming, but (6+ / 0-)

      please do not walk against the light in cities. In cities like Boston, it's done all the time and the result is chaos. People on foot should wait their turn just like cyclists and motorists. It's only common sense. Here in Portland ME you're likely to get a jaywalking ticket.

      That being said, what happened to this lady is appalling. A ticket is one thing, being arrested is totally unacceptable.

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be proud of jay walking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akeitz, Stwriley

      If you are crossing major streets it is not a great idea. Just because you think it is clear, doesn't mean it actually is. Several times a month I come very close to hitting pedestrians  or bicyclists who I am quite sure mistakenly thought they were good to go. I also live in an area where this are sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the street with frequent on demand crosswalks so there is no reason to jay walk.

      That said, a ticket is generally the extent of punishment most jay walking incidents deserve.

      •  Crosswalks aren't safe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, snazzzybird

        I work in a Northern California suburb that is crisscrossed by "city streets" that function more like major expressways. I like to get out of the office and walk somewhere for lunch, so I have to cross at least one of these 40+ MPH rivers of death each day.

        The problem now is that traffic is moving so fast that people waiting to make a right turn are deathly afraid of getting by hit a car coming from the left. So, they have learned to wait until the "walk" signal comes on to let them know that it is safe to turn onto the expressway. They generally do not feel any obligation to wait for me, even when they have taken the time to look for me in the first place. By the time all of them are through, the "don't walk" signal is usually flashing. So if I wait until there are no cars to step off the curb, am I jaywalking? According to the law I am, even if the light is still green.

        I never step off the curb at a crosswalk until I have the light, yet I rarely make it to lunch and back without having to jump back from a car. It is far, far safer to walk to the middle of the block, wait for a big gap in traffic, and sprint across than it is to use the crosswalk. I guess this would be First Degree jaywalking, but it really is safer, especially on those streets that have a landscaped median separating the lanes. So please don't tell me not to jaywalk as long as drivers fail to yield to pedestrians with such impunity. I will do it because it is a rational choice.

        Where was Jeff Gannon on Pretzel Day?

        by Sam Berdoux on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:21:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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