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Or am I over reacting? We live in a little “Village” surrounded by the city of Louisville, KY. It is a strange political situation where we have our own town council, garbage & recycle contracts, and a mini police force (part time retired officers). But Louisville provides fire, sewer, more police, and we much obey all Louisville metro laws.

The area is largely white working and middle class. Largely home owners with some rentals. And most neighbors know each other by sight (maybe, but more likely by car or dog if they walk it). There are not a lot of neighbors socializing with each other.

One of my neighbors gets real upset when people park in easement areas and calls the police regularly. Now, it is illegal in all of Louisville but not enforced in lower income areas. But because of his calls our Village police check out our block somewhat regularly and I joke with visitors to not let their tires touch one blade of grass if they park on the steet.

Jump across the orange easement and I’ll get back to the incident that got riled up.

I was looking out our front window the other evening and noticed something like six cars parked on our block.  That is very unusual as most park in their driveways - we are one of the few house to actually use our garage for our cars. Often there are no cars parked on our block.

I then noticed that our Village police chief was parked in our driveway wring a ticket for the car parked in front of our house. We don’t have the traditional golf course turf grass yard, it is all flowers and native plants. That is another story - as you can imagine our Village board once tried to make us cut it all down.

The point is I could not see if the car was actually on our easement. I could see the two cars in front of that one were in parked about 8 inches into my neighbor’s easement. After, the chief left I went out to see how much into the easement the car was parked. Yes, half the tire was off the asphalt on the easement - basically the 3 to 4 inches of rocky dirt where no plants grow.

Now I’m thinking that is a bit picky but... Then I thought, I had not seen the chief put tickets so I decided to check the windshields of those cars. To my surprise they had not been ticketed. Walking back toward my driveway, I noticed a car down the other direction with its front right wheel obviously in the easement and it had no ticket.

As I looked over the four cars all were relatively new - nothing beat up or out of the ordinary. But then one difference jumped out. The ticketed car had several pro Obama bumper stickers.

Now I’m getting a little pissed off. I emailed my major. He forward it to the police. The police story was that they gave 3 tickets that day and the others must have taken their ticket off the car. That was obviously not what happened but I wasn’t sure what to do next.

So the next day I called the chief, told him what the mayor told me, and offered my apology if I had jumped the gun. I asked for a description of the other cars and where they were ticketed. He read me information from the tickets - type and color of car, time it was ticketed, and address of house it was parked in front of. Only the car with the Obama stickers matched my photos. Did I mention I got photos of all the cars and how much they were on the easement?

After telling the Chief about my photos, he changed his story. Said he must have just missed the other cars. Told me he was a long time Democrat. Told me that a couple of times but never said he voted for or liked Obama. Many while Kentucky Democrats did not an vote for and do not support Obama.

The monthly council meeting is Monday evening. Should I go and bring up this issue? Or should I just let it drop?

Thanks for reading my rant and any suggestions you might have.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is there any way to contact the person (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SocioSam, DRo, Gordon20024, BlackSheep1

    that was ticketed? That person might be able to use your evidence to fight the fine and bring attention to the discriminatory nature of the ticket.

    •  I left a note on his car and (7+ / 0-)

      saw him get in it. So, I went out and told him my email was on the note. At first, he was just apologetic for being on the easement but I said that was not my concern and told him about other cars (which were gone by then) and my photos.

      When he understood that he was the only one ticketed and only one with Obama stickers he shock his head.

      So far, I've not heard for him.

      I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

      by SocioSam on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:39:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  get ready to start videoing the police (8+ / 0-)

    and whatever comes with it.  I got in hot water years ago for videoing cops removing "Speed Trap" signs from my private property and it ended up very badly with my removing my business from the town.

    Videotape the cops and keep logs of who is ticketed when.  Then start requesting copies of their ticket logs each month under an FOIA request.  Be prepared for them to claim 1) such information is not public (it is) 2) that they cannot capture that information in their computer system (how do they track nonpayment of tickets then?) 3) demand an exorbitant amount of payment for employee time and research (a local hospital claimed it would cost them $15K to research the monthly check for their CEO; when they do this, call the local media) and 4) claim some other reason why you cannot have the data.

    Then get ready for the storm and watch where you park your car because you will surely be targeted  

  •  It's difficult to be in a position where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, annetteboardman, nextstep

    you are saying, essentially, "but he did it, too!"  

    If the car that was ticketed was not parked illegally, then you would be in a stronger position.  

    But the authorities -- courts included -- are generally not sympathetic to people who come to them saying, "I was wrong, but other people were wrong, too, and you didn't catch them."  Sometimes, police don't ticket vehicles or do things about other such minor infractions unless someone calls.  Perhaps someone called about the car that was ticketed.  (I have a neighbor -- a retired gentleman -- who will call to complain about technically minor issues in the neighborhood, whether it's on his property or not.  In a way, it's good, because he watches the neighborhood like a hawk, which means that if there is any really illegal activity, he will catch it.)  

    As it is, you have one instance where, when you went out to look, one car was ticketed and others were not.  Do you know what time all those cars parked?  Do you know what time any report was made about illegally parked cars?  Do you know if a complaint was made about one of the cars -- or all of the cars? Do you know how many of those other cars were there when the complaint was made, or when the ticket was issued?  Did any of those other cars get there after the ticket was issued?  All of those kinds of questions would be relevant to determining whether your complaint was valid.  If you want to pursue it further, you should be prepared to answer those kinds of questions.  

    My personal opinion is this.  You've essentially let the police know that there were other cars illegally parked and not ticketed.  I think that's about all you can do at this point, after one incident.  Of course, if you wanted to test your theory, you could actually call about illegally parked cars with no Obama stickers and see if they get tickets, or if the police come out and only ticket cars with Obama stickers.  If you have a number of instances like that, then you might be on stronger ground.  

    •  I do know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Themistoclea, petesmom

      that all the cars were parked there when only the one was ticketed.

      Maybe an experiment is in order. But I'll need some money to pay those tickets.

      I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

      by SocioSam on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:45:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again, Reading is FUNdamental... (11+ / 0-)

      First, the diarist is not the one ticketed, so he would not go to court at all, much less to say, "I was wrong but they were wrong too." This is a bit of a straw man.

      Second, he writes that he noticed the police chief in his driveway writing the ticket, and that at that time (while police chief is in the driveway) he could see the 2 cars ahead parked 8" onto the easement. He went out right after the chief left to see how far the ticketed car was onto the easement, so there was not a lapse of time between events.

      So to answer your questions in your paragraph 4:  Do you know what time all those cars parked? I don't imagine this is relevant if they were adjacent to the ticketed car and they were there when the ticket in question was written.
      Do you know what time any report was made about illegally parked cars? Irrelevant for the reason stated above.
      Do you know if a complaint was made about one of the cars -- or all of the cars? Again, why would this matter if all 3 cars are adjacent?
      Do you know how many of those other cars were there when the complaint was made, or when the ticket was issued?  Did any of those other cars get there after the ticket was issued? Again, yes the diarist does know, and I do too because I read the dairy!

      I'm sorry, I don't mean to get on your case specifically, but it seems like every time I read comments lately, there are comments just like this, where the commenter obviously didn't read the diary carefully at all and has completely confused or ignored the facts in the diary. It wastes the time of the reader, and of the diarist who took the time to write.

      The past 50 years we: -Ended Jim Crow. -Enacted the Voting Rights Act. -Attained reproductive rights (contraceptive & abortion). -Moved toward pay equity. Republicans want to take our country back. I WON'T GO BACK!

      by petesmom on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 12:20:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bring it up, but leave Obama out of it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, gffish

    It's clearly a case of selective enforcement, and you have the evidence, several cars were parked that way, only one was ticketed.  

    You don't know why they wanted to pick on that one car, there could be lots of reasons.  The stickers are one theory, but not necessary to bring up.  One data point hardly shows a pattern.  

  •  Keep taking pictures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, MRA NY, wilderness voice

    until you can document a pattern.
    One incident, they can brush off, 5 or 10 incidents take it over the top.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 11:48:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm a little confused. (0+ / 0-)

    Are there no curbs in your neighborhoods?

  •  Part of the ascension of the Right (5+ / 0-)

    Starting in the late seventies was the changing of the workforce in governmental positions. Instead of the union members that voted primarily democratic there was an influx of republican focused municipal employees that would insert their own right leaning biases into their jobs. How do I know this? I'm Transgender and have been obviously Queer my entire life so I have had right wing municipal employees outright lie to me as to further the right's interest of marginalization.

    I do not doubt for a moment that the ticketing officer intentionally targeted the vehicle with Obama stickers as to punish the owner for having the gall to vote for a Black man.

    Yes go to your council meeting and bring your photos. And always, always, always film the police in the performance of their duties.

  •  Just took off my GOP Mastodon sticker & ☮ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, wilderness voice

    that had been on there since 2002.  Recently I've taken a high profile stand writing letters to the local paper critical of increased noise from Navy Jet practices. Its a very controversial topic locally since the Navy is the county's largest employer.

    And I just didn't want a car with too many messages on it anyway, (I left two bumper stickers on).  

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 01:16:16 PM PDT

  •  I am not sure what should be done, but I don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    doubt the Obama sticker as the reason for the ticket.

    I no longer have an Obama sticker on my car. As an older middle class white dude, I am used to the police going easy on me. However, a couple of years ago a county cop pulled me over in my Obama stickered car while I wore my Obama tee shirt. He gave me a hard time and seemed angry at me for no reason. No more liberal bumper stickers for me.

  •  Police have been known to target bumper stickers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, quetzal, wilderness voice

    When in college I remember a political science experiment were students were given “Black Panther” bumper stickers and they had to disband the study early because they got so many tickets.

    And here are recent stories about police targeting political bumper stickers.

    Here Obama

    Here marijuana (not)

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 02:25:35 PM PDT

  •  This is not a slam against your community (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    but, basically...

  •  If the cops where you live are anything like the (0+ / 0-)

    West Point police (wide spot in the road near Muldraugh), then yes, it's deliberate. There is also little to nothing you can do about it and they know it. The cops in West Point have a reputation of being complete (their parents were never married), also vindictive, sheet wearing, psychos (and believe me I'm being nice).

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.-Terry Pratchett

    by Shippo1776 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:57:00 PM PDT

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