Ticketing tiff ends with courtroom gunfire
Residents fed up with speed traps in tiny town that has seven officers
JERICHO, Ark. - It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.
The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
Payne ended up in the hospital, but his shooting last week brought to a boil simmering tensions between residents of this tiny former cotton city and their police force. Drivers quickly learn to slow to a crawl along the gravel roads and the two-lane highway that run through Jericho, but they say sometimes that isn't enough to fend off the city ticketing machine.
"You can't even get them to answer a call because normally they're writing tickets," said Thomas Martin, chief investigator for the Crittenden County Sheriff's Office. "They're not providing a service to the citizens."
Now the police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down," a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff's deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago.
"You can't even buy a loaf of bread, but we've got seven police officers," said former resident Larry Harris, who left town because he said the police harassment became unbearable.
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What can you say to something like this except WOW!!!
Sounds like the FBI needs to investigate that town.
And I didn't even hear the word camera used once, just speed traps. So be-careful what you ask for because you could end up with a cowboy police department. forget about a ticket in the mail how about a bullet in the chest!
So slow down do the speed limit and be sure to stop on red and completely before that right hand turn. Load the newest POI camera files just to be aware of your surroundings, and to keep you out of the hands of the officers in the first place.
two for one on the shot!
Their cop should be put in jail
Do you really think this situations is a argument for more traffic or red light cameras? Because this as argument sounds at least creepy. Surrender to any electronic surveillance or get killed by cops?
I don't get it. For me it is more of a reason to take hard look at any forms of "law enforcements" practices that we have to put up with. Getting more "automated enforcement" won't fix sick system.
Must have got their training in Chicago. Millions of our tax dollars have gone to paying off lawsuits for abuses such as this.
Actually the State Attorney General would be the investigating agency.
However if they had been doing their job this would have never happened.
It's not too difficult to see why the residents are moving out and the businesses shutting down!! Makes you want to get out and visit that town - Not!!
Jeebus. I think I'll rewatch "Easy Rider" and assess the state of the union over a Gin and Tonic.
No matter how old you get, it seems like some things have never changed, huh?
I second that. I can't believe they shot the guy in court. Amazing!
1: The Government is not your friend.
2: A person without a firearm is a subject, a person with a firearm is a citizen.
3: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Yes bob not even mentioned. Of course like speed cameras, cops can go too far sometimes and enforcement which the public and consumers deem unreasonable causes consumers to go elsewhere. As the story noted you can't even buy a loaf of bread in the town but they have 7 cops. Pretty soon there maybe no cars to stop.
The thing I don't recall being mentioned is how easy it is to doctor video and the speed you were traveling and clearly there is an incentive to do it. How does the average Joe bring the specific camera and equipment used to give them a ticket into court and have the video analyzed for tampering? Answer is they can't in most cases because of the expense.
The insane fees paid to these for profit companies could put more officers on the street and again unlike a camera popping someone for a $125 ticket a live officer can pull the person over, run their license, check for insurance and warrants and unlike a camera brought into court and cross examined.
I don't think it to far out there to say 50% of the people receiving these fines from cameras live outside the city limits and therefore have no way to change the laws within that city. So making a simplistic stament that you can change the law is not possible for 50% of the people affected and likely much more.
Makes for a lot of discussion at the city council meeting.
"So slow down do the speed limit and be sure to stop on red and completely before that right hand turn. Load the newest POI camera files just to be aware of your surroundings, and to keep you out of the hands of the officers in the first place."
Do you think it really matters if they obey the traffic laws?
They gave a 75 year old man a ticket for doing 58 in his 'driveway'.
Do you think that's even possible?
They gave multiple tickets outside their jurisdiction where they had NO right to issue tickets.
Do you think they cared?
According to the sheriff, no one seems to know where the money from the tickets went. It's obvious that this is not 'traffic enforcement' it's a scam run by uniformed bandits!
So preaching, "..slow down", ".. be sure to stop on red", in relation to this story really takes the cake.
That judge/Atty needs a bit of investigation also....
Stay away from Jericho, AR
see it, if I'm in the area - but walk through the town ...
This is what is meant by Life in The Interior. There are some backwards places that should be avoided. It shows why the only way to drive from New York to California is through Canada.
I thought he was only in Hazard County??? LOL
There are some backwards places that should be avoided. It shows why the only way to drive from New York to California is through Canada.
The only problem with your plan is the arrival in mythical California.
Here's a guidebook to the dominant culture:
Link removed by Miss POI
I removed this link due to the content.
Maybe we should start a POI list that contains such places, and whose voice states: "Alarm! Turn Around NOW!"
I don't recall hearing about the Chicago Police abusing firefighters. Only the rest of us.
Maybe they (the police) noticed there was a large segment of our society (firefighters) that was not being properly served. If they are abusing the FD too, I'm glad they finally decided to pick up the slack.
I can see it now, Garmin will need to add this avoidance via an upgrade to their devices for the above trip
I wonder who will represent the cops who shot the fire chief in court.....and if you don't do a good enough job, might you get shot???
Unfortunately, some (bad) legacies of the Old South still exist. Scary. Jericho should be brought under marshal law until this is figured out.
Frankie will be turning over in his grave when this headline reaches him!!!
Do you think that's even possible?
Well that depends on how long the driveway is. I live in the country and have a 1/4 mile long driveway. Could I do 58mph? Yep, but might have a problem at the end of the driveway. Do the cops have the right to enforce a speed limit on private property. I don't think so . . . but lets save that for a different post.
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