The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [States]
2014-08-25 05:15 by Karl Denninger
in States , 255 references
 

Time to lock some people up.

Motorists in a New York suburb racked up $2.4 million in fines after they were caught on camera speeding at six school locations, but now those tickets are being forgiven after it was discovered that the cameras were catching motorists on days the schools were not in session.

You can't forgive what wasn't yours in the first place.

If the ticket was not valid (because the school wasn't open) and you dunned someone for it anyway you committed theft by coercion.

In aggregate, $2.4 million, that's GRAND Theft (with a capital "G".)

$2.4 million in a month?  That's no accident.

Everyone involved needs to go to prison -- or the gallows.

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Gee, did Mr. Brown get*****ed off at being confronted by a cop because he had a handful of stolen cigars in his hand or did he do so because on a historical basis walking or driving while black is the reason people get -- at least financially -- attacked in Ferguson on a literal daily basis?

“Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of 2,635,400,” according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, “or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”

Really?

Oh, it gets better:

A Ferguson court employee reported, for example, that “the bench routinely starts hearing cases 30 minutes before the appointed time and then locks the doors to the building as early as five minutes after the official hour, a practice that could easily lead a defend net arriving even slightly late to receive an additional charge for failure to appear.”

So the court (intentionally) starts hearing cases before your appearance time and if you're not there before the time you were summoned you're at risk of having a second charge added for failure to appear.  Then on top of that if you're as little as five minutes late the door to the building is locked, so you can't even plead your case that they called you before the time on the citation -- quite reasonably so, especially if you took public transit to get there.  Now you wind up with a second charge against you, and no opportunity to contest it since, of course, there's no proof you were there as you can't get in.

Can anyone reasonably claim a rigged system like this generates 3 legitimate arrest warrants per household in a year?

REALLY?

Growing up with that all around you on a daily basis doesn't give you a perfectly-good reason to believe that a cop who stops short and exits his car because you're walking in the street, an "offense" that at worst should generate a jaywalking citation and on a residential street, which this was, it shouldn't generate anything at all except perhaps a rolled down window and a polite inquiry as to the fact that you're running the risk of getting hit by a car, might be an excellent indication of bad faith on the part of the officer?

THREE WARRANTS PER HOUSEHOLD folks and over $2.6 million in fines and fees last year, or to put a number on it about $130 per man, woman and child in the town?  Over $500 per family of four on average?

This is legitimate rather than outright theft and extortion?

Riiiiiiight.

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Indeed experience hath shewn exactly that.

PS: What do you do when the MO of your city, on the numbers, is "Armed robbery by the police"?

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Well then, you might want to rethink awarding contracts to companies involved in traffic enforcement that are really nothing more than arbitrarily scamming drivers.  And yeah, kickbacks might have been a part of that, eh?  Never mind the well-documented practice of reducing yellow light times so as to make it impossible to safely stop when traveling at the speed limit for a given road between the time the light turns yellow and red, thereby forcing a driver to run a "red" light and obtain a photo citation for a forced offense that was not willingly or negligently earned.

The former chief executive officer of Redflex, a major red light camera (RLC) vendor, has been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago. 

On Wednesday, in addition to former CEO Karen Finley, government prosecutors also indicted John Bills, former managing deputy commissioner at the Department of Transportation, and Bills’ friend Martin O’Malley, who was hired as a contractor by Redflex.

According to the indictment, O’Malley himself was paid $2 million for his services as a contractor, effectively making him one of the company’s highest paid workers. Much of that money was then funneled to Bills, who used it for personal gain. Via Redflex employees, Bills also acquired a Mercedes and a condominium in Arizona. In December 2013, Ars reported on red light cameras nationwide, and in particular, Redflex's four cameras in the central California town of Modesto.

Remember this the next time you ask whether I've seen something and want me to say something.

Because until all of these cameras are gone -- everywhere -- I will exercise my right to remain silent.

Peace officers need the citizens -- it's not the other way around, and you can't get what you want through demands, but only through voluntary cooperation.

PS: Choose where you live based in large part on whether you have Peace Officers or Law Enforcement Officers.  If you have "red light" cameras you do not have Peace Officers!  I did, and you can too.  It's a significant difference that really does have a serious impact on your lifestyle; it's easy to find examples where the difference between these two views in two closely-related geographic areas with nearly identical demographics have a 100% variance in crime statistics.  That's the difference between being quite safe being out and about in jogging attire and having a perfectly-reasonable need to carry all the time lest you be robbed, raped or murdered.

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