Patterico's Pontifications

9/3/2009

Police Officers Take Over a Town

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:27 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember President Bill Clinton’s promise to add 100,000 new police officers? Seven of them may have ended up in Jericho, Arkansas but, if so, it didn’t work out that well:

“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.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled Jericho until the 1990s, when the city received grant money to start its own police force, [Thomas Martin, chief investigator for the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department] said.

Police often camped out in the department’s two cruisers along the highway that runs through town, waiting for drivers who failed to slow down when they reached the 45 mph zone ringing Jericho. Residents say the ticketing got out of hand.

“When I first moved out here, they wrote me a ticket for going 58 mph in my driveway,” 75-year-old retiree Albert Beebe said.”

Investigator Martin says the police were so busy writing tickets that they wouldn’t even answer the phones. But things apparently came to boil last week when Fire Chief Don Payne was shot as he disputed a ticket — in court:

“It was anger over traffic tickets that brought Payne to city hall last week, said his lawyer, Randy Fishman. After failing to get a traffic ticket dismissed on Aug. 27, police gave Payne or his son another ticket that day. Payne, 39, returned to court to vent his anger to Judge Tonya Alexander, Fishman said.

It’s unclear exactly what happened next, but Martin said an argument between Payne and the seven police officers who attended the hearing apparently escalated to a scuffle, ending when an officer shot Payne from behind.

Doctors in Memphis, Tenn., removed a .40-caliber bullet from Payne’s hip bone, Martin said. Another officer suffered a grazing wound to his finger from the bullet.”

This is so ridiculous it’s humorous, but government like this is no laughing matter.

— DRJ

43 Responses to “Police Officers Take Over a Town”

  1. that’s very dark, really … hey speaking of Arkansas kookyness me and NG spent time today at this site getting to know these ones… NG knew them from cable but I never heard of them before.

    They sure do like Jesus. Like really really a LOT. They seem like lovely people if a bit kooky. We were tripping on their house – very very cool but we both decided it wasn’t big enough really.

    Also we thought about the practicality of making 10 gallons of liquid laundry detergent at home. We decided there are probably lots of things we could make at home what we aren’t going to.

    Also we decided Jessa was the prettiest one.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  2. I like the Duggars. She’s pregnant with #19.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  3. They have a prayer closet. And we were wondering who mowed. And we noticed there wasn’t a tv in the master bedroom that we could see. This struck us as meaningful.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  4. I’m picturing Jackie Gleason as the Police Chief, but it really is not a laughing matter. How can a city (?) of 174 afford 2 cops, let alone 7? I guess it’s self-explanatory, hence the out of control ticketing.

    Gazzer (6d46a4)

  5. The older boys mow (they have tractors, I believe) and they don’t watch TV except for special occasions or in connection with home-schooling.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  6. Can I get a “f*** the police!” now?

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  7. Forget it Jake, it’s Arkansas.

    nk (df76d4)

  8. Can I get a “f*** the police!” now?

    No.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  9. The Duggarts seem very happy, close, and content with their chosen life. That’s very telling and says a lot.

    The Quiverfull Movement is not my cup of tea but hats off to this family for loving all of their children so much, and recognizing them for the immense gift they are.

    Dana (863a65)

  10. Doggone it….
    How about a stern reprimand?

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  11. This is prolly just Another Isolated Incident.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  12. oh. Who knew? Well, Dana. No one tells me anything.

    Blessed Arrows Sterilization Reversal Ministry no less. Damn but it’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  13. Isolated to the guy who got shot.
    The guy whose 1 in a 1,000,000 a** just got a new .40 cal. crease for disputing a ticket is probably perturbed regardless of the odds

    A long time ago I read an article titled something like: The Militarization of Mayberry.

    No offense to DRJ but bad police get the middle finger from me…. although I gotta admit a lot of good and OK police have gotten that finger from me when they were just doing their jobs.
    My walk up to the pearly gates is gonna be a slow one…

    I got three tickets in one day while circumnavigating the great state of Utah.
    Telling them the little beehive on their car must mean they must be the queen bee is not a recommended response.
    The second worst response is “Dude, I can’t find my temple recommend card, is my CA license OK instead?”

    I’ve wasted a ton of money being a dumbass to dumbass police.
    Hopefully next year I will learn my lesson.

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  14. SteveG:

    No offense taken. If the allegations are proven true, I will join you in a stern reprimand for using a speed trap to finance the local police, abuse of public funds, neglect of duty, and misconduct and excessive force for shooting an unarmed man in the back. These would probably also be crimes, in which case the offenders should be appropriately punished.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  15. People tell me I’ve got baggage… like the luggage carousel at LAX.

    other than that I am a great guy…. well…. there’s the…

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  16. The Mayor has a police cruiser in her driveway and is ebaying police equipment, according to my poorly informed friend. Who knows? That’s the problem with poor accountability.

    the judge who canceled all the tickets quit immediately. I would too if the cops shot people in court. Why didn’t she put them all in handcuffs for contempt when they stormed this man? Because she knew she didn’t really have control over that courtroom.

    And who is picking up the pieces? The sheriff. The good cops. There’s bad cops, and it’s generally the mass of good cops who has to clean up their disasters. I don’t know of a profession without a few jackasses, but cops have so much responsibility and power (a gun) that this kind of crap gets under everyone’s skin real bad.

    And how did it start? Another bullshit federal grant. How much bullshit grant money is floating out there? More than ever before. We’re headed for a messy, convoluted, impossible time in this country. None of us can fathom just how jacked up things are.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  17. Heh. I need to remember that saying because, you know, we all have baggage.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  18. Just a second, the whole police force is seven officers and all seven of them were at the hearing with the fire chief? Wish I had known — would have been a great time to rob a liquor store or something.

    JVW (d1215a)

  19. There are no liquor stores there. Or any stores at all, actually.

    great unknown (b751d2)

  20. Good point. At least I could have gone speeding through town.

    JVW (d1215a)

  21. There’s a town I used to roll through in California that was a notorious speed trap. The road goes from a 65 speed limit to a 25 and back up to 65 in a very short distance, and the cops would ticket anyone 5 mph over.

    Contesting the ticket required showing up somewhere near that stupid town, which no one lived in.

    There’s a difference between strict speed enforcement and speed traps. In my opinion, law enforcement shouldn’t have income as a goal. You’re supposed to make the streets safer. Some types of speed enforcement just don’t make the streets safer.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  22. Power corrupts. Police Officers have no special resistance to its effect.

    Chuck Roast (aebff3)

  23. This is one of many reason why I despise police.

    Most are lazy incompetents who barely finished High School who become cops in hope of “getting power” and then abuse it when they can.

    Sad.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  24. The prosecutor couldn’t be bothered to remember the name of a cop who shot a unarmed man in open court? Every day, local cops lose a but more of my respect.

    thatguy (eb09ed)

  25. “Most are lazy incompetents who barely finished High School who become cops in hope of “getting power” and then abuse it when they can.”

    I disagree. There are more like that than desired, but not “most”.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  26. MD,

    Maybe it is because I come from a place where Cops are notoriously idiotic.

    Frankly, we need less of them and more guns in our homes.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  27. MD, when you’re the guy from a small town, who left, went to college, and moved away, come back a few years later, and you’ll recognize all the new cops. They will almost universally be the guys who were tough-guy jerks in high school, that you knew had no future if they didnt get the football scholarship to State. Thats how it was in my town, and I was friends with those guys, played football with them, but I knew that once a bully, always a bully, a petty tyrant with some authority and a uniform.

    thatguy (eb09ed)

  28. It can’t happen here.
    It can’t happen here.
    It can’t happen here.
    Just keep telling yourself that it’s only possible in Arkansas.

    [note: fished from spam filter]

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  29. This kind of overreach and abuse in a small town is the like a microcosm of everything wrong in D.C. Are we sure virtually all politicians aren’t dumb bullies?

    Peg C. (48175e)

  30. The same type of thing is happening in Apache County, Arizona. The former sheriff pleaded (pled?) guilty to misuse of public money (he took homeland security money and bought himself 4 wheelers, trailers, etc). He was just hired back…. Small town politics is just as corrupt!

    fiestamom (cf47bb)

  31. I grew up in a town of 4,000 and we had about 3 cops, 4 tops (truth be told I can only think of 2 of them). of course, it wasn’t a speed trap.

    less than 200 has 7? overkill.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  32. Let’s not laugh too hard. I fully expect this kind of abuse to ramp up here in California because of the budget cuts.

    I’m seeing an increasing number of speed traps radar enforcement operations around town. Also more red light cams.

    My wife got popped for 35 in a residental zone a month ago by some cop hiding in the bushes – ticket was over $400.

    And I thought cops were supposed to protect us from the criminals.

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  33. Yeh, their “Serve & Protect” is world-famous.
    Had a situation yesterday where a freeway off-ramp fed into a four-way/signal-controlled intersection where there was some sort of incident that required clean-up and the closing of one-leg of the main arterial road through that intersection. The off-ramp was backed up several miles as all traffic from it had to go either straight ahead, or turn left (the turn to the right was blocked by the clean-up). Finally worked up to the head of the line on the off-ramp, and watched the signals go through about four-cycles completely skipping the green to the ramp twice, and shorting the time two other times so that only one or two cars could get into the intersection – all this while three cops stood in the middle of the intersection talking on their cell-phones, etc, completely oblivious to what was occurring around them; when, by all rights, they should have put the signals on flashing red and been out there manually directing traffic.
    They just don’t care now that they make about $100K, and get to retire after 30 on a 90% pension.
    “Serve & Protect” my A$$!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  34. Reading some of these comments, I though I was at Balko’s Blog by accident….

    TexasC (265917)

  35. also, its soooo funny hearing about some guys experiance with some cops somewhere. that totally justifes prejudice against 836,000 cops…

    TexasC (265917)

  36. Police and politics demand the best people and attract the worst. Old truism.

    nk (df76d4)

  37. Even if you come to the police (or to politics) by following an impulse to service, you will get the same power that the guys who came that way by following an impulse to power did.

    What the public can do is try to ensure that police (and political) incentives are better aligned with service than with power. (This makes the job more rewarding for those who are there for the right reasons, and less attractive to those we’d be ill-served to attract).

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (7649d9)

  38. Geeze louise.

    I think that city now has a new owner.

    mojo (8096f2)

  39. My philosophy has always been, enforcement for safety, not revenue. These guys are an embarrassment to the profession.

    Duke Nukem (d9d8ce)

  40. I bet the dirty cops all smoke cigarettes and buy lottery tickets and drink too much and are all paying child support and probably to more than one person. This has a very trashy smell to it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  41. those police officers couldn’t do that unless higherups gave them the okay. They have a boss. Look at the boss. This is outrageous behavior.

    Julie (63b287)

  42. Revenue collectors – not police officers. Police officers are good to have around…..revenue collectors are the evil arm of police enforcement.

    Take the revenue collectors and put them walking a beat in a high crime area and eventually you will have a net increase in police costs which will offset the revenues of those revenue collectors.

    rls (e58293)

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    Police Officers Take Over a Town | Liberal Whoppers (d16888)


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