An act of charity wrongly punished, or an illegal activity rightly squashed?
A Houston woman claims she was arrested the other day for holding up a ramshackle sign warning cars of an impending speed trap. But after 12 hours in jail, the official charge pinned to her was that of "walking in the roadway where there is a sidewalk present," something she denies doing.
Natalie Plummer told reporters that a cop pulled over alongside her, told her she was being arrested for obstruction of justice, and proceeded to rifle through her backpack, breaking two iPhones in the process. She claims that she made the sign because she believed the cop was unfairly pulling people over and wanted to warn oncoming cars.
But if the legality of Plummer's public signage is unclear, her opinion of the policeman certainly isn't: "He couldn't take me to jail for holding up this sign or he would have, so all he could do was make up something fake about it."
Via the NY Daily News
No I think those who break the law should be punished. Otherwise why have the law at all. But it's better to prevent these things from happening in the first place, and if everytime you are almost going to speed you see a cop car and get scared that would likely lead to you eventually just habitually not speeding. You could be right. MAYBE there is a significant increase in deterrent effect from using speed traps, but from what I know of how people think it doesn't seem likely. People rarely think ahead(unfortunately).
It's against the law to warn driver's of a speed trap, it's called aiding and abetting. You can also charge it as obstruction of justice. It'd be like sending the cops on a wild goose chase while you snuck the guy they were looking for out the back door.
I understand your analogy Isaac. And it works to a degree. The reason why I don't agree is that the aiding and abetting you are talking about refers to criminal activity. Typical speeding is not considered "criminal".
The consensus "stated intent" of speed limits laws is "road safety", not revenue or fighting crime. It shouldn't have mattered to the Houston Police that this young lady was able to accomplish that intent without the Police having to ticket motorists.
A reaction like we see from the Houston Police makes me wonder whether the "actual intent" of the Houston Police is/was the same as the "stated intent". When that happens?.... The intent usually ain't good. Especially when a government is involved.
Aiding and abetting requires a specfic subject who is breaking the law and helping them, not trying to prevent them from breaking the law. This woman does not know who is speeding or if anyone is. She is simply reminding drivers to watch their speed and not to violate the law
Under the United States Criminal Code, aiding and abetting does -not- require a specific subject who is breaking the law to be helped.
The Penal Code states: "(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal."
Breaking the law of the United States is committing an offense, speed limits are law. Aiding a speeder to get away with the commission of the crime is aiding and abetting. Furthermore, the speeder is a specific subject.
Her action does not help a person get away with speeding, it reduces the chance of a person who merely was about to speed to choose to speed. "Thoughts" are not crimes, and no crime is committed by a driver who was going to speed but slows down because someone warns him there will be police up ahead.
we have speed traps here where i live also. there're things that i do like about the way it's done, and something that i don't like.
first, what i don't like is that around 95% of them are set up with cameras, not with actual cops... and there's no argument. you don't go to court with the ticket, but it's added to the fee for licensing your car the next time. i don't think that that is fair at all.
what i do believe is fair here, however, is that there are signs set up or suspended from a pole about 50 metres ahead of the camera location warning you that it's there. on top of the sign are two flashing lights... one red, and one yellow.
when police cars leave the station they turn on all the lights and leave them on all the time that the car is in motion... when the police are using radar on the interstate highways here they also have their lights flashing so that they are obvious to all. and police on the streets never chase cars for speeding. it's not their job.
I've never understood the objection to speed traps. If you don't wanna get in trouble...gasp...obey the speed limit! Besides its not like they do any good anyway the morons who drive too fast will keep doing it.
It's just a cat and mouse game! All's fair in love and war. What upsets me is states where it's legal for the police to have radar but illegal for the citizens to have radar detectors or scramblers/jammers.
She was serving a twofold purpose; she may have saved a child's life and some driver from a ticket he or she may could not afford because he or she was ripped off at the pump. I say she was doing a great community service and several people owe her a "Thank You".
most people "do it" while driving down the road in their vehicle on the opposite side of the road. two lane or 4 lane.(well, we do down here anyway). If we pass a trooper sitting behind a veneer of some sorts with radar turned onto oncoming cars, we simply pull the light switch inwards, which flips on the high beam. we do this repeatedly making it look as a "warning that a trooper has his radar turned on down the road".
On the receiving end, we then flash back once, which means "thank you", and slow our arse down to the speed limit. works pretty good here. How this system go set up? I dont know. the year it went into effect? I do not know. how the collective conscience became aware of the system? I do not know. All I know its that it works around here. Apparently in several other states also.
Our police are power-drunken bullies who do the governments dirty work for small bonuses. They routinely violate peoples rights, and waste our tax-dollars on activities meant to make money for politicians and judges while filling shareholder owned jails. This woman may have been doing something brazen, but she was not violating any laws. She probably received a ticket at the same speed trap, which she might have rightfully perceived as unfair. It is not right that police can just arrest anyone for anything at anytime.
Cops speed all the time, and here in America we have some ridiculously low speed zones and unfair traffic laws meant to fill courtrooms while the real idiots are out there causing backups every morning or causing wrecks while "doing the speed limit". Just ask anyone who has been to Europe and driven, and they will tell you how much better driving is over there where people get in trouble for driving stupid rather than for driving "with spirit".
She should not have been arrested, as far as I'm concerned, she was doing a public service...as usual,they care about the money, not about safety and speaking of safety' why does it take forever to fix the humongous pot holes? That's not safety.