Cops Who Write Tickets Solely For Revenue May Soon Face Prison Time

Mintpress News:

Cops Who Write Tickets Solely For Revenue May Soon Face Prison Time

Under The Fair Justice Act, any police officer charged with enforcing criminal or traffic laws for the sole purpose of raising revenue could face up to five years of prison time.
In the city of Los Angeles alone, fine revenue has increased 50% since 2003 and is expected to reach $180 million by 2018. In recent years, many online social media movements have surged in response to this transparently fraudulent urban taxation, with many citizens demanding their local city governments take action against cops filling their ticket “quotas.”

A new bill introduced by Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri may soon push the movement forward. In the wake of the Department of Justice report regarding the police brutality and resulting riots in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleaver wants such unjust ‘policing for profit’ tactics to be considered federal civil liberty violations.
Calling the bill The Fair Justice Act, Cleaver wants any police officer charged with enforcing criminal or traffic laws for the sole purpose of raising revenue to face prison time for up to five years!

*“The time has come to end the practice of using law enforcement as a cash register, a practice that has impacted too many Americans and has disproportionately affected minority and low-income communities,” *Representative Cleaver said. “No American should have to face arbitrary police enforcement whose sole purpose is to raise revenue for a town, city, or state.”

This echoes President Barack Obama’s comments following the release of the DOJ report on Ferguson.

I agree that something should be done about using fines to finance municipal gov’ts but the problem isn’t the police it’s the city councils that make every small offense subject to fines (and things that shouldn’t even be offenses).

The police are in a double bind, they are judged on “productivity”, i.e., writing tickets and in many cities talking victims out of reporting actual crimes to make their precinct look better than it is.

If an officer writes a valid citation for an actual traffic violation, who is to conclude that it was done solely for revenue purposes? It’s not as though the cop gets the revenue. I can predict police officers refusing to write tickets just to avoid being prosecuted under this law.

I agree. We already have laws about cops who do a traffic stop for the purpose of getting a bribe. This seems like a problem that should be solved by electing better legislators and executives to public office. Good leaders might even help balance their budgets by spending less. :eek:

This is a silly story, a non-story. One legislator introduced one bill that has no chance of passing or being enforceable if it did pass. My guess, this Cleaver guy or some relative of his just got a ticket and is angry. This legislator would not want any law that would threaten to imprison him for introducing a bill out of pettiness, but like so many in Washington, want laws that apply to other, as long as he is not held to the standard.

A simple solution to this sort of problem is having the majority of fines from traffic violations forwarded to the State’s coffers instead of the locality that issues the fine. Also, the amount of fines that a municipality could keep could simply be capped at so much per capita, with everything else going to the State.

This sort of threat of imprisoning officers for doing their job is no good.

-edit- I just checked and see this site calls itself a “watchdog.” They also have this hilarious contradiction: “MintPress is tenaciously committed to total editorial freedom and journalistic integrity.”


Perhaps that explains the new vocabulary word I learned from the article URL:




I have a relative who is a city manager for a large metro/suburban area around here, I thought cops loved to write traffic tickets, but I was wrong, he informed me most cops today avoid pulling over for traffic violations, unless its a major traffic offense, or if they are otherwise suspicious of the car, they dont like the associated paperwork.

Ive always felt paying fines for traffic offenses is the wrong approach, it doesnt work at reducing number of offenses anyway…time to try something new.

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