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(Opposing Views)   Instead of accepting his unearned red light ticket, this guy petitioned the tapes that exonerated him and owned the local police department so badly that they refused to come to court. Bonus: Now he's suing the cops   (opposingviews.com) divider line 155
    More: Cool, Rob MacIver  
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26323 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jul 2013 at 7:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-28 05:09:58 PM
I'm just surprised that a judge actually sided with the motorist in a traffic violation case.
 
2013-07-28 05:20:11 PM
That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.
 
2013-07-28 05:23:13 PM
His website has all the transcripts and details.
 
2013-07-28 05:31:40 PM
The cop tried to dismiss the ticket at trial and motorist refused.  Cop goes with Plan B, lies on the stand, only to be contradicted by the video.  Perjury?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-28 05:36:29 PM
joshiz

Follow the link at bottom to the real WCAX story. Opposing Views is basically a political version of a Gawker site, generating most of their articles by rewriting other news.
 
2013-07-28 05:40:59 PM
Judge Samuel Hoar, who is presiding over the case, postponed the hearing and said he thinks it would be a good idea for the defendants to show up next time.
"I'm sorry, I was looking forward to this," Hoar said.


I really like this judge.
 
2013-07-28 05:41:45 PM
Transcript is good, but this is the abridged version:

THE COURT: Officer Lawton, this has nothing to do
with your attempts to dismiss the ticket. You testified under
oath that, when Mr. Maciver entered the intersection, the
light had already turned red.
OFC. LAWTON: I explained to you what I saw that
night, Your Honor. The reason for the stop was what I saw.
It wasn't because of the video. The reason for my dismissal
was because of the video.
THE COURT: I understand that you were willing to
dismiss, but I've got grave concerns about the fact that you
didn't tell me that you were willing to dismiss because you
later saw the video and saw that you were wrong.
 
2013-07-28 05:50:52 PM
The Town Manager says:

"The transcript of the testimony is clear that Officer Lawton did not lie under oath, did not commit perjury and did not commit a felony. It is clear that Officer Lawton separated what he thought that he saw that night from what the video showed. At no time did the Judge use the word lie nor did he ever say that Officer Lawton committed perjury. It is at the least disingenuous for you to state that he committed perjury or indicate that the Judge accused him of lying. On the matter of lying under oath the judge stated, "...I've got grave concerns about the fact that that you didn't tell me that you were willing to dismiss because you later saw the video and saw that you were wrong." In fact the first sentence of Officer Lawton's testimony was "Your Honor, I would just like to say that I offered to dismiss the ticket, and he refused, so that's why we are here." The Judge did not make any further issue out of his testimony."
 
2013-07-28 05:53:19 PM
 
2013-07-28 06:18:32 PM
The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.
 
2013-07-28 06:22:44 PM

joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.


I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?
 
2013-07-28 06:26:22 PM

Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?

 
2013-07-28 06:31:13 PM

TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?


Thank you!  MODS, you should replace the link with TheHighlandHowler's Link.

Poor guy, moving forward he is going to be harassed till the end of his days in that town.
 
2013-07-28 06:31:19 PM

Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.


needs to be a blunted hook. For the one that got away.
 
2013-07-28 06:38:32 PM

TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?


A monkey was driving minding his own business when he was pulled over and written a ticket for running a redlight.  He was pissed because he didn't so he went to the expense and added trouble of making them give up their evidence which they didn't have.  After he got the evidence they 'the perps' have evaded justice by deliberately trying subvert the criminal justice system.
 
2013-07-28 06:40:25 PM
I like the quote in the letter from the town manager that he gives the police the benefit of the doubt.  That, it the problem.  That was a good policy years ago, but the cops have taken that policy and so completely abused it that it must be ended.  They have to be held accountable for their actions and no "benefit of the doubt" should be given to them.  Maybe, just maybe, that will help put them back on the right side of the fence.
 
2013-07-28 06:43:21 PM

Revek: Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.

needs to be a blunted hook. For the one that got away.


Yes, can't risk undue injuries or tetanus...  It's about public disclosure, not causing suffering.
 
2013-07-28 06:46:58 PM

Saberus Terras: Revek: Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.

needs to be a blunted hook. For the one that got away.

Yes, can't risk undue injuries or tetanus...  It's about public disclosure, not causing suffering.


Oh stuck in them... I could go for that.
 
2013-07-28 07:50:02 PM

Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.


Nice way to cause a national brass shortage. Thanks for screwing over us people who work with the metal.
 
2013-07-28 07:53:14 PM

Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.


The cop gets docked the fine + court costs and loses the overtime for showing up.  Cops, prosecutors and PDs that falsely convict serve the sentence (all of them do the same time).  Those guys on death row exonerated by DNA? Guess what?
 
2013-07-28 07:56:21 PM

Nickster79: I'm just surprised that a judge actually sided with the motorist in a traffic violation case.


I had it happen when I was a kid.  Cop wrote "100+" on the ticket and the judge asked him what the heck that was supposed to mean.  It was downhill from there for the cop.  A highway patrol officer in the gallery took a dig at the cop, too.  Probably not that cop's best day in court.  Judge dropped it to 99 which made it a regular speeding violation and warned me not to end up in front of him again.  Went about as well as I could have hoped.
 
2013-07-28 08:00:00 PM
The defendants were reportedly found in a coffee shop near the courthouse on Friday during the hearing, so it is unclear why they weren't able to make the scheduled proceedings.

www.copsdonuts.com
 
2013-07-28 08:00:39 PM
I watched the video.  The driver's yellow light isn't shown.  Unless there is no pause between the driver's light going red and the cop's light going green, he ran the light.  At best, he ran a really, really stale yellow.
 
2013-07-28 08:03:07 PM
That video is pretty inconclusive.  The opposing light turns green a second after he clears the intersection, which means that its quite possible it was all-red when he went through.  I'm guessing it was yellow when he entered the intersection but it turned red before he cleared, which is technically illegal--though its rare for a cop to enforce that one.
 
2013-07-28 08:03:23 PM
Soon to be in this thread:folks saying to pay and shut up
 
2013-07-28 08:03:43 PM

Endive Wombat: TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?

Thank you!  MODS, you should replace the link with TheHighlandHowler's Link.

Poor guy, moving forward he is going to be harassed till the end of his days in that town.


The Admin isn't going to change the link. You'll notice that multiple Opposing Views links are being greenlit to Main every day now.

Wonder what the reason might be...
 
2013-07-28 08:08:53 PM
Wow, that is one crooked-ass cop.


/crooked ass-cop
 
2013-07-28 08:11:44 PM

Disgruntled Goat: Endive Wombat: TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?

Thank you!  MODS, you should replace the link with TheHighlandHowler's Link.

Poor guy, moving forward he is going to be harassed till the end of his days in that town.

The Admin isn't going to change the link. You'll notice that multiple Opposing Views links are being greenlit to Main every day now.

Wonder what the reason might be...


No kidding. It is a piss-poor aggregator. Who knew you could do a crappy job of summarizing someone else's news story and get paid?
 
2013-07-28 08:13:16 PM
police pwned
 
2013-07-28 08:14:51 PM

TheHighlandHowler: His website has all the transcripts and details.


Your links don't work for me. "Could not locate remote server"
 
2013-07-28 08:17:08 PM
asshat cops
 
2013-07-28 08:18:17 PM

happydude45: Disgruntled Goat: Endive Wombat: TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?

Thank you!  MODS, you should replace the link with TheHighlandHowler's Link.

Poor guy, moving forward he is going to be harassed till the end of his days in that town.

The Admin isn't going to change the link. You'll notice that multiple Opposing Views links are being greenlit to Main every day now.

Wonder what the reason might be...

No kidding. It is a piss-poor aggregator. Who knew you could do a crappy job of summarizing someone else's news story and get paid?


Seems like a good job to me.  Got posted to Fark resulting in a ton of page clicks.
 
2013-07-28 08:22:02 PM
While I understand the concept of how traffic lights work with a couple of seconds delay between one direction turning red and the other light turning green - wouldn't it be trivial for the officer to prove that during the original traffic ticket trial?

Defendant: See the video! Your light was red as I was going through the intersection. Therefor, my light was green and I did not violate the law!

Officer: The light at that intersection is programmed with a 2 second transition delay between lights. I am familiar with this intersection's timing as this is a common violation intersection and I have investigated numerous accidents and violations there. Furthermore, I would like to enter the city traffic engineer's intersection specification sheet with details of the 2 second delay. From the video timestamps, it is clear that you entered the intersection at precisely 3.74 seconds of a 4 second yellow light. Commonly called a "Stale Yellow," this is defined by the vehicle code as a violation of Section XXX.YYY.ZZ which I charged you with.

Judge: Guilty. Pay the fine at the clerk's office and have a lovely day!

I don't know a single traffic cop (or beat cop who doesn't write a lot of traffic) who wouldn't know to do all of this. Especially after he saw that a humdrum traffic violator was requesting video records from his patrol vehicle.

So either the cop is totally incompetent... or there is no signal delay and he knew it.
 
2013-07-28 08:25:03 PM
No HERO tag? It takes time, money, effort to even argue this kind of bs. Cops have an important job to do but when it's abused/misused (either a liar or incompetent) in such a simple way, we are all the poorer for it. Thank you sir for not just rolling over.

/lives in a town where the cops tend to get paranoid after 11PM for no reason
 
2013-07-28 08:26:46 PM
img20.imageshack.us
 
2013-07-28 08:28:03 PM
Yet another isolated incident, degrading the populace's trust in its government.  Were this truly a fair and just society, there would have been a default judgement against this cop.  From that point forward, he would not be considered a credible witness in court, and no testimony he provides for any case could be considered as evidence.  Furthermore, he should not have a job.  PERIOD.  I'm sorry, but the job of a police offer is mission critical.  When making a mistake can ruin someone's life or even kill them, there's no room for this kind of mistake.  Don't like it?  Get an education beyond your GED and get a real job, something that doesn't require honesty and integrity.
 
2013-07-28 08:34:56 PM
At this point it's starting to seem like if i just go to buzzfedd and opposing views I'd see all the greenlights anyway.
 
2013-07-28 08:35:08 PM

TheHighlandHowler: His website has all the transcripts and details.


TheHighlandHowler: The cop tried to dismiss the ticket at trial and motorist refused.  Cop goes with Plan B, lies on the stand, only to be contradicted by the video.  Perjury?


TheHighlandHowler: Transcript is good, but this is the abridged version:

THE COURT: Officer Lawton, this has nothing to do
with your attempts to dismiss the ticket. You testified under
oath that, when Mr. Maciver entered the intersection, the
light had already turned red.
OFC. LAWTON: I explained to you what I saw that
night, Your Honor. The reason for the stop was what I saw.
It wasn't because of the video. The reason for my dismissal
was because of the video.
THE COURT: I understand that you were willing to
dismiss, but I've got grave concerns about the fact that you
didn't tell me that you were willing to dismiss because you
later saw the video and saw that you were wrong.


TheHighlandHowler: The Town Manager says:

"The transcript of the testimony is clear that Officer Lawton did not lie under oath, did not commit perjury and did not commit a felony. It is clear that Officer Lawton separated what he thought that he saw that night from what the video showed. At no time did the Judge use the word lie nor did he ever say that Officer Lawton committed perjury. It is at the least disingenuous for you to state that he committed perjury or indicate that the Judge accused him of lying. On the matter of lying under oath the judge stated, "...I've got grave concerns about the fact that that you didn't tell me that you were willing to dismiss because you later saw the video and saw that you were wrong." In fact the first sentence of Officer Lawton's testimony was "Your Honor, I would just like to say that I offered to dismiss the ticket, and he refused, so that's why we are here." The Judge did not make any further issue out of his testimony."



TheHighlandHowler: Small Claims Court Hearing, July 26, 2013


TheHighlandHowler: Endive Wombat: joshiz: That article is so poorly written I have no idea what happened.

I reread the article 4 times, and I came here to post this very comment.  WTF exactly happened here?  Can someone please provide a simple blow by blow?



And this is why you are favorited in green.
 
2013-07-28 08:35:19 PM

Nickster79: I'm just surprised that a judge actually sided with the motorist in a traffic violation case.


When you have a tape to prove the cop is a lair the system sometimes works.
 
2013-07-28 08:36:37 PM
As a person that needs to pay a similar ticket tomorrow morning, I'll appreciate the story.
 
2013-07-28 08:38:46 PM
If that idiotic power-mad cop didn't get fired for that, there's something seriously wrong.

The Loaf: I'm guessing it was yellow when he entered the intersection but it turned red before he cleared, which is technically illegal


I thought that if you are halfway through the intersection when it turns red, then it's legal (though in my brief look for a written rule stating that I can't find anything to support that).
 
2013-07-28 08:43:54 PM

Nickster79: I'm just surprised that a judge actually sided with the motorist in a traffic violation case.


Don't get many tickets, do you?

Traffic Court:  96% of tickets when you bring a lawyer are dropped.  The system is built around the poor and ignorant just wanting to pay it and move on so they don't miss work at their minimum wage job.  Cops don't show up to court because most people that show up without a lawyer, are only there to mitigate it...IE explain why they did it (I wasn't paying attention, blah blah) and get the penalty REDUCED, not dropped.  When your lawyer subpoenas a cop, the cop knows 2 things.

1.  The Lawyer will get it dropped because the cop is a dick and there is ALWAYS a technicality
2.  Since he knows it'll most likely get dropped, he'd rather be out on the road ticketing more poor fools than watching himself get played like a violin in court.

How's that for being a neutral observer?  Right leaning libertarian and I managed to point out discrepancies on both sides!

/ 8 tickets in 7 years...all 8 dropped.  Even the 96 in a 70.  Flame on.
 
2013-07-28 08:44:27 PM
Wow... dereliction of duty?  Grind them into dust.
 
2013-07-28 08:47:35 PM

The Loaf: That video is pretty inconclusive.  The opposing light turns green a second after he clears the intersection, which means that its quite possible it was all-red when he went through.  I'm guessing it was yellow when he entered the intersection but it turned red before he cleared, which is technically illegal--though its rare for a cop to enforce that one.


How can entering on yellow possibly be illegal? To avoid it in all cases would require you to have instantaneous reflexes and an inertialess car.
 
2013-07-28 08:50:41 PM
Bleat, baaaa-aaa, bleat, bleat, just don't run red lights and you won't get tickets!, bleat, herp, derp, baaaa-aaaa
 
2013-07-28 08:51:59 PM
Cops should be required to carry malpractice insurance like doctors do and they should be the ones to pay for it, not the municipality they work for. That should be what pays out when they lose in court due to crooked things like this, not the municipality that simply passes the cost along to the taxpayers. Then when crooked or incompetent cops make themselves uninsurable, they get to go find other work.
 
2013-07-28 08:56:47 PM

dionysusaur: Saberus Terras: The officer was just fishing.  When he realized the guy was fighting back and the video would prove the ticket was invalid, he tried to change his story.  I wonder why he didn't just have a 'video malfunction' and lose the hard drive?

I'd really like it if officers that get caught making stops for false infractions get ordered to add fishhooks to their uniform, one steel hook for every infraction, and brass hooks count as five.  That way people will know the officer has a history of making shiat up.

The cop gets docked the fine + court costs and loses the overtime for showing up.  Cops, prosecutors and PDs that falsely convict serve the sentence (all of them do the same time).  Those guys on death row exonerated by DNA? Guess what?


This.

If the guy wins and the city writes him a payout check, someone in city hall just tells the other departments to up their enforcement rates for a few weeks.  A few more speeding tickets get written, a few more lawn length violations get written, everything goes back to normal in a few weeks.
 
2013-07-28 08:57:23 PM

Befuddled: Cops should be required to carry malpractice insurance like doctors do and they should be the ones to pay for it, not the municipality they work for. That should be what pays out when they lose in court due to crooked things like this, not the municipality that simply passes the cost along to the taxpayers. Then when crooked or incompetent cops make themselves uninsurable, they get to go find other work.


Then the salary for cops would need to go up, to reflect the increased cost of said malpractice insurance. Doctors make a farkload of money, some of which is due to having to carry malpractice insurance. If cops were held accountable for their actions, instead of constantly getting paid vacation when they make egregious errors, I imagine you'd see many such errors disappear overnight.
 
2013-07-28 09:01:52 PM

Befuddled: If that idiotic power-mad cop didn't get fired for that, there's something seriously wrong.

The Loaf: I'm guessing it was yellow when he entered the intersection but it turned red before he cleared, which is technically illegal

I thought that if you are halfway through the intersection when it turns red, then it's legal (though in my brief look for a written rule stating that I can't find anything to support that).


Texas rules of the road say it's illegal to enter the intersection on red; if you're already in it (across the line), you can proceed to clear it. I expect that's essentially a universal.
 
2013-07-28 09:08:31 PM

NotoriousFire:  Doctors make a farkload of money, some of which is due to having to carry malpractice insurance.


Would that this were true.
 
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