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Couple Who Catch Cop Speeding Could Face Charges

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the turnabout-isn't-fair-play dept.

The Courts 876

a_nonamiss writes "A Georgia couple, apparently tired of people speeding past their house, installed a camera and radar gun on their property. After it was installed, they caught a police office going 17MPH over the posted limit. They brought this to the attention of the local police department, and are now being forced to appear in front of a judge to answer to charges of stalking."

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Moo (3, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071364)

apparently tired of people speeding past their house

Well, according to the article "They have said they did so in hopes of convincing neighbors to slow down to create a safe environment for their son."

thinkofthechildren [slashdot.org] will get you a lot futher than speed [slashdot.org] .

The police are not there to protect the citizens. (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071366)

Like any job that any of us have, most people work in order to better their own lives. We work out deals with our employers to enter a relationship where both parties profit -- the worker doesn't have to worry about handling the day-to-day surivival of the business, and the employer fulfills a position that he/she can not do as efficiently as the employee. All employment is mutually beneficial or the two parties would not enter into the agreement in the first place. This is true of all positions, but it is especially true of any "public" official -- cops, public school teachers, politicians.

The problem with public officials is that they have the right to use excessive force in order to protect their position. The average citizen has no right to call out any public official on any illegal actions since the average citizen has no real power against non-elected public officials. If a cop breaks the law, there is almost nothing you can do to fight them. There is a lot they can do, off the public record, that can harm you more than they harm you in their lawbreaking. Remember, cops are not here to protect you, there are there to protect their jobs -- and many of them love the power they wield over the average citizen. Why else do we have cop unions?

We are not free from the tyranny of cameras -- many police cars already have them, and they are not audited by any watchdog group. Our phones can be tapped, but we have no right to listen in on the phones of those who supposedly serve us. The public official is the watchdog of the general public, not vice versa. Is it any wonder that I am anti-State?

What you do on your property is no one's responsibility but yours. If someone's light-rays that bounce off their body enter your property, they are now YOUR property. You might even say that those light-rays are pollution, but I think that is pushing the definition of pollution a little too far. When a bunch of cops stopped an alleged speeder in front of my old house, I complained about the constant blue and red lights and strobes keeping me awake -- I was told I have no right to prevent it. If a cop speeds in front of my house, I should be able to to make note of it, but I can not. Informing your elected official about the problem will do only one thing -- give them reason to make a new law protecting their kin in tyranny. It surely won't help you, it won't bring you more freedom.

Don't be shocked as the tyrants find more ways to increase their power of tyranny. They are not here to help you, there are not here to protect you -- there are there to protect their own incomes and pensions, and you are powerless to stop it as long as you continue to vote into office people who love the authoritarian powers attached to both the liberal and conservative sides of the political system. When will people learn that it isn't left or right, it is pro-tyranny and against-tyranny -- liberals and conservatives are on the "pro-tyranny" side of the coin. The opposite side of the coin is not a libertarian, as some might think, but an anarcho-capitalist.

You will reap what you sow, friends. These folks put up cameras because the police did nothing for them to prevent speeders. This is to be expected -- when you need help, you won't find any.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071490)

Unfortunately, only those few who have been on the receiving end of 'protection' know that what you say is mostly true. Don't let the facade fool you kids, grownups care about #1 only, and that includes cops. And the reason I post this anonymously is because I fear retribution from those 'protectors'. It's an ugly bunch and they take care of their own at any cost.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071540)

If local cops are mis-behaving, this is what IAD is for, and if IAD is corrupt, that's what the FBI is for, and if the FBI is corrupt, that's what Canada is for. :)

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071604)

It is funny that you list one tyrannous group after another in order to try to "fix" the initial group -- the local police.

If Wal*Mart serves me badly, against what I consider a profitable exchange, I stop shopping there. Eventually, we see stores fail -- even big ones, often. If Burger King serves me badly, against what I consider a profitable exchange, I stop eating there. Eventually, we see restaurants fail -- even big ones, often. If the police serve me badly, what can I do? I can risk upsetting them by tattling on them. I can not stop using them, because I am forced to pay for them. Even worse, if I stop paying for them, guess who can come knocking on my door, with force? The very same people I am not happy with.

Your solution sounds great, but how often would any of us take the risk to tattle on them? For proof, see original article.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071694)

Even worse, if I stop paying for them, guess who can come knocking on my door, with force? The very same people I am not happy with.
1. Buy shotgun and sandbags.
2. ???
3. Profit!!!

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071650)

So what do those of us in Canada do ?

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071798)

So what do those of us in Canada do ?
Switzerland. They even have the francophones.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071788)

Not so fast there, buddy. You obviously haven't heard of our infamous RCMP, famous for criminalizing all kinds of innocent people...

Service to whom (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071624)

Parent has some very valid points. Wherethere is a system or service, being controlled by its own practiitioners, then that system will evolve so as to cater for the desires of the practitioners. This is something that seems to happen in organisations independent of the scale (ie. families, small companies, large corporations, countries).

Lawyers contruct a legal system that suites them, not one that best protects the citizens.

The court system is constructed to put the courts ahead of anyone else. Contempt of court is a very big deal.

Tax accountants construct a tax system that is too complicated for Joe Average to use, so you need to hire a tax consultant.

Cops have a system that serves cops...

Re:Service to whom (4, Insightful)

RocketScientist (15198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071884)

The police are not there to protect you.
The police are there to do the paperwork after you are unable to protect yourself.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1, Troll)

whackco (599646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071664)

Well, you could always, CONTACT BARTOW COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT [ncourt.com] and give them a piece of your mind!

I think that anyone who feels this is injustice has an obligation as a citizen to contact the office of their elected or representative official and tell them they will not stand for this kind of tyranny!

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (2, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071864)

In theory, a judge should be immune from public opinion. They're there to interpret the law as written, not rationalize something just because it's what the people want.

If it turns out that these people are likely to be convicted, that's the time to start writing, but you'd want to contact your legislators or the person pressing charges, not the judge.

Popluist babble ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071668)

If a cop breaks the law, there is almost nothing you can do to fight them. There is a lot they can do, off the public record, that can harm you more than they harm you in their lawbreaking. Remember, cops are not here to protect you, there are there to protect their jobs -- and many of them love the power they wield over the average citizen. Why else do we have cop unions?

Hardly, while there are obvious examples of "cops getting away" with things, you act as if this isn't already reflected in the general community. In our local paper, two cops have been fired and are awaiting criminal trials for abuse of power, so not all cops get away with everything. Conversely, there are plentiful examples of citizens "getting away" with numerous crimes. It's a general part of the system. Plus, your whole comment about "why else do we have cop unions" is laughable. I assume then that you consider all unions evil? Your grossly overgeneralized comments could be said about anyone in any profession (remember, the developer isn't there to help you, their just there to keep their jobs). Puleeze, anyone past the 4th grade can see how simplistic (but apparently popular) statement that is.

What you do on your property is no one's responsibility but yours.

I think you are confusing "responsibility" with something else? I think even cops would agree, ultimately YOU have responsibility over what happens on your property (certainly all personal injury lawyers agree with this).

When a bunch of cops stopped an alleged speeder in front of my old house, I complained about the constant blue and red lights and strobes keeping me awake -- I was told I have no right to prevent it.

I guess they should have let the guy continue speeding through your residential neighborhood until they got to some place where he wouldn't disturb anyones sleep? Or they should have turned off their lights, thereby increasing the chances that they might get hit by other motorists? Plus, look at your statement above. The street in front of your house is owned by the city (or county), you absolutely have the right to erect a barrier to block the light, as long as it doesn't run afoul of any local ordinances. So on your property, do what you want, the police, or anyone else, have no obligation to you while on public property.

These folks put up cameras because the police did nothing for them to prevent speeders. This is to be expected -- when you need help, you won't find any.

Again, nice oversimplification. Are these folks willing to pay more in taxes to get more police on the streets to help THEIR particular problem? I live in a predominantly quiet neighborhood and we are very sensitive to speeders, but I don't walk around thinking that MY problem is the biggest and/or only problem in the city.

Your diatribe is humorous, and many will take your side. They choose to take the simple view of life, however far it differs from reality. That's why systems fail, not necessarily because of faults in the system, but because of the supreme lack of understanding by those who are trying to implement it. It's like OpenOffice vs M$ Office, all the rhetoric about FOSS being "better" don't mean squat if you can't get something implemented that is better. While you may have won some kind of "moral" victory (and that is dubious at best), you have not truly helped the general populace.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (3, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071672)

They are not here to help you, there are not here to protect you -- there are there to protect their own incomes and pensions, and you are powerless to stop it as long as you continue to vote into office people who love the authoritarian powers attached to both the liberal and conservative sides of the political system.
Yay for sweeping generalizations! A cop going over 15 miles speed limits means that all cops want to subject us to their evil tryanny! Give me a break.

Here is the facts:
Cops are people.
There are good people and there are bad people.
Therefore, there are good cops and bad cops.

My best friend is a police officer in Phoenix. He is truly a great guy. The whole reason why he wanted to be a police officer is because he wanted to help people. I believe him when he says it because he's done some crazy things like running out in traffic to render aid to really bad accident at an intersection. When he is off duty, he really is a friendly guy.

I went to visit him, and he drove me around when we went out. Even off duty, he drove like a speed demon. I asked him what happens if he got pulled over for speeding. He said he simply shows the cop his police identification, and the cop will let him go about his way. So there you have it, he speeds because he can, not because he is on some evil power trip. Would you speed if you know you wouldn't get a ticket? I sure would. Hell, I still speed regardless.

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Even our mayor, some one who you would probably see as part of the "tryannical government", got in big trouble for following a speeding cop. All he was doing was try to get the cops license number, but instead he got a heafty fine.

So the problem isn't with the "tryannical" government trying to oppress us, as you so FUDingly pointed out. Nor is it the cops themselves. It's policies with in the police department. I'm sure someone has the power to change the policies, whether it's the sherriff or the mayor. Just remember, if we force police to pull themselves over, we are forcing them to work against each other.

Please stop pinning cops as assholes on a power trip. Maybe some of them are that way because they never get any respect, even when they are trying to help.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071826)

So he can regulary go above the speed limit in non-emergency situations and not have to face any consequences? Kind of like having a job at Mcdonalds and getting free fries... The only difference is you can kill someone with french fries.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071904)

I disagree. I've seen to many examples of "nice" cops (and the courts who support them) who turn ruthless if confronted with evidence that they are breaking the rules.

Even "nice" cops are fundamentally in love with their power over others. And this includes some of my relatives in law enforcement. They just love the fact that they can make your life hell if you are just an average joe.

Like most bullies, they are abject cowards when it comes to people with real power (and rightfully so since the cops get the same treatment when they try to enforce real rules on people in power). You cross the wrong person- your career is over. You might as well leave law enforcement and go be a milk maid.

Illogical (4, Interesting)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071912)

I hate to nitpick, but...

Here is the facts:
Cops are people.
There are good people and there are bad people.
Therefore, there are good cops and bad cops.

a->b, a->c does not mean that b->c

For instance:
NFL Players are people.
People are women and men.
NFL Players are women and men.

I'm not saying there aren't bad cops by any means, just point out that it isn't good logic.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (5, Insightful)

Darlantan (130471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071946)

So, wait, his off-duty speeding is somehow more legitimate than when I speed? Explain the reasoning there. Is it somehow safer for him to speed? Do the laws of physics bend a little for cops and make a car driven by a cop at 75 MPH do the same damage as a car crashing at 55 MPH with a civvie behind the wheel?

"Because you can" is no more a valid excuse for police to break the law than it is for me. The difference is that they can chose to enforce the rules when and if they choose. Speeding on the job, when required, is overlooked because it is usually required to perform a task that benefits the public safety. Driving around at 20 MPH over the limit just because they can is endangering the public safety. That's why we have speed limits to begin with. If they want to drive like bats out of hell even when it isn't needed, perhaps they should push to do away with speed limits.

You're right, though. Police are people too, not evil overlords bent on dominating everyone else. As such, they should be held to the same standards as the rest of us.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (2, Insightful)

3278 (1011735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071700)

> The problem with public officials is that they have the right to use excessive force in order to protect their position. The average citizen has no right to call out any public official on any illegal actions since the average citizen has no real power against non-elected public officials.

This is simply untrue. One might say that, in execution, public officials sometimes have greater power than the average citizen - and one would be quite right in saying that - but by the law, with the exception of those acts which must be allowed in order for public servants to do their jobs, every citizen of the United States has the same rights. Your expression of dismay is righteous, as far as it objects to those cases where public officials abuse their authority, but beyond that, you're simply painting all government employees with a tremendously wide brush, overgeneralizing to the point of uselessness.

And it's worth noting that this officer has withdrawn his application for a warrant. My instinct says that he shouldn't have applied for one in the first place, but, like you, I know vastly too little about the actual circumstances to make any judgement against the officer.

For every case of a police officer abusing his power, there are literally millions of cases of police officers simply doing their jobs. Broad statements like yours distort the problem, actually making it /more/ difficult to solve.

> There is a lot they can do, off the public record, that can harm you more than they harm you in their lawbreaking.

As can anyone else. Government employees have no monopoly on abusive actions taken off public record.

> Remember, cops are not here to protect you, there are there to protect their jobs -- and many of them love the power they wield over the average citizen. Why else do we have cop unions?

False dilemma. You give two choices - unions exist, therefore either police are here to protect their jobs, or to protect you. The third option is that like anyone else in any other job, they're there to do both. I suggest you spend some time with actual police officers before you start throwing around statements like, "cops are not here to protect you." Ignorance always sounds foolish.

> If someone's light-rays that bounce off their body enter your property, they are now YOUR property.

It's amusing, because I'm quite anti-government - anti-restriction-of-individual-liberty, actually - but even I wouldn't go so far as to say that any light rays which enter my property now belong to me. Is this true of air, as well? I cannot /imagine/ the possibilities for abuse - by individuals, that is - should such a property law be passed. "You stepped on my grass, so it's legal for me to eat you!"

> When will people learn that it isn't left or right, it is pro-tyranny and against-tyranny -- liberals and conservatives are on the "pro-tyranny" side of the coin. The opposite side of the coin is not a libertarian, as some might think, but an anarcho-capitalist.

Oh, gods. Yes, we'll all certainly have more pleasant lives under anarcho-capitalism.

I don't want to criticize you, as a person, and I apologize if I appear to have done so, but your views are worth of ridicule, as is the lack of reasoning behind them, even if you, personally, are not.

I mostly agree with the parent EXCEPT (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071780)

anarcho-capitalism puts the power into the hands of the corporations in most cases, as they are much better organized than the same number of joe-schmoe citizens.

It is just trading a government tyranny for a corporate tyranny. It least in the former the goal is sort-of "protect the people", in the latter the goal is "get more money and power to the people on top".

I'd prefer a true democracy where all public officials are elected - or randomly chosen for set terms, with a public no-confidence vote option.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1)

evilRhino (638506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071878)

Right on brother. To think, when cops first started carrrying guns, the idea of a standing army during peace time was controversial.

Re:The police are not there to protect the citizen (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071934)

Maybe I'm just being Canadian and all, but paranoid much? Wow.

I am sorry to see you have become so cynical... (3, Insightful)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071940)

let me correct the above statement:

The guy that got your fries last time you went to McDonald's or Burger King or whatever, doesn't care about you...but the police officer, firefighter, engineer, doctor, or other professionals do...at least to the extent their profession requires.

You see, once you've gone past the menial labor industry, your job becomes more than simply 'how you earn your income' or 'what you do for a living', it becomes part of how you identify yourself as a person.

While there will always be exceptions to any rule, in general, the police officer became a police officer because something about that profession appealed to who he was.

Nothing wrong with being vigilant against abuses of power, but the particulars of this case don't exactly herald a fall into totalitarianism just yet...to wit:

1) Said section of road was at the base of a steep hill

2) The couple had sent numerous e-mails to the officer and, in fact, the charge he filed was "stalking"...he has since dropped those charges. As I understand, the couple was never charged with pointing a camera at a public road.

Strange World. (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071378)

To protect and to serve?

Re:Strange World. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071558)

To protect their jobs and serve their best interest!

Re:Strange World. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071640)

"To protect and to serve?"

I think that is supposed to be "To collect and serve".

Seriously...it is ok for them to set up such survelliance, but, if a citzen does it...it is stalking? To stalk someone, don't you have to purposely follow/track them over time? A one shot random observance is 'stalking'????

I suppose it is also illegal to keep an on dash camera in your car like they do too?

Protect and Serve (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071806)

Yes, only "serve" their own saddistic tendencies and "protect" their job and friends.

'Stalking' !?-- What the elderly couple were following the cop around for days, intimidating him? Let me guess, the cop is scared for his life now, and cannot get up and go to work because of the tremendous fear he is experiencing...

The lesson this couple should learn (and everyone else for that matter) is the cops are not there to help you. Everyone needs to say that many times over. I have heard countless times how people confessed to crimes they did or did not commit because cops convinced them that they are somehow 'a friend' and are just trying 'to help'.

These people are living in an imaginary dream world, where justice and goodness prevails, the officials and police are righteous, honorible men, with integrity.

Believe it or not... (5, Funny)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071380)

You don't actually own the road in front of your house. They should increase the speed limit by 20mph to show this couple who's in charge.

Re:Believe it or not... (4, Interesting)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071484)

We have a busy-body on our street. She seems nice enough, but she tries to take care of the "speeding" problem herself. She will occasionally zap people with a radar gun and talk to them (or their parents). I think once or twice she's called the cops. And if she doesn't have the gun out and "thinks" you're speeding she'll yell out to you.

But I find myself insanely annoyed (border-line angry) at one thing she does. If she's driving towards you in the opposite direction and "thinks" you're speeding she will pull into the middle of the road with her SUV to get you to stop or slowdown.

WTF!

Yes people speed on our street, but not by much and not often. It's a short windy street that doesn't really take you anywhere. But the speedgun is a bit much. Heck, the street just loops back into itself to make a letter P so it's not like a shortcut to anywhere so there's little point.

And stopping in the middle of the street to stop cars is pretty hazardous.

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071518)

Why I am not surprised this lady drives a SUV? Am I being too prejudicial wondering if I keep wondering whether she takes her sons to soccer training on Sundays?

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071584)

And what is so horribly wrong with that?

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071580)

Busy bodies suck. I once had someone try to tell me I couldn't dump a wheelbarrow of weeds in a desert (I live in Arizona, and the desert is full of weeds). It was like dumping fresh water into a lake, but in their mind they were doing the world a favor somehow.

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071622)

I am sympathetic with her. I have two small kids and there is no excuse for speeding or reckless driving in a residential area. There was a young punk that lived across the street that would always rocket out of his driveway with barely a glance in his mirrors. If a kid, or adult, was walking down the side walk he could have easily mowed them down. Long story short, I had a little talk with him a couple of times until I got the message across effectively and he didn't do it anymore.

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071714)

OK, I'm against excessive speeding or reckless driving too. If our street was plagued with young kids (or even just 1) driving fast I couldn't blame her. But that's not case, it's a relatively quiet street. And to be honest, her "gut feeling" is usually wrong as I've had her try to barricade me when I was going 30mph in a 25mph zone because she "felt" I was going faster.

It would be one thing if she was going after people going fast or driving like idiots, but she goes after everyone and usually uses her "gut."

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

NastyNate (398542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071834)

Drive through the barricade then. The accident will happen on your side of the street and if you truly are not speeding, skid marks will not prove otherwise.

Re:Believe it or not... (2, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071770)

That's easy to deal with. Install a dash cam then drive "on the line" or where the cam shows the middle of the road to appear. When she swerves in hit her. follow up with a lawsuit and press charges of reckless driving.

Just this morning I went to pick up my kid from spending the night with her cousin. Neighbor put super glue in the locks of one of the cars. Due to previous incidents*, and the flanking houses being empty and up for rent there is no doubt as to who did the deed. Since there is no camera there is no proof. Looks like the same hooligans that did our car will do theirs next :-)

-nB

* another busybody, who calls the cops if you park more than 18 inches away from the curb or on the sidewalk or too close to the mailbox or fire hydrant or any other number of things you do they don't approve of. The superglue followed several keyings and other vandalism, which only seems to happen if you park in front of their house. This is on a cul-de-sac with virtually no available parking. Personally I want to gorilla glue their front door shut.

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071784)

I'd play chicken with her.
Of course she'd then probably call the cops screaming that somebody tried to "ram" her.
Sounds like she could use a good ramming anyway, loosen up that clenched anus.

Re:Believe it or not... (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071936)

I don't know about you, but I would just keep driving straight, make sure I was in a legal part of the street, and hit her and her huge SUV. After that she would probably stop pulling that crap; but then again, my car isn't anything i really care a lot about. Around here I am just as likely to hit a deer and total my ride, so I would have no problem with setting her straight (and probably have her insurance pay for fixing my car, unlike in the case of a deer collision.) Her SUV may be large but a frontal/corner impact would definitely cost her big time cash, and probably have her insurance jump up quite a bit.

Well... the cop changed his mind. (5, Informative)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071388)

Read all about it here [daily-tribune.com]

Interesting story.

Re:Well... the cop changed his mind. (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071444)

"Read all about it here"

Careful! They'll press charges on you for slashdotting them!

Re:Well... the cop changed his mind. (3, Interesting)

seriv (698799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071458)

It seems if the matter were to be brought to court, it wouldn't get far I imagine. I think the cop got as far as he did just because he is a cop. If it were someone else, nothing would have happened. I am guessing someone told the cop he was being an idiot, which is probably what any cop would tell anyone else trying to press charges.

Re:Well... the cop changed his mind. (2, Interesting)

Yurka (468420) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071496)

Or, more likely, someone in the PD got clued in to impending PR disaster and changed his mind for him.

Re:Well... the cop changed his mind. (5, Informative)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071536)

Nice find.

For those that are too lazy to read either article, it seems that they were also emailing the officer in question about his speeding and he wanted some kind of court order to prevent them from continuing to email them. Neither article clearly specifies what exactly the "stalking" was referring to: the actual recording of the speeding event, or the constant emails he received from them (or perhaps both).

Those police offices are a real danger (5, Funny)

ghoti (60903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071398)

they caught a police office going 17MPH over the posted limit

Wow, that's one fast police office!

Re:Those police offices are a real danger (1)

lathama (639499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071474)

Mod parent up, damn, I just used my last mod points.....

Re:Those police offices are a real danger (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071594)

You think police offices are bad, you should see how post offices drive! They don't even care if its raining, sleeting or snowing!

Re:Those police offices are a real danger (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071638)

Now if only the California DMV was just as fast. :P

Re:Those police offices are a real danger (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071734)

This is not a typo, the police were merely trying out the latest in mobile office technology [wordpress.com]

Re:Those police offices are a real danger (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071790)

Wow, that's one fast police office!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDIS [wikipedia.org]
     

I see this all the time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071402)

I've frequently seen officers exceeding the limit simply because they can. Ego trip? You bet.

Re:I see this all the time. (2, Interesting)

DeathKoil (413307) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071740)

Its not always "because they can" or an "ego trip". My best friend is a State Police officer and in training they are told and taught that in certain situations you are supposed to speed. Now, in this instance of going through a neighborhood it does not apply. However, on regular and state highways (roads with more than one lane), police officers speed in order to catch speeders. You trail 200-500 feet behind them to clock their speed, then accelerate in for the kill. Believe it or not, this is considered safer than having an Officer attempt to clock someone from the side of the road then pull onto the highway from being stopped into traffic going 70mph. This is why you see police officer's speeding on multi-lane roads all the time. This isn't give an excuse for speeding in a neighborhood... I'm just saying that its not just because they can speed and get away with it, its part of the training.

It's funny? Laugh? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071406)

Someone has an odd sense of humor. What's so funny about the police misusing their power? Yeah, that Rodney King thing a few years ago was a real yuk-fest. And tasering that college student in the library to the point he was shrieking in pain? I couldn't stop chuckling after that one...

Re:It's funny? Laugh? (-1, Troll)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071494)

Anyone hit by a taser shrieks in pain.

I saw that video. That kid earned the taser hit. All he had to do was get up and leave.

Around here every cop who carries a taser has been shocked by one at least a few times. They know exactly what they are doing to you when they use the taser, and 99% of them wish they never had to.

Re:It's funny? Laugh? (0, Redundant)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071850)

That kid earned the taser hit. All he had to do was get up and leave.
He may have earned a taser hit, but after the third one it is kind of pointless to tell him to stand up and walk.

Re:It's funny? Laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071916)

Suppose I come up to you in a place that you have every right to be, like a public library, or your front yard. I tell you to leave, and when you say no I beat you into a bloody pulp with a cricket bat.

You earned it -- all you had to do was get up an leave.

This is going nowhere (4, Informative)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071422)

If you view the Georgia Stalking Law [wiredsafety.org] you can see that:

A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.

The key phrase here is "for the purpose of harassing and intimidating". The statute goes on to define this:

"For the purposes of this article, the term "harassing and intimidating" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose."

In order to convict the people in this case the state of Georgia would have to prove they were causing the officer emotional distress and "establish a pattern" of behavior. From what is shown the office got caught once, and that does not constitute a pattern, therefore there is no harassment and no stalking. (There are also several other problems if you apply the facts to the law such as the emotional distress--is the officer suffering from depression because he got caught speeding? And you have the defense of legitimate purpose; the couple could easily argue there is a legitimate purpose).

This is just a case of the police force trying to intimidate someone who caught an officer doing something maybe they should not have been doing. The problem is that when this hits big in the media it is going to be a larger embarrassment than if the police department just told the people the truth or lied and said it was official business.

Re:This is going nowhere (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071472)

This is just another case of the police force trying to intimidate someone who caught an officer doing something maybe they should not have been doing

      There, fixed it for ya. Thanks for the informative post, btw ;)

Re:This is going nowhere (1, Informative)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071520)

If you read the article linked to above it is mentioned that they repeatedly emailed him and in fact purchased over a $1000 worth of equipment for the express purpose of catching him in the act. That sounds like harassment to me. I'm not saying that he is right and that they are wrong. I merely providing information here. Don't shoot the messenger.

Re:This is going nowhere (1)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071736)

Re-read the article, turning on common sense. They didn't spend $1000+ worth to catch HIM, they did it to catch speeders in their neighborhood so that maybe their 2 1/2 year old won't end up accidentally be pasted to the asphalt at way over the speed limit.

The fact that it caught a cop is just funny.

And if the couple were emailing him at his work address instead of a private address, he might not have had much of a claim given his public profile.

Re:This is going nowhere (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071758)

re-read the post. They purchased over $1000 worth of equipment for the express purpose of catching people, not necessarily the officer. Apparently, the house is at the bottom of a hill, and speeding is quite common. From the article:

they did so in hopes of convincing neighbors to slow down to create a safe environment for their son

Re:This is going nowhere (0)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071898)

this article: http://www.daily-tribune.com/NF/omf/daily_tribune/ news_story.html?rkey=0041564+cr= [daily-tribune.com]

says this: "Officer Richard Perrone alleged that Lee and Teresa Sipple stalked him after they purchased $1,200 in video surveillance and radar equipment that allegedly tracked Perrone speeding past their home"

There are two different articles, the original, and an additional one linked to in the comments. The second article reads differently than the first.

Re:This is going nowhere (1)

GateGuy (973596) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071832)

I could swear the articles stated that they purchased $1200 worth of equipment. No where did I read that the equipment was purchased solely to catch this one particular officer.

Re:This is going nowhere (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071692)

Laws with the phrase "for the purpose of" are asking for long, expensive court time. It is impossible to objectively tell a person's motivation unless you rip their neurons out and reverse engineer their flow. That is not going to happen (except maybe at Gitmo :-) Generally, juries have to guess motivations based on multiple behavioral clues. Laws may be clearer and result in less court battles if they are based on external behavior only ("don't do X") rather than on perceived motivations.

Re:This is going nowhere (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071728)

As posted above http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=223182&cid =18071388 [slashdot.org] , it seems they were emailing him directly as well-- he wanted them to stop emailing. Neither article mentioned what the nature of the emails were, but there was at least some kind of pattern of behavior. Either way, it's a PR nightmare for them regardless of the situation.

Another Arrest (3, Funny)

Nrbelex (917694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071440)

The couple then placed the entire Bartow County Police Department under citizen's arrest for intimidation...

...and camp the passing lane (3, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071450)

I was actually considering putting a digital camcorder in my car to record what I see, to show people how idiotic the drivers are in my area. Basically, what they do is camp the passing lane or otherwise form walls that slow down traffic well below what should be possible given the road size and traffic level. Yes, even 18-wheelers camp the passing lane. On a three-lane freeway.

Then one time I saw a police car on the freeway that did exactly that. Thanks, Officer Jerk, for setting a great example.

Personally, I wish more cops would speed. Everyone feels compelled to go slower than the police, so whenever a police car is nearby, the cars around them turn to molasses. It's amazing.

Re:...and camp the passing lane (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071550)

Actually, you have a point, and there are quite a few studies on why traffic behaves as it does. The one thing you have to keep in mind is relativity, well sort of. It is the relative difference of speed between driver and other drivers and obstacles that causes problems/accidents with regard to reaction time. Those people that camp out in the passing lane are causing an obstacle relative to the expectation of other drivers. This is what causes accidents. Besides braking and causing aggressive drivers to swerve in and out of traffic, it also causes the traffic to bunch up. It takes several miles of clear driving before the traffic unbunches again.

Where I live, it only takes one rain drop from a cloudy sky to start this hazardous chain of events.

Re:...and camp the passing lane (1)

g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071644)

This drives me mad also. People don't understand that they are only contributing to the problem of crappy traffic when they don't drive properly. Someone with balls needs to make it illegal for people who don't know how to use the roads properly to drive.

Re:...and camp the passing lane (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071824)

Some states in the US have those laws (NJ I think has a no driving in the passing lane) and I believe some countries in Europe (Germany?) have similar legislation.

no sympathy for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071772)

What you have implied but not stated is that you are angry with people because they prevent you from speeding by themselves driving the speed limit. If you can't get over the fact that some of your fellow motorists are obeying the speed limit in the "passing lane" then consider getting help so that you can manage stress less destructively. The person creating safety issues and causing accidents in the scenario you describe is not the person obeying the traffic regulations by driving the speed limit, be it Officer Jerk, Truck Driver Jimmy, or Motorist John, it is, in fact, most likely you.

Re:no sympathy for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071856)

Most obvious troll ever.

Re:...and camp the passing lane (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071868)

I was actually considering putting a digital camcorder in my car to record what I see, to show people how idiotic the drivers are in my area.

I've considered doing the same thing. And in great big letters at the top: "A person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another."

Anyone wants to complain, they can whine to the Supreme Court.

Moo (5, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071478)

Couple Who Catch Cop Speeding Could Face Charges

Certainly, capricious captions claim: Careless Cop Caught Cutting Celerity Cap; Criminal Court Charges Capturing Couple

Cartersville: Child-caring couple connect camera, chronicalling cop cutting celertity cap. Court...

What about roadside radar? (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071480)

So... does this mean I can sue the state over those roadside radar systems that snap pictures of your vehicle if you break the speed limit? I mean, isn't that harassment then too? It is surveillance, and it is meant to intimidate me into driving a certain way.

the pendulum has swung back (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071508)

It's just like privacy. Can the government read your mail and tap your phone. Yes. Can you read what the government produces on your dime? Not on your life. Why that would invade the privacy of the republic.

Street = Cars, Playground = Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071522)

Maybe their kid should not be playing in the street. Streets are for cars, take him to the playground, thats for kids. I can almost guarantee no cars will come barreling down the slide and hit him/her.

Why we need the "Transparent Society" (3, Interesting)

jordandeamattson (261036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071534)

It is incidents like this and so many others (the police arressting people for taking a picture of their actions, etc.) which cry out for David Brin's "Transparent Society"http://www.davidbrin.com/tschp1.html [davidbrin.com] .

Bring on the cameras! Just give the ordinary citizens the right to access the feeds and observe and watch those who are the watchers. If a police officer knew a live feed of their activities was going out via the web, don't you think they would be a little bit more carefully in how they treat people?

Yours,

Jordan

I'm not surprised (3, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071544)

I can't say that I'm surprised to read that this happened in Kennesaw, Georgia. For those of you who don't know what kind of place Kennesaw is, it has a law that requires the head of every household to own a firearm with ammunition. It's also the place that former US Representative Bob Barr called home and he was much loved there. That should give you an idea of the politics of the place, so no, I'm not surprised at all by this.

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071872)

That is the same Bob Barr that either voted against or campaigned against the Patriot Act. I don't remember if he was still in congress at that time.

But ... it's a public place (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071582)

The officer was in a public place where anybody can see you or photograph you.

How is this possibly stalking? How is this different than being in any public place, and getting caught on any form of camera (either privately or publically owned)?

Aren't there precedents which basically say you have no expectation of privacy when you're in a public area?

I hope the judge in this case demonstrates some common sense.

Cheers

Re:But ... it's a public place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071678)

If you read the second posted article, it seems that "stalking" was
referring to the emails that the couple was sending them.

AC

Re:But ... it's a public place (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071910)

If you read the second posted article, it seems that "stalking" was
referring to the emails that the couple was sending them.

After I posted I found the post with the link to the full article. The article submission hasn't, as of now, been updated to point to the article which explains they had been e-mailing the officer. It's not like I *didn't* RTFA as posted. :-P

Cheers

Who polices the police? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071588)

I've seen cops who drive poorly for no reason multiple times. They are on a leasurely pace, and then suddenly change lanes without signaling (most were not highway patrol). If nobody keeps them in check, who will?
     

Re:Who polices the police? (1)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071698)

The Coast Guard. Duh.

Re:Who polices the police? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071896)

The Coast Guard. Duh.

But their boats keep running aground on highway 80.
     

Easy fix... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071600)

Remote controlled tricycle with fake kid doll on the trike. Boy would that be a hoot! (disclaimer: not to be tried by anyone!)

Re:Easy fix... (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071942)

hahaah.... too late buddy!
Now that you've stuck the idea in my head... I must try it out...
But I'll use a softer plastic big wheel, with a "Kid Sister" doll taped to it. Hilarity shall surely ensure.

but...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071656)

don't police cars have those bumper stickers that say

"How's my driving? Call 1-800-555-1234"

They don't?

Being from Georgia I can say that... (2, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071676)

This is definitely the norm here. Whenever I see a cop speeding (which is a frequent occurrence) they are almost always going much faster than the other cars, even if they don't have their lights on or don't appear to have an urgent need to get somewhere.

One time I was driving around atlanta and was going about 15-20 over in the far left lane, when I saw a cop coming up behind me very fast. I thought I was fucked and would be getting a ticket, so I move over to the right, figuring he will want to pull me over on the right side. Instead he just blew by me like I was standing still.

The cops routinely get away with this because really, who is going to stop them.

Re:Being from Georgia I can say that... (3, Insightful)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071708)

He wasn't "getting away" with anything. He could have been going to a call Code 2, which means get there fast but doesn't require lights and sirens. He could also have been catching up to a drunk driver, and if that's the case, he doesn't need to turn his lights on either, so he can get behind the driver and see how well/bad they are driving...

Re:Being from Georgia I can say that... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071774)

ok but... basically every time I see one?

surely every cop driving on the roads is not responding to a service call all the time.

There are a few instances where I have witnessed them driving at the speed limit, but basically every other time I have seen one that is not stopped, it will be going at an extremely high rate of speed.

Re:Being from Georgia I can say that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071808)

My uncle was a police officer. If a cop gets pulled over for speeding when they are off duty, they just show their badge and get away without a ticket. It's an unwritten rule most police seem to have. (He actually pissed quite a few cops off by going against this rule and still ticketing them.)

Classic... (-1, Troll)

GReaToaK_2000 (217386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071684)

This is just like the guy busted in CT for photographing the police. It's a classic abuse of power.

And the idiots of this country still think Bush is doing a good job and the Patriot Act is a good thing as well.

Go figure.

~GO

Recording public officials (5, Insightful)

alakazam (529128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071710)

As much as I despise new laws always popping up, I *really* wish we could make it legal to audio/video record *any* government official in the course of their work. Without notice or permission. If they're "on the job" they should be fair game for being recorded by their employer (us). It would solve a lot of problems if "they" didn't think they were above "us."

Call 'em and tell 'em how stupid this is... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071812)

BARTOW COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
135 W Cherokee Ave
Suite 368
Cartersville, Georgia 30120
Phone (770) 387-5080
Fax (770) 387-5085

Office Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

T. Joseph Campbell, District Attorney

Re:Call 'em and tell 'em how stupid this is... (1)

Biff98 (633281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071852)

The moment I clicked "Comments" I was looking for this information. MOD PARENT UP.

Police departments and district attorney's offices are definitely not filled with the smartest people in the country. I'll be calling right now.

Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071836)

Evidently not us.

Not seeing the full story here?? (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071914)

I want to know what the Sipples' were doing with the evidence of people speeding. Moreso, what was their course of action after videotaping a speeder? There was a follow-up article about the officer involved dropping charges, though mentioning that he was being repeatedly emailed by the Sipples.

I think what might be getting missed here is that it wasn't so much the action of videotaping speeders, but what perhaps was being done afterwards. Here's my speculation: They were getting license plates looked up after reviewing the tape of speeding vehicles, then calling/emailing the offender and harassing them. If this were the case, then such charges might have some sort of grounds.

Why did they not just turn the tapes over to authorities? Because the cops can't write tickets based off of it. None of the equipment was certified calibrated, etc., etc., basically, the taped evidence would not stand up in a court of law. At best, the tapes would encourage law enforcement to take some action, after delivering some evidence that a problem may exist. But in most cases, there's not enough manpower/money/equipment to setup a targeted enforcement area (the typical excuse given). So where does this leave these people? You got it, vigilantism. They start to take matters into their own hands. Harassment and intimidation are the first step of the process.

From what I can tell, there's a lot of crucial information that is not being told in this article that might reveal a much different picture. Was the officer in a police car or his private vehicle? How did they alert authorities? Did they contact this police officer directly and imply (threaten?) that they caught him speeding? Yes, this may just be a case of Officer Hardass getting upset and retaliating against someone pointing out his malfeasances, but it might also be a case of some citizens getting a little overzealous in their pursuit to resolve a problem.

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