In Which Observing a Traffic Stop = Resisting Arrest

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Salisbury, North Carolina:

The resisting-arrest conviction last week of Felicia Gibson has left a lot of people wondering. Can a person be charged with resisting arrest while observing a traffic stop from his or her own front porch?

Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter thought so, and last week District Court Judge Beth Dixon agreed. Because Gibson did not at first comply when the officer told her and others to go inside, the judge found Gibson guilty of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer.

Gibson wasn’t the only one watching the stop, and wasn’t the only one who refused to go inside. So why was she arrested and not the others? This might have had something to do with it:

She was the only one holding up a cell-phone video camera.

You have to wonder if Officer Hunter is fit for police work if he’s so easily distracted that merely observing him from a distance qualifies as obstructing him from performing his duties.


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58 Responses to “In Which Observing a Traffic Stop = Resisting Arrest”

  1. #1 |  Michaelk42 | 

    @48

    An excellent point. We’ll see if Dixon responds to it at all on her re-election page.

  2. #2 |  celticdragonchick | 

    @51

    Indeed. BTW, I am Annemarie Dickey on the Facebook page. I absolutely intend to go to protests in her hometown if at all possible. The woman is a disgrace to the bench and our state.

  3. #3 |  Michael | 

    #49

    You are erroneous when you assume all “tea party” members are, all, racists! In th end, your opinion makes you no different than the racists you and I both hate! There is no mention of race, in my Bible. Christians should know better. But, a lot of them know nothing about true Christianity. They forget about it the second they exit the building on Sunday! They ain’t perfect, either!

    Black or white, the police state is out to screw us all over. Being poor is bad enough. Being black and poor is a guarantee that the racists , everywhere in the justice system, will screw blacks over! And why wouldn’t they be there, in the justice system. I have seen them in all walks of life, including the medical profession!

    Liberals are not lacking when it comes to racist members.

    There are plenty of red neck Democrats I know that would also qualify, as racists, here in the styx!

  4. #4 |  celticdragonchick | 

    @53

    You are erroneous when you assume all “tea party” members are, all, racists! In th end, your opinion makes you no different than the racists you and I both hate! There is no mention of race, in my Bible. Christians should know better. But, a lot of them know nothing about true Christianity. They forget about it the second they exit the building on Sunday! They ain’t perfect, either!

    Historically, older and financially established white people in this country have consistently failed to protest or make demands for justice where it has been denied to minorities. Remember how the Freedom Riders where young college kids who were rebelling against “the system”? Remember how NC Senator Jesse Helms called the University of North Carolina the “university of negroes and communists” and who said, in response to vigils on college campuses by students in the wake of Martin Luther King’s death, “They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro.”
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/07/goodbye_jesse_helms.php

    He could get away with that because the default suspicion in this country is that any advancement or improvement to minorities will come at a price to white people. Hence, the infamous “White hands” ad Helms used successfully to get re-elected. This suspicion and resentment has been exploited by powerful white power brokers in the South since the Civil War. The joke, of course, is that the power brokers are just as contemptuous of “white crackers” as they are of African Americans. The infamous “intelligence tests” for voting were used to keep out poor white farmers as well as black farmers.

    Sorry, but there it is. Tea Party protesters are concerned about a perceived threat to their own status, and they are not going to be particularly concerned about helping a black woman harassed by the police. The Tea Party is not protesting police power grabs. They are protesting about illegal, uppity minorities and a guy that most of them think was born in Kenya. They are being cynically pushed along by Dick Armey for now, and the funding and attention from Freedom Works and Fox news will magically vanish if a Republican is elected next term. Not one of the Tea party concerns will actually be addressed, of course. They are the white cracker farmers of today, and they are useful to the power brokers only as long as the black guy in the white house is around.

  5. #5 |  Michaelk42 | 

    Yep, looks like she nuked every negative comment on the page… imagine that!

  6. #6 |  Nicolas | 

    Mr. Balko, I didn’t read about the case of your website first, if that is your Balkocentric implication, and I’ve had no luck interesting the North Carolina Tea Party in this incident. You are not the center of the activist universe.

  7. #7 |  Radley Balko | 

    Nicolas —

    I didn’t suggest that I was the “center of the activist universe.” You implied that white people and libertarians have no interest in injustices done to poor people and minorities. I was merely pointing out the irony of you making that comment on a website run by a white libertarian who writes about injustice, in most cases injustice done to poor people and minorities.

  8. #8 |  JOR | 

    The main error Nicolas and celticdragon are making is conflating “aging white tea-party members” with “aging white libertarians” (and who the hell isn’t in the process of aging? did some folks figure out how to make time move backwards? if you mean old then just say “old”.) How many of the former would even describe themselves as libertarians is debatable.