Morning Links

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

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23 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  derfel cadarn | 

    The proper term in the NYPD incident is not professional courtesy it is corruption. Want to bet that IA finds no breach of NYPD protocols ? Which will only deepen this culture of corruption and weaken any belief the public maintained that these assholes were public servants.

  2. #2 |  2nd of 3 | 

    Re: VA tickets – I’m less disturbed by police handing out the tickets than by the fact that judges are finding people guilty of a non-existent law. While this blog often shows why police need better standards and training on the law- especially pertaining to civil rights -I don’t think anyone expects them to be complete experts. Judges ARE supposed to be those experts. Disgusting.

  3. #3 |  Stephen | 

    re: people are awesome.

    That guy catching the baseball blows my mind. Awesome reflexes.

  4. #4 |  Name Nomad | 

    The guy catching the baseball thing was fake or set up somehow… which leads me to my comment: People are awesome as long as you only show the one take out of eighty three that actually worked.

  5. #5 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Our insane friend Dondero is getting publicity:

    That is one crazy dudero.

  6. #6 |  Roho | 

    Man, someone at that PD is going to get *reamed* for that delayed blood test.

    What? Oh, no, not because it was delayed. Because they did a blood test on a Brother In Blue at all.

  7. #7 |  GaryM | 

    Naturally, the “solution” which the Commonwealth Attorney offers isn’t to punish the lawbreaking cops but to enact the nonexistent law they’re ticketing people for.

  8. #8 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    •DOJ changes its position on the Wire Act, possibly clearing a path for legal online poker.

    Ask all the people arrested in medical marijuana dispensary raids how much a “position change” by this DOJ is actually worth.

  9. #9 |  Stephen | 

    #4 It looked pretty real to me.

  10. #10 |  Stephen | 

    Ok, maybe it is fake.—-or-does/landing_rays.html?blockID=525084

  11. #11 |  Homeboy | 

    I love the “remedy” proposed for the problem of cops citing people for infraction of a non-existent law. Instead of cracking down on cops who write bogus tickets, pass a law making the legal behavior they are citing illegal. Truly delicious.

  12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #7 GaryM

    Naturally, the “solution” which the Commonwealth Attorney offers isn’t to punish the lawbreaking cops but to enact the nonexistent law they’re ticketing people for.

    You beat me to it. It’s a pretty dull story until you get to the last paragraph and, instead of apologizing for falsely arresting people and being friggin’ morons, they blame the existing law for not being written in a way that legitimizes their arrests.

  13. #13 |  EH | 

    [City lawyer] Doucette said requiring drivers to present either proof of insurance or proof of payment of the uninsured vehicle fee would go a long way to clear up the confusion.

    Ah, so the solution is to pass a law making it illegal. I believe that’s called “retconning” in science fiction.

  14. #14 |  omar | 

    @Boyd Durkin

    For what it’s worth, I believe Dondero is an insane Hit-and-Runner, not an Agitatortot. Thank the gods, and pray the libertarian anger mob never drifts over here.

  15. #15 |  HD | 

    People are awesome as long as you only show the one take out of eighty three that actually worked.

    People are awesome because they’ll do those completely unproductive, insane, dangerous things 83 times, or 183, or 1830 times, whatever it takes to get it right. That’s why people are awesome.

  16. #16 |  supercat | 

    I don’t fault the cops for writing the tickets, since there is probably no practical means by which anyone could prove that an individual does not have insurance (the only way such a thing could be proven would be if insurance had to be received from a company that was registered with the state, and if all companies registered with the state would affirmatively state that neither the particular individual nor the particular vehicle he was driving had a valid policy with them).

    If an individual is legally insured, but does not have proof of insurance in their position, the proper remedy would be to provide a means by which the individual could forward proof of insurance (current as of the time of the ticket) to the state and receive confirmation of its acceptance. Once the proof was accepted, the infraction would be dropped, but any time the person had to spend submitting the proof of insurance would be regarded as the person’s own fault. If an individual does not supply proof of insurance prior to court date, but does bring it to court, they should be acquitted outright (in the absence of any statutory penalty for not having supplied the proof earlier and thus wasting the court’s time), but the fact that they had to waste their own time in court would again be considered their own fault. If an individual does not supply proof even at court, a judge could quite properly impose a fine. If the person later provides proof that he was covered when the ticket was issued, the person should be able to file a claim for reimbursement of the fine, less court and processing costs; the fine should still be regarded as having been legitimately imposed, but the person should be faulted for not having acted to mitigate the court and processing costs.

  17. #17 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    @16: “I don’t fault the cops for writing the tickets”

    You don’t fault the fuzz for writing tickets detailing violations that do not exist?

  18. #18 |  marco73 | 

    @16. Actually, since insurance is a state requirement, the state does know who has insurance.
    Here in Florida they have been testing pilot programs where police cars will have a license plate reader that will scan the road around the police car for license plates, and run the plates through the state system. It is really no different than when police call in a license plate over the radio or through the in-car laptop computer, and the state system responds back with relevant information for the license plate.
    All insurance companies licensed in Florida (I’d assume its the same procedure in Virginia), are required to submit their policy holder information on issuances and cancellations to the state. So in as real time as the information is loaded into the state computer system, cops on the road know who does and does not have insurance.
    The Virginia tickets are being issued because the drivers in question could not provide a paper document demonstrating insurance. That is not what the law states in Virginia. The police are writing drivers tickets because the driver doesn’t have a piece of paper handy in the car.
    Honestly, how many of us carry around our last car insurance bill?

  19. #19 |  Bill | 

    #16, and subsequent posters,
    First of all, the law requires that one have insurance on their vehicle, not that one have a document proving it. It doesn’t matter what inconvenience that creates for the cop, he still doesn’t have the right to ticket someone for a law that doesn’t exist. Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse for law enforcement, either.

    My insurance company sends me a card which serves as proof of insurance for each car under the policy, and I keep the card with my registration. I am also required to submit the policy number and name of the insurance company when I renew my registration. This information can also be retrieved from the DMV, but not on an instantaneous basis, as some of it is on microfilm rather than in a database.

    Further, efforts to use a database system to prove insurance coverage in this manner can be challenging because vehicle registrations might renew once a year, while some policies renew once every six months, and some may be canceled due to non-payment.

    From a pragmatic standpoint, it makes sense for there to be one law addressing not having coverage, and another requiring motorists to have proof of insurance. But that is NOT the law in Virginia, even if that would be nice for the cops.

    It might also be nice to have a law allowing motorists to kick cops in the groin when they issue tickets for non-offenses, but it’s not appropriate to act on a non-existent law.

  20. #20 |  croaker | 

    @18 And the problem with this, for example in NY, when insurance expires or the owner switches companies, the cancellation hits the system immediately, but the new insurance takes months to be established on the same system. Then you have plate readers and cops who can write easy tickets. And the fact that the owner does in fact have proof of insurance becomes immaterial because the computer database trumps all.

    There was a short story (I think written by Asimov) where an overdue library book turns into an execution for kidnapping and murder through a computer database error aided and abetted by idiot government clerk drones.

  21. #21 |  Charlie O | 

    Sipping Jim Beam Black Double Aged as I type this. The older I get, the more expensive my bourbon and cigars get. I remember being in The Netherlands a few years back and Jack Daniels was what the Dutch kids I met in a bar in a small town near Nijmegan were all drinking on their prom night. Being the only American anywhere around, I was buying.

    Re: the Virginia story. So very common. I cannot believe that cops aren’t expected to actually know the laws they are paid to enforce. It’s rampant in Texas. The goddamn dumbest fucking cops anywhere!

  22. #22 |  OBTC | 

    Re: Annapolis police arrest the wrong “Hot Dog.”

    And the victim FALSELY ID’d the guy.

    Why? Coercion?

  23. #23 |  supercat | 

    #19 | Bill | “First of all, the law requires that one have insurance on their vehicle, not that one have a document proving it. It doesn’t matter what inconvenience that creates for the cop, he still doesn’t have the right to ticket someone for a law that doesn’t exist.”

    Not all tickets imply violations of the law. In some states, for example, if one of the lights on a car is broken, but a motorist who is notified of the broken light by a cop fixes the light within a certain time frame, the motorist will not have been deemed to have broken any law. The cop who noticed the light would have written a ticket, but the ticket would serve as notice that the motorist needs to fix a problem, not that a law was broken.

    Some states have insurance-registration systems which allow the state to keep track of who does or does not have a valid insurance policy in effect at any given time. Other states do not. Requiring that all insurance carriers notify the state of any policy changes seems rather intrusive–arguably more intrusive than providing that the state may demand that people supply proof of insurance within a fairly generous time frame.

    Further, it’s pretty normal that when a statute requires a person to do something, but doesn’t explicitly specify the means by which a person must demonstrate compliance, the statute will be interpreted to allow the person to either demonstrate compliance by any reasonable means, or testify that he had complied and had also made a reasonable effort to demonstrate compliance, but had been unable to do so. For whom would it be better to declare that driving without proof of insurance was a fine-worthy offense, than to allow someone who is found to be driving without proof of insurance a chance to supply such proof before imposing a fine?