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Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Law | 4 comments

Police State Chronicles

What would we say if these things happened in another country?

Arrested for dancing in a subway station:

“We were doing the Charleston,” Stern said. That’s when two police officers approached and pulled a “Footloose.”

“They said, ‘What are you doing?’ and we said, ‘We’re dancing,’ ” she recalled. “And they said, ‘You can’t do that on the platform.’ ”

The cops asked for ID, but when Stern could only produce a credit card, the officers ordered the couple to go with them — even though the credit card had the dentist’s picture and signature.

This one made the rounds but didn’t get the attention it deserves, Innocent woman spends 53 days in jail:

From Aug. 21 until Oct. 12, Teresa Culpepper was locked in the Fulton County Jail.

And all that time she insisted she was not the woman police wanted for throwing hot water on Angelo Boyd — a man she had never met, a man who said he had never met her either.

Read the story for the unfortunate set of mistaken police assumptions that defied the evidence and kept her locked in jail. But what’s all the more upsetting is what happened when the mistakes were discovered:

The felony charge was dismissed and then the judge appologized to Culpepper. “We’ll get you out as soon as possible today,” Fulton Judge Henry Newkirk said Oct. 6.

Still Culpepper was held in jail another week because the misdemeanor assault charge was not dismissed at the same time as the felony aggravated battery charge and jail officials would not release her with any charges remaining.

Culpepper was released from jail on Oct. 12 to find she had been evicted, all her belongings stolen and her truck sold for parts to cover the towing company’s costs. Culpepper had to repay the federal government the $1,000 disability payment for her medical condition that was deposited in her account while she was in jail; the law does not allow for disability payments to be made to anyone in jail even if they have not yet been convicted of committing a crime.

That from a justice system?

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • zephyr

    I’m sure those stories are the tiniest tip of the iceberg when it comes to police statism. My sense (as generalized as it is) is that police today (as compared to many years ago) are more disconnected from the people they allgedly serve and have an adversarial relationship with the citizenry – at least in regard to their philosophy. And of course there are the asset forfeiture laws which relegates many police depts. to highway and home robbers. And don’t forget the coming explosion of civilian drones. The citizenry is too stupid to get outraged though, afterall, it’s always somebody else, someonone who “deserves” it. It’s an ugly business…

  • slamfu

    Its stories like these that make me scoff when I hear people, usually conservatives, going on about how we are the “most free nation in the world”. They are closely related to those who think we have the best healthcare in the world. Essentially, they just haven’t updated their information in awhile. There are mountains of evidence to refute either claim.

  • Since when is dancing illegal? Would they arrest Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers?

  • Rcoutme

    My neighbor has equal horror stories. She has been targeted by the Chief of Police. In addition she is the victim of identity theft. The police regularly show(ed) up at her door to insist that she pay a bail ($70). We helped her with that several times, but can not keep on doing so.

    Meanwhile: the bail money is, apparently, not the same as a bail bond. It is like Monopoly bail–you don’t get it back! Thus, she has literally paid well over $1k in order to remain out of a jail that is overseen by someone who has it out for her (remember the police chief?).

    As for the identity theft: she is too poor to have a checking account. The woman who has co-opted her identity writes bad checks in her name. The same woman has family money to pay for good lawyers who keep on messing up the court system. So…a woman who does not have a checking account is constantly being hounded because a woman who can afford a lawyer writes checks in the first woman’s name.

    Thankfully, the last time the police showed up at her door for another extortion (oops, I mean bail) payment, she called her court-appointed lawyer. The police claim the warrant was for her having illegal drugs. The lawyer demanded to know what evidence they had (none). He then told them to get the hell out of there.

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