Traffic Cameras Could Stop Rogue Cops - And Response (2)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Although still somewhat skeptical, I've come to realize the potential for traffic cameras such as the one Sheriff Hammond has tried to introduce as long as there's some kind of oversight to monitor and prevent abuse.  

Some of the most dangerous encounters between cops and citizens, mostly the citizen is on the losing side, take place during routine traffic stops. Recently an elderly 70-year-old was shot by a South Carolina deputy who mistook the elderly man's cane for a shotgun (he was one of the few lucky ones. The bullet didn't kill him). It is also during routine traffic stops that rogue cops are more prone to abuse and to use excessive force when it's not warranted.  

Although there have been cases of abuse in other towns where it was exposed traffic cameras were being manipulated, anything that will limit contact between cop and citizen during a routine traffic stop has the potential for good as long as there's oversight and regular equipment checks to make sure calibration numbers or whatever is used in modern technology aren't being tampered with or manipulated. Perhaps with time technology could render the traffic cop obsolete? 

Brenda Manghane-Washington

* * *

Here we go again.  Once again Ms. Washington, you use irrational hatred to make what you think is a good argument against police.  You know little about what a police officer does.  You think you do, based solely on your prejudices, which I think may be largely born from exaggerated stories that other people tell you. 

I'll try to explain things a little bit.   When a "traffic cop" stops someone, a beat down does not ensue.  When a "traffic cop" stops you, there is a chance you will get a ticket, and a chance that you will get a warning.  A "traffic cop" can enforce laws other than speeding and red light violations.  Imagine?  When the guy doing 98mph on Highway 153 cuts you off and almost forces you off the road, the traffic camera could not care less.  It's staring intently at the white line at the intersection, with its tongue hanging out, drooling, waiting for some poor fool to miss the light by a few feet.   It's staring at that white line on the roadway as you are mumbling "where's a cop when ya need one?".  I'm fairly certain that traffic camera's high-five each other when they catch someone going a few miles per hour over the limit at 3 a.m.  They get their 50 bucks, even if its not from the person driving.  A traffic camera will automatically send the registered owner of a vehicle a ticket.  The camera (and the company behind it, and the state) don't care if the vehicle owner was driving.  They get fined regardless.  A "traffic cop" would never hunt you down to issue you a ticket for a violation committed by someone else.  Most cops I know (and I know hundred's) give tickets to less than half of the folks that they pull over.  Sometimes a warning is enough, and more valuable.   I don't know any cops that stop someone for tailgating (something else the camera's care nothing about, yet causes more accidents than anything else I can think of) and proceed to go "rogue".  Sometimes a "traffic cop" has to use force.  Sometimes deadly force.  But that is not because someone cut someone else off.  It's because someone in the car became violent or dangerous. 

I'm sorry you feel the way you do about police officers, but if you ever meet one on the side of the road, just be polite.  You'll always have that chance to explain yourself, and possibly be on your way free of charge.  Unlike the traffic cameras, who were too busy to notice you cut someone off because they were high-fiving each other over their last "kill". 

Andrew Peker

* * *

Mrs. Washington, if you should come home to find the door smashed in and your jewelry, computers, even the copper pipes cut from under the house, who do you call?  

You are an outspoken representative of the black community in Chattanooga, where young black people will shoot and kill 40 to 50 other young black people this year simply because they have entered the wrong neighborhood.  If shooting breaks out on the street in front of your home, who will you call? May I also remind you that there are quite a few black cops on the streets of Chattanooga. Are they as quick to beat down a traffic violator because of their race?

My point is that without police officers in those patrol cars, there is no one else to call.  I hope at some point in time you will become the voice of peace and cooperation between police and civilians, between blacks and whites, maybe even between rival gangs.  

What is the point of degrading the police department? They have a tough and often thankless job. Constantly bashing all cops is uncalled for and certainly doesn't bring peace to the city. If you have a suggestion for improving relations between the black community and law enforcement in Chattanooga, please write it up, and send it in. But for a long time now, you have shown nothing but contempt for the only hope that we all have when we are victims of crime. The only number to call is 911.

Harry Presley

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