By on July 13, 2020

Image: Ford

With Congress having politicized their nearly identical bills on police reform into another deadlock, many local governments have decided to pick up the slack by embracing activists seeking to dismantle law enforcement. Most of these don’t concern us as automotive enthusiasts and offer few perks or comfort to your average citizen. Then the City of Berkeley floated an idea that actually sounded halfway decent.

Rather than abolishing the police entirely, the famously progressive Californian town suggested ending routine traffic enforcement. However, you may want to hold off on making any illegal modifications to your car and postpone any burnout competitions you were planning on hosting. The proposed arrangement doesn’t officially endorse lawless roadways, though they may still be possible during the transitional period. 

Berkeley’s City Council wants to establish a new Department of Transportation aimed at replacing regular police for traffic enforcement duties. Meanwhile, Mayor Jesse Arreguín has slashed over $9 million from the city’s law enforcement budget, vowed to enact sweeping policy reforms and suggested reducing the current department’s size by anywhere from 30 to 70 percent. That could make finding the funds for the new agency difficult to come by. Berkeley City Council member, Lori Droste, admitted as much to ABC7 when explaining the plan and its objectives.

“We don’t want to inhibit apprehending dangerous criminals or drunk drivers. That is not the intent,” Droste attempted to explain. “A serious discussion of the role of modern policing is incomplete without a conversation around traffic enforcement.”

Darrell Owens, a bicycle and bus advocate from the East Bay for Everyone housing and traffic non-profit, worked with the council to create the proposal and had a little more to say about it. “Most traffic stops don’t really warrant a police officer,” he said. “A minor traffic violation should not have resulted in the murder of a black or brown body, but at the same time we can also re-examine the nature of punitive law enforcement and broken windows policing that makes traffic enforcement so deadly to begin with.”

Owens hopes to see funding that would have gone to the Berkeley PD funneled into the new Transportation Department, claiming it is part of the broader #DefundthePolice movement. Employees from the new agency would still be in charge of enforcing the law but would lack some of the tools used by regular officers — mainly weapons and normal squad cars.

Maybe they can utilize the glut of BMW i3s the LAPD hardly used.

Frankly, it seems overboard for a city with a population just over 120,000 that hasn’t had a single police shooting since 2012. Yet racial justice has become a focal point for many municipalities in the wake of the George Floyd protests, and everyone is scrambling for a quick fix. Council member Rigel Robinson claimed several major cities had already expressed an interest in copying the program.

“Within a day, an L.A. City Council member was messaging me on Twitter about it,” Robinson, who introduced the proposal last month, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “As far as we know, something like this hasn’t been meaningfully attempted before.”

That’s an easy statement to make when there doesn’t seem to be much of a framework outside of the name BerkDOT. A few council members have suggested automating ticketing entirely (even though it’s not technically legal in California) and having the DOT call police when a situation becomes dangerous. But no one has said anything specific about how the new system would be implemented.

“We don’t have all of the answers yet,” said Mayor Arreguín. “But somebody has to break ground on this. And Berkeley is committed that this is a conversation we need to explore.”

From our vantage point, it doesn’t look like Berkeley has any answers at present. Yet that could work to the advantage of California motorists interested in seeing what they can get away with. BerkDOT seems largely toothless and is bound to have funding and organizational issues during its trial year. We doubt these unarmed civil servants will be in much of a position to chase down speeders, though we can’t speak to the potential complications of taking normal cops permanently off traffic duty — nor can Berkeley until all the details are sorted.

That’s assuming it moves ahead, of course. The city council will hold a vote on Tuesday to see if things can progress. From there, it will begin a community engagement process and figure out how the hell this is actually supposed to work.

 

[Image: Ford]

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70 Comments on “Berkeley Considers Banning Police From Making Traffic Stops...”


  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    “…makes traffic enforcement so deadly to begin with”

    LOL – dumbass. It’s not deadly except in a teeny tiny percentage of instances, and 99% of those are “justified deadliness”. Look up some stats.

    This country has it so good that one or two outlying bad incidents automatically means COPS RUN WILD!! AN EPIDEMIC!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      One of the big problems we have with policing in the USA is that when the police go wild and assault a people, the police officers rarely disciplined, fired, or prosecuted. Instead, the police defend the perpetrator-officer, and do their best to blame the citizen-victim.

      This is starting to change, at least in those rare cases when someone catches it on video AND the video gets a lot of public attention. But, a lot more progress will need to be made before this is anywhere close to being fixed.

      Whenever cops go wild, their fellow officers defend them — instead of defending professional high standards. As a result, confidence in police has been declining for pretty much my entire lifetime.

      If the police want the public to have confidence in them, they will have to earn it by defending the public unfailingly for a decade — instead of defending cops-gone-wild who have discredited the profession at every opportunity.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        @Luke42- here’s an idea: defund the unions. All of them. Police unions routinely get in the way of departments administering punitive action against officers and even contracts that after XX amount of time, reports of misconduct are to be removed from personnel records.

        Nobody wants to have that conversation about union overreach though. It’s a HUGE starting point.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Actually that conversation is happening and you know who is leading it? Unions. The national labor federation is pondering kicking out police unions. Reason being that a union is supposed to protect the little guy against abuse,not protect abusers of the little guy.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Amusing. Somebody seems to think that if only the law enforcers aren’t called “Police” everything will be peaceful and Utopian.

    –Perhaps we should just re-brand police as “Fairy God Mothers.” Heck, if Bruce can morph into Caitlyn, anything is possible, right?

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Might you entertain the notion that fitting the police with military grade garb and free “surplus” military vehicles might just affect the mindset of those guys so equipped? I just ran across a story today of a police force with gigantic minesweeper capable vehicles given to them by the military. I also recall seen police out with vehicles like these somewhere in Utah deployed for protests there. Give the boys the toys, and that certainly encourages to play the part.
      But we stray off topic from the “should they pro-actively enforce traffic laws?” Heh, how about yes they should, with rocket launchers and had grenades? snark.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @ttacgreg

        Basically this. I think most reasonable people (70% to 80% between the two groups screaming at each other) support continued traffic enforcement but don’t support the militarization of the police and the criminalization of stupidity.

        One thing that those clutching their pearls going, “oh what will we do,” are ignoring is that the routine traffic stop is also dangerous for law enforcement. Watched enough Real Stories of the Highway Patrol, COPS, and Live PD to realize that more than a few “probably cause” stops were utter BS fishing expeditions.

        Anyone who has fought a ticket and sat in traffic or municipal court already knows, traffic enforcement isn’t about safety, it’s about revenue. The actual “safety” issues are a tiny percentage of what is caught in the net.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Crippled is bad. Call them handicapped. Wait–“handicapped” is bad. Call them disabled. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually it will be a criminal felony to acknowledge the non-functional legs and prevent such a person from being a firefighter..

      Idiots in the world think that if we CALL it something different, it must by definition BE something different. A rose by any other name…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “A minor traffic violation should not have resulted in the murder of a black or brown body, but at the same time we can also re-examine the nature of punitive law enforcement and broken windows policing that makes traffic enforcement so deadly to begin with.”

    “…a city with a population just over 120,000 that hasn’t had a single police shooting since 2012”

    So Berkeley wants to virtue signal by eliminating traffic stops that haven’t been a problem to begin with, but *elsewhere* routinely result in the murder of black drivers.

    These people are insane.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @SCE to AUX,

      “murder of a black or brown body, ” So often people (unwittingly?) show their true nature with phrases like this…and this is no exception to the rule.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    It is pretty silly having what could be your average SWAT team member knock on your window and questioning the completeness of your stop at that stop sign back there.

    Even with the obvious logistical issues involved, parsing legacy Police responsibilities into more specialized Law Enforcement duties could be beneficial…but suggesting that such an undertaking will create a Mad Max like hellscape in Berkeley is simply irresponsible and very, very bloggy.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think there is some method to the madness here. Many places already have code and parking enforcement separate from the main police so this would theoretically just be a (large) expansion of that. Things like expired tags, rolling through a stop sign, no seat belt, or <25 over could be handled by the traffic patrol.

    However:
    0. These kinds of plans will likely bring about increased camera enforcement, which have a well-documented history of corruption and weak data.

    1. I think the traffic patrol will generally need to avoid pulling people over because the direct confrontation is when problems could occur. Something like their dashcam recorded a violation and they will mail you a ticket might be possible but will be a PITA if you loaned your car to uncle Joe for the weekend. It will also likely mean an expansion of traffic court cases. And there could still be claims of racial/economic/age bias in this scenario.

    2. 0 and 1 above will require changes to the law in many places.

    3. You would still need "real" police patrolling the street to handle drunk driving, flagrant reckless driving, violent road rage, etc.

    4. I think municipalities should justify these changes with actual relevant data before they go forward.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This could work but its going to take awhile to iron things out. Separate traffic units that carry no weapons and can’t detain citizens could be a way forward. Video evidence of the traffic violation and a ticket in the mail would help avoid the person to person confrontation that quickly escalates. One immediate problem that comes to mind is vehicles with no plates and thus no way to identify the owner.

      If you ever watched Live PD you saw how officers used routine traffic stops in high crime areas to basically pull over whoever they wanted to. Its almost too easy as almost everyone commits some minor infractions while driving. Do you really use your turn signal each time you change lanes? No… me neither. The difference is the people being pulled over don’t trust the police for obvious reasons and wind up getting themselves further into trouble by their aggressive actions or by having drugs or illegal weapons in the vehicle.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    For a living, I work in the insurance companies that insures most of the counties in my state. Therefore I see a lot of traffic stops that go bad and I’ll give you my 2 cents.

    A couple reasons why this is dumb-
    -The officer often doesnt always approach a stop knowing it’s a dangerous situation. Then it turns out there’s a warrant and everything goes south.
    -Unless the DOT is given police powers, they have no authority to pull you over. If they do pull you over, they will now be confronting you and charging you on behalf of the state. Will they have to attend POST? Even pulling you over is an act of detention and if the length of detention is too long, then your civil rights have been violated.

    And one reason why this is smart:
    -One of the most common injuries in infraction enforcement is not to the driver who earned the ticket. It occurs when police officers perform u-turns or pull out abruptly or speed to catch up with the speeder and cause an accident with an uninvolved party. It is tragic when a non-involved person has their hip fractured over a 7 over infraction. Making traffic enforcement specialized and lower priority may stop some of this.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      “-One of the most common injuries in infraction enforcement is not to the driver who earned the ticket. It occurs when police officers perform u-turns or pull out abruptly or speed to catch up with the speeder and cause an accident with an uninvolved party. It is tragic when a non-involved person has their hip fractured over a 7 over infraction. Making traffic enforcement specialized and lower priority may stop some of this.”

      I think this will make it worse, possibly much worse. Traffic enforcement is only a portion of most officers duties. Sure they set up targeted speed enforcement at the end of the month to meet their quotas. However if the person’s sole job is traffic enforcement, they are going to be much more likely to pull a u-turn in front of or pull out in front of a car to meet their quota that is likely to be much higher since that is their only duty. It is also likely that since these are not going to be fully commissioned officers that they won’t receive the same driver training that a regular officer would. That will not stop the over zealous traffic officer from engaging in driving dangerously.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “won’t receive the same driver training that a regular officer would”

        That’s an important point. On the other hand, there are already a lot of forces with some pretty weak driver training.

        We’re not going to solve the problems of policing and traffic enforcement here on TTAC but we can still raise a few good questions.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        @scoutdude ya you could be right. in my head I’m picturing it being a low priority enforcement activity- ie no speeding to catch, no uturns, no interceptor type vehicles. More that you turn on your lights and camera and hope they pull over and call the police if they don’t.

  • avatar
    forward_look

    Weak data can be fixed.If a cop can see it, a robot can see it better, and provide evidence.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    38,800 killed in traffic accidents 2019 in USA.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Complex issue.

    Very expensive to have highly trained police officers used for traffic enforcement.

    Where I think this will go in the not too distant future will be geo-fencing of vehicles as already occurs in larger Chinese cities.

    You will need a transponder installed and working to drive in the jurisdiction. Starting with something like a fast-trak unit which is already needed on some bay area freeways and progressing to integration into the auto’s electronic system.

    Not simple but then not that difficult to monitor precise location, speed, stops, parking, etc. Sort of like OnStar but enhanced.

    Once in place the possibility of such systems are very attractive to government and insurance agencies. They might include limitations on where you can drive, when you can drive, speed you can drive, miles driven in a given time period for insurance and taxation purposes.

    Systems very similar to this are used in the EU for large commercial trucks where they know if the truck took a frontage road to avoid tolls roads and charge you the toll.

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      Kalifornia might get away with such a tracker idea. My state, the capitol building would be burned down.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Don’t be surprised if Cali’s population joins your state. In fact, due to Covid-19, several state governors have discovered rule-by-decree, and demonstrated that they like it, and want to keep doing it.

        There’s going to be a response to that at some point, most likely by state legislatures, and if not, by voters. If governors are not deterred, then Californians’ response to beach, skateboard park, and fireworks restrictions should tell you they’ll be joining other states’ citizens in exploring alternatives.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      “Where I think this will go in the not too distant future will be geo-fencing of vehicles as already occurs in larger Chinese cities.”

      How depressing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Very expensive to have highly trained police officers used for traffic enforcement.”

      Among police, traffic enforcement is seen as a dumping ground for the dumbazzes and hotheads that are too incompetent/impatient for regular police work.

      I do agree that one could have a less “militarized” force for traffic enforcement. There is already an infrastructure with “officers” doing commercial vehicle work. i.e. DOT in USA or MOT in Canada.

      The whole point of any of this is demilitarization of the police and use more appropriate resources instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “Among police, traffic enforcement is seen as a dumping ground for the dumbazzes and hotheads that are too incompetent/impatient for regular police work.”

        Brilliant!

        Let’s put our worse officers in the place where they represent out profession to the public!

        That will give the public every reason to trust us!

        /sarcasm

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Well, the main purpose of traffic enforcement in many places is ticket revenue. You don’t want kindly officers letting people off with a warning, do you?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m trying to keep an open mind…

      Contract out your traffic enforcement to the State Patrol. That’s 90% of what they do anyway. Keep your real cops for real police work.

      Anyone in brown or blue knows I’m having fun with the real cop jab.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    Sounds like it could have potential, but only if well thought out with the changes being phased in over time. Sufficient planning sounds unlikely in the current climate of fear brought about by cancel culture.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Some more food for thought, because I’m not dismissing this idea out of hand-

    Flip the idea around and ask why don’t parking meter attendants have arrest powers, carry a gun and badge, run the ID of the vehicle owner for felony warrants, etc.? Now ask yourself why certain minor traffic infractions (illegal left turn, burned out light) are worthy of the same thing. Something egregious, sure, call it in on the radio and have the real police take care of it. Suspect that the driver is drunk or high, yes of course, call the police. But for the little stuff, all you really need is a competent witness (the meter maid/meter man for minor moving violations) and the license plate.

    I dunno, just spitballing here, but it’s worth asking these questions and trying to figure out if there’s a better way of doing business.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    This idea could work but the thought keeps running thru my mind that if given a pool of 1000 traffic stops by these modified traffic enforcers, maybe 5 will go awry. In the normal “traffic stops turned ugly” world, the ability for the LEO to use less-lethal force usually aides in ensuring things don’t go further south. If these new modified enforcers are completely unarmed and don’t possess the same authority for detention/apprehension as normal police officers, what’s to inhibit those 5 traffic stops from getting MUCH uglier than they would have with a normal LEO conducting the stop?

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      @CoastieLenn, again, flip the problem around and ask why parking ticket encounters don’t rapidly escalate into violent felony stops

      For that matter, what about other mundane things like code enforcement when there normally is not sworn/badged/armed law enforcement present? Child protective services people make a lot of their calls without LEO present (it depends on the case, some circumstances absolutely do involve it from the get go).

      Traffic stops turned ugly is kind of a chicken and an egg question.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        I definitely see your point but I think the main difference between (specifically) parking enforcement and whatever this becomes is that in the event of parking, you are already parked and no longer in your vehicle. The vast majority of parking enforcement issues arise well after a ticket is placed on an unattended vehicle. In 0% or nearly 0% of the cases this agency will be involved in, will they be enforcing things on unattended vehicles. They’ll be stopping you in your travels, inconveniencing you while you’re trying to get somewhere, etc. Right out of the gate, those “5 stops” are already more tense than if those 5 people got a parking ticket.

        Code enforcement doesn’t have the ability to arrest you or lead to your arrest, nor does parking. They’re annoyances with the potential for problems later on down the line.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I agree. The “traffic patrol pulling people over” part of this idea is where the real risk happens. Code enforcement mails out a letter or leaves a note on my fence. Parking enforcement almost always leaves a ticket on an empty car.

          I think more safety gains would come from reducing direct confrontations over rebranding the people detaining you.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @CoastieLenn – there is the argument that the odds of violence are less if someone isn’t expecting to be confronted by armed officers with the right to physically detain and arrest. Statistically police are more likely to draw weapons and shoot if fearing violence. That applies to those on the criminal side of the equation.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Very true. I’ll only cite that I’m sure there are more people on the criminal/offender side of the equation that are substantially more likely to draw a weapon and use deadly force on anyone exercising authority over them or for the perceived threat of where that traffic stop can go than there are uniformed officers in any capacity willing to do the same.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    It’s the beauty of federalism, states rights and elected city councils………. you want to try it Berkeley then go ahead and do so! The results, good bad or ugly, are only yours.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    The only way this will work is to eliminate any interaction between an offending motorist and a traffic enforcement officer. It would have to work like camera enforcement except that direct observation by an officer would be required to issue a citation. The officer would record the license number and description of the vehicle and the citation would be mailed to the owner. If he wasn’t the driver, it would be his responsibility to produce the actual driver. Ordinary cops could do this. It’s not necessary to create and fund an unarmed traffic force without arrest powers.

    When traffic stops go bad, it’s usually because there is more at stake for the driver than a fine or points on his license. For example, Rayshard Brooks tried to talk his way out of a DUI bust because it was a parole violation that would send him back to prison. When talking failed, he resorted to fighting.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Ordinary cops could do this. It’s not necessary to create and fund an unarmed traffic force without arrest powers.”

      That’s true but the traffic patrol may be less costly in the long run versus using the regular police for this task.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I’ve almost witnessed this go bad, real quick.

      We have parking enforcement folks who patrol parking lots for people illegally parked in handicapped and fire zone areas. Normally the “meter maid” just slaps a ticket on the offending vehicles and moves on. No interaction.

      I was at Lowes when the individual driving the car came out at the same time a ticket was being placed on the windshield. The little old lady had called for backup immediately but the man was pretty close to hitting this woman.

      What’s going to happen when untrained meter maids pull over folks who are armed for a speeding ticket and the individual shoots or commits a violent act?

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    They’ll cut policing criminal activity before they cut this. Traffic Enforcement pays a lot of bills in municipal government. Policing actual criminals costs real money.

    One thing is for sure, property owners around Berkeley won’t be seeing these savings on their property taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think their idea would actually be likely to increase traffic fine volume. Right now a cop might cut you break on an expired tag or a missed signal or 12 over or something like that. A camera or an entire squad where their *only* job is to enforce traffic laws won’t give those breaks and will likely cast a wider net.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      @Art,

      This isn’t exactly true. Yes, it costs money to put criminals away. At the same time, if an area that had low crime starts to have higher crime, property values go down, and the city loses money. This happens all the time down in Florida. In areas of high crime and low property values, you would be correct.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The solution doesn’t have to be so drastic. Every second of all officer’s “on duty” shifts, traffic stops, public encounters, etc, should be captured on video, from several angles/cams, and 100% accessible to the public.

    And all video/audio should also be (redundantly) transmitted “live” to base/headquarters, IA and several oversight, 3rd-party watch dog and “cop watch” groups, even if there’s a deliberate delay for video (feed) to the general public, YouTube live streams, etc.

    All (current/past) cop body-cam, in car and dashcam footage is already 100% publicly accessible, except it’s very hit-n-miss, some departments claim they can’t afford the equipment, and officers/departments have complete control of when the equipment is ON/OFF, and what gets (accidentally?) deleted.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      Well if you ever watched LivePD, that was the premise of the show. Unfortunately they, in performance of the “Live” aspect of their show, captured video of a police involved fatality (he was the wrong race to capture the same media attention) and only after the contracted video retention time frame had passed and the video was destroyed (it’s also contracted that their footage couldn’t be used in criminal proceedings), did the prosecution request the video. The network decided to pull the show from the air given the current state of police/racial tensions in the country. If this video access would be granted again, who maintains control of that data? Who is responsible for the maintenance/upkeep/access control to that data so as not to risk corruption. EVERY SINGLE SECOND of video from EVERY SINGLE CAMERA would have to be treated as evidence until it’s deemed to not be needed. Hence the reason that dash cams usually aren’t recording until the lights/sirens are activated. Body cams need to be manually activated by the officer for the same reason.

      What I’m getting at is that your idea, while fantastic and probable given the right IT budget, would be a HUGE daunting task and massive undertaking.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “LivePD” is no different than “COPS”. Officers are on their best behavior, which is what I’m getting at.

        Except it’s not for us to sift through the raw footage. Excluding boring, non eventful footage, it’s highly edited, and all cops always appear and “act” extremely professional and the perps always bad.

        Except they could be drinking games, every time a cop on those shows violates a citizen’s rights.

        Most Americans don’t know their rights, and it’s mostly from watching those shows. Yes it’s not the cop’s job to honor anyone’s constitutional rights.

        They can get the arrests any way they see fit, including lying, boldface (in the course of their “duty”), which is perfectly legal for a cop to do. I feel it’s the root of the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Such monitoring might not be effective. There is a recent event where a cop knelt on a man’s neck for many minutes while obviously being filmed, it mattered not to him. That added ample support to my suspicion that there are officers, and some departments, and police unions that are legally protected (“qualified immunity”) and violence prone subcultures. The nature of the duties certainly attracts bully and control freak personalities. What could be better? Their behavioral proclivities are socially sanctioned and protected, even worshipped by some people. I have a few friends who think the cops are somehow innocent and can’t and don’t ever do anything wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Unions are another gross part of the bigger issue. The officer that actually knelt on Floyd’s neck had no less than 18 prior counts of documented misconduct but the MPD couldn’t fire him because the union stepped in both times they attempted punitive actions. The most they were “allowed” to do is pull him off patrol temporarily.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.insider.com/derek-chauvin-minneapolis-police-background-life-2020-6%3famp

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Basically I’m talking about assigning a totally independent camera crew to every cop, for every interaction with the public. Yeah it wouldn’t solve absolutely everything, but it’s a start.

        If it just filters out, every other or third bully, egomaniac, littleman complex, trigger-happy flashback veteran, weren’t hugged enough, or similar, it’s got to be worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          Well, Mike, I’m 100% certain that many truths would come out that various political entities would find inconvenient and in the way of them telling their stories.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @DenverMike,

      There are things that police see that should not be made public. If every time police went into someone home the full video was made public thieves would love it. Case the house right from the video.

      Also, things like domestic disputes and medical emergencies should remain private.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Yes there would be minor issues to work out. Except what do you think would’ve happened, or not happened if an independent citizen hadn’t videoed the George Floyd murder?

        Video capture is everything. And without that video, and millions watching, would those George Floyd cops be facing any charges? Any kind?? Yes I know they were wearing bodycams. So?

        At worst they’d be on “paid leave” pending an internal investigation.
        Yes there’s other separate problems to work out. Police unions, qualified immunity, prosecutors bought by those unions, etc, etc.

        One problem at a time please.

        Eventually all cops will lose every bit of on-duty privacy as cameras become dirt cheap along with data storage, etc, etc. It’ll be a non issue in 20 years (or sooner) when they have no more excuses, but what if we just push forward now?

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          @DenverMike

          The problem is that in many cases the jury pool could be tainted for a good shoot. I have no problems with all the video in the world, but the real issue is that we should be dealing with the court of law and not the court of public opinion.

          When these men go up for trial, assuming they don’t plea out, how the hell could they find a jury that hasn’t already been tainted?

          This is why DA’s don’t release body camera footage right away.

          In many cases the cell phone video could be detrimental or have unintended consequences in a court of law if released to the public, for both victims of police brutality, police, and everyday citizens.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          @DenverMike

          The problem is that in many cases the jury pool could be tainted for a good shoot. I have no problems with all the video in the world, but the real issue is that we should be dealing with the court of law and not the court of public opinion.

          When these men go up for trial, assuming they don’t plea out, how the hell could they find a jury that hasn’t already been tainted?

          This is why DA’s don’t release body camera footage right away.

          In many cases the cell phone video could be detrimental or have unintended consequences in a court of law if released to the public, for both victims of police brutality, police, and everyday citizens.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Some how they found a jury for OJ Simpson. And for the cops that beat Rodney King. Don’t worry about finding untainted jurors.

            In the case of Rodney King, there wouldn’t have been a case in the first place, if it wasn’t for a citizen filming. It’s the same for George Floyd and countless others.

            Having the cops filmed won’t or couldn’t affect citizens right to a fair trail. Hell, countless will have their charges dropped, thanks to proof they were falsely arrested and their rights violated.

            Anyway, the crime was done (or not) by the time the cops arrive. But that’s the moment cop’s crimes and misdoings begin. Or even murders by cops.

            Cops are sometimes filming themselves and the scene/location anyways. Or they should be.

            All I’m suggesting is exponentially more reliable filming and securing of the footage, and of course more ease of public/lawyer access, but with added cameras/angles and absolutely less chance of cop/department manipulating, editing and “losing” footage.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Install speed humps everywhere and remove parking meters – problem solved.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    Since California is such a great place to live and everybody is wonderful, and beautiful, maybe just get rid of traffic cops entirely and go to an “honor system”. If you are speeding, and realize it, just look up the fine amount and send in a check. Write a nice letter saying you are sorry, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s why the real estate prices are so high in California: lots of people want to live there.

      There why real estate prices are low in places where fewer people want to live.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        You’re correct, but every single person I’ve ever known to move to California has left, because they can’t stand it there.

        I don’t get it.

        • 0 avatar
          volvo

          It was best explained by Art Laffer who when asked why any business continues to stay and put up with the incredibly oppressive environment in California, he answered. “Why are the pretty girls generally the meanest? Because they CAN be.”

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Wonderful! I can’t wait to hear BerDOT’s policy on vehicle pursuit considering the probable laughingly low rate of drivers willing to pull over and be ticketed by some pencil pusher in a obscure government vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Okay, so? Then instead the car owner gets a ticket in the mail for whatever little thing they did. Life goes on. If they choose to ignore it or throw it into a stack of other ignored tickets, then they won’t be able to renew their license and registration when the time comes.

      If it’s an egregious violation then the baby cop can call the real cops.

      If the person has ignored too many tickets then make that a warrant and send the real cops out to find them. How many is too much that they’d meet some legal definition of a habitually crappy driver? Pick something that seems fair. There are already violations where the cops will come looking you later, like hit and run, so how many times should it take for little or medium things before you get the same treatment? Make 20 illegal turns (I don’t know… pick a number that seems fair), pass a stopped school bus, run 5 red lights.

      These concepts don’t take a lot of imagination or great leaps of logic.

      Or we can keep on with the present state of affairs, with which everyone is universally enthralled.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Taking $9mill from “The Police”, then turning around handing $12mill to the Department of Silly Walks, so they can do the exact thing the police used to do, sounds about par for the course for the Newspeak era….

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    You mean I can finally use all those idiotic non-roundabouts – with stop signs, which totally defeat the purpose – like real roundabouts and not risk extortion?

  • avatar
    brn

    Different people will have different opinions as to if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing…

    Local traffic enforcement is about a lot more than traffic enforcement. A surprising number of “bad people” (warrants, etc) drive poorly. A lot of local officers perform traffic stops with the primary purpose of nabbing a “bad person”. Turns out you don’t have a warrant, they don’t even bother writing you a ticket.

    Depending on how one gets rid of traffic stops, a lot of bad people will no longer get arrested.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      You can’t tell people that anymore. “If you’re not doing anything (or haven’t done anything) to attract police attention AND KEEP THEIR ATTENTION, you’ll have no problems.” That concept escapes people. It’s the loudmouths and the ones that have no respect for anyone up to or including their mother that usually run into problems with the police. Respect is a HUGE component missing in our modern culture.

      Basically- “don’t start no s**t, won’t be no *s**t.”

  • avatar
    stuart

    Many years ago, I saw a wonderful, snarky bumper sticker. It was red, with yellow lettering, and the traditional yellow hammer-and-sickle on the left. On the right, it said:

    Welcome to the People’s Republic of Berkeley.

    Dunno about that driver’s politics, but personally, I was very amused.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Subscribed .

    Those who cannot manage to live in California are encouraged to leave, the won’t be missed as they’re worthless citizens by definition .

    -Nate

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