Note to Sean: You Can’t Fight City Hall.

I had to wait a few days to write about this because I wanted to make sure that I was writing with a level head. But I wanted to share with Sean that if he’s still debating whether or not to contest his traffic ticket, don’t bother.

I spent three hours last Friday at the L.A. Superior Court building attempting to contest my own recent and insanely bogus ticket. Unfortunately for me, it turned out to be an expensive and unfortunate lesson that The Man isn’t really all that interested in helping His citizens to pursue justice. Unless you’ve got a good lawyer or a glaringly obvious technicality to get you off, you’re probably SOL. And I emphasize the GOOD part of the lawyer bit because one of the guys that I saw take a trip through the meat grinder was himself an attorney that seemed to have a very valid argument, supported by case law. In the interest of brevity (and trying not to rant like a maniac) I’ll skip 90% of the stupid, annoying and ridiculous things that I had to endure or witness, but I would like to share one short anecdote that you may want to consider:

While inspecting the photos that I provided as evidence, the judge questioned the officer about why what I did was illegal. The problem being that, according to the officer’s earlier testimony and what was depicted in my photos, it wasn’t, in fact, illegal. So how, you might ask, did the mistaken officer rectify the situation? Well, that’s easy! He lied. The officer involved in my case changed his earlier testimony and told a blatant untruth about the facts of my case. Not only did he lie, but the judge’s line of questioning seemed to be intended to help him rectify what he had attested to earlier. So it was my word against the officer’s. Who do you think won that battle?

In the media, I hear various and sundry representatives of the L.A.P.D. bemoaning their reputation pretty frequently. If you’re one of them, I’d like you to take a moment to really think about ALL the things you might do to engender that reputation. You don’t have to be beating people to be a bad cop.

4 Replies to “Note to Sean: You Can’t Fight City Hall.”

  1. Yeah, I decided it was going to get me no where and paid the damn thing a week ago.

    It’s long been my opinion that while most people join law enforcement out of desire to help and make things better, most are easily mislead by the intoxicating power of being able to do really anything you want, even if you aren’t “technically” allowed to do it. So if you have to stretch the truth a little bit, so what, you are in charge and that is that.

    This isn’t just some random assumption, it comes from a collection of several experiences:

    – A good friend from college who joined the force, and the obvious changes in his personality that many of his friends noticed, as well as his own comments.

    – I used to live on a one way street with a 7-11 on the end, every day cops would drive down THE WRONG WAY to get there, one day I asked why they were allowed to do that when it was a one way street and the cop looked at me, laughed, and said “what are you going to do about it? Call the cops?” and walked away.

    – I was a bouncer at a night club for several years and inside the club we were “THE LAW”. We could beat anyone up, take anything from anyone, and generally do anything we wanted, all the other boucers would back up our story, and if and when the real cops were involved, they treated us like one of them. Took our word as if they’d seen it them selves and even joked around with us about the power. It heppened very subtly but once I realized it was happening I quit.

  2. Two days after my girfriend who I live with received a ticket for not having her ‘lap belt’ on in her vehicle, the house next door to us had EIGHT shots fired at it from the street.

    We called the cops, they never came.
    The shell casings are still sitting in the street. Kids were playing with them yesterday.

    Cops are like alchoholic fathers.. Always around when you don’t want them to be, but never around when you need them.

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