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Another Way to Fight the Man

Not long after I received a ticket on my bicycle, I saw a driver get pulled over on Stevens Way, the main drag through UW campus, for momentarily stopping to let out a passenger. This is a road where  buses stop every hundred yards, traffic crawls as students constantly cross streets, and people get dropped off from cars in a similar fashion thousands of times a day.

I was riding my bicycle by as the stop happened, and I decided to do something about it. I stopped where the cop had pulled the motorist over and proceeded to give the officer a hard time for what she did. First I asked if what he did was really illegal. She responded yes and I said “Are you serious?” incredulously. I then proceeded to talk to the driver of the car while the officer was doing something else. I told the driver that I would give him my contact info and I would help him fight the total BS ticket. I said this loudly enough for the cop to hear. I then started writing down my contact info to give to the driver. At this point, the officer returned to the car she had pulled over and told me to give her room to speak to the driver. I backed away to finish writing down my info, but then I learned that the officer had decided not to issue a ticket.


The only way we can fight police tyranny is to band together and proactively fight it. If someone had done for me what I did for this motorist when I received my ticket, I may have very well not been issued the ticket, and even if I had been issued the ticket, I would have had the witness I am now going ot have to search for in probable vain.

So here is my charge to all of you: If you see a fellow motorist being pulled over for the inane “crime” of speeding, follow them off the road, encourage them to contest the ticket, and offer to be a witness in their case against the state. Although I haven’t seen it work myself, my guess is that a third party who has nothing to gain or lose through testifying would make a very compelling case against the ticket. The state relies on the fact that most people who contest tickets have only their own word against the officer’s, and the officer’s word is implicitly less tainted since the officer is assumed to have little to gain from the ticket whereas the defendant is assumed to have a lot to lose.

One other person, previously unknown to the defendant, saying, “Your honor, I was behind the car that got pulled over and can testify that the car was traveling at or below the speed limit” would go a long way in getting these travesties dismissed. Do it for others, and hopefully when you find yourself being pulled over by a cop who himself speeds at every opportunity with no repercussions, someone will return the favor.

I certainly will.

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