Posts Tagged ‘morning news’

The Petty Police State in Dallas, Texas

June 23, 2008

From Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Petty Police State

June 19, 2008

Could the most important thing one does for one’s community be to send a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution to local politicians and police?

Some officers in the Dallas Police Department are doing things against the letter and the spirit of our laws. After writing a traffic ticket up, and getting the signature, too many on the force then add on infractions.

Gretchen West was stopped for a burned-out tail light. She took away her ticket for $220. And paid. Then she got a letter in the mail, saying she owed an extra $378 for failing to wear a seatbelt and driving without her headlights on.

But, but . . . the officer had not mentioned those alleged violations!

The Dallas Morning News informs us that an assistant city attorney documented about a dozen cases like this in recent months.

This weird twist on ex post facto law is Kafkaesque, actually, the kind of thing you’d expect from a police state.

Now, I know: Dallas, Texas, today, is a better place to live in than was Moscow, USSR, circa 1950. The Soviets set in place a totalitarian police state.

Here in America, when our rulers and enforcers forget the importance of the rule of law, and the primacy of citizen liberties, they tend to set up not totalitarian police states but petty ones.

Sure, the pettiness is a bit of a relief. But it’s just not the American way.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

And, according to Pegasus News, you can now pay your tickets, legitimate and (allegedly) fabricated online. How convenient!

Paying traffic citations is now a lot more convenient, thanks to the City of Dallas Court Services new e-Payment System.

“We want to give customers every possible opportunity to pay their tickets,” said Director of Court and Detention Services Gloria Carter. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this online option, which we believe will make paying traffic citations simpler and more convenient.”

To pay citations online, visit www.dallascityhall.com and click on “other tickets” in the left hand margin. After reading the “Terms and Conditions” page, click on “Make Payment” at the bottom of the page and enter the information on the citation. The system will provide a total due and accept payment by credit card or personal/business check.

This 24 hour convenience is in addition to the 24 hour, seven days a week window operation for handling Class C Misdemeanors at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center Lobby , 111 W. Commerce.

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