Friday, January 18, 2008

Clifford Clark and his Cause

Well, it's time for some commentary. The Clark case is our most visited topic on the blog and it deserves some more attention. And being the most opinionated (at least vocally) on this blog, I will begin my defense of Mr. Clark.

Guilty or not, he has brought to the public eye a smoldering issue waiting for its chance to burn big. As many people agree, I'm sure, there is just something slightly unsettling about the idea of cameras issuing tickets and acting like police. I'm sorry- the police should act like police, not get some private company out in arizona to look over the video feed and write citations in their name.

Point #1: A private company is making money off of our lawbreaking. Should we allow for the privatization of the police force? I'm sure there are a number of companies that could provide security in this county for a lower price than we pay our police officers. If we promise 20% of all fines to independent contractors, we will no-doubt have many takers and all the labor we need. Problem is that police work is not like every other industry- it enforces laws and wields certain constitutional powers that are limited and defined.

Point #2: those powers exist to protect citizens from each other, but are also limited to protect citizens from the police. Where do we go from here? There are already speeding cameras in TN cities. What's next- J-walking cameras, spitting cameras?

Listen: I'm a Republican and a conservative- I love small government and freedom. WTF is going on and why can't we do anything about it.

I have a plan though. I recommend a non-destructive form of protest to these cameras that can also raise awareness. I propose that signs be placed near these cameras, on public land, or on private land if the owners agree- all pointing out the lunacy of these cameras. We can post pictures of it here. Why do we need these cameras? Is there a city leader that will fight them? If not, who can we elect that will?

Cliff Clark for county commission.

[edited by ck]


will cote said...

few things get me more riled up than those cameras. i am baffled that more people aren't ticked off about it. thanks pol

stan said...

an encouragement: i almost ran one of those camera equipped red lights yesterday because i saw a small group sitting next to it, protesting (kind of ironic, i know). sometimes people surprise you--and not just by gunning down cameras.

will cote said...

they were protesting the camera?

stan said...

yeah, they were protesting the cameras. pretty smart signs too: "who watches the watchers?" or something along those lines.

which makes me think of the best graphic novel ever, "the watchmen." i recommend it to everyone. there, the line is: "who watches the watchmen?"

Anonymous said...

That's some lazy ass shitty cops in Knoxville for you :) eat more donuts!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's some lazy ass shitty cops in Knoxville for you :) eat more donuts!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I suspect the Knoxville police department processes these citations similarly to the Kingsport police department - for your statement about who verifies and decides the citation. As for running a red light, you may wish to read the blogs in Oak Ridge about a guy that wishes his wife was cited by a red light camera instead by the Oak Ridge police department which she paid a sizeable fine plus accumulated points. The statistical information about the pros and cons for these red light cameras remind me of the debates about the health issues of cellular phones causing brain damage or power lines causing health issues in young children. Imagine these red light cameras as ubiquitous as a street light. When drivers run a red light, the camera records the infraction (when its dark, the street light is on). When drivers observe the rules and laws that pertain to stopping at a red light, the camera is turned off (when its daylight, the street light is off). With every driver participating in safe driving habits, any argument for or against these red light cameras would be as interesting as the argument for having a “public” street light in front of your home or not.

Unknown said...

All charges were dismissed against Clifford Clark one week before trial, after he subpoenaed a Knox County deputy to testify that a deputy confessed to shooting a redlight camera. KPD and Redflex testified they destroyed all ballistics evidence (bullets and camera housing with bullet holes), and destroyed all audiotapes of alleged confessions and consents to search which Clark vehemently denied.

Cliff Clark has now had a massive stroke, while awaiting the other bogus trials that he would also win easily, since govt can never dismiss charges against innocent people for risk of lawsuits for false arrest and malicious prosecution:

TV crew threatened with arrest by judge in Clifford Clark trial: