Tuesday, October 4, 2022

What Makes Me Mad

I watched a pretty horrifying video on the news last week. 



Cro asked a question over at his blog about what makes us mad. I had to think about it, but really, the thing that makes me angriest in this world is inequity. I just think that things should be fair. 

My friend had a saying: "Life's not fair. If it was, there'd be a carousel." 

Okay. 

Our news showed this clip and said that the driver (a teenager) was not charged because "police had not witnessed the incident."

That's not fair. Think of all the crimes that police don't witness: serious crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery.  People are charged. And what about the traffic cameras that ticket you for running a red light or speeding? Is 'but there were no police witnesses?' a valid defense in these cases? 

In the video, the news reporters there say that the police declined to press charges because the person was not driving recklessly. That is a ridiculous too. They disregarded a traffic signal. It may have been unintended, but the driver was clearly in the wrong. 

Yet no charges have been filed. 

They should have been, and this is exactly the sort of thing that makes me angry. 



29 comments:

  1. That makes me angry too. The police weren't there! So? It's on camera and the police charge people all the time, even when they're not there. That makes no sense whatsoever. Here the fine is at least $750 for driving through a crosswalk that has people on it. That poor little girl, I'm glad she wasn't hit though.

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  2. My stomach just turned over. The driver had no business going that fast with pedestrians in his clear view. Karma, we need you.

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    1. I do believe it was a very stupid mistake on the part of a very inexperienced driver.

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  3. Cars annoy me every time I walk along a country road. Rural speeds are far too high and nobody complains about them being too high.

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    1. And your roads can be so VERY narrow. My daughter sent a video. They were on a country lane and met a car coming the other way. They had to back up 1/2 mile to a pull off. I can't imagine a pedestrian trying to walk on a road like that, with the high hedges on either side.

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  4. The video evidence is damming and the police are derelict in their duty.

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    1. The excuses for not charging the driver simply do not hold up. If they had decided to say, for instance, "This was horrible, but the driver was inexperienced and we decided not to charge her," that would have been one thing. But to say they couldn't charge her because they didn't witness it is a falsehood.

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  5. Unbelievable. I bet the city prosecutor will prosecute; there is better than doorbell camera evidence.

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  6. As always, I'm inclined not to throw the proverbial stone at the driver without knowing all the facts. They did return to the scene. We have no idea of the interaction between the driver and the police was like. Was the driver cussing at the police and being righteous or were they in tears and begging for forgiveness. Did they apologize to the family and buy them a new scooter for the girl without injuries or do they simply drive off afterwards without talking to the family? Wouldn't these details make a difference to you? I know it would to me.

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    1. You are missing the point, Ed. I am sure that the young driver did not intend to do this. I imagine that she was scared out of her wits, as most people who break the law generally are. Many murderers regret their actions after the fact. However, the law is the law. It is to be enforced evenhandedly. The reasons given by the police for not charging her were nonsense.

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    2. No I got your point. But as long as the investigation is still active, and everyone is reporting it as thus, I'm not going to judge the police, the driver, the little girl, her father, or the city for not making the pedestrian crossing more visible. I've also never been trained by the police, know the local laws in that part of our country and so can't comment on whether or not it was acceptable to file a charge on the young driver in that incident at the time it happened or if I should wait until the investigation concludes.

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    3. Yes. Maybe the investigation will prove that the driver did not drive through the intersection, or that a child was not nearly hit.

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    4. I did some research out of curiosity. Vehicle code infractions are misdemeanor offences and in most states, including California, and you can not be fined or arrested unless the misdemeanor happens in the presence of an officer. The rape, murder and armed robbery examples you brought up are all felonies and so different rules apply.

      So next I thought about how one can get fined by a traffic camera for the same misdemeanor that wasn't witnessed by a police officer. How is this different? I don't know the answer to this one. I have found several sites that say in order for a misdemeanor to be charged via surveillance camera, a live officer must be reviewing the footage as it happens but can't find if that applies to California or just some states and not others. Also, none of the articles I have found state if the dashcam video was viewed by the police at the time of the incident or simply sent to the news media first. There are several articles that say for a video to be used in a court of law, it must have been obtained by a warrant to avoid the 4th Amendment.

      So I really don't have any answers but at least I can see a plausible reason why a ticket wasn't issued, whether we the public feels like it was justified or not. I'm curious as to what the end result of the "ongoing investigation" will be but suspect that it won't make the news for us to find out.

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    5. You incorporate such twists to make a point. Anyone who drives knows will tell you that what happened was a driving infraction.

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    6. Is pointing out a legal difference twisting things? I agree that it is an infraction. But you seem upset that there was no ticket issued. You said, "That's not fair. Think of all the crimes that police don't witness: serious crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery. People are charged." I merely pointed out why there was a difference and why they might not be charged.

      Again, I'm not against a ticket being issued in this case if there is a legal way to do so and the investigation of both sides of the story merit one.

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    7. Ed. Car crashes. People are charged on witness testimony all the time. The evidence is there. It is a prosecutable case. The media is not the enemy.

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    8. I'm not a lawyer but from what I read about yesterday, the difference is that in a car crash, there is evidence of a misdemeanor in the form of wreckage visible to the senses of the responding officer. It isn't clear if the scooter the girl was riding was damaged or not so the police may have been relying only on what he was told. If that is the case, unless it was told to him by another officer who was witness, it isn't something they can ticket you for in the state of California.

      Again, I'm not trying to say a ticket shouldn't be issued. I'm just saying I am finding plausible reasons why one wasn't, right or wrong.

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    9. To your other point, yes the media isn't an enemy. But often things get left out because they don't make a good story. In this case, leaving out the legal reasons a police officer didn't yet issue a ticket due to the misdemeanor not being witnessed, makes the public perception of the police totally different than had they pointed that out.

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  7. I am a little flummoxed.Crosswalks should be sacred although mistakes can be made.

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    1. Sure. Mistakes can and are made every day. I make plenty of them.

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  8. Unbelievable!! How could the driver not see that woman and her children in that crosswalk? Not to mention the fact that it is customary to stop when pedestrians are in a crosswalk. And another thing, kids that age are not as self aware as adults and often don't see dangers like cars...

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    1. I think so. I wonder what the 'teacher' was focused on.

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  9. What makes me mad is when charges are filed and the case goes to court but the offender gets off with a warning or a very light sentence.

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    1. I guess that each case has its own specifics. That is when the mitigating circumstances are warranted. The police's job is to determine whether laws have been broken. It is the judge and jury's job to determine the rest of it.

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  10. Yes, indeed, this is the type of stuff that makes my blood boil as well. It is a shame that police can overlook certain things for certain people.

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  11. That is just ridiculous! The video was spooky to watch.

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