RUSHING TO SPIN CRIME DATA, COLUMBIA MAYOR VIOLATES A DISTRACTED DRIVING ORDINANCE HE SUPPORTED
Following yet another round of violent crime in the City of Columbia, S.C., mayor Steve Benjamin was understandably eager to put a positive spin on his administration’s crime prevention efforts.
How eager? Benjamin literally couldn’t wait to show a skeptical constituent a positive article that was published two weeks ago in The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper (a news outlet that exists for the sole purpose of providing politicians with cover).
Take a look …
(Click to enlarge)
What’s the big deal?
Well, as evidenced by his tweet Benjamin was driving at the time this missive was sent – which is in direct violation of a distracted driving ordinance passed by the city last March. In fact Benjamin supported this measure – which expressly forbids drivers in the city limits from sending text messages, emails, tweets and Facebook updates while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Violators face a fine of up to $237 (including court costs).
Alerted to the fact that “distracted driving is as big of a problem as (driving under the influence),” Benjamin claimed in a follow-up tweet that he had “parked just to tweet with a constituent. Won’t make the mistake again dude #out.”
Yeah … because if anybody needs to keep his eyes on the road it’s Benjamin.
Anyway, if you’re keeping score at home the City of Columbia’s statistics show a 26 percent decrease in crime this year – although the number of violent crimes in the Five Points region of the city is up by 22 percent. Also the University of South Carolina recently asked for the city’s help in combatting what the Associated Press referred to as a “recent spate of crimes” on its downtown Columbia, S.C. campus.