SC

Coalition Building Against “Predatory Policing”

LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS NEED TO PROTECT THEIR OFFICERS … AND THE PUBLIC Four-and-a-half years ago, this website broke a story that revealed one of law enforcement’s dirty little secrets … and by extension, a dirty little secret regarding how we fund law enforcement in South Carolina. Our story exposed the…

LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS NEED TO PROTECT THEIR OFFICERS … AND THE PUBLIC

Four-and-a-half years ago, this website broke a story that revealed one of law enforcement’s dirty little secrets … and by extension, a dirty little secret regarding how we fund law enforcement in South Carolina.

Our story exposed the use of quotas by the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) – the parent agency of the S.C. Highway Patrol.  Basically, the system required S.C. state troopers to issue a specific number of speeding, seat belt and driving under the influence citations to motorists each month.

Troopers were instructed to “pull there (sic) load,” and to “make (the quotas) a priority in your enforcement efforts.”

Not surprisingly, no real reform was enacted in the aftermath of our story.  The quota system remains in place – at all levels of law enforcement in South Carolina – and government continues to force these vital protective agencies to subsidize their operations via public harassment.

Why are we writing about this now?

Well, quotas are officially a part of the public record in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott – who was gunned down by North Charleston, S.C. police officer Michael Slager after attempting to flee a traffic stop.  Slager was charged with murder after amateur video of the shooting disputed his version of events, but the circumstances leading up to the traffic stop are now in question – with lawyers alleging North Charleston’s quota system played a role.

S.C. Rep. Justin Bamberg – one of the attorneys for Scott’s family – has filed legislation (H. 4387) that would prohibit law enforcement agencies in the Palmetto State from using quotas.  He’s filed another bill (H. 4385) that would prohibit local governments from using revenues obtained

According to Bamberg, passing these bills would end what is popularly referred to as “predatory policing.”

“(The quota system) puts pressure on officers to go out and stop people for ridiculous stuff or things they normally wouldn’t,” Bamberg told ABC News. “It puts officers in a difficult position.  It also makes citizens feel like they’re being harassed or stopped for petty things.”

We concur …

Oh, and before anyone says this is a racial issue, consider the case of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond.  He’s the white kid who was shot and killed by an undercover officer over ten grams of pot after police in Seneca, S.C. – working with the Highway Patrol – tried to pull off an impromptu entrapment bust.

Prior to the Hammond shooting, S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts had proposed legislation which would have made simple possession of marijuana equivalent to a traffic offense – thus eliminating the need for such “predatory policing.”

We support Bamberg’s bills – and Pitts’ legislation.

Passing these measures would lead to a dramatic deescalation of officer-involved violence in South Carolina – protecting police and citizens alike.  It would also refocus law enforcement assets where they are needed.

More to the point, passing Bamberg’s bills would force state and local governments – at long last – to fund law enforcement in a manner commensurate with its status as a core function of government.  Seriously: It’s offensive that thousands of higher educrats get guaranteed six-figure salaries from taxpayers – yet police officers have to shake down citizens to keep their agencies funded?

No more …

***

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49 comments

Pappy O'Daniel January 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

Part of the Public Record? You do realize that Slager’s attorney is the one who made this suggestion in open court as mitigation as to why his client stopped Scott in the first place. Not facts, no proof-just an allegation. Additionally, under current state law all agencies must record the race/sex of those stopped whether they or issued a ticket or a warning ticket.

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Dunkin' Donuts January 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

But society is much safer when the fat blue line focuses on speeding and seat belts!

How dare you!

If cops were to focus on real crime instead of being lapdogs for the state’s desire to control people over victimless crime and nudging the direction of society in general they’d be looked upon more favorably.

But alas, they much fund the “justus” system, their pay, the pay of judges & the system- so it’s seat belt & tail light tickets, with the occasional low level perp being shot in the back now and then.

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Superfly January 12, 2016 at 10:44 am

So Fits is arguing that if your headlight is out you might get your ass kicked by the police? Many hardened criminals, with active warrants for violent crime, are taken to jail as result of lawful stops. Pay your taxes, renew your tag, maintain auto insurance, don’t drive under suspension, keep your car in working order, obey the traffic laws and you can minimize your exposure, especially if you’re carrying weed and weapons. Is it too much to ask for people to obey the law?

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Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/south-carolina

” Is it too much to ask for people to obey the law?”

Many times, yes. Not withstanding the sheer volume of them and how inane many of them are.

There’s a reason for a quota system, & it’s not in the name of safety.

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Superfly January 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm

There are reasons why you’re required to use turn signals, change lanes lawfully, maintain a valid driver’s license, insure your vehicle, renew your tag, etc., too. And they’re in the name of public safety.

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Got no problem with those laws. We do have waaaay to many laws in general, to include traffic laws. Seat belt laws are one of the most heavily enforced of all of them. I wear mine but if someone chooses not to wear theirs, I don’t have a problem with that. If they pay the ultimate price for not wearing their belt, I believe there is a term that was coined many years ago which covers that: “natural selection”.

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sparklecity January 12, 2016 at 12:44 pm

You know what EMT’s call people who don’t wear their seat belts or motorcycle helmets????==========”Organ Donors”

CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm

LOL!!!! I don’t think I heard that one before but it shows imagination.

sparklecity January 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Lord, that old chestnut’s been around for years………..

Just Me January 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm

I agree that there are too many laws and regulations and the government continues to take away liberties. I believe that the insurance companies should be the ones enforcing a seat belt requirement.

A friend of mine’s grown daughter decided after a few beers that she did not need a seat belt as she drove off. Ended up driving off the road and hitting a tree. She was thrown from the car and suffered a massive brain injury.

Ruined not just her life because she is a quadriplegic now but also her two kids lives and my friend and his wife because now they have to care for her 7×24.

sparklecity January 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm

How do you know your headlight is out if it goes out while you’re driving through a lit area???
My wife and I got pulled over by the Landrum “Area” police one night after coming back from Asheville. All the documentation was in order, I had not been drinking and was well within the speed limit (if you drive through Landrum for any length of time you know NOT to speed – they are just as bad as the Duncan/Wellford Gestopo).
I didn’t even know the headlight was out and that cop kept me there for at least 15 minutes running my entire life in his “puter”, His back-up showed up his cop car and he did his best to trick me into saying something that might incriminate me. We were in a Subaru Outback with no stickers or other stuff identifying us as “dopers” or anything else except for being middle-aged Caucasians driving a conservative looking Subaru Outback sedan which shitloads of middle aged Caucasians drive in the Landrum/Tryon/Asheville area
I know better than to give a cop any shit so I just patiently waited till he exhausted every effort to find a way to bust me for something. Finally he told me one of my headlights was out and handed me a warning ticket. He DID NOT inform me of that when he pulled me over but no BS waited till the end and you could tell he was disappointed that he couldn’t find anything to bust me for by his abrupt demeanor after issuing me the warning ticket. My wife agreed with me that he was doing his best to bust me for DUI even though I was as sober as a judge.
Once you’ve experienced something like that (I’ve NEVER run afoul of the law) you don’t forget it and since that time, I look at cops (especially small town cops) from a different perspective and it ain’t all positive I can attest to that…….

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Late 1980’s, I met my girlfriend and her adult daughter at the Cayce area Kettle restaurant after I got off from work, for a bite. We were in there a couple of hours, talking and they were unwinding from a busy day of mostly shopping. On the way to gf’s home in the boonies, gf led, followed by her daughter in her late grandmother’s AMC product and I was bringing up the rear. Gf and I were talking on CB radios and her daughter didn’t have one. We were apparently were traveling through Springdale and met a SPD marked car. When they got past me they flipped around and I told my girlfriend that I was about to be stopped for something. The car cuts on their blue lights and I pull over but to my surprise, they go past me and stop the daughter. All three of us pull over with me behind the SPD car. I am in uniform and work for an agency which technically has jurisdiction in theirs, also. Two BIG gorillas get out of the SPD car and ask what my business is and I tell them that I’m traveling with my girlfriend and her daughter, who they just stopped. They tell me to do to my vehicle so rather than exacerbate the situation, I stand by my vehicle and observe. As they collect the daughter’s DL, registration, etc, they question her intently as to where she was coming from, where she was going, how much she had to drink, etc. They say she swerved over the line as they were meeting us. I was behind her and noticed no such maneuver. They put her through multiple field sobriety tests, which she passes with flying colors. As they inquired again about if she had been drinking, I injected that I had just spent the last two hours with her and her mother at The Kettle and I had noticed no alcohol on either’s breath. Her mother said they had been together shopping all day and had only had tea and sodas, to include while we were at the kettle. After quite a bit of questioning, they let her go with a warning on the alleged swerving across the lanes.

I know in my heart, that if I and/or her mother had not been with her at that point in time, those two goons would have had her on the breathalyzer and she would have registered a .10 or more, even though she had consumed no alcohol that day. Those old breathalyzers could be manipulated to show whatever you wanted them to show. I never heard anyone say they did that, but you can imagine it happened.
Thankfully, as I understand it, the modern Datamasters are not capable of such manipulation.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis January 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Same here. Good story. Springdale arrested me for DUI. I left Legends bar in my souped up Orange Camaro, that frontage road turns into I 26, when I got into 26 I nailed it. I miss that car and sound, anyway they followed me on 26 and pulled me over at hwy 378. I won my case but it took a lot of money. I wasn’t even in their jurisdiction.

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Speak D Truth January 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Timothy McVeigh was arrested after being stopped for a traffic violation.

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9" January 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

If you’re a pot smoker,be careful what you buy in convenience stores;papers,cigars for
blunts,etc,Last month,I saw an RV loading up people from an Apt complex-petty drug busts.Prisons are full of non-violent offenders-addicts,and/or the mentally ill.Put an RV outside the statehouse,instead.

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TroubleBaby January 12, 2016 at 10:48 am

Excellent comment.

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Anal Adventures January 12, 2016 at 10:52 am

Hang some sex toys by the door with a sign saying “taxpayers inside” and there’ll be a line around the block full of legislators.

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

The writhing, throbbing, rubber elephant penis wrapped in barbed wire; that’s the one they use on taxpayers, isn’t it?

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jimlewisowb January 12, 2016 at 10:51 am

Several years back, Chapin had a reputation of pulling over motorists who had a window down in cold weather

Conversation at the Git’nGo was that the Police Department was expected to be a money maker and in order to make money, the norm was that motorists were to be pulled over 24/7

For the last few years for whatever reason it appears that Chapin’s “philosophy” has changed and although Chapin PD’s presence is still highly visible I personally don’t see or hear of motorists being pulled over as frequent as in the past

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Speedtrap Central January 12, 2016 at 10:55 am

“Springdale”

Simply awful.

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9" January 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

You got that right.37 in a 35 ? ‘That’s the law’

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 3:26 pm

“It’s vengeance he said,
that’s the law.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rnKItjL9tcQ

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

Oh hell! South Congaree residents will have to start paying taxes if this passes. That, or disband their town government. Of course, when a government is created, it rarely goes away so you can see where this is going for them.

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idcydm January 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

It’s pretty simple, don’t break the law.

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Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

40,000 of them champ. I assure you that you break several a day without knowing it.

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idcydm January 12, 2016 at 11:01 am

Yep but it you break the ones you know they are looking at “speeding, seat belt and driving under the influence”…you’re nothing but a chump.

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Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 11:03 am

Oh yea, everyone’s a chump for not wearing a seatbelt or speeding. Got ya.

Society is filled with chumps. I’m sure you’ve never speed in your entire life, so you’re not a chump.

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idcydm January 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

You keep bitching about it and I’ll keep thanking Law Enforcement every chance I get.

Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Yea, keep on keeping on statist hypocritical sycophant.

idcydm January 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm

You don’t like Law Enforcement, that’s your choice…must have had a run in…wonder why?

Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm

You love licking LE boots. Wonder why?

How is it not hard to see LE in a bad light given their proclivity for shooting minor law breakers in the back while they flee? That’s aside from all the petty law they occupy themselves with enforcing so they can collect their mediocre paychecks.

idcydm January 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Yes there are some bad ones in every facet of society, does that make all of society bad…no it doesn’t.

Have a good day.

Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

All the good cops get forced out and/or disgusted and leave, hence a preponderance of bad ones left.

You have a good day too.

Sic Semper Tyrannis January 12, 2016 at 1:41 pm

You don’t even have to work at being a dumb ass. Kudos.

Uh huh January 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Your brain damaged ass has no clue.

Tell us more stories about being pulled for DUI’s while hot rodding your camaro and being forced to defend yourself from overzealous cops while at the same time defending them- dumbass.

Birds of a feather January 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm

They’re just dumb, order-followers by design. Just like idcydm.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836

CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Why do you have to be shitty with idcydm? He just happens to have a differing opinion from yours. In most of the above posts, I lean more towards your view on the issue and less toward his, which is very rare. Still, idcydm is good people and deserves a degree of civility and respect that for some reason, you seem determined not to show him.

CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 11:22 am

I agree and support these bills, but H-4385 does not go far enough in limiting government use of funds from predatory traffic enforcement. It specifically prohibits municipal and county governments from using funds obtained from tickets within the same budget year as they are obtained, but NO MENTION is made of state government’s use of these funds. Unless it has changed, state agencies, to include the SC Criminal Justice Academy, used to profit greatly from ticket revenue. To me, this would seem to be almost if not already in the realm of “conflict of interest”. The bill is good, but there is room for improvement.

Another poster on this site had a great idea for use of funds from traffic tickets which removed all conflicts of interest from the equation. I won’t steal his thunder at this moment, but do urge him to share it on here.

As for Mikey Pitts, don’t believe anything that snake in the grass says until he has done it and it has been signed off on. For many years now, like clockwork, you can bet on Pitts introducing or sponsoring pro-gun legislation, only to poison the well later on with amendments which would cause the bill to do as much or more harm than good for gun owners. This way, he gets money and endorsements from the NRA as being “pro-2A”, yet avoids doing anything meaningful or helpful for gun owners. BTW, I wonder what Pitts’ Kabuki Theatre for gun owners will be this year.

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Rocky Verdad January 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

Will – whatever happened to that person that had to resign from leading the state cops because of an affair or shomething like that.

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Speak D Truth January 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

I think he retired and went to work in the private sector, Now they have a different set of adulterers leading the agency.

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Quietus January 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

I think we all know that 95% if the Seatbelt, Speeding, D/L Check BS is all about revenue generation. Hell one local sheriff even states his traffic division has to spend 50% of their time on the interstate making cases in order to pay for the division and ergo their jobs. Though the party line is this is all about “Saving Lives” which we all know in unadulterated bull. However since we it’s supposed to be about saving lives and not generating revenue I propose the following.

1. All traffic ticket revenue will be submitted to the State of South Carolina and placed in a fund separate from the operating budget of any agency and separate from the State of South Carolina General Fund.

2. At the end of the fiscal year all of the revenue in the traffic fine fund will be dispursed to the public defenders offices in each Judicial Circuit, prorated based on the population of that circuit in order to provide for better defense attorneys and investigations to clear innocents for those unable afford an attorney.

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CorruptionInColumbia January 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

^HEAR, HEAR!!!!!!!!^

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Thomas January 12, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Who said this?

“Peace on our streets is more than just the absence of violence.
Justice isn’t something we can jail our way to. Justice is something we
have to build in our communities,”

“I happen to be pro-life, and I believe very strongly in the sanctity of life,” “But I believe that if you’re going to be pro-life, then you ought to care about life beyond the womb. An unborn child is life. But life is also that 16 year-old addict lying on the floor of the county lockup.”

I agree. First-Second-Third time offenders of non-violent crimes should get treatment and non-custodial sentencing options.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis January 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Go away freek.

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west_rhino January 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

‘course you do have to call it predatory policing, as we do have a few communities where driving while white is vindictively practiced. Even for having a window down and listening to Rush.

So slow down in Lincolnville, maybe Cottageville too.

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shifty henry January 12, 2016 at 5:44 pm

What is this deal about the window being down (or partially down)? Is it only because of loud music?

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west_rhino January 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm

when someone’s gettin’ pulled for drivin while white, an arm resting on the window and Rush Limbaugh being on the radio seemed enough to be an instance of disturbing the peace, cause it were profane to former officers dainty sensabilities

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shifty henry January 15, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Thanks, but is that a real charge or just an excuse for a cop to pull someone over?

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Speak D Truth January 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm

They need to outlaw town ordinances that mirror state statutes. Towns pass these ordinances and attach huge fines to them. When they write you a ticket you have to decide whether to pay their blackmail fee for a no point town ordinance or pay the cheaper state fine and pay the insurance company for the next three years.

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