Show of HandsShow of Hands

Show Of Hands July 20th, 2013 1:13am

A Missouri driver was charged with obstruction of justice after flashing his headlights to warn oncoming drivers of a police speed trap. He is counter-suing claiming that police are violating his freedom of speech. Pick a side.

202 Liked

Comments: Add Comment

JonSchwarz23
07/26/13 2:36 pm

How are more Republicans for the drive than democrats and what 2% of libertarians are for the Cops.

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hmh461 tn
07/26/13 9:10 pm

Was thinking the same thing.

sarahgc58
07/25/13 6:33 pm

What if someone called a criminal on the run to tell them that the cops are coming? Would you say that that is obstruction of justice. Because the person could argue that it is within their free speech rights.

sozman Princeton
07/25/13 10:09 am

majority of the cops probably voted for the driver too

msa116 Pennsylvania
07/24/13 10:11 am

this was in front of the scotus in 1999 and they found in the favor of the driver

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LeDerpityDerp We are not our failures
07/24/13 6:05 am

I've done it before.. I am glad I haven't gotten ticketed. Haha.

9289 Michigan
07/23/13 6:49 am

I just did the same thing yesterday. I'm glad I didn't get a ticket!

steelcity Pittsburgh
07/23/13 4:30 am

My friend is planning to rob a bank. The police know and are waiting for him. I convince him not to attempt it at the last moment. Did I obstruct justice?

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defjamblaster
07/24/13 11:58 am

Not the same to me. In your example, your friend would have to be already robbing the bank. Speeders who slow down due to a signal were already committing the crime.

JonSchwarz23
07/26/13 2:37 pm

Thats not the same at all. Why did this get 8 likes.

MoonFireDancer New Jersey
07/23/13 4:12 am

I wonder how he knew? Anyway, it's freedom of speech not freedom to get away with saying anything. Yes, you can basically say whatever you want but you need to step up when there is backlash.

superketchupman
07/22/13 5:07 pm

Republicans and democrats finally agree on something!

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sydwel
07/22/13 11:54 am

It is against the law in many states, but I find it ridiculous. I blame the system, as opposed to the individual cops or driver.

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Ivyra Earth
07/22/13 7:21 am

Driver! Warnings are allowed!

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ssmcrorvr
07/22/13 3:44 am

I can tell anyone I Want that there is a pig roast Down the road.

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twa0237
07/22/13 3:15 am

Well if its a law, shame own him. In CT its a law.

centexken Republic of Texas
07/22/13 3:05 am

I have noticed most people in Central Texas no longer flash their lights to warn of speed traps. However, if you travel west for a couple of hours into the truly rural areas, people still warn of speed traps. Is this a city vs rural practice now?

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ramrizzy12
07/21/13 11:23 pm

So cops have nothing better to do then sit along the side of the road. No wonder there is so much crime and violence in our country

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moses0107
07/21/13 9:01 pm

I doubt the validity of this story!!

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anchovy nc
07/22/13 5:30 am

yeah....you'd think, with all the real problems there are available. True story if ya believe the news. I've seen several stories about it.

chivalry74
07/21/13 8:28 pm

I do this all the time. Didn't know it was illegal

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centexken Republic of Texas
07/22/13 2:57 am

I bet that is a state law. Does anyone know if it is illegal in Texas?

TheAntiLib Dutchess County, NY
07/21/13 7:38 pm

I was pulled over for doing this. They called it "impairing the general view of motorists"!

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theNobamist Silicon Valley
07/22/13 2:18 pm

Gotta watch out for throwing all them big photons in the air! They could obstruct someone's view! :p

honest
07/21/13 9:49 am

So, he may have caused people to slow down making it safer which is what the cops want and they want to sue him? Government bullshit again.

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twa0237
07/22/13 3:16 am

No he's suing them. Read the story

honest
07/22/13 5:17 am

He's being charged with obstruction of justice which usually has an accompanying fine. Suing is the wrong word but they are still after money and it's still bullshit.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 5:37 am

The cops could be in the process of apprehending a dangerous person, and the driver's flashing headlights could cue that person to get off that road. That's what at the root of these laws.

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ceej Michigan
07/21/13 5:48 am

If you or fam member was the victim, you wouldn't want some driver messing with cops' ability to apprehend the suspect. Speed traps are annoying but we can deal with them individually by slowing down or fighting the ticket.

jdengel
07/21/13 6:35 am

You haven't lived in Missouri or driven on their roads much.

The cops here care about one thing, filling the county's coffers. Getting a cop to follow up on a criminal infraction is like pulling teeth.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 7:10 am

It is definitely a problem if cops are not responding when ppl need them, but it is a separate problem. The flashing headlight ticket is a sucky ticket to get. I understand that. I was just stating the public safety intent behind laws like that.

Mable
07/21/13 7:11 am

Dengel, that's not just a problem in Missouri, is everywhere. Most local municipalities and counties are broke or at least really feeling a squeeze and traffic cops exist solely to annoy motorists and raise revenue. The law and justice are irrelevant.

ScrewU Gone
07/21/13 7:21 am

That's only true in the smallest of towns. Anywhere else it's not enough money to make any difference. The fine for all of VAs minor traffic infractions is still set at $30.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 7:25 am

Yes, because of a municipality's need for $, it is worth it to fight ticket, try to at least get it knocked down to something without points like double parking or impeding. The city gets $, your insurance doesn't go up.

Mable
07/21/13 7:49 am

$30? Well that's nice. Here, they are levying $100 and up for speeding only 10 above the limit. Then they send you a plea bargain in the mail for "defective headlamp", which is only 1 point, but the same fine. Tell me that isn't solely about revenue.

NUwriter
07/21/13 8:19 am

Ceej, that's not the reason at all. But if flashing the lights did get the dangerous person of the road - so much the better.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 3:51 am

I was talking about a hypothetical in which cops are looking for car driven by person involved in violent crime, not just speeding. but the obstruction of justice charge can involve you getting in the way of ticketing speeders too.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 3:56 am

Apparently the law in some states involves driver vision. Maybe you're saying the "true" reason is $. Idk what is in the heads of all state lawmakers when they vote y or n. I think it's going to be tough to win on free speech if it's law though.

goodquestion CA
07/21/13 12:34 am

Considerate drivers the world over do this, so he did nothing wrong!

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JamesR Indiana
07/20/13 11:51 pm

No crime was committed yet, so how could it be an obstruction of Justice charge?

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Torfin Never Behind
07/20/13 10:03 pm

The problem surfaces when the police forget that crime PREVENTION is much more important that crime PUNISHMENT. A driver flashing his lights ACTUALLY increases the police presence exponentially and prevents more so called crime.

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Asterix Florida
07/20/13 8:31 pm

it gets the drivers to slow down. isn't that the point.

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Mable
07/21/13 7:12 am

No, the point was to issue tickets and raise revenue. He prevented that so they threw a tantrum and charged him.

Fawlkes Colorado
07/20/13 8:18 pm

You know speed traps don't work if you don't speed into the trap, it's simple really

heyfreah Harwood, MD
07/20/13 6:41 pm

They tell you in drivers ed to not flash your lights. And also, flashing lights is not speech. Cops won here.

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kdbc27
07/20/13 8:10 pm

His car, his lights........he can flash them any time he likes.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 5:30 am

No, if you are in favor of the driver, the reason is not "his car, his lights". We cannot lawfully do whatever we want with our vehicle lights just because we own them, and call it free speech. Your argument needs to go further in my opinion.

jdengel
07/21/13 6:40 am

It's well understood by drivers everywhere what flashing the hi-beams means.

Free speech isn't limited solely to verbal speech, if so, then telephone calls and all other electronic communication does not fall under free speech.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 7:17 am

Of course free speech isn't limited to verbal speech. My comment was stating that simple ownership of lights doesn't = lawful ability to use them however you want and call it free speech. Reasoning, logic, basic civics.

ceej Michigan
07/21/13 7:19 am

I was responding to the argument more so than this particular incident.

ScrewU Gone
07/21/13 7:23 am

Use of high beams is limited everywhere to prevent blinding other drivers. Here, you would just get a ticket for improper use of the high beams.

NUwriter
07/21/13 8:21 am

Flashing the lights is communication. So, yes, it is speech. Ceej, your reasoning is broken. That you use your property for the express purpose of communication is speech.

NUwriter
07/21/13 8:22 am

In Northern Maine, the flashing the high beams is also used to warn drivers of moose in the road.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 4:00 am

Nu, I was commenting on kdbc's post, which said nothing about speech.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 4:03 am

And no, once again, you can not lawfully flash lights however you want and call it free speech. For example, you can not purchase mock police car lights and drive around with them flashing and say you own them do it's free speech.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 4:04 am

If you're talking for specifically about headlights and you feel that flashing the high beams is communication, specify that. The distinctions do matter.

ceej Michigan
07/22/13 4:07 am

Also in response to kdbc post, you cannot lawfully flash lights any time you want just because you own them. We all know there are laws involving turn signals, etc, for the sake of public safety.

kdbc27
07/22/13 4:12 am

Omg! Let me rephrase...... His car, his lights.....if he wants to flash his headlights to warn other drivers of cops ahead, he can!

theNobamist Silicon Valley
07/20/13 5:37 pm

Emails, phone calls, online chat, job-board profiles, personal property licenses, and now headlights. Yes, the Obamists are providing a land of the free. (maybe the NSA can't detect sarcasm ;)

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theNobamist Silicon Valley
07/20/13 5:35 pm

Call it what it really is: obstruction of MONEY MAKING

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Injectable Mojave Mo Problems
07/20/13 5:46 pm

DUI checkpoints have to be published in public, speed traps should too. Lazy when they can't even find a good hiding place.

funlover heart of it all
07/20/13 3:50 pm

My husband is a cop and he often flashes his lights at people to remind them to slow down. He says he would rather do that than write them a ticket. But if their speed is endangering others he has not problem writing a ticket. All of you who resent

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funlover heart of it all
07/20/13 3:52 pm

cops should have to scrape the body of a killed and mutilated person from the road, as my husband has done, if you need a reason to slow down. I think the obstruction of justice charge is stupid, but whatever slows people down and keeps them safe

funlover heart of it all
07/20/13 3:53 pm

is fine with me. My husband has saved many lives in his 35 years and gets very little thanks. except from me :-)

dexter
07/20/13 6:48 pm

Thank you Mr anne1234. stay safe.

Mable
07/21/13 7:16 am

When cops actually serve the people like responding to tragic accidents or stopping those who pose a legitimate danger to others,I respect that. It's when they pull you over for going 10 over and act like you were about to commit a terrorist act that I just can't give any respect.

NUwriter
07/21/13 8:24 am

Anne, speed alone is very rarely the cause of an accident.

funlover heart of it all
07/22/13 8:34 pm

Nuwriter, I wish that we're true, but in most accidents the car (and driver) were going faster than warranted by the conditions. I have heard all the excuses people give my husband, but relatively few accidents occur for going too slow.

aj1545 Cat Lady
07/20/13 1:09 pm

That's ridiculous. People also flash their lights to warn drivers of deer on the road where I'm from, why pick on that? I think the police have better things to do...

Mable
07/21/13 7:17 am

Apparently they don't.

camigirl
07/20/13 12:18 pm

It's horrible reading all these comments about cops, these are the same people you call the second you need help and they save a lot of lives. In this particular situation I'm with the driver, but some people speed to the point where it becomes

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camigirl
07/20/13 12:19 pm

dangerous and if that was the case then I can see exactly where the cops are coming from.

ScrewU Gone
07/20/13 10:55 am

Awesome how a question about an application of the law brings out the cop bashers. Classy.

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NUwriter
07/20/13 11:25 am

It's the actions of the police that do that.

rich1010 Stem Cell Harvesting
07/20/13 11:41 am

It's the actions of the lawbreakers that do that.

NUwriter
07/20/13 11:52 am

No, it's not "lawbreakers." It's the police breaking into the wrong homes. Acting unconstitutionally.

ScrewU Gone
07/20/13 12:02 pm

The thing that happened in Sarasota was appalling. It doesn't justify anyone making blanket insults about large groups of people. The vast majority of cops are upstanding people who do a hard and thankless job.

NUwriter
07/20/13 12:05 pm

The vast majority probably are perfectly well-meaning. But this type of incident is hardly isolated. Funny that you think that pointing this out makes people less than classy, and deserves a blanket insult.

ScrewU Gone
07/20/13 12:29 pm

"Pigs disgust me" is classy?

NUwriter
07/20/13 4:17 pm

Those pigs don't disgust you? They probably disgust a great number of the good police officers you spoke of.

0000000
07/20/13 10:39 am

Cops can be such DICKS!

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OldLady
07/20/13 9:54 am

I said driver, don't know why the cop would get upset his ultimate goal is to slow people down. But you would be amazed at what else is found during a traffic stop. Suspended drivers license not driving with insurance. Warrants for a person

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greenbean
07/20/13 9:28 am

I've done this too to warn people and am grateful when they do it to me.

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eaglsnrebls
07/20/13 9:15 am

Edward Snowden tattle takes on the USA. Has to leave country to avoid prosecution. Average Joe tattle tales on highway patrol and gets charged. Guys, it has already happened, we live under a tyrant government.

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0000000
07/20/13 10:42 am

You should maybe research what tyranny really means, and the lives of those living with tyranny every day, because that's SO not what it's like in this country.

NUwriter
07/20/13 11:26 am

It's exaclty what's happening in this country. We have the biggest government in history. It acknowledges no limits on it's power.

Injectable Mojave Mo Problems
07/20/13 1:35 pm

Then get your gun and get outside or shut up...

NUwriter
07/20/13 4:14 pm

Pompous, education is a far better strategy than violence against the largest military in the history of the world. Now, since you have nothing worth hearing to say, you shut your fascist face.

kdbc27
07/20/13 8:18 pm

@shemple - tyranny- arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority. That's exactly what we have here!

angryathiest seeing double
07/20/13 9:07 am

All cops are bas tards.

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ladyniner81 no hope for humanity
07/22/13 9:37 am

you better not call one when you really need one then

heyyjude NC
07/20/13 8:33 am

I wouldn't even know what that meant.

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Sandshrew Centennial
07/20/13 8:09 am

their job is to protect and serve not give tickets, by wanting them he help them by having them so down

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pcox104 Florida
07/20/13 9:00 am

Is sum ting wong?

oneopinion Idaho
07/20/13 8:08 am

I voted for the driver but all of you that are saying f$&@ the cops who would you call if someone broke into your house, or assaulted you, etc.?

pcox104 Florida
07/20/13 8:30 am

I would call a cop because its his job.

Congressman Louisiana
07/20/13 8:58 am

After I shot the intruder? Yea I'd call the cops. Someone's gotta come get the body.

NUwriter
07/20/13 11:29 am

Great, call them. They'll have someone there in half an hour or so. They'll take some notes, then proceed to do nothing about it.

rons screw politicians
07/20/13 8:06 am

I give thumbs up to the officer as I pass! Get those speeders!
you do the crime you pay the fine!

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NUwriter
07/20/13 11:31 am

The biggest speeders on the road are the police. The only crime is the robbery of the "speeder" by the police.

whatever FL
07/21/13 5:31 am

Maybe it's different other places, but I have to agree with nuwriter... The cops on the road in South Florida are equally as dangerous as the other drivers when it comes to speeding, changing lanes, etc.; and that's really saying something here, too.

scottstots Georgia
07/20/13 7:48 am

Seems to me that the goal of a speed trap is to get drivers to travel at safer speeds. Warning the oncoming drivers assists in that. Obviously, this PD is looking for revenue

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beeney
07/20/13 7:57 am

Absolutely!

ScrewU Gone
07/20/13 9:29 am

Speeders that slow down go right back to unsafe speeds 10 seconds later. A fine and points on your license makes them think twice about speeding later.

Not the same thing at all.

scottstots Georgia
07/20/13 9:45 am

Not sure what you are comparing when you say not the same thing at all

ScrewU Gone
07/20/13 10:16 am

Slowing down for 10 seconds vs having points on your license and not wanting to risk getting more or a higher fine.

Am I the only one that learned to slow the fuck down after getting 5 speeding tickets here? Lol

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/20/13 7:36 am

This proves that the police have a goal of making their ticket quota and not lowering crime. F**k the police

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Congressman Louisiana
07/20/13 8:59 am

Ticket quotas are a myth.

jamlady MN
07/20/13 9:15 am

One of my immediate family members is a cop. I flat out asked him if he has a ticket quota. In my area the answer was no.

OldLady
07/20/13 9:52 am

Our boys never had a quote, They could write as many tickets as they wanted

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/20/13 10:43 am

They don't have a quota per say, but they get more for the tickets they write obviously, or they wouldn't come out like cockroaches at the end of the month pulling EVERYONE over

funlover heart of it all
07/20/13 4:07 pm

as the wife of a cop, I can tell you there is no such thing as quotas. that is just a fiction someone made up to justify their anger at getting caught. If cops wrote a ticket for every violation they saw they would not have time to do their job.

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/20/13 4:18 pm

Are you arguing that the officers and the entire PD doesn't receive revenue from writing tickets and they don't push for writing more sometimes?

jamlady MN
07/20/13 4:28 pm

I can tell you that the cop in my family lets more people go than he writes tickets to. The ones he gives tickets to are usually the ones continually breaking the law or are going WAY over the speed limit, or are drunk.

funlover heart of it all
07/22/13 8:38 pm

In most cases the revenue from tickets does NOT go to the police department. It goes to the municipal govt (city) and to the court. The police receive what they are budgeted and that doesn't change no matter how many or few tickets they write.

funlover heart of it all
07/22/13 8:42 pm

Not every ticket written results in income for the city, so there is no way to correlate tickets written with municipal income. By the time court expenses are deducted, the city breaks even. But if believing in quotas makes you happy, go for it.

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 9:50 pm

Sheesh, so defensive for our boys in blue. I haven't met a single cop that was worth a damn, (SEVERAL encounters with law enforcement, none of which were for committing a crime) ,so forgive my predisposition to believe that they are morally corrupt.

Congressman Louisiana
07/22/13 9:55 pm

Everyone's perception varies. Just because you may not like cops doesn't mean they're all bad, and vise versa. But either way that doesn't excuse the fact, there are no quotas.

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 9:59 pm

Whatever you guys say. I find it far too coincidental, that in my city, EVERY month, towards the last few days, I pass at least 7 cops that have pulled people over. Any other time I wouldn't see a single one.

Congressman Louisiana
07/22/13 10:07 pm

I find it far too coincidental that you claim to have so many run ins with the law for having done nothing illegal... Traffic stops and DUI checkpoints don't count.

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 10:11 pm

I was parked in a public and fairly populated parking area at around 11pm waiting for a friend to meet up so she could follow me to my house since my neighborhood was complicated. A cop pulls up to my car shines his light in my face asking me what..

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 10:14 pm

The f**k I was doing. anytime I tried to respond with an explanation, he interrupted with "do you wanna f**king go to jail?" Finally I just stopped talking until he was does cussing me out and telling me to move along. Also, a friend of mine who was

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 10:15 pm

Leading a weekly outreach to the homeless by feeding them was severely persecuted by the city because they didn't like that many homeless people gathered in one spot because it looked bad on the city. All of us volunteers were threatened to be

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 10:16 pm

Arrested for not having food handlers permits. This went on for weeks, and my friend leading the outreach couldn't leave his house without getting a ticket for SOMETHING until he shut the thing down. Plus lots of run ins when I was a child having

carleyvo Anywhere But Here
07/22/13 10:18 pm

To explain to the cops what happened between my parents when domestic violence calls were made. They were rude, abrasive, and foul mouthed towards a freaking 8 year old me and I just really don't appreciate my local PD. Yours may be different.

Congressman Louisiana
07/22/13 10:20 pm

From what I see here there seems to be valid points on both sides. Assuming you are being 100% truthful id suggest going to the news or courts or both. But I can assure you not all cops are like that. Seems you have an issue with the city itself.

Congressman Louisiana
07/22/13 10:24 pm

I'm planning to become a cop myself as I'm a criminal justice major. I don't want to be the authoritarian type. I want to serve and protect my community, and promote a sense of trust between law enforcement and the residents of the city.

JohnnyBraska Nebraska
07/20/13 7:34 am

What movie was it where they arrested the guy for flashing gang signs but it turned out he was deaf?

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FIAT2LUX On Planet Earth
07/20/13 7:29 am

I saw the question, and my thought was, "Lol. This is hilarious."

JohnnyBraska Nebraska
07/20/13 7:32 am

I think speed traps are a safety hazard. As soon as people realize what is going on they slam on their brakes and do other dumb stuff. People get so paranoid around cops they forget how to drive.