Thursday, January 04, 2007
Why might cops dislike lawyers?
Just another case of American blind justice, as Arlo Guthrie would say:
It was 8:30 A.M., and [New York lawyer Lauren] Asher was examining the summons of Olusegun Victor Samuel, a Nigerian cabbie who’d been issued a summons for running a stop sign at the corner of Spring and Washington. “It’s an unknown cop,” she said—meaning one unfamiliar to her, and thus, likely, with the clubby ways of the D.M.V. court—”which is great for me.” Suddenly, Asher ran down the hall, popping her head into a chamber designated Hearing Room 3. “I didn’t want the case to get pulled,” she explained.Asher specializes in beating traffic tickets.
A few minutes later, the trial commenced. Asher, the defendant (wearing a maroon puffy jacket), and the officer who wrote the ticket stood in front of the bench. The officer read aloud from his notes: “I was on the northwest corner travelling eastbound, when I observed a Ford yellow taxi coming southbound down Washington Street. I observed the vehicle go through a marked stop sign approximately ten feet before the crosswalk and proceeded to pull the motorist over.”
Asher made a motion to dismiss.
The officer apparently had not described the traffic signal in sufficient detail. “A stop sign’s an eight-sided red sign with the word ‘STOP’ on it, has to face oncoming traffic, has to be posted near the corner,” Asher said. “And he didn’t get any of that.”
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