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Inside the Dallas Ticket Scandal

D magazine has an amazing piece on the Dallas Police Ticket scandal.
My earlier blog on the topic is here.

Basically, DPD officers got better evaluations for, inter alia, writing tickets. They would write phony tickets to inflate their numbers.

A traffic ticket is worth one point, a felony burglary arrest is worth one point. Guess which is easier to fake? Instead of solving real crime a cop could get promoted by writing more tickets.

The officers would arrest citizens without probable cause, write multiple tickets for offenses that never happened, and arrest citizens on warrants for tickets the defendant never received. They would intimidate defendants into signing tickets for offenses they did not commit. They would even get some defendants to sign blank tickets. The cops would fill in the “offense” later.

These defendants were junkies and prostitutes. They had no right to an attorney even if they were arrested because the offenses were class C misdmeanors.

IWTS Recipe for Injustice- Take a politically powerless group, add an incentive for promotion, take away the right to counsel, and add a little blue wall of silence.

Here is a great quote. The officers would create the “criminal scenario, manipulate the variables, and they nullify probable cause. They detain these people and manufacture the reasons. They’re generating activity numbers on the backs of the disenfranchised—the whores, the street-level drug users, the people no one cares about. Meanwhile, there’s real crime happening out there.”

We shoud never reward officers for activity. We should reward cops for stopping and solving real crime. Crimes with victims should take precedent over revenue generating tickets. In a system that rewards a traffic ticket as much as an arrest for rape, how many rapists are going to get caught? Real crime takes a long time to solve. Phony tickets take seconds to manufacture.

We need to see tickets for what they are; A revenue generator for the city and a threat to our civil liberties. If you can be arrested for a ticket then you should have the right to due process, including the right to counsel. We could prevent future abuse by requiring that all police encounters be recorded.

Hopefully these victims will file a class action against the Dallas Police Department. When Dallas loses more money to yet another police scandal things may actually start to change.

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