Sgt. Clifton was involved in the phony tickets scandal in Dallas. Here is a summary. Sgt Clifton and his officers would write many tickets to homeless or transient defendants. These defendants sometimes missed their court appearances. Allegedly, Dallas judges would not issue arrest warrants when these defendants failed to appear.
Sgt. Clifton sought to guarantee the incarceration of the destitute and came up with a plan. He instructed his officers to write put phony occupations on the ticket. That way the judge would issue an arrest warrant and these homeless defendants could be incarcerated. Besides being morally reprehensible writing false tickets is illegal in Texas.
From the Texas Penal Code-
§ 37.10. TAMPERING WITH GOVERNMENTAL RECORD.
(a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;
(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or
thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken
as a genuine governmental record;
…(5) makes, presents, or uses a governmental record
with knowledge of its falsity; or
Since Sgt. Clifton intended to have these defendants arrested this should have been a state jail felony offense. Unfortunately, criminal laws rarely apply to those in law enforcement.
What punishment did Sgt. Clifton receive?
Criminal charges? No.
Loss of job? No.
Suspension from job? No.
Documented Counseling? Yes!!!
Dallas Assistant City Manager/Bureaucratic Stooge Jill Jordan reduced Sgt. Walter Clifton’s work suspension to a “documented counseling.” Apparently Ms. Jordan thinks illegal arrests of the homeless is no big deal.
Still think the government is looking out for your freedom? There is an inverse relationship between constitutional protections and criminal police conduct. The more we gut our freedom and liberty, the more Sgt. Cliftons we get. People often view Constitutional protections as “technicalities” that criminals use to escape justice. The truth is that without liberty, freedom, and Constitutional protections our government becomes a criminal enterprise in which there can be no justice.