Government employees exempted from red-light cameras

Sunday, September 16, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: government employees, stop lights, cameras

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Either way, what's become more evident by the moment is that there definitely are two classes of citizens in America these days - those who work for government and are therefore exempt from their own laws, and those of the slave class who are not.

Take employees of the city of Rochester, N.Y. Recent records show that in total, Rochester city employees have committed at least 119 red light violations while driving city vehicles.

Think you could get by with that?

City officials note that while employees can be disciplined for the violations, "payment of the related fine will not be required," according to a newly adopted city policy regarding the violations. (A side note: Employees obviously are not being disciplined for the violations, given the incredible amount of them.)

The outrage only grows when you learn that fully one-third of the violations were committed by police department vehicles, including one driven by the city's police chief, James Sheppard, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

'Number is higher than we would have liked'

Mind you, the report said, these are not instances where police vehicles are responding with lights and sirens to emergency calls, though Sheppard insisted that most of his department's violations indeed do involve emergency responses and are typically rolling stops on right turns.

Of the multiple violations, one of them within the past month, incredibly, occurred with a vehicle assigned to the police department that handles intake and review of red light violations. You just can't make this stuff up.

Other violations occurred with vehicles belonging to solid waste, building services, cemetery and library agencies, according to data provided the paper through an open records request.

"It's definitely concerning that this many city vehicles are, in one way or another, in violation of the law around red lights," Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon told the paper. "This number is higher than any of us would have liked."

That may well be the understatement of the year committed by any public servant.

The city launched its photo enforcement program in October 2010, the paper said. Today it has cameras at 29 intersections. Violators receive a $50 fine which rises to $75 if unpaid.

In early September city authorities sent warnings to vehicle owners with delinquent tickets that they will commence filing judgments and begin the collections process - but just not against city government employees.

Nearby jurisdictions make their government employees pay for any red light infractions, but the overall attitude of Rochester fits a growing pattern of government aristocracy and arrogance that is certainly endemic on the federal level.

Two-class system - Them versus us

For instance, if you work for the Transportation Security Administration you are exempt from groping travelers - up to and including crippled children.

If you work for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, you can arm Mexican drug cartels with impunity, escape justice when a fellow federal agent is gunned down with one of those same weapons, then have your mistakes covered up by the highest elected official in the land.

If you work for the CIA, you can smuggle drugs into the United States, even as other federal, state and local police agencies put members of the slave class in jail for using them.

Robert Bonner, a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in a "60 Minutes" interview that the CIA had joined with the Venezuelan National Guard at one point during the 1990s to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cocaine into the country.

"That's exactly what appears to have happened," Bonner told the late Mike Wallace in the interview, adding that he would have been the only one who could have approved such a shipment, but that it came in without his prior knowledge.

"Let me put it this way, Mike," Bonner said, "if this has not been approved by DEA or an appropriate law enforcement authority in the United States, then it's illegal. It's called drug trafficking; it's called drug smuggling."

Welcome to America, 2012: A two-class system exists, all right - those who work for the government and are increasingly exempt from the rules of civil society, and the rest of us who are not.







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