A Cop Gave One Motorist 19 Tickets, Judge Tossed Them All…

A part of the Poughkeepsie water­front and the Henry Hudson Bridge in the back­ground over the Hudson River

If you know Jamaicans well you know that Jamaicans are going to find a way to make a liv­ing wher­ev­er they are, one way or anoth­er.
And true to form, some­times our quest to sur­vive does not always lend itself to por­tray­ing us in the best light pos­si­ble.
Take for instance Jamaica’s taxi-oper­a­tors and oth­er pub­lic trans­port oper­a­tors, their law­less­ness and seem­ing refusal to obey any rules of the roads.
Or the peren­ni­al dol­lar vans which tra­versed Nostrand, Flatbush and oth­er avenues in Brooklyn or any of the oth­er thor­ough­fares in Queens and the Bronx, New York’s out­er Boroughs.
Of course in a small city like Poughkeepsie, a city of just over 30’000 res­i­dents, set on the banks of the Hudson River , in the beau­ti­ful Hudson Valley, Jamaican taxi-oper­a­tors are also to be found ply­ing their trade.

Image result for taxi operators at the poughkeepsie train station

With the Jamaicans are some Arabs, Hindus, and even some whites. The dis­rup­tive unruly image you may have in your head about how they may behave is not the real­i­ty in Poughkeepsie. They are forced to line up in one area by the train sta­tion and await pas­sen­gers emerg­ing from the Metro-North line.
Poughkeepsie is the last stop for the Metro-North trains even though the Amtrak trains con­tin­ue fur­ther north.
Jamaicans have always com­plained about how they are treat­ed by the author­i­ties, many feel tar­get­ed by the police and by City-Hall over­all.
One could argue that when forced to abide by rules many of our peo­ple are not very com­fort­able.
Or we may also accept that as peo­ple of col­or we are some­times held to more exact­ing stan­dards of account­abil­i­ty than oth­ers.
Regardless of where the truth lies, the emer­gence of Uber and Lyft have not exact­ly helped the taxi-oper­a­tors, par­tic­u­lar­ly because they all oper­ate as a splin­tered group of indi­vid­u­als.
They nev­er both­ered to cre­ate an umbrel­la group under which to oper­ate, which could poten­tial­ly give them some auton­o­my and cur­ren­cy when they are forced to deal with the author­i­ties or just for their own sur­vival.

Image result for city of poughkeepsie police department
City of Poughkeepsie Police cruis­er

On the periph­ery of that group of oper­a­tors are oth­ers, which includes Jamaicans, African-Americans, Mexicans and oth­ers who com­pete for the dwin­dling dol­lar of not just the rail­road com­muters, but for the some­times rau­cous and ine­bri­at­ed stu­dents of the near­by Marist College.
Many of the dri­vers who trans­port stu­dents from the down­town Poughkeepsie water­ing holes back to the Marist cam­pus have devel­oped a rap­port with stu­dents who have their phone num­bers and call them when they need to be tak­en to or from the water­ing holes and restau­rants.
As a con­se­quence, some of those oper­a­tors have large vans rather than cars.
At $3 or so per per­son for the short trip, a load of five or upward makes the trip worth­while for these men who are fight­ing to sur­vive.

Image result for town of poughkeepsie police department
Town of Poughkeepsie Police cruis­er

Unfortunately for them, the Town Of Poughkeepsie which almost encir­cles the city, has a police depart­ment which exem­pli­fies the enforcer men­tal­i­ty.
The Department’s head­quar­ters which is a ver­i­ta­ble quick walk­ing dis­tance from the city line has an almost Lilly-white work­force. Though the city itself has a mixed pop­u­la­tion the town is less so.
Below is a break­down of the city of Poughkeepsie racial break­down from the last cen­sus.

  • White: 48.06%
  • Black or African American: 37.59%
  • Other race: 7.37%
  • Two or more races: 5.23%
  • Asian: 1.32%
  • Native American: 0.39%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%

According to NY home­town loca­tor, The Town Of Poughkeepsie is a County Subdivision of Dutchess County. The sub­di­vi­sion has a T1 Census Class Code which indi­cates that the Town Of Poughkeepsie is an active coun­ty sub­di­vi­sion that is not coex­ten­sive with an incor­po­rat­ed place.

There is hard­ly any crime to speak of in the Town of Poughkeepsie, nev­er­the­less, it is cus­tom­ary to see the Towns police depart­ment, the County Sherrif’s depart­ment, and State Police units, all doing traf­fic stops in the town and city.
The Town of Poughkeepsie munic­i­pal court is a bee­hive of activ­i­ty, a ver­i­ta­ble mon­ey pit, as res­i­dents from all around, are dragged in to pay exor­bi­tant traf­fic fines cops in the three depart­ments dreamed up.
It was one of these cops who stopped a Jamaican oper­a­tor whom I will refer to as Joe Brown as he head­ed out to Route 9 in his van toward Marist College and was pulled over by Town of Poughkeepsie cop J Roosa.

Mister Brown explained how he was pulled over by Roosa for not using a turn sig­nal to turn right onto Rt 9 North from Washington Street.
The fact of the mat­ter is that there can be no left turn onto Rt 9 from where mis­ter Brown was. It is a one-way north­ward only. So the idea of using a right turn sig­nal when the only turn is a right turn becomes aca­d­e­m­ic.
But that was only a guise it seemed, the offi­cer had oth­er ideas as to why he ini­ti­at­ed the stop. Generally, they are so excit­ed to pull motorists over that they do not even know the laws they are try­ing to enforce.
A Sheriffs’ deputy once pulled me over after I drove through a yield sign while his vehi­cle was at a dead stop on the red light.
He hur­ried­ly drove through the red light and pulled me over and demand­ed my papers.
As I reached for my papers, I asked why he stopped me? He respond­ed that I did not stop at the yield sign. I asked him whether he under­stood what yield meant? He answered in the affir­ma­tive, and so I asked him who should I have yield­ed to? He said his vehi­cle. I asked him why would I yield to him if he was at a dead stop on a red light? He smiled, wished me a good day and walked away.

Some of the 19 tick­ets Town of Poughkeepsie offi­cer, J Roosa wrote a sin­gle motorist

Mister Brown though alone in his vehi­cle was not so lucky, as offi­cer J Roosa was incensed that he told him he was record­ing the stop.
Mister Brown explained that the cop berat­ed him ver­bal­ly and told him he did not care about being record­ed.
When an offi­cer behaves in a man­ner that is dis­re­spect­ful to a mem­ber of the pub­lic and tells that per­son he does not care, that cop is oper­at­ing under a cer­tain amount of knowl­edge that he and his col­leagues do not have to be account­able to any­one.
After all, the heav­i­ly beard­ed black man declar­ing his right to record the ille­gal stop, must have enraged that white offi­cer? How dare he chal­lenge his author­i­ty to be lord and mas­ter over him?

Nineteen tick­ets lat­er, mis­ter Brown was sent on his way by that police offi­cer who took an oath to pro­tect and serve the com­mu­ni­ty. But he did not do that, in a final act of den­i­gra­tion and humil­i­a­tion, offi­cer J Roosa alleged­ly threw the tick­ets into mis­ter Brown’s van, instead of hand­ing them to him.
Officers in the Town of Poughkeepsie extract a good salary from tax­pay­ers who live in that munic­i­pal­i­ty.
Some report­ing indi­cates that they earn some­where in the range of $84K-$95K annu­al­ly. We have not been able to ver­i­fy whether these num­bers are indeed cor­rect.
There is a long and detailed his­to­ry of their dis­re­spect­ful and racist atti­tudes toward peo­ple of col­or.
These are the abus­es of pow­er that run the length and breadth, and all across America.
In every nook and cran­ny of the myr­i­ad police depart­ments which are gen­er­al­ly always staffed with all white offi­cers.
Luckily for mis­ter Brown, the judge saw through the abuse of pow­er and threw the entire lot out.
Despite hav­ing done noth­ing wrong mis­ter Brown was still forced to pay $20 in court cost. Though he was brought before the court ille­gal­ly, he still had to pay some­thing to oil the machin­ery of injus­tice.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.

One thought on “A Cop Gave One Motorist 19 Tickets, Judge Tossed Them All…

  1. What the court did was to put an imag­i­nary gun to the man’s head and took $20 from him, and that’s a crime: Robbery with Aggravation if he did not pay.

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