Video: First they came for the basketball hoops

posted at 4:13 pm on March 29, 2011 by Allahpundit

Why would a clip about a minor land-use dispute rack up 230,000+ hits on YouTube? Because it’s a window onto the political zeitgeist: Not only have you got government meddling here for seemingly unfathomable reasons, but they’re caught red-handed lying about it on camera. Watch as the woman officer tells the homeowner that he can keep his basketball hoop after they remove it — before denying that she said any such thing. (Internal affairs is now investigating the incident.) And of course, you’ve got the bold, sympathetic, yet ultimately futile act of defiance by the homeowner, literally climbing up onto the pole and refusing to come down (at first) to stop them from taking it down. Said mom afterwards, “All I was seeing was my 10-year-old’s face.” And there, my friends, is your keynote speaker at the next tea party rally in Dover.

If you’re wondering which law could conceivably have been violated by a basketball hoop, see section 525 here. (Thanks to commenter WoosterOh for that.) You can’t have hoops, trees, shrubs or anything else within seven feet of the pavement in a subdivision; if you do, the cops can seize the item, fine you $25, and then force you to pay another $15 to get the item back. The fine and fee will probably be waived in this case now that the family’s state rep is involved and this is getting attention online, but where, oh where, will pick-up games be played now? Exit quotation: “What a waste of taxpayer money. They had six trucks and five police cars. Don’t they have something better to do?”


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I see a lot of toilet paper in his/her future…

karl9000 on March 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Flashlight tag/foursquares/frisbee/kickball directly in front of their house should do the trick.

massrighty on March 29, 2011 at 9:20 PM

nite all.

onomo on March 29, 2011 at 9:22 PM

As conservatives we should totally be for the rule of law.

No, we should be for just and fair laws. Obamacare is law, should we shut up and be for it, lest we not be “rule of law” people?

englishqueen01 on March 29, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Oh for the love of God how pathetic….

The Nanny State on steroids.

Baxter Greene on March 29, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Your tax dollars at work.

Government has nothing better to do than stop kids from exercising.

Where’s Obama (b.ball fanatic)? Where’s Michelle (worried about fat kids)?

Sheer lunacy.

profitsbeard on March 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I am as conservative as it gets. But you wont like this. The public right of way where I live is basically 1 foot back of the sidewalk facing the house. Everythng from there, including the sidewalk, parkway, and curb, is public right of way. Most towns/cities/states ahve laws on the books governing public ROWs. You can not just go erecting permanent structures, i.e, “in the ground” wherever you want in an ROW. You need an easement as due the utilities to put up electric poles and such. I too did not like what I saw in this video. Handled very badly by both sides. But I do not want all my neighbors erecting basketball hoops behind the curb. Thats why they make roll away hoops. If you let one do it then you have to let everybody, and not just basketball hoops. Sorry. But I have given this a lot of thought and while I know it feels like an assault on the public via government, it is a good policy and has to be enforced. Now if we could only get them to enforce immigration with the same valor.

CriticalUpdate on March 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM

@CriticalUpdate

Good thoughts.

SlimyBill on March 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM

CriticalUpdate on March 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM

So how come they waited 50 years or more to go after it? Their attitude was despicable and the loud mouth blonde has her ideal job – goverment – being rude to people.
If he is in contact with his congressman and there is something going on there, they should’ve waited until it was resolved.
For crying out loud, why couldn’t he at least keep his pole?

Bambi on March 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

fck the government.

illegals get free healthcare. this man gets harassed. fck the feds, the state, the localities. all of em

blatantblue on March 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Call Joe Biden!!

Khun Joe on March 29, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Reading section 525 it says he can have the hoop back if he pays a $15 fee. Pay the dang fee and put the hoop in your drive way. Big deal. Its probably cheaper for the owner to let the sate remove it than to hire a union contractor to take it out.

Delawarians voted for their reps which make these stupid laws, so now maybe they will learn to vote smart. I know from experience, I’m from Illinois.

Hendo on March 29, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Many people apparently can’t read or comprehend english.

I never said police don’t lie. I never said police won’t lie – or fudge anything or whatever.

What I wrote was police cannot lie simply because they want to. They cannot purposefully abuse the public trust or obfuscate the truth. They cannot do those things.

Are there some that do? Sure. Is that an indictment against the whole profession? Some of you seem to think so.

Is the actions of the Afghan ‘Kill Teams’ or Abu Ghraib an indictment against the entire military? Is every military man a POS because of a few genuine POS’s?

The badge is what gives the cops their authority? Really? Where is that written? What gives the Constitution its authority over anything? Its simply a piece of paper after all. A badge is a symbol, nothing more. It is representative of the authority placed in the police officer by the public under the law. The people give the badge its power. Once the people take the trust they have in that badge away, it no longer has any power.

Of course that power can be abused or twisted, just as the Constitution has been over the years, but that doesn’t take away its fundamental foundation.

This is basic stuff, people.

All I’m reading from some of you is how people have seen cops do this and do that bad thing. As I said, there are some POS’s out there. But some of you seem to have a real contempt for cops. If that contempt is justified for a few, so be it. If you’re indicting the entire profession, you need to pull your head out of your backside.

In this particular case, the cop lied then denied having done so, all caught on camera. AP writes and links that IA is investigating this. If cops can lie, in fact do so all the time, then why an investigation at all? If cops can lie, then why bother with a justice system at all? Why bother obeying laws? Why bother listening to the cops about anything? They’re just a bunch of lying, fudging jagoffs, right? If we can’t even trust the first line of our justice system with not trying to eff us over at every turn, what’s the point?

Hell, I’m on the side of the homeowner on this one!

Anyway, my two cents…

catmman on March 29, 2011 at 11:26 PM

@Bambi

So how come they waited 50 years or more to go after it?

Probably because the state thinks they can make easy money on fines? When you’re broke you get desperate.

Hendo on March 29, 2011 at 11:27 PM

@catmman

In this particular case, the cop lied then denied having done so…

Did she? The law says he can have his hoop back – after its confiscated AND if he pays $15. I don’t remember if she specifically said they would drop it in his yard free of charge. I’ll have to go watch it again.

Hendo on March 29, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Well I guess she specifically said they would lay it in the drive.

Yeah she went back on her word, but what good is someone’s word now-a-days.

Hendo on March 29, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Damn these government anti-semhoops NAZIs—will they stop at nothing?

Dollayo on March 30, 2011 at 12:04 AM

What I wrote was police cannot lie simply because they want to. They cannot purposefully abuse the public trust or obfuscate the truth. They cannot do those things.

Yes they can. They can be purposely deceptive to obtain the desired result.

crosspatch on March 30, 2011 at 12:28 AM

http://delawarecitizencorps.blogspot.com/2009/01/sergeant-griffin-awarded-certificate-of.html

she is great at getting videos out …

Blatz on March 30, 2011 at 12:35 AM

“Because we can and it makes us feel powerful….”

And these idiots wonder why some people go postal. Sigh!

{+_+}

herself on March 30, 2011 at 1:53 AM

This would have been a better moment if one of the homeowners installed a hoop with a 25 foot pole.

AltTuning on March 30, 2011 at 2:23 AM

Crying over basketball hoops? :(

Here. Have a cookie!

Shy Guy on March 30, 2011 at 2:41 AM

At the “ball end” of a cul-de-sac? Try again. Watch the video once more, note where the house is located, then slink off.

PJ Emeritus on March 29, 2011 at 4:58 PM

I watched it. Halted it. Rolled it back. Rewatched. It’s at the ball end of a cul-de-sac. You can see the curve in the street and the sidewalk in front of the house.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2011 at 2:55 AM

Yes they can. They can be purposely deceptive to obtain the desired result.

crosspatch on March 30, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Exactly. And that has been held up in court over and over and over.

People really need to understand the extent of their rights in this country for their own good.

ButterflyDragon on March 30, 2011 at 4:54 AM

The article associated with the video says it was a cul-de-sac.

It’s pretty crazy that this law is one of the “for your own good” type of laws. Indeed, cigarettes, fatty food and incandescents seem only a step away.

eforhan on March 30, 2011 at 5:37 AM

Indeed, cigarettes, fatty food and incandescents seem only a step away.

They’re already on the target list. Basketball hoops are the next step; have to make people who can’t eat or light their homes the way they please even more miserable.

All for your own good, naturally.

englishqueen01 on March 30, 2011 at 6:31 AM

Two points here.

One- the law is the law. I read the statute and the homeowners are in violation. There is a reason for the statute. It prevents “clutter” along the right of way. Imagine driving down that road in a ice storm and losing control of your car, sliding off the road a few feet, regaining control only to hit a metal pole- holding a basket.

Two- However, where there is “law” there should be common sense applied. Sadly, as I’ve been told for years by prosecutors (I was a detective) neither right or wrong, good or bad, justice or injustice should be confused with the law. They have nothing to do with each other.

The homeowners should go right out and buy portable hoops. The kind that roll. Then put them right back where the old ones were.

As for the officer, she didn’t lie. They’ll get it back…after the fine. It is their property. You have to understand she didn’t get up that day to screw anybody. Some boss called some boss who called the boss under him and then they all looked around, not wanting to handle this, saw her walk by and said, “Hey, I have an assignment for you.”

Then the bosses all went to lunch, talked about their golf games and left for home early.

Believe me, I know. Been there, done that. I was the guy with the hot potato handed him more than once.

And yes, the police had better things to do and wished they were doing it instead of frigging around with law abiding citizens.

archer52 on March 30, 2011 at 6:35 AM

One- the law is the law. I read the statute and the homeowners are in violation. There is a reason for the statute. It prevents “clutter” along the right of way. Imagine driving down that road in a ice storm and losing control of your car, sliding off the road a few feet, regaining control only to hit a metal pole- holding a basket.

So then let’s go and make sure we rip up every poll, tree, or building that sits where anyone could possibly hit them. Not far from my in-law’s house is a residence build right along the sidewalk. Probably no more than 6′ from the curb. Should we knock that down too, lest someone driving on an icy road hit it someday?

Who cares if it’s someone’s home! Let’s get that bulldozer and a cadre of cops over there to protect drivers.

This is a cul-de-sac. If you’re driving so fast down a residential street (in bad or good weather) that you risk losing control of your car, the problem isn’t the poll you might hit. The problem is the fact you have a license.

Look up dumb laws. There are still laws on the books that make absolutely no sense, but they are still laws. Should we enforce these ruthlessly, too?

The guy says this poll was there for 60 years. If it wasn’t a problem during the last 5 decades, why NOW?

As for the officer, she didn’t lie. They’ll get it back…after the fine. It is their property.

That’s not what she said in the video and after the way they dumped it unceremoniously into the truck, I would want them to pay for a NEW and undamaged one.

englishqueen01 on March 30, 2011 at 6:44 AM

The late great U.S.A.!

theaddora on March 30, 2011 at 7:17 AM

fck the government.

illegals get free healthcare. this man gets harassed. fck the feds, the state, the localities. all of em

blatantblue on March 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

word

Go fix a fuggin pot hole, go round up some illegals or bust some dope dealers. I like the laser focus on the real problems.

Alden Pyle on March 30, 2011 at 7:28 AM

She lied and quite casually as well. Nice to have indiscriminate power on your side I guess for such important issues.

aikidoka on March 30, 2011 at 7:34 AM

Learned long time ago that if you live in the country away from moron’s living in town you don’t have to deal with things like this. When some dumb animal comes along you just kill it…

NRA Lifer on March 30, 2011 at 8:12 AM

I guess they don’t have much crime in Delaware. Not much else for the police to do. Besides, every good lib government worker knows you go to put the man in his place from time to time other wise he starts thinking he’s in charge. Nothing does that better than showing up in the early morning hours with police cruisers and bulldozers to seize basketball hoops.

JellyToast on March 30, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Basketball hoops are easy pickings compared to arresting illegal aliens, drug dealers and other real criminals.

The purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. Looks like the protectors have become the offenders.

The Rock on March 30, 2011 at 8:35 AM

When there are laws on the books that you don’t like, you work to change them. Until then, they should be uniformly enforced so that everyone can see that they are bad laws. Selective enforcement just means granting power to the people that make the selection.

Count to 10 on March 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Now if we could only get them to enforce immigration with the same valor. vigor.

CriticalUpdate on March 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM

FIFY. I saw no valor there.

SKYFOX on March 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM

As conservatives we should totally be for the rule of law.

As to be OK with slavery when it was law?

Wade on March 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

I think the guy claims the pole has been there for 16 years, not 60. The neighborhood doesn’t look that old to me.

At any rate, permanently mounting the pole so that it requires your kids to play in the public right of way is kinda dumb, IMO. Especially when you have a nice long drvieway as this guy appears to.

Get a rollaway hoop and you won’t have these problems. The law was passed by this guy’s elected representatives. Like many things it’s ignored until somebody complains. Once that happens, the rules are the rules.

We have an ordinance in my city that prohibits parking on the grass. In one of the neighborhoods in my old beat there was a well- traveled artery that was older and kinda narrow compared to some of the newer streets.

There was a row of duplexes on one side of the road. The direvways ran up each side of the duplex and were only one car wide. If the people living in the duplex had more than one car, they had to either block one car in or park one car on the street. Because of the narrowness of the roadway and the traffic volume most people would park with their rightside wheels up on the curb and in the grass strip between the curb and the sidewalk.

This horrific violation of county ordinance infuriated one old buzzard who lived down the block. Like clockwork around 6:30 he would get home and call the police to report parking violations. Almost every single day I would get dispatched to issue parking tickets off of this jerk’s complaint. maybe not that often, but it happened at least once a week.

I did everything I could to avoid issuing a stupid $15 parking ticket on such a stupid complaint. Sure, it was bad for the grass, but it helped with traffic flow to have the cars further out of the roadway. I would try telling the people in the duplexes about the ordinance and the situation with the old creep down the way and get them to move their cars, but with high rental turnover it seemed like somebody new was always moving in and parking in the damn grass.

Some nights I rolled through the block and reported “no violations observed,” even if there were acouple. Some nights I just completelely ignored the call, waited 15 or 20 minutes and then cleared it without going by at all. That inevitably generated a complaint from the buzzard on me after several times.

It finally ended one night when I’d had enough of dealing with it. The call came in as usual. I turned on my lights and sirens and went to the neighborhood. I found the first violation, parked behind it, got out with my lights and sirens still going, and started writing tickets. The car owners started pouring out of the duplexes to see what was going on. They begged to move their cars. I told them it was too late and to take it up with the buzzard, helpfully pointing out his house to them. I issued five or six citations, and then drove away, lights and siren blaring until I turned off of the block.

We didn’t get that call any more after that.

We had a similar situation in another neighborhood. The neighborhood president was complaining about speeders. The speed limit was 25 mph. My captain sent an officer out and told him to write some speeding tickets. The officer came back and said that he didn’t observe anybody doing more than 5 mph over and that the complaint was BS.

A few days later the neighborhood president is complaining again. He insists that cars are speeding through the neighborhood, describing it as if “everyone” is doing 40 mph or more. The officer goes back out and runs more radar. Still no speed violations that warrant a ticket.

You know what happened next. The neighborhood president calls the Chief, calls the mayor, raises six kinds of Hell. Crap rolls downhill and the officer gets chewed out by the captain. So he goes back to the neighborhood and writes a couple dozen tickets for people doing 1-2 mph over the speed limit, making sure that they know exactly why he’s there.

We didn’t get any more complaints from that guy either.

You people seriously think the police want to be out there dealing with this crap? You elect the mayors, the city councils, and the state legislators who pass the laws. A lot of them are stupid or address an almost non- existent problem, like the danger posed by kids shooting basketballs in the street at the end of a cul- de- sac, and the police ignore them (for 16 or more years, in this particular case) until that guy, that one A-hole guy that lives in every one of your damn neighborhoods or that you elect to be your block captain (or fail to un-elect because you can’t be bothered to attend a neighborhood meeting) calls us and demands that the law on the books that says what it says be enforced. And when it gets to that point, as somebody said before, “justice” and “fairness” have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Dukeboy01 on March 30, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Having looked at the video again, I think we can all agree that a basketball hoop with a plexiglass backboard hasn’t been there since the 1950′s. It probably went up in the 1990′s.

The 2005 law should have, IMO, included a grandfather clause for existing hoops, but it didn’t. The change was ignored for 6 years and then dealt with when that guy, the rotten old buzzard who lives in every neighborhood, complained. Those were six years that could have been spent trying to repeal or modify the 2005 law.

And the cops only showed up on the second trip to get the hoop after his wife climbed the pole the first time out. I can see why the work crew might feel the need to notify the police to accompany them after that somewhat kooky display. Act out when the civilians come out the first time to do their thankless jobs, they’re going to come back the second time with police.

I think that the moral of the story is that people need to pay attention to their state legislators and city councils to keep the dumb laws from being passed in the first place. If that fails, then you need to make nice with that guy in your neighborhood so he doesn’t report your illegal basketball hoop, junk car up on cinderblocks, abandoned refrigerator, or basement meth lab.

Dukeboy01 on March 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Whose house is was the hoop in front of?

Blake on March 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Forget it. Found additional info: Link

Blake on March 30, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I’m in the middle of reading “Atlas Shrugged” so although I am sure this regulation is for the common good, that’s the excuse for all of them. If not this, don’t worry, one day it will be something stupid that effects you.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Having looked at the video again, I think we can all agree that a basketball hoop with a plexiglass backboard hasn’t been there since the 1950′s. It probably went up in the 1990′s.

The 2005 law should have, IMO, included a grandfather clause for existing hoops, but it didn’t. The change was ignored for 6 years and then dealt with when that guy, the rotten old buzzard who lives in every neighborhood, complained. Those were six years that could have been spent trying to repeal or modify the 2005 law.

And the cops only showed up on the second trip to get the hoop after his wife climbed the pole the first time out. I can see why the work crew might feel the need to notify the police to accompany them after that somewhat kooky display. Act out when the civilians come out the first time to do their thankless jobs, they’re going to come back the second time with police.

I think that the moral of the story is that people need to pay attention to their state legislators and city councils to keep the dumb laws from being passed in the first place. If that fails, then you need to make nice with that guy in your neighborhood so he doesn’t report your illegal basketball hoop, junk car up on cinderblocks, abandoned refrigerator, or basement meth lab.

Dukeboy01 on March 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Good summary. As a 25+ year homeowner I’ve learned that dealing with town “officers” can easily turn into a bloodsport. Pick your battles wisely, find the leverage, then move them out of the way. Getting to know your town’s selectmen or other officers is a huge help in navigating around carp like this.

Note the bold sentence above, that is absolutely the bottom line.

roy_batty on March 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

With all the state’s having budget problems couldn’t they lay off a few of these guys (and gals), running around pulling out BB poles, instead of teachers, firemen (women) and police?

Herb on March 30, 2011 at 10:40 AM

In my view, they should have left the pole there after they pulled it and basically tried to destroy it. I have pulled a hundred things out of the ground with similar equipment, being a road builder for 20 years. That was the most amateurish removal team ever. Would have take me and one operator. No trucks needed to haul away if you leave em for the owner. Its a loss for the taxpayers for sure as the fines wont cover the costs of the public employees time. What ten people, maybe an hour each at oh, $75 an hour with bennys. $750. 8 Hoops. $15 fine. $120. SMart power there. But hey, I still agree that the ROWs are PUBLIC, and PRIVATE hoops should not be put IN the ground in the parkways. Place would look like Tijuana if everybody did that. About the “why wait 15 years”?. I agree that is absurd. What gets me is that the state police were involved. Dont they have local or county police force. Three state troopers?

CriticalUpdate on March 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

I think we can all agree that a basketball hoop with a plexiglass backboard hasn’t been there since the 1950′s

You could always put a new backboard on a old pole but the condition of the pole was great at the bottom where it had been in the ground 60 years. That is, to me anyway, a better indicator it wasn’t around that long.

Herb on March 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

crosspatch on March 30, 2011 at 12:28 AM and @Butterflydragon

No, they cannot.

There is a legal distinction, which has been upheld by courts. There is a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic misrepresentation in questioning a suspect in an investigation allowed by the court in obtaining evidence and out-and-out lying to the public in the normal course of duty.

As I wrote, a cop cannot pull you over for a broken tail light then write you an actual ticket for speeding. A cop cannot get on the stand and testify in court that you did something you did not do just because they want to, etc.

Show me where in any state in this country a cop is allowed to perjur himself.

You guys are being purposefully dense or you’ve been watching too much Law & Order.

catmman on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

It is a good thing there are no BBall goals in front of Crack houses. Then the 20 officers would need to be cautious. Might even need backup.

But it is the LAW. These homeowners were probably OK with the law when it was proposed to make sure “those other people” don’t put up an engine lift in their front yard. Every law that restricts someone else freedom, restricts yours too.

barnone on March 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

catmman on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Is it perjury if you aren’t under oath? I think what Officer Sweatpants did was unethical but legal. The best we can hope for is a citizen backlash that will live on in history.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

No, it’s not perjury. And believe it or not, officers are human and can misspeak, too. I suspect what they could do was spelled out in writing and sent to the homeowner who chose to ignore it. Enough with the cop bashing!

Blake on March 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

We had a similar situation in another neighborhood. The neighborhood president was complaining about speeders. The speed limit was 25 mph. My captain sent an officer out and told him to write some speeding tickets. The officer came back and said that he didn’t observe anybody doing more than 5 mph over and that the complaint was BS.

A few days later the neighborhood president is complaining again. He insists that cars are speeding through the neighborhood, describing it as if “everyone” is doing 40 mph or more. The officer goes back out and runs more radar. Still no speed violations that warrant a ticket.

You know what happened next. The neighborhood president calls the Chief, calls the mayor, raises six kinds of Hell. Crap rolls downhill and the officer gets chewed out by the captain. So he goes back to the neighborhood and writes a couple dozen tickets for people doing 1-2 mph over the speed limit, making sure that they know exactly why he’s there.

We didn’t get any more complaints from that guy either.

So you are basically saying that your police department is basically being allowed to be influenced by one citizen and the politics work their way down until a couple dozen people got ticketed and fined for going 1-2 miles over the speed limit? And that story is supposed to make the police look good how? The fact that if one person makes enough of a stink they can get the police force to go do their bidding does not help the case I think you are trying to make here.

BakerAllie on March 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Show me where in any state in this country a cop is allowed to perjur himself.

You guys are being purposefully dense or you’ve been watching too much Law & Order.

catmman on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I’m sorry, but I failed to see where anyone was sworn in before this interaction occurred. You don’t even understand the difference between perjury and lying and you’re trying to tell us we don’t know what we’re talking about?

I’m sorry, but you are flat out wrong. Cops have the right to lie. They are not lawyers or judges held to an ethical standard in the course of their duties.

Bottom line is a cop can lie about anything they want while performing their duty. They can lie to you about evidence, they can lie about getting you a deal with the DA if you tell the truth. They can lie about being “off the record”. They can lie about about you keeping a basketball goal if it thwarts civil disobedience. They can do it.

Ask any criminal defense attorney. Ask any judge. Ask any cop. Quit living in some fantasy world and understand that a cop can lie to you and it’s perfectly okay.

ButterflyDragon on March 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I understand why a lot of these laws get put in place. There are legitimate needs to use them at times and if there is not an ordinance that covers the issue the city or state can’t act when they do need to. Also, it is impossible to codify the law so exact that it covers all situations, and removes the need for common sense application of the law. There’s just no way to remove the human element of the people tasked with enforcing the law (or letting it slide).

The problem comes when you get busybodies in public service nuisance roles where they try to enforce the letter of the law in ways the original law was not really intended for.

Did the clear zone within 7 ft. of the street easement law really get passed to make sure no one put a basketball hoop up at the end of a residential cul-de-sac that was in no one’s way and wasn’t hurting anything? I seriously doubt it. There are times the easement law needs to be enforced for legitimate reasons. This was not one of them.

There are several local laws that I’m aware of that are just as invasive and selectively enforced. For instance, my transmission was slipping on my van and I didn’t have the money or time to get it fixed right away. I let the tags expire, and the van was parked on the street right in front of my house (and there is tons of parking available on my non-busy residential street). Within days, I had an annoying sticker slapped on my back window saying I had to get the van off the street within 72 hours or it would be towed as an “abandoned vehicle”. It took me a half hour to scrape all of that stupid sticker off my window. I then moved my van into my driveway where I had been parking my car, and started parking my car where the van had been parked in the street. Nothing gained for anybody.

I looked further into the exact regulations and found that even though the van was now off the street on my own property, according to the letter of the law, the city could have declared it an “inoperable vehicle” (also because of expired tags) and given me notice to remove it from my property or face a fine. That did not happen, but the city code is there just waiting for a city busybody to start enforcing it when they feel the need for a power trip.

I noticed another local city ordinance on the books that was ridiculous too, and is not really enforced but easily could be. According to the letter of the law, it is illegal for any vehicle, including RV’s, over 24 ft. to be parked on any city street overnight! And even for RV’s under 24 ft., they can only be on the street with the permission of an adjacent homeowner for up to 48 hours! So if I have relative with an RV come to visit me for a 3 days or more, they are in violation of this law if they park next to my house!

I regularly see a semi truck parked up the street (I assume a truck driver lives there). I’ve seen RV’s parked in the neighborhood for up to a week at a time. When my neighbor just moved away recently, he had a semi-sized moving van parked in front of his house for 3 days. All of these are perfectly fine and legitimate use of parking space, and should be legal, yet according to the ordinance they are not. I appreciate that they are not stringently enforced, but why are they on the books at all?

willamettevalley on March 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

And this guy doesn’t have a gun?

Thune on March 30, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Did the clear zone within 7 ft. of the street easement law really get passed to make sure no one put a basketball hoop up at the end of a residential cul-de-sac that was in no one’s way and wasn’t hurting anything? I seriously doubt it. There are times the easement law needs to be enforced for legitimate reasons. This was not one of them.

willamettevalley on March 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Does it get any clearer than this?

§ 149. Authority to adopt regulations governing state land.

(2) In keeping with the General Assembly’s legislative findings herein, and in order to promote safe neighborhood recreation, the Department shall make every effort to remove from public rights-of-way devices such as basketball hoops, hockey goals, shuffleboards and the like. The Department is further authorized and directed to establish such regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to enforce this activity.

ButterflyDragon on March 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

ButterflyDragon on March 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

To put it succinctly – a cop cannot lie about the facts of any given case/situation.

I stated there is a difference – as stated by the law and court interpretation – as to how a police officer may and may not ‘misrepresent’ events.

I’m telling you that a cop cannot lie to you just because. A cop cannot lie under oath. Here’s a link explaining the pitfalls; also explaining the difference of ‘lying’ during a criminal investigation and otherwise.

Can the cops in your world plant evidence? That’s simply a lie in the course of their duties, right? Can the cops make up testimony from whole cloth? Can cops falsify arrest reports? Submit false citations for violations? WTH is wrong with you?

And talk about not knowing WTH you’re talking about. Cops aren’t held to a higher ethical standard during the course of their duties? Really? WTH do you live? This would be news to the Rampart cops in the LAPD, amongst others. Using your logic cops can’t get busted for bribery or theft or abuse of authority or any commonly held ethical behavior, right? A cop can lie to you about anything while performing their duties? Again, I think you’re the one with a slim grasp of reality.

Yeah, ask those defense attorneys and prosecutors what would happen to a given case if the cops lied about it.

catmman on March 30, 2011 at 2:41 PM

There is something wrong about a system where the enforcers are permitted to lie to the citizens, and the citizens are not permitted to lie to the enforcers.

Thune on March 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

@ BakerAllie

Go back and re- read my post. I’m saying that we tried mightily to do the right thing and one of your fellow, law- abiding “tax- payers who pay my salary” and who we are supposed to protect and serve would not let it go until action was taken that annoyed a bunch of his neighbors. If you think that any police department in this country doesn’t operate the same way, you’re hopelessly naive.

It’s not just police work. It’s every sector and agency of government service from the military to the post office to the schools to your local parks and rec department. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Or, rather, the person who complains enough gets the speed limit lowered or the law passed requiring basketball goals to be taken down or the military sent to the far corners of the earth to intervene for humanitarian reasons. That same person, or some one else, complains to the appropriate government agency to have those basketball goals torn down, parking tickets written, or tin- pot dictators overthrown.

Dukeboy01 on March 30, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Your tax dollars toll money at work.

profitsbeard on March 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM

fify

Laura in Maryland on March 30, 2011 at 3:42 PM

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was the saga of Alfred Dreyfuss.

citrus on March 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I’ll bet DelDOT will hang up on you if you call to ask that they come and clear the snow off their 7 feet of right of way on your property.

Just sayin’

landshark on March 30, 2011 at 6:06 PM

How old is that statute? At 60 years, shouldn’t the basketball hoop be grandfathered in?

Theophile on March 31, 2011 at 4:29 AM

Dukeboy01 on March 30, 2011 at 9:17 AM

That is the most apt description I think you will find over how stupid laws get enforced. I know the post is long but, if you skipped it, you would do well to go back and read it.

I have said to more than one person in reguards to stupid laws “I know it is stupid but just do it. Please don’t make me do my job.” And that is why we ultimately have to enforce them. It is part of our job weather we want to or not. It is the same as drug laws. I think they are a waste of time and money but if I find them I do what I am paid to do.

And to catmman

You are confusing lying and breaking the law. If I lie about your tail light being out and stop you for it I have commited an unreasonable search and seizure.

For instance lets say I am speaking to you about a burglary. I say I found your finger prints even though I didnt. If you then confess it dosent invalidate the confession. If you dont confess I still havent done anything wrong as long as I take it no further, such as lying in court about it or falsifying lab results or something.

There was a recent court case where a confession was tossed out because a detective faked a lab result and showed it to the suspect who then confessed. It was ruled that, while he was allowed to lie, he couldnt break the law to do so. He had forged a government document and, even though he didnt enter it into evidence or take it any further than the interigation, it was still illegal.

SnakeintheGrass on March 31, 2011 at 8:15 AM

SnakeintheGrass on March 31, 2011 at 8:15 AM

I’m not confusing anything. I’ve repeatedly stated – even provided linkage – to how the court interprets cops and how they can and cannot misrepresent a case.

Cops CANNOT LIE ABOUT THE FACTS OF A CASE! As your own comment says, a cop did and had a confession tossed.

I understand the difference.

catmman on March 31, 2011 at 9:33 AM

The KKK was burning crosses in front yards and now the brown shirts are taking out bb goals. This world is crumbling.

I suggest the woman wear a Birkuh and they would not have touched her.

seven on March 31, 2011 at 11:05 AM

*sigh* catman, read it again. It got tossed because he forged a government document, not because he lied. Had he not broken the and just told the guy he had the evidence it would have stood.

Argue all you want. It wont make it true.

SnakeintheGrass on March 31, 2011 at 1:56 PM

*broken the law

SnakeintheGrass on March 31, 2011 at 1:59 PM

@Snake

The cop forged a document. So he falsified a doc, right? Perhaps I’m parsing, but isn’t a falsification a lie? Even as it relates to documentation? If it isn’t, then why was it tossed?

How many times do I have to say I understand the difference as supported by court precedent and case law about how and when cops can lie? One of the terms is intrinsic and extrinsic misrepresentation.

My overall problem is with Butterflydragons comments that cops can lie all they want, whenever they want about whatever they want and that they are not held to higher ethical standards of conduct in the course of their duties. All of his assertions are demonstrably false.

catmman on March 31, 2011 at 2:17 PM

The best part of the hoop in the road is when its summer the windows are open around 11 pm on a work night and the neighbors kids are bouncing the ball endlessly. Then you get the thunk of it hitting the backboard. Its like a guy outside your window, hammering for 10 min. then throwing a piece of wood. All day, everyday until whenever.

Greed on April 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Shower heads, low flow toilets, seat belts, what next?


Will Nanny soon regulate the size of the toilet paper we use to wipe our __________?

PappyD61 on April 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM

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