Monday, June 13, 2011

Brakin' the Law

Here is the latest news out of Boulder, Colorado:  Boulder County is going to shell out $20,000 as a settlement to the tie-dyed citizen pictured below.

His name is Robert McIntosh.  Last October, he saw fit to drive through a school zone at 41 mph, where the limit is 20.  Objecting to this, Deputy Timothy Lynch pulled him over and went to write out a ticket.  McIntosh objected to that.  He felt that Deputy Lynch was "an ass," and said so out loud.  He also said "Screw you" to the cop, and not in the hardware sense, either. 

I would like to point out that McIntosh is 41, although he dresses like he just got back from Woodstock.  This is the sort of behavior we expect from an adolescent or a guy in a James Cagney movie ("All right you dirty copper, see?  Yeah! You caught me speeding, see?  But you can take that ticket and shove it right up your chain of command, see, because I know too much, see?"  

(sketch by police artist)
Wow, man, far out t shirt!
Even when Dick Cheney and George Bush, two of the coarsest individuals this side of the street bazaars of Beirut, got ticketed for DWI, they took their tickets like grownups and paid their fines.  Not so, McIntosh, who also found the temerity to tell the patrolman that a warning would suffice.  My warning would have been: I am going to ask you to stop talking to me before truly unpleasant consequences unfold here, but anyway.  The story says the officer warned Mr Big Mouth that there would be consequences if he didn't stop the verbal abuse, but Mr BM just kept right on yakety yak'in'.

On May 12 - just over a month ago - McIntosh's mouthpiece, a lawyer named David Lane, wrote a letter to Boulder County and threatened to file a federal lawsuit over all this nonsense.  

And Boulder about broke its neck!  "Run and get the checkbook!  Write this McIntosh a check for $20,000 and run it over to him and get him some pie and a cuppa mocha java too!  Quick, before he calls Washington on us and complains that our police don't like speeders or getting cursed at!"

Listen, bucko.  You're speedin' in a school zone, which is not as bad as Steppin' in a Slide Zone, but nearly. So take the ticket, go fight it in court, and go on your way. 

And keep a civil tongue in your head, please.  Police officers might have to take a little more verbal abuse than Aunt Mildred down at the Stitchery, but there might come a time you wished you hadn't heaped it on, you dumb son of a beach.

"I have said repeatedly that the First Amendment lives in a very rough neighborhood," Attorney Lane said. "I can't arrest you for telling me to go screw myself." I will agree that if the First Amendment lives anywhere near him, it does live in a rocky part of Boulder.  But let's not tell him to go please himself.  He'd probably charge us to watch.

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