This is the first post in a new category entitled Bizarre Traffic Stories.
I have never been there but, from what I’ve read, Jericho, Arkansas sounds like a modern day Appaloosa, a town where the local police terrorize its residents.
This town of 180 has a 7-member police officer (quite a ratio) who spent the vast majority of their time writing tickets. Residents quickly learned to slow down while traveling on one of Jericho’s few roads. But even obeying the law wasn’t always enough to avoid a speeding ticket and one motorist said he was even issued a ticket for speeding 57 mph on his own driveway. Residents often complained that officers were too busy writing tickets and failed to perform other basic police functions. In response, late at night, police cruisers were vandalized by apparent disgruntled victims.
The police force has now been disbanded and a traffic judge has thrown out all outstanding tickets issued by these officers. These actions were triggered by an unbelievable incident at the Jericho traffic court. Specifically, Don Payne, a Fire Chief, was shot in the back by a police officer in traffic court when he voiced his displeasure about the Jericho Police’s tactics. Payne ended up in the hospital and remarkably the officer was not charged.
Now an investigation has been started to determine where all the traffic ticket revenue has gone. Apparently, overzealous traffic enforcement is not the only thing amiss.
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