Judge condones police violence

On March 22, I appeared in court before Ashland's Judge Turner for a traffic violation on a bicycle.

There were two cases before mine, one involving a young man who was ticketed for disorderly conduct, defined as crossing a street in a manner that disturbs traffic flow. The defendant explained, and the officer, MacLennan, agreed, that it was his friend that was behind him that was actually in the street as traffic began to slow.

The case developed when it was shown in the video how the defendant did not respond to the officer's call, but simply looked at him, turned around and kept walking. The young man explained that there was not legal cause to need to respond to MacLennan, so it was within his rights to simply not submit to his beckoning, as he was taught legal rights at Ashland High School.

On the officer's second beckoning of the defendant, he turned and politely confronted him. The officer admitted that he gave the young man a ticket largely because of his attitude.

Judge Turner proceeded to explain that the young man was not using common sense, and that if he were in a large city something much worse could have happened, such as being thrown on the ground. Turner did not make any mention or educate the defendant of his actual legal rights, or the fact that officers do have their own conduct to abide by, but mostly just suggested that the boy could be physically damaged for not promptly submitting to an officer's command and that should be expected as common sense.

First off, I personally find it to be highly offensive conduct for an officer to admit that he illegally handed out a ticket to someone just because of his attitude. This means the officer allowed his emotions to decide that the man deserved a ticket more than for any legal reason.

Secondly, why do we have a judge who is threatening young men by condoning police violence? This is seriously inappropriate.

It is important to me that the citizens be made aware of what kind of people we have practicing unconstitutional law as a government in our town. It is we who elect them as servants to our community, not as royalty to lord over us and penalize us out of emotional whimsy or a pretense of assumed violence.

What these characteristics both point to is the condoned practice of a police state. Is this the service that we deserve as the kings and queens of this county?

That is, after all, the true vision of this nation, that the people are the lords of the land and they are not to be ruled over by royalty, but to be allowed dominion under natural law in which the public division is in servitude to the people to maintain structural utilities and to handle conflicts that extend beyond the people's own ability to settle things for themselves by means of a grand jury.

John Palombo lives in Ashland.

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