Several years ago, probably around 10 o’clock one night, my wife and I heard a knock at the door. I opened it slightly to see who it was at such a late hour, and two local cops forced themselves in. Sure, just come right in, I thought. They told us that they had a warrant for my wife’s arrest because of a failure to appear in court. We remembered that she got a speeding ticket a few months before in another county, and we had since either forgotten about it or lost the ticket amidst other tickets I had received.
During that time, my car was having trouble, and I hadn’t been able to get my car to pass an emissions test. As a result, I wasn’t able to get my car registration renewed. So, I had racked up several tickets myself for driving around with an expired tag.
While my tickets were eventually paid after I had to shell out who knows how much money to get my car fixed to pass an emissions test, her speeding ticket was probably among those, and it got left by the wayside.
At this time, we had two kids, and my wife was 6 months pregnant with our third. That wasn’t something that mattered to the cops. They were just “doing their jobs.” And there wasn’t anything I could do. So, they took my pregnant wife away first to the local jail where they waited in the parking lot for the other police to show up to transfer my wife to the Cherokee County Jail.
As soon as I found out the bail amount, I drove all the way over and paid the $967.78 ransom in cash in exact change as instructed, at which point they agreed to let her go. And then we still had to pay the speed ticket fine at a later date.
A similar thing happened to a Texas woman, except she got the full Nazi treatment, and all she did was roll through a stop sign. A Dallas/Fort Worth CBS affiliate reported:
A North Texas woman was handcuffed, stripped down and booked into jail – all because of an overdue traffic ticket. It was just a ticket. Sarah Boaz was cited in August after an officer said she ran a stop sign. Boaz lost the ticket, but said she knows it was wrong not to have paid it right away. Despite those missteps, she also says she never expected a late fee or penalty to land her in jail… Boaz’s expected trip to work Wednesday morning never happened. Because of her unpaid ticket, the Richland Hills City Marshal was waiting at her house with a warrant for her arrest… Even when Boaz arrived at the jail, in handcuffs, she still didn’t think it was real. Then a female officer started giving her instructions. She remembered the officer saying, “’I’m going to need you to undress. I’m going to need you to stand against the wall. Please don’t step in front of this white box, or I’ll take that as being aggressive toward me.’ Obviously I am going to jail.”
CBS found out that everything Boaz was subjected to was simply standard operating procedure for anyone being booked in to the jail. Somehow, this is supposed to make it all OK.
So if you’re a criminal who’s committed murder, you’ll get the same treatment as a criminal who rolled through a stop sign. Am I the only one who thinks it’s completely ludicrous to classify ‘not coming to a full and complete stop at a stop sign’ as a criminal act? And so not paying the fine or appearing in court before a judge to answer for that criminal charge warrants being arrested, booked, stripped and jailed? They must be starving for cash.