Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don't Correct The Police

It seems that correcting the police can earn you a ticket and a day in court.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A college student has been given a lesson from a judge after his day in court - don't correct the police.

Clay Palmer, a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, honked his car horn when he saw police stop their patrol car, turn on blue flashers to go through a red light and then turn the flashers off. He got a ticket for violating the city noise ordinance.

The charge was reduced to a warning Wednesday when he went before a judge who told him he acted wrongly.

"The horn blowing is not the real problem here, it's that you were trying to correct the police and they didn't need correcting," Judge Russell Bean said.

Palmer left traffic court saying he still believed officers were abusing their authority.

"I see this cop with his blue lights come screeching up beside me and I didn't know what was going on," Palmer said. "Before they got to the next light, I could see they turned their blue lights off."

Palmer said officer Matthew Puglise forced him onto the hood of his car and issued him a ticket for honking the horn when there was no reason.

Puglise said he was helping another officer track down a speeder when Palmer saw him pass through the red light.

Bean said Puglise was right and Palmer was wrong.

"I expect officers to follow the rules like everyone else," Bean said.