Home / Bureaucracy / Good Samaritan Drops a Dollar, Is Ticketed for Littering
Print Friendly and PDF

Good Samaritan Drops a Dollar, Is Ticketed for Littering

Written by Gary North on May 25, 2012

North’s first law of bureaucracy is this: “Some bureaucrat will eventually enforce the letter of the law to the point of insanity.” Here is a recent example.

John Davis, who lives in Cleveland, got a ticket from a local policeman. It seems that he dropped a dollar on the ground.

Now, in my experience, people do not litter with Federal Reserve Notes — not even the Federal Reserve. They litter with candy wrappers, but not Federal Reserve Notes.

Davis saw a man in a wheelchair who holding a sign: “Jesus loves you. Please help.”

As he approached the light at the exit, Davis rolled the money up vertically and stretched his arm out of his window. He says the man touched the cash and one of the dollars fell to the ground. The man then picked up the greenback.

A few moments later, Davis says a Cleveland police officer pulled him over.

“He proceeds to tell me he’s pulling me over for littering,” Davis told the station, as he and his friends were baffled by the exchange.

The ticket specifically cited Section No: 613.06 of Cleveland’s Municipal Codes, which is littering from a motor vehicle. His offense was listed as, “Throw paper out window,” and in parenthesis, “money to panhandler.”

When asked by the local TV station to comment, the official gave the traditional response: “No comment.”

When an agency’s agent gets caught in clear-cut obedience to North’s first law of bureaucracy, the public relations agent says “No comment.” Sometimes he adds “at this time.” The really clever ones add: “We are conducting a full investigation.”

It turns out that it’s illegal to give panhandlers money in Cleveland if the panhandler is close to a highway. But Davis was not ticketed for this, nor was the panhandler arrested.

Davis said the officer told him to “take it up with the courts.”

Davis took it up with the court of public opinion. He contacted a local TV station.

If he loses the case in court, it could cost him $500, plus court costs. I know I would challenge it in court. I would invite the media. The fun would be worth risking $500.

I can almost see the judge, surveying the reporters, knowing he would make it onto TV that night if he handed down a $500 penalty for dropping $1 on the ground. I think he would make a rapid cost-benefit analysis.

I would of course demand that the police officer be there to explain all the facts.

Would that be worth risking a $500 fine? In a Cleveland minute!

The following is what every bureaucracy fears: a prime-time TV news feature on a truly bonehead move by one of its agents.

Continue Reading on www.wnd.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

11 thoughts on “Good Samaritan Drops a Dollar, Is Ticketed for Littering

  1. Obama should go to Leavenworth for littering, then. He has printed so much unbacked currency that he is just strewing around paper, too. In fact, he is the one responsible for the fact that a dollar bill is now litter.

  2. Tyranny hides in complexity.

  3. EHeassler, USN-Ret. says:

    Being a policeman is neither the easiest nor safest job in town. But having a badge also allows you to get away with a lot of stupid things. Of course, I'm sure that the ordinance against giving money to panhandlers near roads is well posted so all who pass through Cleveland are aware that they shouldn't do it. I think it probably isn't. A ticket for littering as the result of what is supposed to be a charitable act is pretty dumb. It would have been more effective to have told the driver that what he did was illegal and not to do it again. The panhandler was the source of the problem and he is the person that should have been dealt with.

  4. What a STUPID low-quality official. Obviously he gets paid plenty to get by. He should be forced to take money from every check he receives to a shelter to help the homeless. See how many tickets he gives out then for helping the needy.

  5. Often this kind of foolosness comes from the officers being pressured by the department to generate citations for more revenue. Other times it's cops who need to look productive with stuff like this because they are too lazy or timid to real police work. Either way the public loses.

  6. AD Roberts says:

    My first thought these days is "was racism involved?" Specifically, was the officer black and everyone else white? Almost guaranteed.

  7. AD Roberts says:

    Are you saying that there are people who refuse to do their job in a reasonable manner. LOL.

  8. ProundPatriotToo says:

    This policeman must be an Obama SS man in training. No, I know, shovel ready jobs, yes that's it, that's the ticket.

  9. Wizzid0 says:

    Legal Shield will represent him in court as part of their policy, no charge.

  10. Bill McCroskey says:

    If this man is found guilty of this …. 'Helicopter' Ben Bernanke should get the death penalty if this law were applied to him in a apportioned value.

  11. yupikesk1 says:

    Common now friends. Ohio has been visited the most by Obama and Biden. They must have stated a price for their tax payer paid visits and they are wanting more. How cheap. Obama is attempting to buy the state.