Read it all, then go out & at least let the air out of someone's tires. Y'know, today's plasticmobiles burn pretty easily too. Hints.Traffic stops are by far the most common reason that police officers initiate contact with members of the public; they account for 84 percent of encounters, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In fact, before cars, ordinary citizens rarely came in contact with law enforcement. As we rebuilt cities around the automobile, historians contend, drivers came to expect to be policed. And communities of color have paid the highest price.
... a new threat was emerging on American streets. America’s first drivers––overwhelmingly well-to-do white men––were wreaking havoc, refusing to slow down for horses or pedestrians. Ordinary citizens were endangering one another’s lives, and police time was more and more pulled to the roadside.
“Cars profoundly altered the relationship between citizens and the police,” the legal historian Sarah Seo wrote in her 2019 book, Policing the Open Road. “Because so many people drove, a vast and mostly ‘law-abiding’ population suddenly became subject to policing.”
City governments, once reluctant to invest in law enforcement, changed course as cars were widely adopted in the 1910s. Suddenly, Vollmer’s dream of an entirely “motor-mounted” force no longer felt far-fetched. In 1925, traffic violations entered the criminal code. Fines and citations soon buttressed department budgets––funding more police on the ground, with more guns, and more cars to police other cars.
In 1925’s Carroll v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the police could search automobiles—unlike homes and offices––without a warrant. This Prohibition-era “vehicle exception,” passed to counter an uptick in alcohol smuggling, gouged a hole in citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights. Suddenly, law enforcement had unprecedented entry into our private lives––all an officer needed was a missing license plate or a broken taillight.
Thus was born the pretextual stop.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
How The Automobile, Fossil Fuel & Prohibition Fueled Fascism
by M. Bouffant at 19:25
More on why everything sucks.