'Tis the season for cheer and giving. Charitable donations ramp up for the holiday season, with people using all sorts of avenues, from the Red Cross to feeding the homeless from their own pockets.
Some people, however, feel that it’s a great idea to have cops distribute their charity by prowling the roads and pulling over motorists. Across the country, avid police supporters with lots of money are initiating what amounts to bribery campaigns based on questionable means.
Naturally, cops are leaping at this opportunity to manufacture good feelings toward the police force. With trust in police declining as their brutality and murderous ways are exposed, any chance to manipulate emotions is welcome.
An anonymous donor in Monroe County, Georgia gave just over $5,000 to the sheriff’s department, asking them to pull people over and hand out $100 bills.
"'I pulled you over because (of) your heads lights' or little minor violation(s) and typically, what happens with that is you would most likely get a ticket. Today we're out giving something different than tickets. We'd like to give you a donation toward your family to help you with whatever you need to do," said Deputy Timothy Campfield.
Overcome with emotion, Angel Scott replied, "Can I hug you?"
It was all caught on camera so the deed could be aired on local media.
"You were telling me that work has been a little slow," Campfield said to another motorist. "Instead of handing you a citation or writing you a ticket that's gonna cost you money, I'd like to give you this donation. Take it with you for your family."
"Are you sure?” replied William White. “I can't accept that. You aren't going to put your handcuffs on me are you.”
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Similar instances of anonymous donors instructing cops to hand out $100 bills have taken place in Houston, Kansas City, Toledo, and Eagan, MN. A local doctor in Pontiac, Michigan, bought and donated 300 hams and had the cops hand them out after pulling people over for minor infractions.
In other cities, churches and businesses collaborate with cops to pull people over and ask them what they want for Christmas. Another team listening to the transmissions at a nearby store will select a gift, wrap it and drive over the scene to hand out the gift.
Some cops are using their own money to buy gift cards and toys for people, which is admirable, but instead of handing them out randomly they are pulling people over for minor infractions.
"It's that old saying: 'It's better to give than receive.' I love to see the expression on people's faces," said Officer Edward Michela, who caught people rolling through stop signs and handed out gift cards.
"Bellevue rocks," said Diane Simons of Bellevue, Michigan. "I am very blessed. I am very thankful. But did I run the stop sign?"
"Yes, you did," said Michela. "Merry Christmas."
The act of selfless giving is a noble deed, but the tactics used here must be questioned. The typical reaction is fear and nervousness when people see those lights flashing in their mirror. You never know if you will be the victim of unjust acts of violence from those sworn to “protect and serve.”
Pulling people over for minor infractions, which are sometimes just ignored by cops who don’t want to do the paperwork, gives them the opportunity to intrude on the privacy of an individual and perhaps catch them doing something else deemed illegal by the state.
What if a cop detects a faint whiff of marijuana on someone who smoked it a couple of hours ago, then uses that to illegally search the car and finds a bit of weed under the floor mat? Such a harmless thing could make an intended act of charity turn into a life-ruining episode.
Holiday giving should be encouraged. But a charitable act inevitably becomes tainted when the rights of an individual must be violated in order to distribute it.