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“I don’t honestly know what the stereotype looks like for a heroin smuggler, but I don’t think a couple of senior citizens driving a handicapped license plate car with their little cocker spaniel really looks like we’re much of a threat to anybody,” said Tharp.

end-the-drug-war

Walton County, Ga. – What began as a relaxing family vacation for an elderly Georgia couple turned into an interrogation by police who suspected the couple of being drug mules.

Charles Tharp, 69, and his wife had been visiting their grandchildren in Texas, during the drive home to North Carolina they were stopped by a Walton County Sheriff’s deputy.

“It just seemed a little unusual because we’re not speeding and we’re always careful drivers,” Charles Tharp told CBS 46.

The deputy claimed that the couple had been stopped due to their window tint.

“I thought that was awfully strange since these are factory tinted Toyota windows and it seems so peculiar that someone would stop you for something like that,” said Tharp.

After checking the tint, the officer claimed it was not within the legal limit. The problem with the officer’s assertion is that Tharp had the tint tested at the Toyota dealership and the tint registered perfectly legal.

The deputy then proceeded to order the couple out of the car and began interrogating the couple about smuggling narcotics.

“I don’t honestly know what the stereotype looks like for a heroin smuggler, but I don’t think a couple of senior citizens driving a handicapped license plate car with their little cocker spaniel really looks like we’re much of a threat to anybody,” said Tharp.

According to Tharp, the couple was forced to stand in the cold and endure the police browbeating, over non-existent drugs, for over 20 minutes on the side of the road. This made for an extremely uncomfortable experience for Charles Tharp as he suffers from cancer and chronic back pain.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy has been “counseled” and they are reviewing the incident.

“Our deputy is trained to take an extra step,” said Chief Deputy Keith Brooks. “He is actually attached to our narcotics unit and he is primarily support for them. However, when he is out on the road and not supporting them, he conducts traffic stops. His primary function is to look for criminal activity.”

This case provides a great example of exactly where law enforcement fails.

As Brooks said, they are trained to “take an extra step.” In this case,  that extra step was to pull over a driver that had done nothing wrong only to make contact to try and create more revenue for the state.

“I tell you what, I respect the law less today than I did before,” said Charles Tharp.

Just another example of the police state winning over American hearts and minds.


Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.


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