Cleveland, OH — If ever you think that all traffic laws are for your safety, one thing can change that view—window tint. In the land of the free, if police feel that your window tint is too dark, they will claim the right to extort money from you. If you resist this extortion, police will claim the right to kidnap or kill you. Unfortunately, in the land of the free, these instances happen so frequently that they are often caught on video too. And, as the video below shows, no one is safe from the extortion, not even cancer victims who have dark tint to prevent further skin cancer.
Ohio resident Shannon Coughlin was running an errand back on September 14 when she was targeted for extortion by Brooklyn, Ohio police officer. Coughlin had not harmed anyone, was driving the speed limit, and had committed no crime—but her windows were too dark for a police state.
“The reason I stopped you [is] your windows are too dark,” the officer can be heard saying in the video.
Police claim window tint is a danger because they can’t see if a criminal is inside the vehicle and it makes it harder to see out at night. However, nowhere in the constitution does it say cops have the right to see you as you drive, also what about motorcycle helmets? Moreover, the danger aspect is all but a hypocritical farce as the police themselves have some of the darkest tinted windows on the road. If this is so unsafe, why do public servants all have their windows tinted dark?
Later in the video, Coughlin can be heard explaining to the officer that she had to have the tint installed because she had skin cancer. She even went so far as to show him photos of her most recent surgery.
“I told him I had the tint put on there because I was diagnosed a couple years ago with skin cancer, and the doctor had said that I should take any precautions that I could,” she said. “I’m just trying to avoid getting another scar on my neck.”
But this officer couldn’t have cared less about Coughlin’s skin cancer and callously told her that without a note from her doctor, she was getting a ticket—officer discretion be damned.
“[I was] shocked,” she said of getting the $170 dollar ticket for the shade of her windows. “Beyond shocked.”
Coughlin ended up getting a letter from her doctor later that month which explained the recommendation for the darkness of her tint. However, it was too late, the wheels of the police state were already set in motion.
As WEWS reports:
Between a fine and court costs, Coughlin faced a $170 ticket for tinted windows. She said she asked the mayor’s court clerk if she can schedule a meeting to speak with the mayor or another city official to discuss the ticket and her reason for needing the tint.
Coughlin said the city told her the only time she could speak with an official was during her court session.
WEWS checked with the mayor’s court clerk, who confirmed that the only time to discuss a ticket is when coming in during a court date.
Coughlin said she had just gotten a new job, and she didn’t think going to court to fight the $170 fine was worth the impact on her job. She waived her right to a court hearing and paid the ticket.
“No one was listening or giving me any kind of chance,” she said. “I still had to pay the fine.”
Brooklyn Mayor Katie Gallagher released a statement in regard to the stop and claimed that Coughlin never reached out to her office. But should an innocent woman who harmed no one really have to go to the mayor to avoid being extorted for protecting herself from more cancer?
The mayor’s statement said in part, “[Coughlin] did not reach out to my office about this matter at any point.”
“The Brooklyn patrol officer wrote the ticket based on the information he had available to him at the time of the stop, which did not include any medical information,” Gallagher said. “Ms. Coughlin then paid the ticket instead of coming to court and presenting the note she received from her doctor after the ticket was written.”
Highlighting the sheer lack of critical thought in regard to extorting people for the level of light they allow into their personal vehicles, the police chief and the mayor both simply claimed that the law is the law.
“I don’t think getting ticketed for having something medically necessary was at all deserved,” Coughlin said. We agree, and will go further by noting that even if it’s not medically necessary, extorting people for tint is tyranny.