National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Shakedown in Utah

From the Wall Street Journal:

Small-town speed traps are legendary among travelers, who often suspect police of targeting tourists from other parts of the country to help fill local coffers. But officers in tiny Springdale, Utah, may have used their radar guns to pocket cash from foreign drivers they stopped, according to the state auditor.

Three police officers in Springdale, a popular gateway to Zion National Park, collected $11,640 from overseas visitors they stopped from January through October of 2011, a report from Utah State Auditor Auston Johnson found. The auditor maintains the collections during the stops were a violation of state law.

In addition, Mr. Johnson’s report said his office found 138 citation documents—one-third of the total it examined—missing from local files with no record of what happened to any fines collected. The citations are easily tracked since they are numbered, officials from his office said. The report didn’t name the officers.

“The possibility exists that officers could have written citations, collected the citation fines from defendants on the spot, destroyed the citations, and kept the money without anyone ever noticing,” Mr. Johnson said in his report, released in June.

Via Jonathan Turley blog.

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