Authoritarianism And The Natick Police Department

Unfortunately for the Natick Police Department and one Sgt.. Graham, my conscious got the better of me and surrendered me to exposing here, for the benefit of the general public a story of a day in my life where I found myself humiliated beyond description.The story goes. After an invigorating workout at Planet Fitness on Rt 135 in Natick I tooled my 1999 Toyota Camry down Speen Street North toward route 9. Driving at a granny pace of 35 miles and hour (Americans hate to drive the speed limit and usually get upset when driving behind me, but that's another story) as I usually do I noticed a Natick Public School Bus approaching from the opposite direction on Speen Street starting to slow down with the yellow lights flashing. On the opposite side of the Speen Street parked facing out of Crescent Street was a Natick Police Vehicle and an officer standing nearby seemingly conversing at a distance with a gentleman I later guessed was a local homeowner. Since I was already nearly passing the school bus I didn't think twice about it and proceeded down Speen Street at a lazy 35 miles anhour. I thought I might cruise over to the Apple Store at Natick Mall in the meantime jonesing for some music from WZBC on my car radio. After travelling, as I later estimated for .6 miles at 35 MPH= 40 sec, I heard the siren of a, as I would soon find out, a Natick Police Vehicle. As I moved aside to let the police vehicle pass I was shocked to see that it was I the officer was pulling over.  As the officer approached my vehicle I felt the fear of authority like I had not since 1986 when I was last stopped for a moving violation! What could be the problem? Our Dialogue:Officer Graham: Did you see the school bus? Me: YesOfficer Graham: "What are you doing blocking (Purington Ave.) can't you see that traffic is trying to get out ? Oh and you are driving without a seatbelt today too!" (my fault I almost always putmy seatbelt on. Guilty! I was at that point shall we say the officer did a good job of making me nervous.) Officer Graham: Didn't you see me parked there? The neighbors were complaining about cars not stopping for the School Bus, That's what i was doing there". Licence and Registration please! Are you a CDL driver? Me: "Yes, In 2010 I drove a school bus for the town of Framingham." As Officer Graham returned to his vehicle, I could not imagine that i would be accused of violating the passing a school bus law. I was perplexed since being a School Bus Driver I knew exactly what the law was and how the lights and door operated together. See the way we are taught in School Bus driver school is to flip on the yellow flashing lights as we approach (usually a safe distance of about 100-200 feet I'm estimating. Then after the school bus stops the door is opened and the red lights automatically start flashing and the Stop Sign is is activated by a cable attached to the opening door. I'm sitting in my vehicle saying to myself, I know all this. Officer Graham could not possibly think I would cough up $250.00 fine for the school bus violation (who knows what my insurance surge charges would be....eeeeekkk)! $25.00 for the seat belt violation, no problem I'm guilty. Guess what?Officer Graham: "Here's (your ticket) the instructions are on the back."I felt like I was chopped up and spit out. "What happened" I said?
Let's look at some facts before I move on to the end of my story. 1. Why did it take Officer Graham nearly 40 seconds and .6 miles before he stopped my car? Do you own experiment. I lot can happen in 40 seconds. Try walking .6 miles at an average walking pace of 6 MPH would take about 25 minutes. That's a long way relatively speaking if you think about it.2. Officer Graham suggested to me "that might have noticed that he was parked there. And by the way the local homeowners were complaining that cars were not obeying the school bus stop law, and that's why he was parked there observing the traffic."! !3. How likely is citizen without a moving violation in 28 years and processing a CDL School Bus Licence, driving as little as 10,000 miles a year (I lived abroad for the last 5 years.) to violate the School Bus Passing Law? What was I to do? I wasn't about to hand over up to $1500.00. including 3-5 years auto insurance surcharges. I owed it to myself to appeal the violation as any reasonable person would choose to doI first noted the location of where the officers vehicle was parked (Cresent Street). Then the location where I was stopped Punrider Street and the distances and time travelled at 35 MPH. Next I checked the School Bus passing law from Massachusetts Gen Laws Section 90. And as I suspected the law says a vehicle approaching a school from the opposite direction must stop at when the yellow AND red lights are flashing. Which made sense to me since I was aware of how the mechanics of the lights and doors on a school bus operate and that the red lights start toflash when the bus is stopped and the door is open. I'm still perplexed that Officer Graham could think that I that stupid? To make a long my court appearance was just as perplexing. After hearing all the evidence from both sides the clerk magistrate concluded that there was enough finding that found me responsible for bothcounts (the seat belt violation also) but was "going to give me a break" for the School Bus Violation and eliminate the $250.00. Great, but just one thing your honor, does that mean I'm guilty or innocent of the charge? Grouchingly his honor said, (as the attending officer being more happy to agree with his honor.) "that means I'm giving you a break!" And suggested that that he could (if I had anymore questions just as easily find me responsible, pay the $250.00 or file an appeal within 20 days.Case closed! What was I to do? See how high this shenanigans of injustice could go? It was suggested by an Attorney friend of mine that it could cost me substantial amounts of money to argue concepts like "ticket quotas and police officers or moving violation fines as a means of Police Department and City Revenue but success at that approach would make a long demoralizing story evenlonger. I know when I've been duped. This time by Officer Graham and Clerk Magistrate Brian Kearney. Please keep me safe from the dishonest people and theifs in my local public safety and county judicial systems.  And please protect me and others from dishonest police officers and thiefs like Sgt, Graham and Judicial servants like Magistrate Brian Kearney people.
Thank you God.Edward Mangan Holliston, MA.


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