There was a bizarre scene in Ericho, Arkansas where Fire Chief Don Payne went to court for a second time in one day to complain about the police use of abusive speed traps in the small town. An argument erupted in front of Judge Tonya Alexander and Payne was shot from behind by one of the officers. It appears that there is widespread complaints against the local police who are accused of doing little else but ticketing citizens for driving a couple miles over the speed limit to sustain their small department.
Payne had just been to court to pay a prior ticket when the police stopped him and his son to give them another ticket. When Payne went to complain to the court, he found seven officers in the courtroom. One of them shot him with a .40 caliber handgun in the hip from behind.
Like other citizens, he had reached his limit. The town of only 174 residents used to be policed by deputy sheriffs but added its own small force in the 1990s. However, they soon found that the officers appeared to do little else than write traffic tickets to pay for their department to the point that residents complain that they are reluctant to go outside in their vehicles. One resident, Albert Beebe, complained that “[w]hen I first moved out here, they wrote me a ticket for going 58 mph in my driveway.”
The necessity of seven officers shooting an unarmed man in court is a bit hard to understand. It certainly makes tasering argumentative people look tame in comparison, here.
Police chief Willie Frazier has announced that he is disbanding the police force “until things calm down.” He has not responded to the torrent of criticism that his department was terrorizing the town. Moreover, no one appears to be able to confirm where the money from the tickets has gone.
Mayor Helen Adams has also declined to answer questions.
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10 thoughts on “Shooting Payne: Fire Chief Argues with Police Officers About Speed Traps — Police Officer Shoots Fire Chief”
You got it right. Shawshank Redemption.
“Alexadre … Dumbass?”
“It’s Dumas …”
And this subject header is another great Turley title …
How many are thinking “Jericho!” ?@*$! But the Jericho of the post-apocalyptic/conservative conspiracy TV show was in Kansas…
We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity and dignity.
Didn’t I read about this in a Stephen King book (or was it Bachman?)
Disband the Robbers. A man pulling out of his drive clocked at 58 mphs? Come on. I say Bullshit.
If you think this is bad and it is bad, Right now the Dallas DA Craig Watkins has refused to investigate or ask the Attorney General of Texas to investigate corruption in the Constables Office. Apparently 1,000 cars have been confiscated and they cannot account for them. Some Deputy’s are driving cars with paper plates. These cars were more than likely impounded for lack of insurance which is an egregious offense in Texas.
“Dallas County commissioners order investigation of constables”
This one is going to get worse before it gets better.
Hey, Arkansas A.G.!
While you’re checking out these clowns, might I suggest paying a visit to Dumas, Arkansas too.
And don’t worry, folks. If you mispronounce “Dumas”, you’ve actually got it right.
Back shooter. Isn’t that like bad or something.
Interesting criminal conspiracy. They extort money from the population and if you complain you get shot. Wouldn’t the RICO statutes apply to this police department?
What will be the next front in the Battle of the Badges in Jericho? Perhaps the cops against the sheriff?
How can a town of 174 afford to pay the millions that will be awarded to the fire chief after his assault? How can residents even afford to pay their car insurance with so many speeding tickets?
Oh… and raise your hand if you think that any of the financial records will be found.
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