There’s no better place to get some ironic inadvertent humor than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If I want something to shake my head and laugh at, there aren’t any better sources to check than the good ‘ol AJC. Sadly however, today’s source of ATLOL is going to be behind the upcoming paywall, and won’t be accessible in two more days. However, that in itself is going to be a great source of humor, because there’s no way that people are going to subscribe for AJC content online, and it’ll only be a matter of time before myAJC.com falls flat on its face and is relegated into having to provide its content for free again.
But anyway, today’s topic of inadvertent ironic humor comes courtesy of the Fulton County Police Department and their officers’ propensity to no-show in court on dates in which they summon perpetrators to defend themselves in the court of law.
This is a problem because when the prosecuting police officers do not show in court, then the case, just about no matter what it is, is thrown out and dismissed. This is a problem, because it’s reported that over the span of the last three-plus years, Fulton County has had over 1,800 cases thrown out and dismissed due to the subpoenaed officer failing to show up to court to confirm the prosecution. This is a problem because 1,800 cases thrown out means 1,800 instances of court fees not being paid, which in itself is roughly around $250,000 of state revenue, not including whatever penalty fees, fines and bonds that guilty parties are required to pay if actually sentenced. This is a problem because cases as innocuous as traffic violations, as well as cases as severe as hit-and-runs, domestic abuse, molestation, and malicious violence, are dismissed without any punishment, because the appropriate officers fail to show up to court.
I find these statistics to be baffling sure, but at the same time, I can’t say that I’m entirely surprised. Atlanta’s a crooked city to begin with, and as much as I love this place and call it home, let’s face it, the place is corrupt, compromised, and completely run by greedy, misguided parties. The ineptitude of the police is about as surprising as Jodi Arias being found guilty of murder, and it’s just another instance of a city that continuously cries poor that really has fewer parties to blame than themselves for not capitalizing on such free-money streams such as collecting on court fees and fines.
Obviously, I’m no expert on law enforcement, but I have unfortunately been the recipient of court-ordered appearances before. It was my understanding back when these incidents happened, that the officers deliberately set aside dates in advance for their court appearances, and anyone they happened to ticket and order to appear in court would be summoned for these particular dates. And it’s not like they didn’t give people fair warning; it’s like when I got pulled over in North Carolina by Robocop in a November, he told me, and it was written on the ticket, that I was supposed to appear in court the following January. And when I showed up to court in January, there was Robocop in the box with several other officers, and the judge systematically went through the list and asked what we plead, and then we paid our court fees and were off on our merry way.
With no tracking or accountability measures in place, as it’s revealed in the article, Atlanta-Fulton County police clearly have zero care for punishing those who break the law. It’s like they’re content to stay on the streets and hand out tickets and court-orders, to prove that they’re doing their job on a daily basis, but they’re too lazy, negligent, or ambivalent to actually follow through in the court of law to make sure that these perpetrators are properly punished. And without true punishment, what’s going to stop these law-breakers from committing crimes again, with knowledge that they stand a very high chance of getting away with it again?