Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Crackdown in Macon

Posted by Maggie on December 3, 2007

It’s not uncommon for a city or county to “crack down on crime” for the benefit of PR. In Macon, there was Operation Season’s Greetings 2. The reporter tags along, letting the officers riff a la Cops about the difficulties of their jobs. And what are the adventures on this crackdown? Let’s see, we’ve got a seatbelt violation (the befuddled driver is confused as to why it takes so many cops to pull him over), an outstanding warrant, a false ID. Their tactics are typical, going around to groups of people asking for ID. In some neighborhoods people would be horrified, but these are most likely the kinds of neighborhoods where this is all too common.

I understand the purpose of these special patrols. Sometimes a simple police presence in a neighborhood can go a long way. But as a defense attorney, it’s infuriating to see people stopped for no legal reason. Those who understand their rights–that police can’t stop or search without some reason–are often arrested for asserting their rights. Arrests in these cases usually come because someone is stupid enough to allow themselves to be searched. (Sure enough, it led to a set of 7 arrests in this article.)

But it seems the Macon PD is pleased with their efforts and the public can read the headline and feel better.

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