It is always upsetting to see people get thrown in cages for crimes where there was no victim. It is equally upsetting to see people wrongfully accused of these same victimless offenses, who had no clue they were in danger, getting caught up in the aggression and brutality of the legal system that we live under.
Recently in Utah, a police officer was fired for framing innocent people for victimless offenses, and now these people have come forward filing a class action lawsuit against her.
According to Yahoo News:
“A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper and her superiors alleging that she filed false DUI charges during her career. The department fired Lisa Steed in November for alleged misconduct related to her duties. Attorney Michael Studebaker, who is one of the lawyers leading the class-action lawsuit, says he has been contacted by at least 40 people claiming Steed wrongfully arrested them on DUI or drug charges.”
“Culture of corruption. The stories are just rampant,” said Studebaker, who filed the lawsuit Dec. 14 in District Court in Salt Lake County.
One of the stories came from a man named Michael Choate, who says that officer Steed pulled him over for speeding with his wife in the car, lied about how fast he was going and then arrested him for a DUI when he was sober. Later the charge was reduced to having an open container of alcohol in the car after a blood test showed that he was not drunk. Despite proving his innocence he was still forced to pay $3,000 in extortion fees to get his car back, and his wife was left on the side of the road with no way home.
Choate is one of at least 40 people who have been wrongfully imprisoned by this same officer, and their testimony is backed up by dashboard camera evidence. There was even one person who she tazed for being drunk and refusing to go to the police station, then it was later discovered that he was sober. Her lawyer is claiming that she is basically brain dead and had no clue what she was doing , but seeing that she was named “Trooper of the Year” because of her arrest record it is obvious that this was no mistake.
Steed herself has admitted in the past that she did not follow proper protocol while administering a DUI check. At a court hearing in May 2012, Steed admitted that, while she was administering a blood-alcohol test on Theron Alexander March 2010, she removed her microphone in order to perform an unauthorized action.
An attorney representing Alexander told ABC News last year that Steed’s actions could call all her cases into question:
“The cumulative facts may well have a significant ripple effect across every case she’s touched,” Salt Lake City attorney Joseph Jardine said in March. “This could become the basis for overturning multiple convictions in the past.”
The very fact that this much power is put in the hands of police is a very serious problem. There shouldn’t even be DUI and drug laws to begin with, their true reason for existence is to provide an excuse to violate people’s rights to privacy and property. If you think this sounds radical, Jeffrey Tucker made an excellent case for the abolition of DUI laws in a recent editorial.
In his article he explained that:
“Doing away with the specific charge of drunk driving sounds radical at first blush, but it would put the focus back on impairment, where it belongs. It might repair some of the civil-liberties damage done by the invasive powers the government says it needs to catch and convict drunk drivers. If the offense were reckless driving rather than drunk driving, for example, repeated swerving over the median line would be enough to justify the charge. There would be no need for a cop to jam a needle in your arm alongside a busy highway.”
As for Lisa Steed She is currently being investigated by the FBI.
J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.
You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com