Police Ticket Guy Who Helped Direct Traffic After Traffic Light Failure; Then Leave Without Handling Traffic: Sometimes it seems that law enforcement is a lot more interested in enforcing the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. Via Radley Balko, we learn that police in Pasadena California showed up at the intersection of Fair Oaks and Huntington Avenues to issue a ticket to Alan Ehrlich. Ehrlich's crime? Directing traffic.
Apparently the traffic light went out, leading to backups of more than a mile. It was taking cars more than 30 minutes to get through. Ehrlich decided to help out -- grabbing an orange shirt and some safety flags that he had, and helped direct traffic, apparently clearing up much of the backup in about 10 minutes. It was about that time that the police showed up and issued him a citation. And... at no point did the police decide that maybe they should be directing traffic.
Amazingly, the police chief is defending all of this by saying that the force does "not have the man power" to staff someone there to direct traffic -- but they apparently have the staff to issue a citation to the guy who volunteered to help out.
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