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The LAPD is under fire for ticketing an elderly woman


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http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ma...-home-headlines

 

From the Los Angeles Times

She Has World at Her Not-So-Fleet Feet

The LAPD is under fire here and abroad for ticketing an elderly woman when she failed to make it across a street before the signal turned.

By Amanda Covarrubias and Cynthia H. Cho

Times Staff Writers

 

April 14, 2006

 

First, 82-year-old Mayvis Coyle got fined. Then she got famous.

 

She got a $114 jaywalking ticket and now people the world over know her story about why she thinks the motorcycle cop did her wrong.

 

Editorial writers from Sacramento to Scotland have rushed to Coyle's defense. Strangers in distant lands are rising to support her. Camera crews show up at her Sunland trailer unannounced, wanting Coyle to repeat the story once again.

 

And she doesn't even have a phone.

 

As Coyle tells it, she was doing her best to shuffle across Foothill Boulevard, with her cane in one hand, groceries in the other, when the light changed from "Walk" to "Don't Walk".

 

Enter an LAPD motorcycle officer, who gave her the ticket, which she is challenging in court.

 

Her case has become more than just a traffic dispute; to her supporters, it's about the rights of senior citizens and pedestrians everywhere.

 

"STICK YOUR FINE," Scotland's Glasgow Daily Record said.

 

The San Fernando Police Department got so many calls and e-mails from people angry about the ticket, it sent out a news release saying the Los Angeles Police Department, not the San Fernando cops, gave Coyle the citation.

 

Sitting outside her trailer Thursday, Coyle said she was stunned by the turn of events.

 

"This is the first ticket I ever got in my life for trying to cross the street," Coyle said. "I always try to obey the laws of the land."

 

Coyle lives alone in Sunland's Monte Vista Mobile Estates during the winter and in her hometown of Sedalia, Colo., in the Rocky Mountains during the summer. A retired hairdresser and onetime rancher, she's facing the media in her trademark orange straw hat and Indian beads around her neck.

 

Because her trailer lacks a phone, the park's office manager has been taking scores of messages on her behalf over the last week and showing TV news crews to Coyle's place.

 

An 80-year-old woman from Canada sent her a letter of support with a $20 bill. A representative from Ellen DeGeneres' talk show called Thursday, trying to book the great-great-grandmother on her TV show.

 

"I didn't want all this publicity," said Coyle. "But I'm not objecting to being used if it gets the lights changed and gets respect for the elderly. I think people can see I'm being sincere," she continued. "I'm speaking for all those seniors who can't get across the street."

 

It was Feb. 15 when Coyle was crossing Foothill Boulevard and Woodward Avenue after a trip to the grocery store.

 

Coyle said she was crossing the intersection on a "Walk" signal, but was only past mid-street when it changed.

 

That's when a motorcycle officer rode up and began repeatedly shouting at her, "You're obstructing the flow of traffic!" she said.

 

"I don't like being talked to like I'm a 6-year-old," she added.

 

Coyle said she tried to explain to him that she couldn't make it across in time because of her age, but he refused to listen.

 

"He should have gotten off his motorcycle and helped me cross when he saw me struggling," Coyle said.

 

But the Los Angeles Police Department said the officer saw her begin to cross the street after the "Don't Walk" sign began flashing, signaling it was about to change.

 

"While many people may look at that and say the LAPD should have a greater heart and should care more that this was an 82-year-old woman, our desire is that this 82-year-old woman, and all citizens of L.A., conduct themselves in a manner that is safe," said Michel Moore, deputy chief of operations at the department's Valley Bureau.

 

Moore noted that an elderly woman was struck and killed by a car in the area just eight days earlier.

 

LAPD officials acknowledged that citing Coyle for jaywalking has not been popular. The department has received a flood of cards and e-mails from Alaska, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and elsewhere.

 

Some protesters have mistakenly sent their missives to the San Fernando Police Department, a smaller agency that patrols the nearby city.

 

San Fernando Police Chief Anthony Alba said the angry letters have come from across the U.S. mostly from seniors.

 

One senior from Rochester, N.Y., wrote that he was "disgusted" and "astounded" by the citation.

 

A letter writer in the Los Angeles Daily News, which reported the story earlier this week, questioned why Coyle was ticketed when many immigrant rights protesters were not.

 

At Los Angeles City Hall, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel is calling on the city Transportation Department to reexamine how long the agency sets "Walk" signals.

 

John Fisher, assistant general manager for the Department of Transportation, estimated that Coyle would have had about 27 seconds to cross Foothill Boulevard before the signal began to flash. Some intersections such as those near senior centers are modified to give pedestrians more time to get across.

 

Fisher said his agency would study the intersection where Coyle was ticketed next week.

 

Greuel believes a more sweeping study is needed.

 

"We've had calls from Canada and all kinds of places," she said. "I think it's because everyone pictures their own mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle trying to cross the street and they have a picture of that."

 

Coyle is fighting her ticket in court. If she loses, the owner of her mobile home park gave her the money to cover it.

 

Friends at the mobile home park, however, hope she wins her case and that the incident forces the city to help pedestrians more.

 

"I think [she] may stir things up enough to get things done," said Darwin Benjamin, a retired stuntman who once doubled for Chuck Norris.

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It's one of the most insensitive stories that I've heard in awhile.......

Sure cops have a job to do but they often lose their cool and sadly this appears to be the case.

Also I believe it is a federal law that people with disabilities are given leeway.

So what gives with this LAPD cop?

 

But the Los Angeles Police Department said the officer saw her begin to cross the street after the "Don't Walk" sign began flashing, signaling it was about to change.

 

 

I say it's BS.........

Cops are maybe the biggest liars on Earth after politicians IMO.

:( :(

I don't say all cops are liars just most of them....

 

Why do I say that most cops are liars? (IMO)

Well I relate this story that was told to me as an example.

 

This cop from Texas was telling somebody that I know how he had transfered to the LAPD from Texas to be near his girlfriend in L.A.

Anyways at his home, he heard his dog barking so he looked out the window and saw his dog in his yard fighting another dog, while a neighbor women watched while holding a third dog on leash.

From inside his home through the window, the Texas cop saw that suddenly the neighbor women released the third dog to join the fight against the Texas cop's dog in the Texas cop's yard.

The Texas cop immediately got his dog and stopped the fight. Then he questioned the neighbor women, "Why did you let your dog go to join the dog fight?"

The neighbor women responded and said, "I'm a cop and that is not what happened. Your dog attacked both of my dogs. I going to report your dog to the animal control department and your dog will be put to sleep."

The Texas cop then showed his ID and fortunately he out ranked the neighbor cop women so that was end of it.

But this Texas cop went on to say, "Things are different out here!"

 

Sad but IMO cops do lie and if you have to fight a cop's story in court forget it unless you have collaborating witnesses to your story as the Judge always sides with the cop.

 

Good luck to this lady..........

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This is terrible. Oh, and I totally agree with you about cops, SuperAngels. Although, I think the kinds of cops you're talking about are not the majority. I argued with a Cop on Sobe once and basically told him he was stupid, but he was nice. He told me to calm down. But not in a threatening matter. So I did. He was a nice guy not to arrest me.

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"I hate cops because a story related to me by some friend and one negative cop story."

 

Please.

 

Without cops you have anarchy. If you don't understand how this works, I suggest reading some Hobbes and learning about egoism and the state of nature.

 

You know, I support police. If anything, I hate ignorant people.

 

The question is, are you against local law enforcement, or this lady getting a ticket? The articles contain a story about an unfortunate incident involving one senior citizel and is not an indictment of all police officers.

 

Also, the cop's "story" is usually well-documented on the ticket and on video camera's in the police officer's own automobile, etc. They have checks. If anything the police want people to trust them. It's not like they're a bunch of random vigilantes out to get their kicks busting innocent people.

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"I hate cops because a story related to me by some friend and one negative cop story."

 

Please.

 

Without cops you have anarchy. If you don't understand how this works, I suggest reading some Hobbes and learning about egoism and the state of nature.

 

You know, I support police. If anything, I hate ignorant people.

 

The question is, are you against local law enforcement, or this lady getting a ticket? The articles contain a story about an unfortunate incident involving one senior citizel and is not an indictment of all police officers.

 

Also, the cop's "story" is usually well-documented on the ticket and on video camera's in the police officer's own automobile, etc. They have checks. If anything the police want people to trust them. It's not like they're a bunch of random vigilantes out to get their kicks busting innocent people.

 

 

So the question is how much do you hate yourself? LOL

The LAPD do not have video cameras in their patrol cars, I wish they did.........

And the cop in question was on a motorcycle, (please learn to read).

 

Further I stated:

Sure cops have a job to do but they often lose their cool and sadly this appears to be the case.

 

I only posted one story that I personally know, I have many stories about cops and can research the internet for many more. I don't hate cops as they reflect and are from the general populace which is not saying much.

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most cops are undereducated, power abusing, alcoholic a-holes

 

however, they do suit a much needed purpose

 

in this instance I think it is unneccesary to ticket - although helping her across the street and giving a friendly reminder to only cross when you know you can make it would be in order

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"I hate cops because a story related to me by some friend and one negative cop story."

 

Please.

 

Without cops you have anarchy. If you don't understand how this works, I suggest reading some Hobbes and learning about egoism and the state of nature.

 

You know, I support police. If anything, I hate ignorant people.

 

The question is, are you against local law enforcement, or this lady getting a ticket? The articles contain a story about an unfortunate incident involving one senior citizel and is not an indictment of all police officers.

 

Also, the cop's "story" is usually well-documented on the ticket and on video camera's in the police officer's own automobile, etc. They have checks. If anything the police want people to trust them. It's not like they're a bunch of random vigilantes out to get their kicks busting innocent people.

 

 

So the question is how much do you hate yourself? LOL

The LAPD do not have video cameras in their patrol cars, I wish they did.........

And the cop in question was on a motorcycle, (please learn to read).

 

Further I stated:

Sure cops have a job to do but they often lose their cool and sadly this appears to be the case.

 

I only posted one story that I personally know, I have many stories about cops and can research the internet for many more. I don't hate cops as they reflect and are from the general populace which is not saying much.

 

I did read your article and understand a motorcycle doesn't have a camera on it. You're missing the point.

 

However, I guess, by your rationale, because I think YOU'RE an idiot, it means ALL Angels fans are. Guess that's sound logic.

 

Most people who bitch about cops are mad they got a ticket for doing something wrong. I understand, they're not my favorite people when I get speeding tickets, but if I hadn't sped I wouldn't have gotten it, so it's my fault. People who don't commit crimes, in most cases, have nothing to fear from the cops or no reason to bitch.

 

most cops are undereducated, power abusing, alcoholic a-holes

 

 

Any data to support that claim?

 

I agree with the rest of your post, though.

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yep - tons of firsthand experience

 

i'd say a good 85% of the people I know who became cops have zero college background and were very poor student in HS - a lot of them are failed athletes or those who had a few other options

 

I know many cops, i'm even friends with a few - there are some very good ones out there, some who love the work, want to make a difference and uphold the laws

 

but there are many others who are there because it's a good paying job, they train you and you get a chance to run amock and have authority

 

i know cops who have given themselves sobriety tests before going into work, I know cops who get off on harrassing highschool classmates, over half the cops I know have openly bragged about cheating on their wives

 

and the thing is, most cops won't argue about this - not the good ones anyway - they get pissed because it gives them a bad name - they usually say it's exagerated - although from my experience it isn't

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However, I guess, by your rationale, because I think YOU'RE an idiot, it means ALL Angels fans are. Guess that's sound logic.

 

 

By your logic, I would believe everybody from Columbus, Ohio is an IDIOT just because you're one.

(As I never said all cops are liars, I say "now" most cops are liars)...........

I've got a right to my opinion, regardless of your thoughts, fabrications and posts.

 

And actually I don't think everybody from Columbus, Ohio is an IDIOT. One of the current Angels radio play by play men is from Columbus, Ohio. His name is Terry Smith, he used to do the play by play for the Yankees AAA club over there.

 

When Terry Smith first started with Angels, he was very "stiff" sounding on the air. But now he has injected more personality in his routine. Terry Smith is really a hard worker as he does part of the pre-game show, the post game show and attends all Angels functions.

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However, I guess, by your rationale, because I think YOU'RE an idiot, it means ALL Angels fans are. Guess that's sound logic.

 

 

By your logic, I would believe everybody from Columbus, Ohio is an IDIOT just because you're one.

(As I never said all cops are liars, I said most cops are liars)...........

I've got a right to my opinion, regardless of your thoughts, fabrications and posts.

 

And actually I don't think everybody from Columbus, Ohio is an IDIOT. One of the current Angels radio play by play men is from Columbus, Ohio. His name is Terry Smith, he used to do the play by play for the Yankees AAA club over there.

 

When Terry Smith first started with Angels, he was very "stiff" sounding on the air. But now he has injected more personality in his routine. Terry Smith is really a hard worker as he does part of the pre-game show, the post game show and attends all Angels functions.

 

Fabrications.

 

At what point did I "fabricate" anything? Can you point that out, please? As for the rest of your argument, it has NOTHING to do with the issue. You don't even get the analogy. MOST is still too strong. I'm guessing it would be impossible for anyone to know any more than 1% of the police in the country just by knowing all the cops in their county.

 

Personal accounts are well and good, but how many police officers can you really know? I mean, I worked at Red Roof and all 5 of the guys who worked their were "stand-up" guys. I mean, they never told me about cheating on their wives or anything, but that's irrelevant to them as police officers. You can be a bad husband and a good cop.

 

I just love how American teens are so afraid and hateful of the police.

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personal integrity is important to the job - especially if you've ever been to a cop bar and wonder why none of these guys get DUIs on their drive home

 

as I stated - they suit a purpose, but most I know are aholes - i personally know around 20-30, and I'm good friends with 2 and get along with about 3 of the others - the rest are all piles of crap imo

 

if you look at some of the things that go to the appelate courts for all states, it's rife with police officers abusing their power and duty - everytime you pick up the paper or walk down a city street you can see examples of police not acting right

 

 

 

also, i'm far from a teenager

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personal integrity is important to the job - especially if you've ever been to a cop bar and wonder why none of these guys get DUIs on their drive home

 

as I stated - they suit a purpose, but most I know are aholes - i personally know around 20-30, and I'm good friends with 2 and get along with about 3 of the others - the rest are all piles of crap imo

 

if you look at some of the things that go to the appelate courts for all states, it's rife with police officers abusing their power and duty - everytime you pick up the paper or walk down a city street you can see examples of police not acting right

 

 

So should we disband the whole enterprise because of a few bad apples? How do we make it better? What kind of system can be set up to end this?

 

I'm interested to hear your opinion on this, then.

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i think it's more than a few bad apples - provide better and more consistent training - make the job more tiered where you have to be able to test into certain positions and get leadership that will shift off the old boy network a little bit, which is the hardest part

 

right now cops police their own - they don't like anyone in their business and they take care of each other - i understand and respect that to a degree, you must be able to depend on your fellow officers - however, the public has a right to demand better than this and be provided better access & information - as it stands right now you have too many good people getting harrassed and too many bad people being handed loopholes due to shoddy police work

 

each time a case goes through trial, appeals and then a supreme hearing due to a breach of basic procedure, it costs all of us tax payers a lot of money - unfortunately a lot of society is of the mindset of the ends justify the means - you caught a bad person, who cares what you had to do to get this

 

i don't think you blow it up - but you need to find a way to shift the culture to one that is more responsible - i think by ensuring that only those who have integrity, intelligence and a history of solid performance can climb the ladder, the leadership can shift - other than that it's pretty complicated to change a culture that is so imbedded, i can only wish I had the intelligence & clout to pull it off

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Sounds like a good plan. We don't have nearly those types of problems in Columbus with our law enforcement. Sure, you get the negative cop stories, but those sell papers. Good news almost never does so you're not going to hear about every good thing the cops do. And for every bad cop story, we have (goes to Dispatch and counts) 10 arrest stories (and ther wasn't a bad story in the paper today). That's been MY experience.

 

How do you know all these cops, again?

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a lot of it is from highschool - a lot through the couple guys I actually call friends, others from a coworkers boyfriend (who is a cop) and my friends sister used to be married to a cop

 

you meet them at social functions, barbeques, bars, etc - they are pretty tight knit

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most cops are undereducated, power abusing, alcoholic a-holes

 

 

Any data to support that claim?

 

I agree with the rest of your post, though.

 

I also agree with the rest of his post. And while I do not agree that most are acoholic a-holes, I do find some to be power abusive but I can not say the majority are. However, with a fair certainty, I can say that most are undereducated. I find it fairly obvious since it is a low paying job that is fairly easily obtainable and respectable, many people who do not have other options turn towards the police line of duty. Sure there are a lot who do it because they have always wanted to be police officers, but I would not say that is the norm. I have three fire fighting friends from HS and all dropped out of college because it was too hard for them and became firefighters because it served as the most respectable job for them.

 

According to statistics published on this report: Taylor & Francis Group, only 1 percent of local law enforcement agencies require a four-year degree; and 75 percent have no formal policy linking education with promotion.

 

Also, in 2000, only 21 percent of the non-supervisory and detectives on the police force held a college degree, leaving 79% without while 32% in a supervisory position held a degree and 68% did not according to Arlene Dohm and Ian Wyatt's report.

 

I think this kind of justifies PhxPhin's claim that most of the police is undereducated. An overwhelming majority of the force does not have a college degree. However, besides that point I do agree with you on almost everything else. People have to pick and choose their battles on the police subject. For such a low paying job, most of them do a very good job of keeping us safe and keeping the country from going into a state of anarchy. As you said, it is the bad apples that get all of the press, not the good ones.

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it's really not that lowpaying - many make between $40-$75k a year - it's never going to make you rich, but you can live very comfortably on a policemans salary and their benefits are pretty good as well

 

 

Low paying for a job where you could lose your life and are expected to deal with sh*t other people don't want to.

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it's really not that lowpaying - many make between $40-$75k a year - it's never going to make you rich, but you can live very comfortably on a policemans salary and their benefits are pretty good as well

 

 

The only ones making the big $75k salaries are 1811 federal agents and detectives in only a handful of big cities, for the most part your average beat cop is grossly underpaid for the work they do.

 

yep - tons of firsthand experience

 

i'd say a good 85% of the people I know who became cops have zero college background and were very poor student in HS - a lot of them are failed athletes or those who had a few other options

 

I know many cops, i'm even friends with a few - there are some very good ones out there, some who love the work, want to make a difference and uphold the laws

 

but there are many others who are there because it's a good paying job, they train you and you get a chance to run amock and have authority

 

i know cops who have given themselves sobriety tests before going into work, I know cops who get off on harrassing highschool classmates, over half the cops I know have openly bragged about cheating on their wives

 

and the thing is, most cops won't argue about this - not the good ones anyway - they get pissed because it gives them a bad name - they usually say it's exagerated - although from my experience it isn't

 

Your experience is a rare one and most definitely not the norm.

 

These days, it's almost impossible to be hired without at least 2 years of college. Just finished 4 years in the military and did 3 tours in Iraq and want to become an officer? Too bad, you still need 2 years of college for most big departments to even be considered competitive. Wanting to advance through the ranks or be promoted to supervisory positions? You need a 4 year degree, among other things.

 

PBSO is planning to hire something in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 new sheriffs this fiscal year, and do you know how many applicants they're going to get? Several thousand, at least. It's not like in the past where anyone can be a cop, it's very competitive nowadays.

 

I interact with officers on a daily basis and all of them are intelligent well rounded people. Your stereotypes couldn't be any farther from the truth, what's next, are you going to make a donut joke?

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BS

 

The Fan just provided a ton of stats that say just the opposite

 

Also a lot of it has to do with location - maybe in places like Palm Beach County you can get a better demographic, but do you seriously think that small towns are holding out for the highly qualified guys who want to come live in the middle of nowhere and do police work with their college degrees?!

 

how about places like phoenix, vegas and other massively growing cities - you want a job as a cop, move here and you will have one within a week, pretty much no questions asked - starting pay is around $35-$40k in most places

 

and if my experiences are not the norm, then why does such a large portion of the population feel the way I do?!

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and if my experiences are not the norm, then why does such a large portion of the population feel the way I do?!

 

 

I don't think they do.

 

You haven't used statistics. You've used the internet and what others like you think. That's not scientific and that's not numbers. Of course kids pretend to hate the cops. It's non-conformist and cool.

 

I'm not saying you're entirely wrong. But that "I hate cops" attitude, frankly, sucks. Because no matter how much you hate them, distrust them, whatever, they're the first person you call when your house gets robbed, etc.

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I don't necessarily hate them, but think the job draws a certain type of person and then molds that certain type of person and molds them into something else

 

once again, this could just be a product of the circles I run in and you really need to get that teenager BS out of your head - i am not, nor do I associate with teenagers or angst ridden individuals

 

there is also no supporting documentation to go against what I was saying about their perception - i'm sure a study could be found, but I don't feel like doing the leg work right now

 

it's not that I hate the title of police officer, it's that most police officers I know are complete and utter scumbags who spit in the face of the laws they are sworn to protect

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and if my experiences are not the norm, then why does such a large portion of the population feel the way I do?!

 

I don't think they do.

 

You haven't used statistics. You've used the internet and what others like you think. That's not scientific and that's not numbers. Of course kids pretend to hate the cops. It's non-conformist and cool.

 

I'm not saying you're entirely wrong. But that "I hate cops" attitude, frankly, sucks. Because no matter how much you hate them, distrust them, whatever, they're the first person you call when your house gets robbed, etc.

 

So, how many people have a good rescued by the police people story to relate?

Most people's encounters with the police are completely negative.

 

Sure when I get robbed, I notify the police but it's not for hope of being rescued and getting my property back. It's for insurance, tax deductions, documentation and paper trail reasons.

 

And sometimes the police will not file a theft report, or try to influence you not to file a theft report. The police have their own agenda and it does not help their political image if crime statistics rise in the community.

 

I completely encourage everybody to be cautious in dealing with the police as they have a gun and authority to detain you if neccesary. Just common sense.........

 

:hat :hat

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