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Fire Chief Shot by Officers in the back will be Charged:


Sir Sam
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JERICHO, Ark. – It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

Payne ended up in the hospital, but his shooting last week brought to a boil simmering tensions between residents of this tiny former cotton city and their police force. Drivers quickly learn to slow to a crawl along the gravel roads and the two-lane highway that run through Jericho, but they say sometimes that isn't enough to fend off the city ticketing machine.

"You can't even get them to answer a call because normally they're writing tickets," said Thomas Martin, chief investigator for the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department. "They're not providing a service to the citizens."

Now the police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down," a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff's deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago.

"You can't even buy a loaf of bread, but we've got seven police officers," said former resident Larry Harris, who left town because he said the police harassment became unbearable.

Sheriff's deputies patrolled Jericho until the 1990s, when the city received grant money to start its own police force, Martin said.

Police often camped out in the department's two cruisers along the highway that runs through town, waiting for drivers who failed to slow down when they reached the 45 mph zone ringing Jericho. Residents say the ticketing got out of hand.

"When I first moved out here, they wrote me a ticket for going 58 mph in my driveway," 75-year-old retiree Albert Beebe said.

The frequent ticketing apparently led to the vandalization of the cruisers, and the department took to parking the cars overnight at the sheriff's department eight miles away.

It was anger over traffic tickets that brought Payne to city hall last week, said his lawyer, Randy Fishman. After Payne failed to get a traffic ticket dismissed on Aug. 27, police gave Payne or his son another ticket that day. Payne, 39, returned to court to vent his anger to Judge Tonya Alexander, Fishman said.

It's unclear exactly what happened next, but Martin said an argument between Payne and the seven police officers who attended the hearing apparently escalated to a scuffle, ending when an officer shot Payne from behind.

Doctors in Memphis, Tenn., removed a .40-caliber bullet from Payne's hip bone, Martin said. Another officer suffered a grazing wound to his finger from the bullet.

Martin declined to name the officer who shot Payne. It's unclear if the officer has been disciplined.

Prosecutor Lindsey Fairley said Thursday that he didn't plan to file any felony charges against the officer or Payne. Fairley, reached at his home, said Payne could face a misdemeanor charge stemming from the scuffle, but that would be up to the city's judge. He said he didn't remember the name of the officer who fired the shot.

Payne remains in good condition at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. He referred questions to his lawyer.

"I know that he was unarmed and I know he was shot," Fishman said. "None of that sounds too good for the city to me."

After the shooting, Martin said police chief Willie Frazier told the sheriff's department he was disbanding the police force "until things calm down." The sheriff's department has been patrolling the town in the meantime.

A call to a city hall number listed as Frazier's went to a fax machine. Frazier did not respond to a written request for comment sent to his office.

Alexander, the judge, has voided all the tickets written by the department both inside the city and others written outside of its jurisdiction — citations that the department apparently had no power to write. Alexander, who works as a lawyer in West Memphis, resigned as Jericho's judge in the aftermath of the shooting, Fairley said. She did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies want to know where the money from the traffic fines went. Martin said that it appeared the $150 tickets weren't enough to protect the city's finances. Sheriff's deputies once had to repossess one of the town's police cruisers for failure to pay on a lease, and the state Forestry Commission recently repossessed one of the city's fire trucks because of nonpayment.

City hall has been shuttered since the shooting, and any records of how the money was spent are apparently locked inside. No one answered when a reporter knocked on the door on Tuesday.

Mayor Helen Adams declined to speak about the shooting when approached outside her home, saying she had just returned from a doctor's appointment and couldn't talk.

"We'll get with you after all this comes through," Adams said Tuesday before shutting the door.

A white Ford Crown Victoria sat in her driveway with "public property" license plates. A sales brochure advertising police equipment sat in the back seat of the car.

 

And an update:

http://www.myeyewitnessnews.com/news/lo ... iNlQw.cspx

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - A man shot by cops inside a small town courtroom in Arkansas will soon be charged with battery on a police officer according to the West Memphis City Prosecutor. The shooting happened two weeks ago in Jericho.

Fire chief Don Payne was arguing a traffic ticket, and got into an argument with officers. One of the officers shot Payne in the back. West Memphis City Prosecutor Lindsey Fairley says none of the police officers will be charged.

 

Fairley says Payne went after officers, and the officers had every right to detain Payne.

 

Payne says he was not armed, and that the officer pushed him. That's when Payne says he shoved the officer back.

 

One of the police officers shot Payne, a bullet also grazed one of the officer's hands. Fairley says Payne tried to beat up the officers.

 

Payne has hired a lawyer. That lawyer says they haven't decided if they will file a civil lawsuit against the officer. Payne is still recovering at The MED.

 

Many in the town say the argument stemmed from what they call, “over the top traffic tickets.” City Prosecutor Fairley says he is not investigating the tickets, but says most have been dismissed because they were outside the town's geographical limits. Crittenden County Sheriff's deputies are investigating.

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7 so called "Police Officers" in the court room vs a very upset unarmed 39 year old and the answer is not to subdue him but for one of the "officers" to draw his/her weapon and shoot him IN THE BACK!. :nuts: And to put the icing on the cake the victim is being charged with battery of a police officer! Maybe its different down there in AR but I don't see how that situation called for the use of lethal force. How does a town with 174 people have 7 officers anyway? There are towns just up the road from me that have 5 to 6 times the population and don't even have a police force...the county sheriff patrols the town.

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Yea, I seen this story a couple weeks ago, did not see the follow up........ :eek:

 

Thanks for the update.

 

Well.......if by chance, one of the officers house were on fire, you know who will be standing out in the street laughing (standing next to a big red truck :roll: )

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Yea, I seen this story a couple weeks ago, did not see the follow up........ :eek:

 

Thanks for the update.

 

Well.......if by chance, one of the officers house were on fire, you know who will be standing out in the street laughing (standing next to a big red truck :roll: )

 

 

Actually maybe not.... read the story again... the state forestry service repo'ed a truck already.. bet the rest aren't in too good of shape...

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Yea, I seen this story a couple weeks ago, did not see the follow up........ :eek:

 

Thanks for the update.

 

Well.......if by chance, one of the officers house were on fire, you know who will be standing out in the street laughing (standing next to a big red truck :roll: )

 

 

Actually maybe not.... read the story again... the state forestry service repo'ed a truck already.. bet the rest aren't in too good of shape...

 

 

:doh: Missed that.

 

Well.......I guest they'll just all be watching then :rotf:

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I got bit by one of those cops while vacationing in West Virginia. And while writing me the ticket, he then goes into a lecture about how I'm gonna get more tickets buy guys just like him, in other small towns, because (not in so many words) I am a menace to society.... sitting there in my car with my wife and her family, spending our hard earned dollars in his town....never again! I live in a town of maybe 15-20000, and Id bet we don't have many more than 7 cops. Stupid!

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Yea, I seen this story a couple weeks ago, did not see the follow up........ :eek:

 

Thanks for the update.

 

Well.......if by chance, one of the officers house were on fire, you know who will be standing out in the street laughing (standing next to a big red truck :roll: )

 

He should pull up when the BS cop's house is toast and apologize for not making it quicker because he drove the speed limit and stopped for all lights and signs. :nuts:

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I grew up in a city with a population of 250 and we had 0 officers. Hell, we would be lucky to see a county car once a month. Coming from a law enforcement background I'm having a hard time reading this. At first I thought this was a joke....what a disgrace to those of us that really work hard to serve and protect.

 

:fs1:

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I grew up in a city with a population of 250 and we had 0 officers. Hell, we would be lucky to see a county car once a month. Coming from a law enforcement background I'm having a hard time reading this. At first I thought this was a joke....what a disgrace to those of us that really work hard to serve and protect.

Thank you for your public service ;) The law is pretty respectable around here, had a few bad melons about 10 years back that we got flushed out.

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That is unbeliveable. Ive seen and heard of some jacked-up things before with poilce officers, but that tops it right there. It sounds like they had been writing tickets outside of there jursidiction for awhile, untill the judge stoped that, how were they able to do that? :nuts: and why wouldnt the sheriffs dept. step in sooner? :rant:

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When I was growing up, my home town had a population of around 5,000 or 6,000 people. The police department had a chief, two full-time patrol officers, and one supernumery. There were two dispatchers -- the wives of the full-time patrol officers, who each had the department phone line linked to their home and a radio in the kitchen. Not a huge department, but it was perfectly adequate.

 

Those officers (and the chief) were GOOD cops. They went about the business of being police officers and didn't harass honest people for Mickey Mouse stuff. On the other hand, they didn't tolerate nonsense. I remember one of the officers investigating a report of a hunter, out of season, prowling on private land where the owner didn't allow hunting. He parked the patrol unit in our driveway, walked into the property from our yard, climbed a tree in full uniform to spot they guy, and then approached him. The guy tried to be a smarty-pants. Instead of just saying "I'm sorry, I'll leave," he gave the officer a line of "stuff." As a result, the intrepid nimrod walked out of the woods in handcuffs and got a free ride to the lockup.

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