The monarchy approach has not been working for quite some time. If anything, it makes people feel pushed closer to a breaking point. People are fed up with government overreach on all levels. If elected officials haven’t noticed that, they are not paying attention to their constituents.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Louisiana is a tight-knit community. When disaster strikes, people are there for each other. Neighbors offer to help remove trees, cook for each other, let those without electricity take a warm shower. Some are spending the day helping friends and family across town then coming home at night to work on their own homes. Thanks to the curfew, being a good neighbor could be criminal behavior. We are receiving reports of people being pulled over simply because they worked until dark before driving home.
Who Are Officers Stopping?
A parish wide curfew with intent to keep the good guys and their stuff safe seems noble. However, a curfew assumes guilt. How are officers deciding who to stop? A curfew not applied evenly across the board, is profiling. How many are being stopped when they have done nothing wrong?
We’re gonna have our deputies use their discretion. If you’re going to work, no problems. Going to make sure your mother is okay, no problem. You have a business to run…maybe you’re tying to get gas…we understand that. We are very considerate of that. – Sheriff Ard
Citizens for a New Louisiana submitted a public records request but was told Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is short staffed at this time.
Is the Curfew Keeping You Safe?
Of 26 curfew violations reported in Livingston Parish on Saturday, September 4th, only 2 had anything to do with looting. How many of the arrests were people pulled over without probable cause? Is this curfew really saving anyone from looters? Control is often disguised as protection. Sadly, many have fallen for it. One Facebook user recognized an issue many fail to see.
The constitution gives us the right to travel freely without being stopped and searched by govt. It’s scary how many of you thank the govt for encroaching liberties and violating our rights.
Protection at What Cost
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither. – Ben Franklin
Without the curfew in place, would the same people have been pulled over? Would the other charges stick if the person was pulled over without probable cause in other instances? There are laws in place that cover theft, drug possession, violence, or anything they claim the curfew is protecting you from. People should not be so eager to accept driving after dark as criminal behavior. This is a crime that carries a sentence.
In the event of an emergency declared by the parish president pursuant to this Chapter, any person or representative of any firm, partnership, or corporation violating any order, rule, or regulation promulgated pursuant to this Chapter, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or confined in the parish jail for not more than six months, or both.
According to the 4th Amendment, officers should not even ask to search the vehicle without reasonable suspicion. If someone is stopped for a curfew violation the officer can check for outstanding warrants. Unless there is reasonable suspicion or something is in plain sight, the officer should conclude business. This means either arrest the person, write a ticket, or let them go.
People are being stopped for driving after dark then booked after a search of their vehicle. Then, according to a post by the sheriff, left to sit there. By law your arrest without a warrant requires that a court review the facts of your arrest to determine if there are grounds for it within 48 hours.
You will go to jail and you will sit there until we are able to get you out. We have a lot of stuff going on right now, and I don’t have time to deal with that. – Sheriff Ard
Emergency Order First
Why do all levels of government turn to emergency order first? Immediately after the hurricane, parish officials rushed to get emergency orders out and issued a burn ban for “dry conditions”. Between orders granting the government absolute power and blatant dishonesty, people no longer feel they can trust their elected officials. We do not need emergency orders for things we already have laws against.
Emergency orders are taking away freedom in the name of safety. We do not need emergency orders for things we already have laws against.
Don’t just sit there, do something!
Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution.