Letter to the editor: Traffic court is unfair

May 2, 2014 

On October 23, 2011, at approximately 1:45 a.m., I was dispatched to pick up a customer on New Bern Avenue. I called the number given to me by the dispatcher. It turned out to be a tow truck driver. He informed me that he had just towed a car to a repair shop. He informed me that it was closed and he did not know how long he could remain on the scene. I told him that I was on the way. He hung up before I could question him about the customer. My first thought was that I was picking up a lady with kids.

On the way to the address, I was stopped by a state trooper. The trooper approached my car from the rear on the passenger’s side and identified himself as Trooper C.P. Harris . He asked “Why are you driving so fast”. Without giving a any thought to his question, I started to tell him where I was going. He cut me off after about two words and asked for my license and registration. I cooperated and he went back to his car. He returned with a ticket. I took it and drove off. I continued to my destination and picked up and transported my customer, Mr. Joe Holder, to his home.

My court date was April 17, 2014. I found it amazing that I was asked a number of times, are you willing to agree to speeding at 69 miles per hour and it will not affect your driving record. You will have to pay an amount for fines and court costs. My answer each time was no. I got the impression that it was all about collecting money and not giving me an opportunity whether guilty or innocent to be heard in court. In this situation, I was willing to give up my time and not fall victim to the money grab.

After about an hour of dead time, my trial started which turned out to be a circus of injustice allowed by Judge Louis Meyer. The first question asked by the District Attorney of Trooper Harris led to him telling a lie (I felt if he lied about something that was totally unnecessary). He stated that “I said that I was picking up a man”. At the time of the stop, I had no clue to who I was picking up. This led me to question in my mind the validity of the ticket. I was not invited to view the information on the radar.

I took the stand. The first words out of my mouth were that he is a liar. Judge Myers stated that he misspoke and could not remember what happened because he stops a lot of people and that I should not refer to him as a liar. If I had lied under oath, I wonder what the circumstances would have been. If he didn’t remember what was said, why make a false statement that was totally volunteered. Trooper Harris lying under oath may not be considered perjury but can result, in my opinion, in an a court decision that will adversely affect the outcome. Judge Myers did not seem to have a problem with him lying.

Trooper Harris, Judge Myers and the DA (I do not remember his name but will have it for my next letter to the editor) are all compensated as a result of tax payer dollars. They are poor examples of what is expected of our legal system. I feel that every case involving Trooper Harris should be overturned because of his willingness to lie under oath. There are people out there that I feel are falsely charged and agree to pay fines because of the inability to miss time from work to challenge charges.

Two more comments:

1) The DA asked Trooper Harris how many tickets had he written over his career. He seemed to somewhat brag in his response.

2) The trial was over. I don’t know why Judge Myer asked “what was registering on your speedometer?” My response was that “I don’t look at my speedometer when I am driving”. I felt that the trial was over and that was the best answer to give.

My next court date is May 19 in Superior Court. I will be seeking common sense from a jury of my peers.

Ponce D. Moody

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