Traffic tickets as revenue source
Re “Cops told to defend all tickets,” Sept. 19
It seems rather clear that the Los Angeles Police Department policy requiring officers to testify in traffic citation cases — even when a testifying officer has no recollection of a specific case — is motivated by the need of the city to raise revenues. Hardly unusual. But it is unfair to the defendants, and even the officers.
Why can’t the city instead encourage officers in such situations not to appear at the trial? The city would save money by not having to pay overtime, and the defendant would win by default.
S. Kenneth Kawano
Your article says the LAPD wants officers “to testify to the best of their ability … and, in instances in which they cannot remember what occurred, must base their testimony on what they wrote on the citations.” What a field day for officers. They can simply write incriminating facts on the ticket, then claim at trial they have no independent recollection of the event, so what they wrote can be used to convict the defendant.
Allen P. Wilkinson