14 Aug My Helmet Trial By TigerLily
I live in Nevada – one of 22 remaining helmet-bondage states. It’s no secret I hate to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle and I’ve gotten flack by the indoctrinated sheeple who still believe that helmets and helmet laws save lives. What a crock!
I used to persuade people that helmet choice is about liberty. But my research revealed that helmets can also contribute to accidents and death. I liken it to the world-is-flat theory as it pertained to the safety of sailors. If they sailed too far and didn’t return it was because they fell off the earth. If they returned unharmed it was because they didn’t go far enough to fall. But if the dead of that day could speak, they’d explain that their death was due to illness, storms, faulty ships, or starvation. Same with helmets. People swear that helmets save lives. How do they know? Because someone told them so. And government statistics confirm it. Never mind the number of motorcyclists that die despite wearing a helmet. But if dead helmeted motorcyclists could talk, how many of them would explain that their helmet impaired their vision or hearing – or that a strong wind caught underneath the rim of their DOT helmet to act like a parachute and cause them to lose control of their ride?
I could write scores of essays on what helmet laws have taught me just since I began my research a year ago. It’s taught me that our system is immoral – right down to the core. I’ve witnessed the agenda-driven corruption by every branch of government locally, federally, and levels in between. I’ve learned that our system is “beyond screwed.” My insight into this one little-ole, seemingly insignificant issue such as Nevada’s helmet law, is but one cancerous cell lost among the others within its malignant tumor. I now believe that the only “cure” for the cancer is the extinction of government.
Prior to understanding the principles of anarchy as described in this blog, I had resolved to fight the system with the Constitution. I became an activist, getting helmet tickets, videotaping bad cops, and annoying bureaucrats. My mantra then was, “I have nothing better to do than to exercise my rights.” But I’m beginning to understand the futility of it. I now understand that “rights” are as nonexistent as the Easter Bunny. This revelation depressed me at first as I went through the various stages of grief related to the loss of a cherished belief. But eventually the loss freed me up to focus on what might really help – exposing the truth. The truth is a beaming light to rid our society of the cockroaches that thrive in the dark. And I gleefully shine that light.
I’ve been detained by law enforcers five times for my choice of helmet. The first was an eye opening experience on June 10, 2010, when a female Nevada highway trooper, Angelina Lewis, came at me like a rabid pit bull wanting to chew my leg off. No ticket. Just some scary bullying to show me who’s boss. When I filed an internal affairs complaint and asked for the dash cam, guess what? The cam “wasn’t working.” Tax dollar down the drain on equipment that happens to malfunction when the CITIZEN needs it. You can bet there would have been no missing evidence had it been needed to prosecute someone that harmed a trooper. That June encounter was the most violent detainment – even worse than the time I was cuffed and sent to a holding tank for 24 hours for capturing my son’s arrest on video. Prior to that year-old encounter, I had only heard of run-ins between cops and motorcyclists. On some level I believed the stories. Yet like most sheeple, I found excuses to justify the tyranny. I questioned what it was about the bikers that CAUSED the bad reaction by cops.
Of the five helmet detainments, I’ve been cited twice. The first was by an LVMPD officer and I audio-recorded most of the encounter. Frankly, I was “trolling” for a ticket to get a story for a motorcycle magazine. I had already researched the issue to know that helmet laws are technically UNENFORCEABLE. I also learned that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that helmets are NOT to be used by law enforcers as “probable cause” to detain, much less to search and cite. But, as said by the man that recently set himself on fire in front of a courthouse, our government works off “a second set of books.” Never mind the law. Enforcers have their own set of rules protected by lawyers and judges. And that dubious protection is enabled by sheeple who vote for the tyrant and condone the tyranny – like I used to – and like I continue to catch myself doing.
On August 28th, 2010, I got my first helmet ticket by Officer Gibbs, a motorcycle cop. I asked him what it was about my helmet that he found objectionable. I recorded his statements:
a. “It’s not a helmet.”
b. “I’m wearing one.”
c. “It has to be DOT approved.”
d. “They [DOT] put an approval sticker on it.”
I asked him if he was sure DOT approves helmets and he said, “Yes. It says so on my helmet.” But he refused to let me look at that label. In fact, I wasn’t allowed to move or to look into my purse. I wanted to get a snapshot of him writing my ticket for my magazine. Silly me. At that time I didn’t know that officer safety trumps EVERYTHING especially the Constitution.
Officer Gibbs was quickly annoyed by my questions so he clammed up while writing the ticket and said, “I’m not gonna argue it out here. Go to court.”
So I asked to speak to his supervisor. Sgt. Emry came over on his motorcycle. I found out he was helping to run a DUI checkpoint about a mile from where I stood getting my helmet ticket. Unlike Officer Gibbs, the Sgt. allowed me to look at his helmet sticker. It said “DOT” – not “DOT Approved.”
To that, Sgt. Emry said, “It says on the box where we get them. They are DOT approved helmets.”
I knew that was complete bullshit, made up by an all-knowing cop to be spewed to a stupid girl wearing a silly helmet. But the Department of Transportation does NOT approve helmets. In fact, they don’t approve jack squat. On their website it says, DOT or NHTSA does not “approve” motorcycle helmets, thus there is no list of “approved” helmets. I couldn’t wait to get my day in court and educate Gibbs. That was nearly a year ago. A lot has happened since.
First off, I learned that I did not qualify for a public defender because the prosecution was not seeking jail time. However, I was warned that I had better show up to any and all hearings related to my citation or else: “FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR THIS HEARING WILL RESULT IN A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST AND SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE.” So much for the notion that my offense didn’t rise to the level of serving time.
Thirty days later, I attended my arraignment on September 27, 2010. There a judge asked me, “Did you bring your helmet with you?”
In my mind, I thought ….’Why? Do you have a laboratory underneath your robe to test it? And if you tested it you’d have to destroy it – and you do not have the authority to destroy my property.’ But of course, I simply said, “No.”
He said, “Too bad. We could have resolved this right now and it could have been over with. How do you plead?”
So I got a pretrial hearing for April 19th, 2011. At that pretrial a man announced to the masses something like this, “Okay people… listen up. You are all here for minor traffic violations. Today you’re gonna get to speak to a district attorney who is gonna offer you a deal. Here’s the deal. Whatever your charge is, you can plead no contest to a parking violation, pay $140, and go home. There will be no points and your insurance won’t be affected. If you choose NOT to accept the deal, then you’ll get a trial date and your fine could be more than $1000.”
The reactions by the defendants were varied. Many were relieved to get such a “great” offer. Some still complained that they didn’t have the $140. It was like a game of let’s make a deal. Behind curtain number one you could get off with paying $140. That was a sure thing. But behind curtain number two is either a complete vindication of a wrongful charge, or a fine of more than $1000 for NOT taking the deal. My own fine was $195 plus costs. So what a deal, right? I kept my own reaction to myself which was, “Fuck you! Can’t wait to see the cop in court!”
It was clear to me the court system is backed up and that the drones working the courts are possibly even more eager than the defendants to get the cases moved. After all, I was in a room with scores of defendants who had all plead NOT GUILTY – like me. When my name was finally called, I told the young district attorney – NO DEAL! She looked astounded, as if she couldn’t believe I would want to be bothered with a trial, as though I was a fool to gamble by selecting curtain number 2. So a trial date was set – August 11, 2011 – almost one year after getting the citation.
I just had my court date. I prepared a lovely opening and closing statement and a pithy list of questions to make my accuser look like the dumbass he is. I had pictures, audio, and video to demonstrate how – just one hour after getting that citation – I went through a DUI checkpoint wearing the subject helmet and was NOT cited by any of the dozen or so cops that lined the checkpoint. Even though I knew my efforts were going to be futile, I intended to ask the judge:
1. To find me NOT GUILTY,
2. To make the City of Las Vegas pay me for my costs and attorneys fees (this actually was done in District Court on an appeal of someone else’s helmet trial).
3. For a permanent injunction against Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to make those ass-clowns STOP detaining motorcyclists to inspect helmets.
I was psychologically prepared to be told to go to hell. To be found guilty. To be told to pay $1000 for daring to challenge a helmet ticket. I was prepared to appeal. I was prepared to be ridiculed by a judge like I’ve seen other helmet defendants get ridiculed by judges. I was prepared to take every financial, emotional, or psychological stone thrown my way by any of those elitist mongrels. But what I wrongly failed to consider was the very real possibility of what actually happened.
The bailiff in the courtroom announced that when the judge calls our name, we are to enter into the court area and stand inside a square that was drawn on the floor. He said, “There’s a reason for that but you don’t need to know why, you just need to do it.” I think it’s because there are video cams that are recording. But I thought to myself, “Fuck you, you totalitarian civil servant employee of mine!”
Judge Joseph S. Sciscento called my name and I stepped into that box ever so slowly so as to purposely annoy the bailiff who liked his courtroom to run like a military boot camp. The judge looked at the paperwork in front of him, shook his head a bit and said, “I’m dismissing the charge. Have a nice day.”
I stood there, caught by surprise. I should have at least asked… why? Did the prosecution elect not to prosecute? Did the cop fail to show up? But I said nothing. The judge looked a tad perplexed at my reaction. I bet he mostly gets relieved sighs when he dismisses charges. But I felt like telling him off. I could think of no profanity strong enough to reflect the rage I felt in the pit of my gut. What happened to my right to face my accuser? Oh yeah, rights = Easter bunny. No need for a cop to be FORCED to hear about their shitty enforcement of NRS 486.231 …the way bikers are FORCED to stay still, not move, and be ultra polite to them while they illegally write us up?
I posted a short complaint on Facebook about my charge being dismissed and got some comments. One friend said, “Yeah, it must suck to WIN. :)”
I posted back: LOL everybody. I don’t feel at all like a winner – I take it personally that I was “DISSMISSED.” As in – cast off, unworthy of further discussion. The only winner was the cop and LVMPD because each time we get ignored, it further emboldens them to violate us. No consequences to them. Not even the “threat” of having to face us in court. That’s what the dipstick told me – and I have it on tape. He said at the side of the road, “I’m not gonna argue it out here. Take it to court.” I did and was not given my moment to “argue it in court.” Fuck the system !! I’m off to find a way to sue the bastard even if only in small claims court – even if I lose. I’ll be damned if I allow myself to be thrown into the oven with “grace.” Fuck that – I’m giving my Nazi captor a black eye and scratch him in the eyeball or squeeze his nuts till they pop BEFORE he gets the “final” blow to force me to submit to that slave master and his plantation owner.
My mantra was, “I have nothing better to do than to exercise my rights.” Today my objective is to seize every opportunity to burden the system. It can’t collapse soon enough.