Since Edward Snowden revealed himself as the NSA data-mining whistleblower, let’s talk about our civil liberties shall we? I mean, now that civil liberties are on everyone’s mind, it would seem that today is probably the best day to talk about government over-reach. However, instead of me discussing Snowden who is now on the run from the Feds somewhere out in Hong Kong, let’s keep it domestic and a bit closer to home. Yes, let’s look at the story of how one black man was arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) while having a 0.00 blood alcohol level.
Now as I mentioned last week, I could give a rats ass whether he NSA is tracking my phone calls, or even reading this site for that matter. As I mentioned then, as a black man in America there are more threats to my life, liberty, and happiness than a government spy program. As a black man — like all black people — I’ve always assumed that the Feds were keeping tabs on us. Hell, I think it has been this way since we stepped off the slave ships. But until now, it has never been confirmed. What I do know though, is that a lot of black folk have been subjected to random searches, seizures, and in many cases arrests by police officers. And in most cases, the only probable cause they need is for one of us to be driving. Yes, Driving While Back (DWB) though not the law of the land, is very real. That said, the following is probably the worst case I’ve ever heard.
This from wxyz.com:
SURPRISE, AZ – Jessie Thornton sleeps during the day and runs errands and works out during the night.
“My wife, she’s an ER nurse and works three 12-hour shifts, so I adjusted my schedule to be like her schedule,” Thornton told our Phoenix sister station KNXV.
The 64-year-old retired firefighter moved to a retirement community in Surprise, Arizona from Ohio.
Jessie says his late hours have put him in the police spotlight.
“I’ve been stopped 10 times in Surprise and given four tickets, it’s amazing,” said Thornton.
His latest incident with Surprise police officers prompted Thornton to hire a lawyer with plans to sue the department.
Around 11 p.m. Thornton, according to Surprise Police Department paperwork, was pulled over for crossing the white line in his lane.
“He (the officer) walked up and he said ‘I can tell you’re driving DUI by looking in your eyes,'” said Thornton.
The 64-year-old says his eyes could have been red because he had just left LA Fitness where he was in the pool swimming.
“I take my glasses off and he says, ‘You’ve got bloodshot eyes.’ I said, ‘I’ve been swimming at LA Fitness,’ and he says, ‘I think you’re DUI,'” said Thornton. “He (the officer) goes, ‘Well we’re going to do a sobriety test.’ I said, ‘OK, but I got bad knees and a bad hip with surgery in two days.'”
Medical documents show Thornton was scheduled to have hip replacement surgery two days after the incident.
According to the police report, the officer notes that Thornton does have a hip and knee problem.
Thornton said two other officers arrived and he conducted the sobriety test.
“At one point, one of the officers shined the light in my eye and said, ‘Oh, sorry,’ and asked the other officer if he was doing it right,'” said Thornton.
Thornton said he was then placed in handcuffs and told to sit on the curb.
“I couldn’t even sit on the ground like that and they knew it and I was like laying on the ground, then they put me in the back of an SUV and when I asked the officer to move her seat up ’cause my hip hurt she told me to stop whining,” said Thornton.
According to documents provided to ABC15 from the City of Surprise, Thornton was taken to police headquarters where he took a breathalyzer test.
The test, according to the police documents, came back with a blood alcohol level of 0.000.
“Yes, I do the breathalyzer and it comes back zero, zero, zero,” said Thornton.
While in custody, a “DRE” or drug recognition expert is called to test Thornton.
“After he did all the tests, he says, ‘I would never have arrested you, you show no signs of impairment,'” said Thornton.
The Surprise resident is right. The police documents show the drug recognition officer wrote, “I conducted an evaluation of Jessie, in my opinion Jessie was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
According the documents from the Surprise Police Department, the blood analysis showed no drugs were detected in Thornton’s blood.
Jessie’s car had been impounded and the MVD notified of the DUI charge.
“I then get this message that my license is being suspended and I have to take some sort of drinking class or something,” said Thornton.
According to the police documents, Thornton was later released to his wife.
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