Monday, June 26, 2017

St. Anthony, Part Two

As I mentioned in the previous post, the primary purpose of the Saint Anthony Police Department is revenue collection. If you ask them, they'll give you the "serve and protect" story you get from most police departments, but as a practical matter it's really about the speeding tickets. Because St. Anthony provides police services to three different communities, it employs a larger force than a town its size typically would employ. And to pay the freight, writing tickets is a big part of the job.

We see St. Anthony cops all the time in our area. The main road to the south of our neighborhood is County Highway 93, which is known as County Road D in Ramsey County, which becomes 37th Avenue NE once it crosses into Hennepin County. County Road D is technically in the jurisdiction of New Brighton and Roseville, but becomes the jurisdiction of St. Anthony once you cross Highcrest Road. A screen shot from the map shows you how it works:

The main drag

As a result, it is common to see squad cars from all three communities on the road. The Shell gas station in my neighborhood, shown at the far top right of the map above, is a popular hangout for cops from all three areas and you can often find a St. Anthony squad car in the parking lot, even though the station itself is in New Brighton. If I stop for gas in the morning on my way to work, there's almost always a St. Anthony cop or three sitting at the counter in the window. I would wager Jeronimo Yanez was one of those cops in the window a year ago. Cops from all three departments might pull you over for a speeding ticket at different times, although for the St. Anthony cops, there's more money to be made about three miles to the south, on Larpenteur Avenue. And that's where we'll pick up the story next.


R.A. Crankbait said...

The local police are increasingly becoming tax collectors with guns (of course, the IRS is armed now, too). But the cops can charge, convict and fine you on the spot. This type of "tax" falls heavily on those who lack the money, time or inclination to keep all the little things right on their cars. I have no doubt driven with tail-lights or brake lights out; I've always had to notice this myself - I've never been pulled over for it. Do some people garner more of this type of attention? It's a workable hypotheses that could be easily tested.

Thanks to the diligent investigation of Mr. Castile (a diligence not extended to Ofc. Yanez's history), we learned that he had more than 50 similar violations in his record. While this is not honor student territory, it certainly falls well short of the "thug-life". Especially since we must assume that in those 50-some interactions with the constabulary, he had never before pulled a gun. Hmmm.

Of course, this "shit" is nothing new. The unfavored folk have always collected a disproportionate amount of attention from authorities, who have collected (or tried to collect) the tribute from them.

Gino said...

In CA, there isn't any money in fix it tickets, but there is a certain bully factor involved that cops just love to do.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I'm very curious about what you're writing here. I lived closed by (at the seminary), but I was... ahem... cloistered there and really didn't get out much except to see Faith over at her salon.

Bike Bubba said...

RA, it's worth noting he'd been pulled over 50 times, yes, but obviously that did not correlate to enough convictions to get his permit pulled. One would wonder if this--along with the THC found in his blood/system--would indicate that a person isn't really particularly bad, but simply doesn't see fit to follow a lot of the "little rules".

Doesn't excuse his death, of course, but there's something worth looking into there that might just save a life or two going forward if we get good answers.