Police in this tiny Alabama town suck drivers into legal ‘black hole’

The town of Brookside, Alabama holds municipal court once a month. The courtroom and the parking lot are packed with people. Police must direct traffic before the 1 p.m. court session starts.

Ramon Perez came to court last month ready to fight the tickets he’d been handed by Brookside police, including one for rolling through a stop sign and another for driving 48 mph in a 40 zone.

He swore he’d seen the cop from a distance and was careful as he braked.

“I saw him and we looked eye to eye,” the Chelsea business owner said. “There’s no way I was going to run that stop sign.”

When he got to court Dec. 2, he saw scores of people just like him lining up to stand before Judge Jim Wooten, complaining of penny-ante “crimes” and harassment by officers. He saw so many people trying to park in the grassy field outside the municipal building that police had to direct traffic.

He figured there was no point.



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