I have been repeatedly informed by African-Americans in Chattanooga that as many as half of black people do not have their travel papers in order. Probably an even greater percentage are on highways and boulevards without the so-called compulsory insurance policy
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7
The driver licenses of black people are often revoked for non-payment of fines and fees, suspended for some violation or are expired. Some people such as Omerrieal Woods say they have never had a driver license and they are often in corporation courts under the charge of “driving without a license,” which is not a charge in the statute.
It is these people whom are the most desperate in Chattanooga and surrounding areas for relief of the sort I have supplied in our racial reparations project of administrative notice. Their plight is registered and treated with great sympathy by a federal judge, Alita Trauger of the U.S. district court, in Nashville. In her rulings against the state and its driver revocation law for nonpayment of fines, she says that the right of movement by car is essential for life and the deletion of that right hurts the poor and the minority the most.
She uses the terminology of commerce to argue effectively that the right to travel by car is an essential necessity for modern life, given the distances in Tennessee and the open spaces and the lack of public transportation.
The umbrella of ‘notice’
It is on the point of transportation that my administrative notice comes into play. What is transportation? What is travel?
The notice is an umbrella for those caught in the rain — for those snared in the acid downpour of police blue against the rainbow rights of the people.
My notice is a shelter for people who of necessity have to be on the road, even though their licenses are revoked, suspended or expired or “none.”
It is a remedy they can seize of themselves, since the information about the notice is public, readily available, and frequently discussed on two of the city’s nine press platforms.
I’m going to review the main points of a traffic stop for a person who is out of sorts with a State of Tennessee. My comments are useable by people involved in traffic stops in a limited number of jurisdictions. These are Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Red Bank and East Ridge. I have also put Dayton, Tenn., on notice, in a personal visit with the mayor. Gary Louallen. I have put Gov. Bill Haslam on notice as if March 5, and also his chief of safety, Bill Purkey. So theoretically the whole state is covered by transportation administrative notice by service to Nashville.
In a nutshell, the notice declares that law and court cases establish a distinction between travel and transportation and that travel is not subject to regulation, whereas transportation is. Transportation is the carrying of goods or people for hire, for profit, in the extraordinary use of the roads for gain. Because the government rejects the scope of the law, there is a unfixable conflict between the people and the state, and notice is a proper method of lococentric redress of grievance. (Remonstrance before the general assembly, as that by John Gentry, also is lawful and potentially effective.)
People who are in these jurisdictions have a defense against charges under Title 55 on “vehicles and motor vehicles,” and that is that the officer has no power by statute to seize or accuse him, and that he must respect his rights of due process. False charges and false arrest are due process violations, actions outside of legal authority, and done in bad faith.
What to say?
“Officer, it’s a great day and what is the emergency and how may I help you?” is my first recommended line, as suggested by Eddie Craig and his transportation script.
“Sir, I am traveling under the notice and I make no statement apart from my attorney being present.”
When you “travel under notice,” you’re counting on of the department having been notified that the authority of Tenn. Code Ann. Title 55 is upon commercial users. You are not a commercial user, but are a private traveler, a private person enjoying the people’s roads as a matter of right.
An officer who arrests you and exercises his discretion against you will be violating the statute. He will be violating it in bad faith. The notice deprives him of his defenses that he acted in good faith, he didn’t know about the legal limit of the law, and he didn’t tend to oppress you or violate your rights. Under the notice, he knows he cannot arrest you for a transportation infraction if you’re not involved in transportation.
You may have some rough going in the encounter. But later, you will be able to rectify things when you file suit against the officer personally, or against his employer for oppression and violation of constitutional rights and even civil rights.
So when you say, “Officer I’m traveling under the notice,” you are signaling to him that he had better check with his boss about the limits on his authority and the great area of liberty that you have and in which you are exercising the rights and immunities of communication, movement, whimsey, pleasure or of necessity.
To fortify my claim on this point at my next encounter with Chattanooga’s finest, I have a copy of the notice with me to give out as a courtesy to the officer. It is it “courtesy copy.” The corporation and his boss are under notice already, and as he may not have heard about it, the copy you hand him is a convenience and an act of grace in his personal favor..
Part 2 of your statement
The discussion about not answering questions touches on your rights in Chattanooga.
Cops do not read Miranda rights to hardly anybody, in violation of Chattanooga’s police department rules on on arrest procedures. What you’re saying is that you have been Miranda-ed already by yourself.
What you’re saying is that you will make no statement and give no information to make the job easier for the cop to nail you and get your help to convict you or press you into a plea bargain once he has inducted you into the judicial-industrial complex.
The main thing he wants to nail you with is your name. Your name — or a version of it — is in his state database, as you were at one time a licensee in good standing. If you have a revoked, rescinded, expired or suspended license — or none — his getting your name, John Smith, opens up your whole file, JOHN SMITH, and he will ask you in a friendly way to confirm your address and DOB.
If you give your name as John Smith, which is your true name, he will type it into his keyboard in his police cruiser and back will come the name JOHN SMITH. That is the party to whom the license was granted.
His look up a street address. Yes, you realize, that is still your mailing address and domicile. You will say yes. He will then say, “Sir, I’m charging you with driving revoked license and you are under arrest.”
Your cooperation has brought you into greater trouble than if you had simply stood your ground on the constitution and kept the barriers up, your protections strong.
If you stand your ground under the federal fourth amendment and the Tennessee constitution’s bill of rights ban on unwarranted searches and seizures.
If you cave in, your trouble is heavier than if you stand firm. For God’s people, Christ asks them to let Him carry their yoke of sin, so that they might take up His yoke, which is easy and light (Matthew 11:30). I suggest that the lighter burden in the matter of dealing with the officer is when you stand on your rights and make no statement, putting the entire burden of proof of guilt in the encounter upon the officer.
You under no obligation to make any statement whatsoever. Yes you’re going to be arrested. Yes, he will demand information from you so that he might call you up in its database and charge you with driving. If you are involved in commerce and driving without a license, you rightly and truly are in trouble.
But traveling by car or truck is not a crime if you’re not involved transportation. “Driving on revoked” is an offense if you are involved in a regulable activity
Have had clear your mind that you’re traveling to church is not regulable and you are using the road privately, as a private person, in no way involved in any commercial capacity.
Even if you know nothing about the law and very little about your rights, you should do as I do, and use the notice as a shield and umbrella. I intend it to be used by people who have merely heard about it, knowing nothing of the controversy over the notice as a reform or an argument.
You are in righteous, virtuous and good position to be exercising your rights. You are an innocent person. Have offended no one, you have hurt no one, you have not deprived anyone of his property or his health or his life. The charges against you in a traffic stop are under the lower standard on our constitution.
Maintain your integrity
Our constitution allows for an arrest only if a cop has witnessed you commit a crime or if there is a warrant for your arrest. Clearly you’re missing tail light is not a crime. But he has come at you out of the lower standard of Title 55 rather than a constitutional standard.
I think if you are courteous and respectful and maintain your ground, the officer may use his discretion in your favor. The cops in Chattanooga know about administrative notice, though I have told the city attorney that his ordinary defense in future litigation has been badly damaged or rendered impossible under the doctrine of notice.
These people in high places simply don’t care. Elected officials such as Jim Hammond and Mayor Berke and members of the county commission operate by custom and not under law. They’re not bound by the limits of the law, they pretend. Though Sheriff Hammond enforces statute, he refuses to read the statute and refuses to make any changes in his procedures to come into compliance with it. The same with Mayor Berke, who is an attorney.
In your traffic stop, you will fare worse if you admit to being a driver, admit to being an operator of a motor vehicle and then be shown to have been “driving on a revoked, suspended or expired license.”
You are better off sticking to your guns, maintaining your integrity, being an innocent and honorable citizen, one who has done nothing wrong, one who is enjoying his many rights as an American. Better to be aggrieved on the street and make your recourse later, then to let him nail you on the street by your admission and confession. Do not admit anything that injures you. Stand your ground.
The nine press platforms in Chattanooga include, in no particular order, Chattanooga Times Free Press, TV12, TV9, TV3, WGOW talk radio, Moody radio WMBW, Chattanoogan.com, Nooga.com, 92.7 NoogaRadio, Nooganomics.com.