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Project to end traffic stops by administrative notice — is it elitist?

Protesters shout from the steps of the Hamilton County courthouse in protests following the slaying of George Floyd. The city and county are under two administrative notices, warning of illegal acts by officers, and giving people a means of redress in court. (Photo David Tulis)

My wife, Jeannette, says that I’m difficult to live with and an elitist. I don’t believe that that’s true. And I don’t believe that I am too much of an elitist, part of the intelligencia, part of the upper crust of society — that group that makes all the decisions for the rest of us. 

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

I realise I have unusual interests and unusual gifts, namely law and justice and liberty. I also have gifts in media, writing and speaking. This combination tends to give me high ideals, like those developed in the scriptures for human society.

It is dawning on me why reforms that I am proposing are impossible to bring about. It is coming into view that remedies to curb and halt police abuse are not chased down and used. I am seeing how is that society is built and individual interest is pursued in such a way as to exclude what I propose as useful and proper law. 

When I gave notice to city Chattanooga 1,113 days ago (Feb. 20, 2018) and the county 1,104 days ago (March 1, 2018) I believed that word about the remedy to halt traffic stops as illicit would catch on and people would start using my notice in their defense at traffic encounters and in court. I thought African-Americans would pick it up as a tool in the struggle for civil rights, as they are called. I believed immigrant groups would take an interest in the notice to help defend newcomers to the U.S.

I don’t know that that’s happened. I’m pretty sure these things did not happen. I have been unable to get a return call from the NAACP. A local group dealing with Hispanic immigrants won’t return calls or give any favorable response.

Talisman for common folk?

I suspect very few people have used my administrative notice on the side of the road because it implies a whole chain of knowledge that people don’t have. I naively thought that people need not know what the underlying legal issues are to use the notice. I thought that people could simply “trust me” and say to the officer leaning over the partly open car window,

Officer, I am traveling under Tennessee transportation administrative notice, and I make no statement and don’t answer questions.

I thought that people could use the notice as a kind of talisman, or incantation, or a kind of magical phrase that would make a cop go away. Well, I believe that this hope is naive and fails to account for the spiritual and intellectual position in which they live.

And that for all the work done on this notice and all the reading done to prepare for it and to promote it, that it has failed as a project. And that project is to make the people freer and ultimately end the Jim Crow operation of seemingly limitless police power exercised ultra vires along the roads.

In other words, it was elitist. It was above people, beyond reach, too high, too complicated. It required too much knowledge to use. It required too much trust in the person who put the material into the public sphere and talked repeatedly about it.

What to do? I encourage you to learn more about it. Start by reading it and learning how the system of police roadway enforcement works. Then determine if you need it in your personal defense.
The Tulis Report is 1 p.m. weekdays at NoogaRadio 92.7 FM. Also Facebook.

This 20-page legal notice lets you fight back vs. illicit ‘traffic stops’ — sue for damages, have defense in your criminal case

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