CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Sept. 15, 2022 — City police enforcement of the trucking law upon a black activist running for city council is an argument for her election.
Police on Sunday seized Marie Mott, calling her dead car light bulb “a crime” and citing her to court on charges of no proof of insurance and a “light law violation,” the latter among the city ordinances for commercial vehicles.
The city’s quick release of the 14-minute arrest video is an attempt by the Tim Kelly administration on East 11th Street to derail Miss Mott’s bid for city council. The detention and the video unwittingly make the case, however, for her being elected to a spot on the dais of a group that has refused to restrain cops under state law despite consenting to a 4-year-old administrative notice about mayoral police abuse.
Reporting at TV-9 and the Chattanoogan.com about the so-called “traffic stop” makes Miss Mott look hot-headed, and she is testy and riled and uses saucy profanity. But Miss Mott correctly states that the four to six cops involved are misusing the state trucking and shipping law to impose griefs disproportionately on blacks and the poor.
Miss Mott led roughly 20 protest marches in 2020 denouncing police violence and the slaying of George Floyd at the hands of a cop, and is a sharp critic of city government on many points.
She is being criminally charged, as the officer says, for what the mayor’s office calls an “economic violation.” Mayor Kelly, with a new age World Economic Forum-soaked One Chattanooga” theory, implied during his campaign that he intends to ease the harm of such encounters, an executive branch custom and usage since the late 1930s when the legislature enacted the commercial driver license law. The courts have ruled that once blue lights are turned on in a roadway encounter, the action is an arrest for 4th amendment purposes. State of Tennessee v. Gonzalo Moran Garcia, No. M2000–01760–SC–R11–CD, October 2003. But police claim generally that if a person is not put into the cage in the car and taken to the jail, that person is not arrested, merely “detained.”
The city has been under Tennessee transportation administrative notice since Feb. 20, 2018. The notice to which the city acquiesces makes transportation a category of car travel, and supports demands that Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55 and § Title 65 not be enforced by city cops ultra vires — or outside the scope, not within departmental statutory authority.
Traffic “stops” are an enduring claim of anti-Negro and racist Jim Crow local legislation backed by Democrats such as former mayor Andy Berke and Republicans such as Mayor Kelly.
“Ma’am, we haven’t been rude at all,” says an officer at the right-hand window of Miss Mott’s Xterra car. “Have I raised my voice? Have I raised my voice at all?”
“I’ve been dealing with the Chattanooga police department, man; I know my rights,” Miss Mott says. “I know my rights. Y’all whip around to follow me because my headlight’s out. You do this in the black community all the time. *** Your job is to solve violent crimes –”
“ — and traffic stops, yes,” the young cop says.
“No, actually, it’s not,” Miss Mott says, leveling a hand at the officer. “Title 55, under the state title, does not give you the right to do that unless I’m participating in traffic – commerce,” she says. Such an insight from one in the city’s political class is a rarity.
“It’s not a traffic violation if it went out while I was driving,” Miss Mott says. “How do I know it’s out if I’m driving and it’s the middle of the night?”
The officer says that cops usually give warnings and sometimes coupons for the fixing of the light under a new program by Mayor Kelly to reduce the friction and drag of the commercial trucking law upon poor people.
Miss Mott tells the officer that the police’s job is to “solve violent crime.” She says that 57 percent of what cops do are upon non-violent crimes.
“I see that this is the kind of stuff that happens in the black community all the time,” she says, as another cop car arrives. “One cop pulls us over, and five cops pull up – .”
The officer interrupts her. “Since you’re an activist, do you understand that traffic stops for police officers are the most dangerous for police officers because we don’t know who we’re pulling over?”
Miss Mott erroneously rejects this assertion.
“It is,” the officer insists.
This reporter has repeated stated to city council and given notice in the press that the city intentionally and knowingly puts officers in personal danger by misusing Title 55, by enforcing “a footwide law as if it were a yard wide,” with the extra two feet including people like you, ordinary private people using their cars for private purposes. The motor vehicle code is administrative law that lets the state and its agents enforce a commercial privilege system that exists in the motor vehicle and transportation field of business. Traffic arrests are more dangerous than domestic abuse calls, according to a police study.
“You all beat the s*** out a lot of people,” Miss Mott says. “You don’t know your Chattanooga history like I do.”
Many people she knows have been beaten by cops, she says, tased by the cops :and that’s during a traffic stop, and that’s outside the scope of what actually your job is for” under Title 55, she says. Cops under law have authority to enforce only those state law provisions adopted by city council by ordinance.
Miss Mott, a host Tuesday at 11 a.m. at NoogaRadio Network, makes oblique reference to the traffic stop reform project at 5:30 in Axon police video, a rare political person in Chattanooga to know about the need for reform, and to have considered it in some detail.
“Solve violent crimes,” she says. “Y’all are not stopping violent crimes. *** We’ve got shootings and stabbings going on. You all can’t do nothing about that. But y’all can pull people over in traffic stops.”