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Failure to Signal

James Jahar Perez was killed after being pulled over for 'failure to signal' - I would like to know how many white people have been pulled over for 'failure to signal' in the last year, vs. people of color.
Wasn't the PPB supposed to be compiling data on the race of people involved in traffic stops? Where can this information be found?
Do as I say... 30.Mar.2004 18:16


"Failure to signal" being such a crime and all, with that death penalty attached, I was amazed to follow behind a PDX police patrol car today in traffic.

I watched the guy make 2 lane changes and 4 turns, and he failed to signal on each and every one.

Should I have made a citizen's arrest?

& Failure To Come To A Complete Stop 30.Mar.2004 18:29

Den Mark, Vancouver

Cops have many neuroses & psychoses. One of these is obscessive-compulsive disorder. Cops really believe that turn signals need to be used all the time. No matter that they really aren't needed unless other cars need advance warning of a maneuver. I wonder what the situation was with Mr Perez. For example, if a person turns right after stopping at a stop sign, what possible need is there to tell any other driver about that turn if it's executed correctly. There is none. BUT! The rule's on the books, so cops are obscessed with it & are compelled to enforce it. Pure mental cretinism. I bet that if there were only one civilian driver in an entire city, cops would enforce that rule. Cops love rules, because enforcing them is POWER, & cops love POWER! The "complete stop" bullshit is another such rule. Some drivers are in fact skilled enuf to know when a rolling stop is sufficient, like when nobody else is even within sight. BUT! The rules's on the books. So cops enforce it, no matter what. POWER! I assume that cops were once hall monitors in school & completely loved the role. "Do you have a hall pass?" So, hall monitor jason sery, now all grown up, physically, at least, stops James Perez for failing to signal a turn & kills him. If that doesn't qualify jason sery for a private room in a mental hospital, what would.

failure to signal 30.Mar.2004 18:49


irrespective of the race / cops issue and just concentrating on 'traffic enforcement' for the moment,

I have to disagree strongly - from personal observation - with Den Mark's claim "Cops really believe that turn signals need to be used all the time."

not only do cops NEVER use them properly,

neither do 80% of drivers on the road in the United States of America (which further points up the absurdity of the Po-Po's claimed policy in this particular incident).

if everyone got a ticket or citation for all of the misuse of / failure to use turn signals that occurs daily in this country, municipal budget coffers, courtroom time, and perhaps jail cell occupation would all soar tenfold.

and especially relevant is the 'driving while black' issue raised by Ed Harley - I would INDEED like to know how many white people have been pulled over for 'failure to signal' in the last year, vs. people of color.

I Agree 30.Mar.2004 19:17

Den Mark

I was being hyperbolic about saying "all the time". Cops enforce rules when they feel like it, when they're bored, when they need to justify their shift, when somebody annoys them, like people of color. I agree. It would be interesting to know the stats. I also assume, to be fair, that a few cops KNOW that some of the rules are stupid & in fact do rightly overlook their violation. I'm just angry & being hyperbolic.

I've got very political stickers on parts of my rear window & was pulled over once because the cop said i couldn't see out of that window. I glared at him & said that i will decide if i can see out of that window & that i CAN see out of that window & what about trucks & vans & sports cars which have windows with total size smaller than the uncovered parts of my window & just what is the exact minimum square-inch area required & that i am incapable of turning my head 180 to utilize the total window anyway, & so on. He grumbled & went away. I think he just did not like my leftist stickers, & i told his supervisor that when i called to complain. I haven't been stopped again. It occurs to me that i was lucky that this happened in Vancouver. Otherwise, i might be typing this while dead.

They'd never pull over a WHITE driver... 30.Mar.2004 20:33


I encounter people who don't signal all the time. It's hell when your cycling because sometimes they slam on the breaks when you are least expecting it. The cops where I live (Cincy) refuse to anything about dangerous drivers unless it's a black person. Then OHHH GOD- they'll pull them over for farting. No wonder Timothy Thomas was killed. Sounds like things aren't better in the PDX.

Endless profiling 30.Mar.2004 20:49


"Laws" against failure-to-signal,rolling stops,visibility,etc.,exist solely to provide an excuse for the cops to pull over hippies,black people,the poor, Mexicans,any disenfranchised group.This is why conservatives resist any liberalization of these codes.

I was stopped around Burnside and 7th one day.I asked the cop what the trouble was and he said he pulled me over because they "pull over everybody in that neighborhood." I expressed puzzlement as I did not see massive roadblocks on Burnside,with lines of cars stopped.He immediately started to sneer and said he could've stopped me for the bumper stickers on my back window or "for lots of stuff." I then asked him if he could tell me what other violations that I was guilty of so that I could correct them and be in compliance.He would not tell me.Yes,that's correct,he refused.He obviously doesn't want these code violations corrected.They're there for a reason.

The police mien in this nation has gone insane.It started with the 80s and Reagan militarizing all the police departments in the country(ok well it probably started a lot longer ago than that-anybody got some cool links?)The development of the police state has gone hand in hand with the assault on the New Deal social programs and thereby,on the poor. Of course-if you starve the people,you better have a bunch of tough motherfuckers to control those people.

I suggest,for the safety of dissidents everywhere, be VERY careful of the police,Portland or otherwise.

Failure to signal - you should lose your fucking license. 30.Mar.2004 22:20


As somebody who drives, I find that failure to signal is just one sign exhibited by shitty drivers. If they pull your ass over for it (and they almost never do) then they're doing a good job. Turn signals exist so you can let other people know where you're going to aim your death machine next.

It's not that difficult to signal your turns and lane changes. It really helps out with road safety.

around here you're lucky 31.Mar.2004 03:30

if drivers are even watching where they're going

Not to excuse cop violence, but Portland has some of the worst drivers in America. Do they even have Drivers' Ed. in high schools here? Do you have to take a test to get a license?

Failure to Signal ? 31.Mar.2004 08:04


What a joke. Hardly anyone in Portland uses turn signals.

Hey, Anon 31.Mar.2004 08:34

Den Mark

Hey, "Anonymous". Go with my exact example. Tell me why a turn signal is needed for a right turn after a stop at a stop sign. If you have right-of-way & the car in back of you is also stopped, what's the reason for the signal. To say "Hi"? There is no reason! It's a stupid rule. Turn signals are for when a driver's maneuver NEEDS to be signaled to other drivers. I use signals, always, when they are needed. Or, let's get extreme. What if it's 3am, & NOBODY else is around. Who would see the signal. So, obviously, it is NOT necessary to use turn signals all the time. I never said they are never needed; i said that they aren't needed all the time. They are not needed all the time, but a cop can still stop you. That is fucked!

PDX Drivers 31.Mar.2004 10:04


I will have to agree with the poster above. I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the DMV tests. Rarely do people signal when it is actually needed, forget speed limits, rudeness and inattentiveness is pervasive.

To Den Mark 31.Mar.2004 10:22

Portland Cyclist

If I am coming up behind a car stopped at a stop sign on my bike, I damn well want to know whether he is planning on making a right turn or not. Unexpected right turns by cars cause most serious cyclist injuries.

re: To Den Mark 31.Mar.2004 10:57


"Unexpected right turns by cars cause most serious cyclist injuries."

...reason #2 why you shouldn't pass on the right.

to goatlove 31.Mar.2004 13:07


"...reason #2 why you shouldn't pass on the right. "

the bike lane is usually on the right, cars have to drive through the bike lane to make a right turn, so yes, they need to signal for a right turn.

Signaling... 31.Mar.2004 13:48


...is required by law and is a prudent thing to do to let others in cars, on bikes or on foot know ehat the heck you're doing. Having said that, the police response to a failure to signal is a different thing altogether.

If you signal all the time... 31.Mar.2004 14:00


If you signal all the time, even at 3 am when no one's around, and even when you think no one around you needs to know you're turning, you will always use the turn signal at the right time, and you won't even have to think about it. Thus you will never practice faulty judgement that could cause harm to others.

If you only use the turn signal when you think it's necessary, you are bound to make a mistake at some point. You are lucky if your mistake causes no harm. But no one is always lucky. And someone else has to pick up the slack for you... as in the bicyclist behind you has to slam on his brakes because you didn't do what you were supposed to do. But you probably don't even notice when that happens.

re: to goatlove 31.Mar.2004 14:22


Just so it's clear, I'm not trying to say that cars *shouldn't* signal. I'm saying that cars often times *don't* signal, giving cyclists yet another very pragmatic reason why passing on the right is a bad practice.

And fwiw, passing a car while in the bike lane is not really "passing on the right," despite the fact that the bike lane is generally to the right of the standard lanes.

self-ticketing cars 31.Mar.2004 14:34


I agree that turn signals should be used all the time. Turn signals are how drivers communicate their intentions to the rest of the world. Doesn't really matter whether individual drivers consider it necessary or not, turn signals have to be used consistently in order to establish a baseline so other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can predict what's going to happen in advance and maximize their own safety.

I suggest self-ticketing cars. If drivers don't signal, the car racks up a five dollar ticket; same for running red lights and excessive speeding. Eventually, if the fines are not paid, the car just won't start up again, pending a trip to court with check book in hand. Not only does this free up the police to pursue more dangerous felons, it eliminates their ability to profile drivers, thereby preventing hot-headed road-ragers from getting shot.

Nevermind 31.Mar.2004 17:53

Den Mark

My comments have obviously not been understood. My point: IF NOBODY IN THE WHOLE WORLD IS AROUND THEN TURN SIGNALS ARE NOT NECESSARY. Put another way, rules are not absolute verities, but the bicycle nazis found something to gnaw on. It seems rather clear that if i'm at a stop sign & want to turn right & a bike is to my right that i will signal or better yet defer to the bike. Of course, many many bikes just plow thru stops, as if they were not stops, but i watch out for their asses. Damn! Brief posts are not complete treatises, people! Let me further illustrate. Freeway max is 70mph, let's say. If i'm taking somebody to hospital, i will try for 100mph. Note, i said "try". Rules are NOT absolute. That's my point. RULES ARE NOT ABSOLUTE!!! An absolutist approach to the turn signal thing led to a death Sunday, for fuck sake. RULES ARE NOT ABSOLUTE!!!

RE: Original Posted Query - Racial Profiling 31.Mar.2004 18:07

anybody find the information?

"Wasn't the PPB supposed to be compiling data on the race of people involved in traffic stops? Where can this information be found?"

Other profiling 31.Mar.2004 20:02

CRC 2003-X-0009

My IAD investigation lasted 7 months, past the required deadline. A week or so before the investigation ended, I was followed by a Tualatin cop down Tualitin-Sherwood Rd. leaving Taco Bell about 2 a.m. The police officer follwed me for about a mile without pulling me over. Instead, he followed me into my apartment complex where I parked my car in my parking spot. I got out of my car and the cop told me to "come here". He accused me of speeding and said that he was going 80 to catch up to me. The only reason he pulled me over is because he ran my plates and saw that I had been arrested for resisting arrest. He called for backup where the other cop wanted to know what happened when I was arrested for resisting arrest. I said, " I Don't want to get into it." I was standing outside in the wind and rain for about 15 minutes without ever being cited for speeding. The officer told me to keep my hands wqhere he could see them. My food got wet and ruined. Maybe I should have suied for that. It's sad that police make judgments on people due to race, color, or background. It's even more sad that they continue to shoot and kill un-armed citizens.

Den Mark is a Shitty Driver - Careful out there in Portland! 31.Mar.2004 21:35


It's clear that you only use a turn signal when you think you need to. That's poor driving. Why go the speed limit if there's nobody else around? Why not shoot somebody or loot a home if there's nobody else around? Just because you don't see anybody doesn't mean they're not around. Just because you think you're alone you cannot create a temporary lawless zone. Pedestrians stepping into the crosswalk, after you make an unsignaled right turn sure must appreciate you. I kick cars that do that if they get close enough to me.

I use my turn signal religiously. I was in my parking garage, and found myself using my signal to turn into my parking space. Clearly, this is absurd, but it's just a habit.

Maybe the officer who shot this poor fellow was way out of line, but maybe after getting pulled over this person was swearing, making sudden movements, and presenting himself as a possible threat to the officer. If you get pulled over and proceed to flip out on a cop, physically, I would be very surprised to find you in pristine condition afterwards. If you are calm, non-threatening, and attempt to make sense and use rational judgment when dealing with the cops you have very little to fear from them. However, if you get in their face, screaming 'I know my rights' (which you may or may not) don't get your panties in a wad when he maces you, kneels on your skull, cuffs your ass, and throws you in the pound. Stay calm and the cop does too. Get nervous or violent and the cops usually do too. Is this big news all of a sudden?

Would you have the cops just allow the person being detained to run the show? Why have cops at all then? Let's just live in the hills and roll around in the mud all day.

If you are calm, the police are not 31.Mar.2004 22:22

I had my rights violated

The Portland police don't like it when you know your rights. They will show you and tell you that. That's not an excuse to kill somebody or jack somebody up. They are different than other police departments. The police in the UK don't even carry guns, yet they still have a big drug problem and are nice and personalable to citizens on the street. The difference is that Portland police don't like citizens. Things need to change in our town. What can we do?

You hated me too, but not as much as I hated you.

Anonymous 31.Mar.2004 22:23

sounds like a


This isn't a troll place, buster! Scram! Go elsewhere!

Um, if you don't agree with Anonymous 31.Mar.2004 22:48

Why don't you post an argument?

This troll business is so juvenile and insulting to intelligent people, no matter what side of which issue they are on.

to 'Why?' - 31.Mar.2004 23:13


he's one of the more insidious kinds of trolls - gradually inserts himself earlier in the discussion with a few "hey, ya looky here I agree with that" style comments -

then finishes up with his most recent:
"However, if you get in their face, screaming 'I know my rights' (which you may or may not) don't get your panties in a wad when he maces you, kneels on your skull, cuffs your ass, and throws you in the pound. Stay calm and the cop does too. Get nervous or violent and the cops usually do too. Is this big news all of a sudden? Would you have the cops just allow the person being detained to run the show? Why have cops at all then?"

does 'Anonymous' sound like a progressive or an activist to *you*, "Why don't you post an argument?"

the sound of one hand clapping... 31.Mar.2004 23:48


Ya know, when you've got some buzzcut dickhead with an attitude and handcuffs demanding that you get out of your car for the third time this month for no more compelling reason than he needs you to feed his poor starving ego by shaking in your boots for a little while... you get to a point where you just want an explanation. It's a sunny day. You're just trying to go to the store to get your kid some bubble gum and a soda and then go finish your day with him, and this prick wants to run you through some song and dance because you look like an easy target and he has the "authority" to do so.

Well, fuck that. If cops didn't harass people so much (as they were obviously doing in this "routine traffic stop" with James Perez) and give people grief and bullshit so often, interrupting their otherwise pleasant or shitty day, then perhaps folks would be less inclined to freak out and get pissed about getting pulled over or questioned. If people didn't have to worry about having some K9 unit called in for "backup" so it can "alert" on the scent of the pizza shop across the street so you can sit on the curb, red-faced, waiting for the cops to decide whether or not they want to detain you for further questioning since you obviously ate the cocaine the dog now can't seem to find, then perhaps they wouldn't feel like cops were abusing their power or using it for their own self-gratifying ends.

Why should cops expect respect, trust, and cooperation from the everyday citizen when so many our encounters with them are premised on abuse, degradation, and fear. Oh, wait... they don't *have* to expect it, because if you don't comply in their very precise way, then they just kill you. And it's your fault.

why do the PPD caze up at routine traffic stops?.... 01.Apr.2004 00:14

because the person is black? Or because they pose a threat?

I think it's because the PPD is militarized, and they think of everybody as criminals and always guilty of something. So why not arrest them, or shoot them. After all, they IAD and Robert King to get their back. They get to investigate themselves.

"Because" 01.Apr.2004 00:18


Looks like Goatlove managed to do what you couldn't, or wouldn't. She made a post that argued against some of the assumptions made by anonymous.

No anonymous doesn't look like a progressive or activist to me, but I didn't see any sign here that said only progressives and activists are allowed. And even if there were a sign, who would be the one to determine who qualifies and who doesn't? Someone who would rather yell "troll" than engage in dialogue?

If you let people express their opinions, then figure out how to argue against them, if that's what you want, you might get a little smarter. Yell troll and dismiss people and you stay in your dark hole of ignorance. And you certainly don't teach anyone around you anything.

Why don't you people pull your fuckin' head out of your ass 01.Apr.2004 00:54

and stop bitchin about nothing

I think you getting off the subject.