Who or What is in Control of a STOP Sign?
My Defense of Failing to Obey Traffic Control Device
Your honor, I am not guilty of failing to obey a Traffic Control Device (STOP sign) at the one-way intersection of Kerslake and Stark Street because the traffic that is subject to giving preference to (the east bound traffic) in order to avoid danger of collision by authority of ORS 801.440; defining Right of way, did not exist due to a road closure by Multnomah County Road Department. This road closure was in force from May 6th to October 31st (5 months, 3 weeks). The day of this incident took place on July 23rd, two and a half months into the road closure.
I contend that while the road closure was in place, there was, in effect, no intersection and therefore no right-of-way in force. What resulted from the road closure was a temporary removal of a one-way intersection to a simple two-lane road without interference from intersecting traffic. There was no intersecting traffic during the road closure. When one is approaching the corner of Kerslake and Stark St., you are traveling on a downward slope of an estimated 15 degrees and coming into a turn of approximately 135 degrees. Needless to say—an extremely sharp right hand turn. Everyone who is concerned about defensive driving is making this turn naturally and instinctively with the break pedal depressed and only as one comes out of the turn is the foot removed from the break pedal. If not, the driver would easily swerve into the oncoming lane. I am confident that deputy White can confirm that my turn without stopping did not have me controllably driving into the oncoming traffic lane.
I submit the following:
Exhibit B — Drawing of types of intersections
During the road closure the very reason for the TCD, hence the name, Traffic – Control – Device, is to control my vehicle. Why? So that I would give right of way to the preceding oncoming traffic on Stark Street—which did not exist for over five months. Therefore, my vehicle proceeded from Kerslake Rd. to Stark St. in a lawful manner according to ORS 801.440; defining right of way.
Furthermore, not only did I move in a lawful manner, but I was in complete compliance with the purpose of the STOP sign according to ORS 811.265 (what I was cited for) and 811.260; Sec. (11) (Read ORS 811.265 first, then ORS 811.260... “A driver approaching a stop sign shall stop...”) The Oregon Revised Statute clearly states not only the letter of the law, that a driver stop when approaching a STOP sign, but it also delineates the purpose or spirit behind the STOP sign, which is, to prevent “an immediate hazard.” That is accomplished by, (1) view the approaching traffic and (2) yielding right of way. Unless Oregon drivers understand the purpose behind a given a law, then the State of Oregon and its law enforcement have placed a burden upon itself that it will never be rid of and will side-track the civil government from accomplishing its primary task of protecting life, liberty, and property of its citizens. This observation then begs the question. What is the lawful purpose of all traffic laws?
The lawful purpose of that STOP sign is the protection of life, liberty, and property of all drivers on the road. That is the purpose of all traffic laws. The purpose of traffic laws is not to regulate people, though that is the current state of affairs. The final objective of the STOP sign is not to stop drivers, but simply the means to the desired end of public safety. Roadway safety is what law enforcement is after.
And the very reason the State of Oregon bears the “sword” is to execute punishment on those who practice evil to diminish that safety. It is evil to diminish the life, liberty or property of another driver on the road. Why is that evil? Because these three individual rights of life, liberty, and property come from God as the supreme Sovereign in the earth—which make these rights unalienable. That is why law enforcement is out there, to see that those who would harm the life, liberty or property of another suffer the consequence of their behavior, because that evil behavior is disruptive to the peace and order of the community. In contrast, police officers now compel performance—no injured party is necessary. It bears repeating, police officers now compel performance—no injured party is necessary. In support of my presupposition, I submit...
Exhibit C—The Sheriff’s Code of Ethics
Ignorance on behalf of the general populace of the purpose or spirit of laws, leads to greater and greater burden upon the shoulders of our local, county, and state government to police otherwise law- biding citizens.
Exhibit D — Multnomah County Courthouse Jail & Patrol Unit
In reality, my behavior that is being called into question in this court room of violating a man-made violation rather than a God-given law, is a small example of the people once again making individual contribution to advance the solution to Oregon’s civil problems. If the people are the problem—then the people have the solution. I say again, if the people are the problem—the people have the solution.
This leads to the logical question: Whose life did I harm, whose liberty did I violate, and whose property did I damage? Upon presentment of the individual or individuals who suffered loss due to my behavior, I will make restitution and make the hurting parties whole again, twice over.
Please, your honor, I implore you, that you not conclude that I have disrespect for the Oregon traffic laws. On the contrary, the very case I am making for exercising liberty when the specific circumstance makes provision for it, as in this case with a road closure and the ultimate purpose of the STOP sign, I affirm that TCD’s are necessary and good for the orderly flow of traffic so as to prevent or minimize “immediate hazards” as declared in the Oregon Vehicle Code. I am simply making the plea for the liberty to exercise to what is considered by most as common sense.
My Defense of Illegal Parking
I am not guilty of Illegal Parking for the following reasons: (1) I responded to deputy White’s
visual signal of flashing lights and following close behind my vehicle that I bring my vehicle to a stop, (2) The entire immediate area is clearly marked, Illegal Parking. If committing the violation of illegal parking is definitely the issue, as cited, I would of continued to drive until there was an appropriate parking area. I would have driven for approximately two miles until I came into the town of Springdale. Before that, the entire shoulder along Stark St. and the Historic Columbia River Hwy is a NO Parking – Tow Away Zone. Isn’t it likely thought, that if I had continued to drive instead of immediately obeying deputy Whites visual signal, I would be standing before you defending those actions?
I would like to submit for the courts records, why I was cited for Illegal Parking in the first place. I have already spoken on the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind the ‘what.’ The first ‘what’ is the STOP sign, and the ‘why’ is the protection of life, liberty, and property. Now this second ‘what’ of Illegal Parking is most crucial in understanding ‘why’ I received a citation for this violation.
My Defense of Interfering with a Peace Officer
Allow me to recall the events as they transpired, of which I took notes of while I was sitting in my vehicle under deputy Whites care and control. After handing me an Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint for failure to obey a TCD, he asked me if I had any questions. I said “no,” and deputy White returned to his vehicle. However, while engaging in an initial reading of the citation, I did have a question come to mind. Naturally, I stepped out of my vehicle to ask him my question. In response deputy White commands me to get back in my car—he says—for his own safety. Now if deputy White is highly concerned about his safety over against mine, then why of all common sense did he not remain in his vehicle while I stand at his driver door with the hopes of getting my question answered and be on my merry way? I walked to the rear of my vehicle and asked him why all the intimidation? I am virtually dumbfounded, and my heart is pounding as I attempt to process in split seconds what is happening before me. I am being made to feel like a criminal for approaching an officer of the law. I understand—eluding a police officer is a crime, but now approaching one is a crime or offense or violation as well. Please show me the law that says so.
I said to deputy White, “I would like to ask you one question.” He refused to speak with me; he said I can ask in court. Then he commands me to leave immediately, under the pretense of a “lawful order.”
He tells me, “I’m giving you a lawful order!” Keep in mind, this is all transpiring at a fairly quick pace and I am trying to process what is taking place at this moment. What deputy White perceives as perhaps disrespectful, disobedient or even a threat to his safety, in reality is my attempt of the noble task to think and reason and draw conclusions before I make a final decision before a deputy Sheriff. He tells that I better leave now or else he will arrest me. In utter amazement at what I just heard, I asked, “On what charge?” He responded, “You are parked illegally in a NO PARKING Tow Away Zone.” He then proceeds by saying that I have five seconds to leave. He puts his fist out in front of me and counts off, one..., two..., three..., four..., five. He then grabs my hand, turns me around and places handcuffs on me; places me under arrest and take me to the downtown jail for booking and fingerprinting and detained for four hours. While handcuffed in his vehicle, he searches my vehicle without my consent and has it towed away as it is now “considered prisoner property” which a violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which declares: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (my vehicle is an effect) against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” And the 5th Amendment, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. In other words, without a warrant from this court of justice and due process from a court of law, no property can be taken without consent of its owner. And yet even the Sheriff’s Code of Ethics states: “I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land.” I just quoted the supreme law of the land. Where was the obedience demonstrated in this incident?
To top it off, deputy White cites me an Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint for the crime of Interfering With a Peace Officer according to ORS 162.247, which states: A person commits the crime of interfering with a peace officer if the person, knowing that another person is a peace officer: (b) Refuses to obey a lawful order by the peace officer.
Let’s look at this supposed lawful order. He told me to leave immediately; that was the order.
First of all, I understand lawful orders; I served 12 years in the United States Army. When I enlisted in the Army I took an oath where I solemnly affirmed quote, “I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform code of Military Justice” end quote. Soldiers are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors. Is deputy White my superior?
And perhaps more pointedly, Do I owe deputy White unlimited submission? Let me be clear on this point—I do owe submission and obedience to civil authorities and the judicial system, but that obedience and submission is not unlimited. I do owe submission and obedience to law enforcement— insofar as that law enforcement is lawful and just. Never do I recall agreeing to complete loyalty to the Oregon State Corporation. I do declare however, that I will remain a loyal law-biding citizen of the Oregon republic, governed by the rule of law, not the rule of men. Deputy Whites order was an on-the- spot rule of man. But with whole heart, I affirm The Sheriff’s Code of Ethics; it is an inspiring and noble document.
At the time, I was arrested for the crime of refusing to obey a lawful order. Which was, “Leave in five seconds,” essentially saying, “I will not listen to—nor answer your question.” Is this an example of keeping the peace? I approached deputy White in a most courteous and peaceful manner, and yet he is a peace officer. Is commanding me as if I am a child or a dog, a demonstration of keeping the peace? I think not. Yet even in the Sheriff’s Code of Ethics I read: “I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor...”
So I ask again, where is the lawfulness of deputy White’s order for me to leave immediately? My conclusion: it was not lawful. For an officer of the county to enforce unlimited submission and obedience to verbal commands, without the expressed written authority from a body of law is a usurpation of power; the officer in that moment has moved away from keeping order and peace and has become an instigator against order and peace because it has denied the inherent right of the people to govern themselves by living in liberty under established law—the very reason for civil government— to preserve, protect, and defend—individual liberty for all. People need to be allowed to govern themselves under the law.
I will further make the point by demonstrating that the only lawful action deputy White could have taken is to issue me the citation for Illegal Parking. According to ORS 810.410 entitled Arrest and Citation by Enforcement Officials, which simply states: (3) “A police officer: (a) Shall not arrest a person for a traffic violation.” The Oregon Vehicle Code cites Illegal Parking as a Class D traffic violation according ORS 811.560 and ORS 153.018. There is no expressed authority to arrest me for Illegal Parking?
And let’s keep in mind the following: At what point did I commit the violation of Illegal Parking? When deputy White ordered me to leave? Had I left immediately, no citation for illegal parking would have been issued, for he gave me that opportunity. Why wasn’t cited for Illegal Parking when I first pulled off the road? Well of course there is an exemption as officer pursue the course of their duties. But it became illegal when deputy White decided it was illegal. Now we have the rule of man at play here by elevating yourself above the law, which leads to tyranny. You have removed yourself as lawful authority to illegitimate authority—which is to be resisted at all points for the sake of peace, harmony, and liberty for all. That is justice.
I do not place all of the blame on deputy White. I understand officers of the law are trained in a particular manner at the academy and perhaps continuing education that pits law enforcement against the general citizenry. So many people feel the “us” “them” mentality when confronted in a manner similar to my situation on July 23rd. One reason I did not step back into my vehicle and leave immediately is that my conscience is not satisfied with the relationship the people have with their civil servants, peace officers. I hope what has been articulated here today, gives a clear picture of the unhealthy and quite frankly, dangerous relations that have developed between us. It was not always this way. In fact, there was a day when the citizens came to aid of peace officers—you do that today—and you’re in trouble. I don’t mean assisting an injured officer, which goes without question but actually aiding in the apprehension of someone perpetrating a crime. We are so far removed from that kind of cooperative relationship—the shear ignorance of this fact is bringing this fine state of Oregon and America into bondage, where it is now a crime to govern one's self in the protection of our own life,
liberty, and property. It is my confession that I will do all that is possible in turning this tide of oppression and tyranny around by restoring the lost principles of individual liberty and self-government to the Oregon republic.
In my defense, I submit the following questions for this court consideration. Are there crimes being committed in Multnomah County that have not been solved and punished? Is there property that has been stolen and not recovered; property damaged that has not been restored? Why is not the whole body of the Multnomah County Sheriffs' department focusing on that? Focusing on actual criminal activity? I am one who had my property destroyed. Earlier this year my company, Strategic Cleaning was conducting business in Springdale in providing the Springdale Community Church with our pressure washing service to clean their cedar shake roof. While that work was being conducted by one of my men, two other young men drove onto the church property and began yelling profanity to my employee who is on the roof of the church. One of these young men picked up a large rock and threw at our company truck—smashing the canopy door glass—and drove away. My guy doing the work was scared and consequently left the property returning to our shop. I called 911. A Multnomah County deputy came out to investigate and make a written report of the events that happened. I have no knowledge that the men who perpetrated this crime have been apprehended. While at my expense, I have replaced the canopy door glass. Is there an investigation-taking place on finding these two men who damaged my private property and bringing them to justice? Yet we have a deputy Sheriff who has the time to sit behind a road closure, waiting for a law-abiding citizen with common sense to see that no right of way was applicable where a road closure temporarily suspended a STOP sign. I appeal for justice.
Your honor—please let me not be misunderstood in my plea for exercising liberty. I am not advocating as so many do that we have the right to do what we want without any interference from civil authority. To be free from the responsibility of the consequence of my actions. That is anarchy and it is wrong. These people misinterpret the very Declaration of Independence when it says that all men have the right to pursue happiness. The right sense of happiness is related to the individual right to live at liberty in the course of pursuing the endeavors of one life. It is the liberty to do what is right—not what is destructive to the peace and order of the community. It is the liberty to do what is right, and good law delineates what is inherently right and what is inherently wrong. I took the liberty in understanding the law behind the STOP sign (which is codified in the Oregon Vehicle Code) and reasoned within myself that neither life, liberty, nor property was at risk as I passed from Kerslake Rd. to Stark St. There was no right of way to be gained by stopping when oncoming traffic did not exist for over 5 months. Your honor, would you rather I be a burden to the county and state in exhausting tax dollars and man-hours by being overly dependent on the civil government or would you rather I be self-governed and provide relief to the overburdening community involvement and problem-solving in the Sheriff’s department?
My Petition to the Court for Restitution of my Property
As a result of this entire fiasco, I suffered the loss of my liberty and my property and I petition this court for full restitution of my property. My vehicle was unlawfully towed at the request of deputy White in which I incurred a vehicle release charge by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office of $35 as well as a towing charge of $132 from Loop Hi-Way Towing.
As I was also unlawfully arrested on July 23rd, being jailed for four hours—a loss of my liberty. How shall Multnomah County restore my lost time of four hours in jail? I don’t believe they can. However, in my mind, I will have some satisfaction of justice if deputy White begins to educate himself on the proper relational balance between law and liberty. May I suggest that deputy White read the book entitled, Law and Liberty by R.J. Rushdooney. I will be delighted to supply deputy White with a copy —with the expectation that he write a paper articulating the leading ideas within this fine work of reasoning. Furthermore, I petition this court for the destruction of all police records, bookings, fingerprinting, photographs and any other documentation both paper and electronic, related to this charge and arrest—with a notarized and certified Affidavit attesting that these records do not exist. Your honor...
Exhibit E — Oregon Vehicle Code