The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Joseph Howard, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It details an incident in which he states that he was subjected to a false arrest by the husband of a candidate for local office in Houston County, Georgia, who is also a Lieutenant at the Warner Robins Police Department.

I live in Georgia. We have laws in this state against posting signs on the rights-of-way (ROW). The Georgia Department of Transportation issues news releases yearly warning politicians not to post signs on the ROW. These same laws state that anyone who violates these laws shall be punished the same as littering.

Imagine my surprise when I was arrested July 1, 2012 while out on my weekly routine picking up illegal signs. My actions were not politically motivated. I was going out weekly, with the blessing of the Georgia Department of Transportation, picking up signs along the roadways. You’ve seen the various signs: Pressure washing, roofing, mattresses, house foreclosures, we restore bad credit, etc. Consider the fact that election season had just started too and you’ll see I really had my hands full.

You would think politicians would know the law – especially someone running for Solicitor General of Houston County, such as Amy Smith. She did not want me picking up her illegal signs. Amy’s husband, Lt. Brian Smith, is a lieutenant at the Warner Robins Police Department. He is the one who declared that his wife, solicitor Amy Smith, wanted to press charges for 23 counts of theft by taking.

I have pictures of the signs I picked up that clearly show them on the right-of-way. Officer Jerry Neese of the Warner Robins Police Department, the officer who noticed me picking up signs, wrote on my arrest report that the signs were on the ROW. Still, I could not convince them of my good intentions or that the signs ARE litter. I was arrested, booked, handcuffed, and transported in the back of a police van to the county jail until I could post bail.

Bail was set at $5000, for what amounted to $92 worth of signs. I had to pay $500 bond to be released. The name of the judge that signed the arrest warrant that Sunday afternoon was Angela Sammons, the magistrate. My trial date in state court is set for September. 6, 2012. At this point, I have refused to pay another $1500 (cheapest I’ve found) for a defense lawyer.

– Joseph Howard

Note: A follow-up with Joseph revealed that on August 28, 2012 “[he] got home from work and found a letter from the Houston County DA stating that the case has been dismissed ‘at the request of the victim.'”

Joseph said:

“I was surprised that I didn’t feel any less angry that it happened in the first place. I would have liked to have gone forward in court to get a judgement as to whether I have a right to clean up litter or not. I guess I will just have to get arrested again. I AM THE VICTIM! They put me through hell. I have never been convicted of even a misdemeanor before.”

32 Comments

  1. I certainly hope you are at least going to get your $500 back. I’m sure Common Sense is going to say you shouldn’t have been trafficking stolen goods.


  2. It is against the law, yes. Doesn’t give you the legal authority to take someone else’s property though. You could also spin it another way, by you removing the signs, your now “destroying” evidence.

  3. Could the same thing be said of a police officer who siezes a cell phone, searches it without a warrant, then deletes the images/videos?

  4. PSOSGT,

    Did you read the story? Or does being a cop damage reading comprehension and ability to interpret what those symbols on the page/screen mean?

    Corrupt cunt of a politician sent her equally corrupt cocksucker of a spouse to abuse his position to arrest someone who pissed her off. No law was broken, and miss politicunt withdrew her baseless claim after the damage was done to avoid looking even more cuntlike. Cost a citizen $500 and being cuffed and stuffed by his moral inferiors, the latter probably more damaging as any proximity to a cop is likely to make a morally normal person nauseous.

    But that is all just peachy, because it was a member of Team Blue doing the harassment.

  5. @ lakewood.. “no crime was commited”??? Not only was he arrested, a prosecutor authorized a warrant, and a judge agreed and signed it. But then again, I’m sure you think there is some huge conspiracy over 92 dollars worth of signs.

    He took property that didn’t belong to him. Pretty much anywhere in the world…that’s illegal.

  6. Politician gets fellow politicians to go along with harassment of citizen and thug enforcer is deployed to effect harassment. Yep, anywhere in the world that amounts to a conspiracy.

  7. @PSO

    I agree. He is clearly someone who has way too much free time. He he wants to pick up signs, then get a job with Georgia DOT. They can even get him a fancy relective vest.

  8. @psosgt:

    1. Because someone is arrested does not mean a crime has been committed. Ultimately Only a court jury can decide that not buffoons in blue and certainly not people like you with your heads at your bottom. For sure this your world view.

    2. Because a prosecutor signs a warrant does not mean a crime has been committed. The prosecutor- a person another level of indirection away from the actual facts is most likely a school leaver simply following a scripted process based on the facts presented by, what appears to be in this case, an arrest with the hallmarks of corruption stamped deeply all over it.

    3. Because a judge signs the warrant does not mean a crime has been committed. The judge is yet another layer removed from truth until he presides a trial.

    PSOGT – you are presumably trolling – it’s surely not feasible that one could type all those symbols on the page and make actual ( non-sensical) sentences (sic!) yet still be as dumb as you appear.

    Sadly yet another story that confirms Florida is a Police state (and not a well Policed state) where accountability only applies to it’s citizens and not the police or authoritarians themselves.

    Case in point: let’s run with removal of evidence – I take it then, that no charges were bought against the campaign of Amy Smith even though it is not disputed these signs were posted in violation of the law and -I’m guessing here – her name was on 5% of the worlds population.

    @Joseph – In my opinion , you -and the people who should be served more honestly – ARE the true victims.

  9. Correction: My iPad editor jumped around ….

    Amy Smith’s name was presumably on the litter concerned? Any effort made to press littering charges against her? Didn’t think so.

    And 5%… There’s a reason why 25% of worlds incarcerated are in USA jails – yet USA is only 5% of worlds population. Psosgt mindsets are a part of that reason

  10. Common Pedophile,

    I wonder if you will get one of those fancy reflective vests for your post prison career. Hopefully the decent criminals beat you to death in the shower, as a pedophile cop is a twofer.

    Or you could just save everyone the trouble and put your service weapon in your mouth, pull the trigger, repeat as necessary until you are no longer a threat to under age explorer scouts, favorite target of cop pedophiles everywhere.

  11. Ha ha ha, nice vest tie-in.

  12. If the election had already happened, would that also be considered an “illegal act” ?

  13. “I was going out weekly, with the blessing of the Georgia Department of Transportation”

    Nuff’ said.

  14. @PSosgt…” Not only was he arrested, a prosecutor authorized a warrant, and a judge agreed and signed it.”

    You tell ’em PSosht. No getting around that judges signature. I mean we all know that a judge would never sign his name on a warrant unless the facts supported it.

    What do they think, that a judge just signs a bunch of blank warrants for police and prosecutors to use without having to show probable cause? What a completely crazy assertion. They might as well tell us that same judge offered to trade leniency for sex and plant drugs on those who turned him down.

    PsoSht will tell you that stuff just never, ever happens. Of course he would be full of sh-t as usual.

    http://bit.ly/OPVRbZ

  15. common, the fact that the signs themselves were illegal is something that will never cross your tiny brain is it.

  16. “Common Sense says:
    September 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

    @PSO

    I agree. He is clearly someone who has way too much free time. He he wants to pick up signs, then get a job with Georgia DOT. They can even get him a fancy relective vest”

    Common no fucking sense. Did you not read this statement?

    “I was going out weekly, with the blessing of the Georgia Department of Transportation, picking up signs along the roadways?”

    If you really a cop you’re the dumbest cocksucker of a cop I’ve ever heard of.

  17. File charges with the election board. This is serious crime on her part. File charges and then sue her. She is liable for any and all damages to you.

  18. @Brian the retard

    Who ‘blessed’ Mr Helper? Was it Earl at the DPW? How about Frank with the boom mower?

    No one ‘blessed’ him. He needs to take up kite flying, or gigging frogs…

  19. I’ll have to see if I can find this guy’s email.

    I always have people dumping old carpet, tires and shit on my back 40. Maybe he just likes cleaning, like OCD.

  20. In accordance with Georgia Law Article 416(7){a} “Individuals engaged in the act of gigging frogs or removing political signs must be adorned in a reflective vest with the words “LOCAL RETARD” prominently displayed, both front and back, so as to be visible at a distance of 500 ft. Said individuals must also wear a cow bell and a court jester hat and mumble incoherently about black helicopters and being a spy for the red chinese. Tin foil shall be worn on the feet of said individual at all times while participating in the activities as stated.

  21. Once the property was left unattended on the side of the road it belonged to who ever claimed it.

  22. ” Common Sense says:
    September 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    @Brian the retard

    Who ‘blessed’ Mr Helper? Was it Earl at the DPW? How about Frank with the boom mower?

    No one ‘blessed’ him. He needs to take up kite flying, or gigging frogs…”

    I think you need to go back to school & learn how to read. Or, just kill yourself.

  23. Common, you need to unfriend Brian on FaceBook. Brian, I’m sorry, um who did grant him permission? I must’ve overlooked that in the article and your comment as well? Oh, that’s right, you have no idea either probably. Once again, accuracy in reporting. Get your vest on, baby. Them frogs ain’t gonna gig themselves.

  24. Jason what part of
    “with the blessing of the Georgia Department of Transportation, picking up signs along the roadways?”
    did you not understand?

  25. @Sir Brian of Tard

    And just what does that mean? Did someone from Georgia DOT show up to his house and make the sign of the cross on his Ford Tempo? Did he get a note? Did it have a state seal on it? Was it from the guy that turns the slow/stop sign at a construction site? Did he make a call to some operator for state DOT?

    Nothing, no explaination. So in layman terms, he didn’t have any ‘blessing’ at all. Had he a ‘blessing’ he would have qualified his statement with a name, job title, something.

  26. Well, thank you Brian. That certainly does clarify the matter. With the blessing of the Georgia Department of Transportation, I have been requested to inform you to mail checks to all off the individuals chatting in this forum. Thanks, buddy. You have the official blessing.

  27. Jason, you must be another wanna be cop like common. Do you suck each other off in the back of your “cruiser”?

  28. Brian

    I talked with Curtis, from GDOT, they said its some legal thing, they need your banking account, routing number, and SS#. I guess the money will then be dispursed. Thanks.

    Oh, I finally got ahold of the Georgia Right of Way Vice-Roy. I stand corrected, there was in fact a blessing. It was done on a Piggy Wiggly envelope with a screwdriver, by Festis Smith II, he’s the acting Inspector for Trash, Litter, and Garbage Removal. Way to go buddy, to keep those fact coming….

  29. ” Common Sense says:
    September 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Brian

    I talked with Curtis, from GDOT, they said its some legal thing, they need your banking account, routing number, and SS#. I guess the money will then be dispursed. Thanks.”

    Ya the check’s in the mail. Now hold your breath till it gets there.
    Of course up here in the Great White North is goes by dog sled so it might take a while.

  30. Now it’s illegal to pick up litter.

    That what you cop fanboys are saying.

    So if someone throws a half empty beer can out their car window. You’re saying I’m stealing it if I decide to pick it up and put it in a garbage bag?

    Just another example of nanny staters. Don’t clean up your own neighborhood. Let’s create a job, with a pension, to do it. You just pay your taxes like good little drones.

    Show a poster with a pic of Common Sense or t shaking their finger at someone for picking up litter without a proper safety vest on.

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