6/1/2006Arizona: Black Man Sent White Man's Speed Camera Ticket
Scottsdale, Arizona allows black man to be blamed for a speed camera offense clearly committed by a white man.
When the city of Scottsdale, Arizona installed speed cameras on the Loop 101 freeway, it promised that human police officers would review every citation before it was issued. "Photo enforcement is a tool to help officers, not a substitute," the city asserted on its website. Paul Stevens, the latest victim of a freeway photo radar ticket, knows otherwise.
"When I looked at the picture [on the ticket] the male driving the car is Caucasian," Stevens told KTVK television in an interview. "As you can see I'm a Black-American."
Scottsdale wanted Stevens to pay $157 for driving 78 MPH on the 65 MPH freeway -- even though neither the Camaro Z-28 in the photo, nor the vehicle's license plate belonged to Stevens. Redflex, the Australian company that decides guilt and operates the program, would receive $42.48 upon payment with Scottsdale pocketing the remainder.
After an inquiry from reporter Gary Harper, Scottsdale admitted that the Camaro owner simply sent a letter saying he sold the car to Stevens. Scottsdale did not verify the information. "It really puts the photo-radar system in doubt as to how it is enforced," Stevens added.
In December, Scottsdale refunded 2000 improperly issued speed camera tickets.