Police Abuse

Broken Windshield Malice, See?

Cop punishes citizen who suffered a crime and was moments away from repairing his broken windshield.


The police are not there to help you, the system exists to mulct money from you rather than protect you, the law can sure be an ass, and they'll do it to ya every time (probably): Denver man on his way to an appointment with a shop to have his windshield (broken by vandals, vandals who will never receive any legal punishment or ticket) repaired. You'll never guess what happens next!, via ABC13 News Now:

Credit: akeg / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Just as he was about to pull into the auto glass shop, an Adams County Sheriff's Deputy pulled [Nick] Berlin over and issued him a ticket for an "unsafe vehicle."

The ticket was issued in the parking lot of Absolute Auto Glass at Broadway and West 64th Avenue on Aug. 19.

The reporter notes: "Records corroborate Berlin's account of when and where he was issued the ticket and his set appointment at the shop."

"We were just standing here in our door and were ready for his appointment and all of the sudden we see a cop out there writing the guy a ticket," shop owner David Sprague said…

Images provided by Absolute Auto Glass show damages to the passenger side of the windshield. "He had plenty of visibility on the driver side," Sprague said.

The police had no comment for the TV station. It's a $46 ticket, and Berlin plans to contest it. The body shop has kindly offered to cover it if needed.

Sounds like the ticket won't totally ruin this guy's life, but there are many Americans for whom this punitively petty and bordering on monstrous enforcement of the law could very likely do so, if they lack the ready cash or the ability to scrupulously stay on top of their responsibilities to get it paid on time. See "Petty Law Enforcement vs. the Poor."


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  1. The police had no comment for the TV station.

    How could he comment with that TV camera was interfering with his police business.

  2. The police had no comment for the TV station. It’s a $46 ticket, and Berlin plans to contest it. The body shop has kindly offered to cover it if needed.

    Isn’t it amazing how much more peaceful and beneficial life is for everyone when you incentivize being nice to each other and having a good reputation?

    Cops don’t have to worry about either.

  3. Government is just the name for things we do together

    1. Well, I mean to be honest, most of us are not engaged in organized crime.

    2. “When you diss the government you diss yourself.”

      Actual, no-shit Hillary Clinton quote.

      1. Yo, fuck Hillary Clinton.

        1. Ewww, pass.

        2. Not even with a rented dick.

    3. It’s also the name for the process in which two guys hold you down so that you can be roundly rogered by the third guy. Then they change places. It’s your tax dollars at work. You’re welcome.

  4. This must be that economic multiplier effect of government that I keep hearing about. A $130 windshield replacement magically adds $176 to the economy.

    1. Well, it added $46 to the Police Benevolent Association’s softball uniform fund…

  5. Berlin wishes he could have been given a break over his broken windshield. He plans to fight the ticket in court.

    “It’s the idea more than the amount of money,” Berlin said.

    That’s good, because I imagine he’ll be required to pay court costs even if he wins.

    1. Generally not as it’s not a civil suit. I can’t speak for every single jurisdiction but a finding of not guilty pretty much means you walk away.

      1. Not here in NYC. I had 2 motor vehicle infractions go away (1 was withdrawn by the DA, the other was dismissed by the judge who also gave the issuing PO a thorough dressing down in open court) but still had to pay $140 for court costs ($70 for each charge).

        1. I think HF was talking about in the US of A.

    2. That’s the beauty of the system!

  6. #bluelivesmatter

      1. “Every employee was then ticketed for having non-standard and distracting materials adorning their vehicles.”

    1. #bluelivespattered

  7. How could anyone not like a police officer?

    1. Not be a police officer or the immediate family of a police officer.

    2. Be standing near the police officer?

      1. Please stand on the other side of the thin blue lie

  8. Its quota systems at work

    They seem to exist more in either urban-ish or high-traffic areas, where police have either large population concentration in their district, or get lots of traffic *through* their district… where the police are only seen as ‘doing their jobs’ by generating a steady stream of traffic & street-level citations.

    If police were incentivized on quality of life measures rather than ‘citation revenue’ / keeping the justice system churning… this kind of bullshit could end. Its just that with very-low-crime rates overall, its hard for these departments to latch onto metrics that they can be measured by, and justify their existence with.

    1. I look forward to the Vox explainer on why we have a moral duty to commit ticketable offenses to create more revenue for Allfather Government.

  9. “The ticket was issued in the parking lot of Absolute Auto Glass at Broadway and West 64th Ave”

    Brilliant! Just park your squad car in front of Bob’s Busted Taillight Emporium, and meet your quota with ease!

    1. HA! I was thinking the same kind of thing. A cop outside of NAPA would do gangbusters over holiday weekends.

  10. Broken Windshield Malice, See?

    There’s one thing I see, and it’s what you did there…

  11. Just because he’s at the body shop now doesn’t mean he wasn’t driving an unsafe vehicle when he was going there.


  12. This isn’t the entire story! I’m sure that guy was doing something wrong or the police wouldn’t have bothered him! You cop haters never stop do you! Wait until you need a cop!


    1. Over 60 years and haven’t needed or found any real use for them yet.

  13. The argument from the cops is going to be something along the lines of, “He was driving an unsafe vehicle, end of story. Whether he was driving to get it fixed or to go to work, he was still operating an unsafe vehicle. There is no exclusion for operating an unsafe vehicle to get it to the shop. If it is unsafe, don’t drive it and have it towed to the repair shop.”

    Which is BS, especially if it is accurate that the drivers side window was unbroken.

  14. I wonder what would happen if you volunteered to break all the windows of the people who supported the broken window fallacy?

    For economic stimulus, I mean; not because they deserve it.

    1. The Safelite people are behind your plan 100%.

      1. To be fair, stupid hurts. I just wish it hurt the stupid people so they could learn from their mistakes. When it hurts me, it just makes me want to hurt them.

        The solution, of course, is to remove force-of-arms (government) from the equation. Convincing others to see this remains the problem.

  15. there are many Americans for whom this punitively petty and bordering on monstrous enforcement of the law could very likely do so, if they lack the ready cash or the ability to scrupulously stay on top of their responsibilities

    or the self-control to not smash the cop’s windshield.

    1. Windshield? How about bones in alphabetical order?

  16. Guy’s probably lucky the cop didn’t ram into him with his squad car from the passenger side and say it was his fault because he couldn’t see out his windshield on the passenger side, and then get out and fire 15 shots into the car. He was coming right at me, I feared for my life!

  17. And glibertarians deny the Broken Windshield theory of economics.

  18. it’s funny because cops are deadbeats who don’t pay their bills.

  19. Uh, just how was he supposed to get to the body shop? I guess have it towed? Cops are fucking assholes.

    1. He could have just busted it out. If you have eye protection you don’t need a windshield.
      I hitch hiked over Monarch Pass one Christmas break; caught a ride from a guy with no windshield, on his way down to the springs to get one. Very cold.

  20. I remember when I was at UConn, there was an incident in the police blotter where a guy was arrested in a parking lot for smashing the headlight of somebody’s car. Two hours later, according to the police blotter, another guy was pulled over in the very same parking lot for driving with a broken headlight, and then they searched his car and found weed which is why it made it into the blotter. Makes you wonder if the cop who arrested the headlight smasher decided to wait around for the driver to return to his car and give him a ticket. Probably….

  21. Shit like this is why fewer people care when a cop stops a bullet.

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