Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Move the Truck Yourself

State TrooperPimmimemom / Dreamstime.comRick Rickerson, a retired fire department battalion chief, was driving down a rural Georgia road when he saw the driver of the vehicle in front of him lose control of her car. The car hit a culvert and flipped multiple times. Rickerson called the accident in to 911 and raced to the driver's aid. He had to clear her mouth of blood multiple times. While he was tending to her, state trooper Rodney Jeter arrived and told Rickerson to move his truck, which was parked in the road. Rickerson pointed out he was tending to a badly injured woman. As other first responders arrive, Jeter was caught on dashcam video telling sheriff's deputies he had to control himself to keep from arresting Rickerson. And after Rickerson handed the driver off to paramedics and she was loaded into an ambulance, that's just what Jeter did. He hauled Rickerson off to jail in handcuffs on a charge of obstruction of an officer.

Photo Credit: Pimmimemom /

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "The good Samaritans, the trooper, firefighter worked together to save woman's life. That's what this scene should have been."

    Hammers don't work as equals with nails.

    Read the fireman's version of the exchange and what the trooper put in his report and see which you find more credible.

  • Cyto||

    This is why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable.

    I have no doubt that the trooper remembers things the way he described them. And the same goes for the fire chief.

    A body cam would probably show the trooper's version to be a little more heavily embellished, but the real lesson from that is that we shouldn't put nearly so much weight on the testimony of the police, particularly when they are directly involved, as in resisting arrest, interfering with an officer, fleeing, etc. Absent a body cam, any jury should be highly skeptical of such claims.

    Personal anecdote: I was involved in a traffic accident where another vehicle ran a red light and totaled 6 cars. After a dozen witnesses gave him the same story - repeatedly - he came back with a writeup that was completely wrong. So we sent him off to correct it. Days later I get the final copy - still completely wrong, but right enough that the correct driver was deemed at fault and so I let it drop.

    But in court, that idiot would carry the day. He was an impartial 3rd party and trained law enforcement officer.
    Nothing you could say would outweigh his conclusions. Which is a big problem. In my case his first version had me running a red light - which was just silly since the other guy had already clipped another car in the intersection before we collided. But what chance would I have had in court with my version of reality? None.

  • Jay Dubya||

    Having read the other article what grates almost as much as the arrest itself are the snide, disrespectful comments that not just the arresting officer but just about every other cop on the scene has during the man's arrest. It's not enough to abuse your authority by getting into a pissing contest with someone whose expertise & presence of mind prevented officer friendly from having the biggest dick on scene at all times ... No, he & his colleagues have to laugh & sneer while the arresting officer tells them that "I hate him" & "he thinks he knows everything about everything". Yet another reminder for Americans that saving lives is not the priority for today's law enforcement.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    On Thursday, days after the story aired on 11Alive's The Late Feed and spread across social media, Pike County District Attorney Benjamin Coker announced that all charges against Rickerson were being dropped.

    That story also refers to Jeter as corporal now, not sergeant.

  • Eidde||

    ""After thoroughly investigating the case, viewing videotape dash-cam evidence and interviewing witnesses on the scene, the State cannot secure a conviction for this offense," Coker wrote. "Therefore, this case will be dismissed int he interest of Justice.""

    So they admit that at the time the charges were filed, the State had *not* "thoroughly investigat(ed) the case."

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    The DA contradicts himself. Either the case is dismissed 'in the interest of justice' ie. it was a bad arrest, or it's dismissed because the 'cannot secure a conviction for this offence', ie. guilty but just a bad case to present. It can't be both.

    Other DA quotes in the article make it clear that it's the latter. He complains that the pretrial publicity will make it impossible to convict, not that it would be impossible to convict because it was a wrongful arrest.

    It's the media's and social media's fault that he's not going to be able to throw a lawbreaker in jail. Fuck that guy.

  • Cyto||

    Nah, that's reading too much into it.

    He says flat out that the evidence doesn't support going forward with the case. The stuff about juries, etc. is part of the prosecutor's report where he's listing all of the factors. It is like when Dunphy says "totality of the circumstances."

    He does throw a bone to the po-po when he says that tensions were running high with a woman's life on the line and they both got a little hot. That sounds like a pretty reasonable assumption and fits both men's descriptions of events.

    Everything ended up as it should be - the only guy who should learn a lesson here is the officer who let his temper and personal pride lead him to forcing a confrontation where none was needed and pushing it all the way through an arrest. Of course, that's the problem with handing someone that much power. They'll inevitably misuse it, even if only accidentally. So his superiors need to aggressively manage this stuff... which it doesn't seem like they ever do. In fact, the normal response seems to be doubling down on the stupid and backing them to the hilt.

    So good on the people at the DA's office for bucking the trend and cutting the guy loose. (Although I have no illusion that they would ordinarily do so, absent the publicity)

  • Jay Dubya||

    All well in good, of course the police officer will learn nothing from this & the good Samaritan will have an arrest on his record he will have to explain to future employers or that will simply tarnish his reputation due to those shitty mugshot websites.

  • Cyto||

    This is normal in lower-level cases.

    My brother was a prosecutor for a brief period right out of law school. He'd get a stack of case files as he was heading into court. Most were traffic cases or petty theft, that sort of lower-level court stuff. The first time he opened the case file was actually in the courtroom that morning. No interviewing or prepping witnesses - the "search for the truth" was a literal search, as he had no idea what a trooper or witness was going to say on the stand.

    The public defenders were in exactly the same boat. They'd get a big pile of files and meet their client for the first time outside the courtroom that morning.

    This is one area where having your own attorney is a big advantage. They can walk in with all of the information against an inexperienced and overworked junior prosecutor and get him to reduce or drop charges pretty easily.

    The only reason this on got dropped before his court date is because it hit the media, which made the DA pull the file and take a look at it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    How unfair! Someone call Seneca Solicitor Chrissy Adams to get Jeter promoted to Gruppenfuehrer right now...

  • Rossami||

    Jeter should be private-citizen (subcategory unemployed) now, not sergeant or corporal.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    Obviously Jeter does not have the right attitude to be trusted with the power of a badge.

  • Libertarian||

    This story from "Channel 11 Alive." With the conventional wisdom being that local legacy media is dying, it would be nice if, instead, the local news folks could gain a new lease on life by reporting such official malfeasance. Lord knows there seems to be enough of it out there.

  • Thrackmoor||

    Sounds to me like he has EXACTLY the mentality the police are supposed to have... at least according to their superiors.

  • Libertarian||

    Welcome to Meansville.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Good Samaritan was lucky to be the First Responder™, otherwise the First Aggressor™ could have justifiedly shot him multiple times to eliminate the threat of less-than-instantaneous obedience, and gotten a raise and paid vacation for his troubles. It really is time to look into police unions as a clearer and more present danger than any any cartel of air-traffic collaborationists.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    'Jeter was caught on dashcam video telling sheriff's deputies he had to control himself to keep from arresting Rickerson.'

    What is the big deal here. Being that he didn't immediately draw his weapon at the first sign of civilian contempt, Officer Jeter is a paragon of restraint.

  • El Oso||

    Rick was lucky he wasn't a dog....

  • Conchfritters||

    NWA was right

  • Tony||

    To make a generalization, firefighters are trained first to help people. The profession attracts people, as weird as they can be, who nonetheless first care about helping people. They are decent.

    Cops, as we can see from this video and so many others, are moronic rednecks operating by a burning need to fuck with other people's lives.

  • ace_m82||

    Remove the word "redneck" and this is pretty close to the truth.


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