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Maryland Woman Fined $310 for Killing Police Officer
Fox News ^ | Wednesday, May 07, 2008 | AP

Posted on 05/07/2008 2:01:31 PM PDT by Sopater

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — The Howard County State's Attorney's Office says a driver who struck and killed a county police officer last year has paid her traffic fines.

Prosecutors say Stephanie Grissom of Columbia paid $310 in fines for speeding and negligent driving. She also received three points on her driving record.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: leo
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My heart goes out and my prayers go up for the family of this officer.
1 posted on 05/07/2008 2:01:33 PM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

She was speeding, but the officer performed the insane practice of stepping out into traffic to flag her down.

Her acts, by themselves, are not criminal (71mph in a 55mph).

It was the officer’s actions that caused this and the Grand Jury saw it that way, as well.


2 posted on 05/07/2008 2:03:14 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: SJSAMPLE

I’d have to agree. I’m not one for huge prison terms for accidents, which this clearly was.


3 posted on 05/07/2008 2:06:18 PM PDT by RockinRight (Supreme Court Justice Fred Thompson. The next best place for Fred.)
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To: SJSAMPLE
Following Wheeler's death, a committee of officers amended the policy for the “step-out” technique. The technique, which involves a team of officers who step into the roadway to flag down speeding drivers, is now prohibited on roadways with a speed limit greater than 35 mph, said Sherry Llewellyn, police spokeswoman.

http://www.examiner.com/a-1264252~Police_disappointed_in_decision_not_to_indict_driver_over_death.html

We learn from our mistakes.

4 posted on 05/07/2008 2:08:27 PM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

I feel for the woman.

Probably nothing she could have done under the circumstances... all for the local government to make a few extra bucks on fines.


5 posted on 05/07/2008 2:09:37 PM PDT by rwilson99 (Barrack Obama... more in common with Archie Bunker than Tiger Woods)
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To: Sopater

The headline makes it sound bad, but it is no worse than cops shooting someone reaching for their wallet, then getting off scot-free.


6 posted on 05/07/2008 2:11:57 PM PDT by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: RockinRight

No such things as accidents.

If she was operating over the posted speed limit it is manslaughter/murder. I am sure the officer did not bound from between two cars. More than likely he checked her speed by radar from a distance and stepped out and began to wave and draw attention. Most departments also require florescent vests in traffic.

Women was driving too fast no doubt with head up rear and probably talking or texting. Had this been a bank robber fleeing or child molester they would have been lynched ( figuratively speaking ). No difference.


7 posted on 05/07/2008 2:15:17 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative

All I meant was that if the killing wasn’t intentional, it was an accident. I’m speaking practical definition, not legal.


8 posted on 05/07/2008 2:18:18 PM PDT by RockinRight (Supreme Court Justice Fred Thompson. The next best place for Fred.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Oh, and this was on Route 32. Right by where I used to live - EVERYONE goes 70+ on that highway. It’s a 4-6 lane expressway, it’s not a “side road.”


9 posted on 05/07/2008 2:19:01 PM PDT by RockinRight (Supreme Court Justice Fred Thompson. The next best place for Fred.)
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To: Resolute Conservative
If she was operating over the posted speed limit it is manslaughter/murder.

True.

10 posted on 05/07/2008 2:22:54 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: RockinRight

I lived on that same road, too. Howdy, neighbor!


11 posted on 05/07/2008 2:26:23 PM PDT by freepertoo
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To: freepertoo

Hi neighbor. I live in Columbia now but used to live right at 32 and Rt. 1.

Whereabouts are you?


12 posted on 05/07/2008 2:30:43 PM PDT by RockinRight (Supreme Court Justice Fred Thompson. The next best place for Fred.)
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To: Sopater
Howard County officials were very harsh with Stephanie and should be very ashamed of themselves. What do they think this is, Guantanamo?
13 posted on 05/07/2008 2:31:17 PM PDT by gathersnomoss (General George Patton had it right.)
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To: Sopater
My heart goes out and my prayers go up for the family of this officer.

I agree completely.

However, he made a fatal mistake when he stepped out in front of a fast moving car, and it's not reasonable to hold the driver responsible for not being able to react quickly enough to avoid hitting him.

It is a shame that such accidents happen, and that an officer died because of a mistake he made while performing his duty.

14 posted on 05/07/2008 2:32:15 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: Resolute Conservative

Manslaughter charges for being a few miles over the speed limit? That is ridiculous. If the cop stepped in front of a vehicle on the road, I don’t care how fast they were going, the burden of responsiblity for him getting killed rests with him.....


15 posted on 05/07/2008 2:33:14 PM PDT by thundrey
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To: thundrey

No her ability to react was cut in half at that speed as compared to 55.

Apply your logic to your kid stepping in to the street. Sorry she was wrong.


16 posted on 05/07/2008 2:37:18 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative
No such things as accidents.

You're right. There are no such things as accidents.

And if the officer didn't step in front of a moving vehicle, he'd be alive today.

This type of law enforcement strategy is designed to generate a huge number of speeding tickets (and thus revenue) in a short amount of time with minimal effort. Well, it cost one officer his life.

Any 6 year old knows that stepping in front of moving vehicles is dangerous. Sadly, the desire for ticket revenue blinded them to the obvious safety risks inherent in such an operation.

17 posted on 05/07/2008 2:40:18 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Resolute Conservative
If she was operating over the posted speed limit it is manslaughter/murder. I am sure the officer did not bound from between two cars. More than likely he checked her speed by radar from a distance and stepped out and began to wave and draw attention. Most departments also require florescent vests in traffic.

The grand jury failed to indict her. The grand jury used a very low bar for evidence that a crime was committed before indicting.

That would seem to indicate that he likely did step out in front of her when she didn't have enough time to stop.

If she had time to stop, or should have been able to stop if she were going more slowly, then I would agree that it was manslaughter. However, if that were the case you would think he would also have had plenty of time to realize she wasn't going to stop in time and would have gotten out of the lane she was driving in.

A car does approach pretty quickly at 71 MPH, but it should be obvious in plenty of time to get out of the way that she isn't slowing down quickly enough to stop before she reached him.

18 posted on 05/07/2008 2:42:21 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: Resolute Conservative

I’m fairly sure that 55 mph limits were imposed to save fuel, not to increase the safety margin.


19 posted on 05/07/2008 2:43:12 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: RockinRight
I’m not one for huge prison terms for accidents, which this clearly was.

While I agree that prison is not appropriate for a situation that results in an accident, I can't agree that this was an accident. An accident happens outside of a person's control of a particular situation (e.g., a windstorm blows up debris into the roadway and obscures your vision of an oncoming vehicle). This woman didn't have an "accident". She intentionally committed a vehicle code violation and a man died as a results. The officer may have contributed, but the woman bears responsiblity for what happened above that of a simple traffic violation.

20 posted on 05/07/2008 2:44:06 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: Sopater

The woman is responsible for her kinetic energy. The officer is responsible for walking onto a highway in a safe manner.

Anyone know what time of day it was? On several occasions I’ve seen officers try to flag people down at night by raising their hand while shining the light in the drivers eyes (and therefore making it hard to see the officer or his hand) rather than shining the light on their hands or otherwise making themselves more visible.


21 posted on 05/07/2008 2:51:54 PM PDT by DancesWithBolsheviks
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To: thundrey
Manslaughter charges for being a few miles over the speed limit?

No, manslaughter charges for committing a vehicle code violation which resulted in the death of the officer. While his actions may have contributed to his death, it was ultimately her violation which triggered the incident in the first place, and she bears the bulk of the responsibility IMHO. And 71 in a 55 is 16 MPH above the posted speed limit, which is not "a few miles over" as you characterize it. If you are living on a street where there are children and the posted speed limit is 25, and someone zooms down your street at 41 MPH, are you going to be okay with that? I have a rubber ball in my yard just waiting for those drivers.

22 posted on 05/07/2008 2:52:20 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Even if a kid stepped in the street. Manslaughter or murder charges would be far too much for being a few miles over the limit. Maybe causing death by reckless or dangerous driving. At the end of the day, it was still an accident...


23 posted on 05/07/2008 2:52:31 PM PDT by thundrey
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To: untrained skeptic

I agree.


24 posted on 05/07/2008 2:53:06 PM PDT by Sopater (A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. ~ Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: OA5599

If this were the case, then why is the Gov. not reducing the present max speed limits to conserve fuel given the current state of the worlds oil prices?


25 posted on 05/07/2008 2:53:41 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: SoldierDad

“If you are living on a street where there are children and the posted speed limit is 25, and someone zooms down your street at 41 MPH, are you going to be okay with that? I have a rubber ball in my yard just waiting for those drivers.”

No, I would be screaming for that guy’s blood. But then again, that’s I wouldn’t be responsible for deciding the man’s punishment.....


26 posted on 05/07/2008 2:56:57 PM PDT by thundrey
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To: SoldierDad

Manslaughter probably needs some element of reckless, and I don’t know if 71 in a 55 is reckless. Sometimes, it takes 20 over the speed limit for reckless driving, that lack of reckless element kept the grand jury from indicting. Bad judgment all around, however. Painful and enduring lessons for those left living.


27 posted on 05/07/2008 2:59:22 PM PDT by drb9
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To: SoldierDad

Good question. But look up the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act:

The Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, signed on January 2, 1974, established a national 55 miles per hour speed limit to reduce gasoline consumption. It was extended indefinitely on January 4, 1975 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1979c). It also provided that Federal-aid highway funds could be used for ridesharing demonstration programs.


28 posted on 05/07/2008 3:00:01 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: Slings and Arrows

Just damn....


29 posted on 05/07/2008 3:01:17 PM PDT by KoRn (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
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To: OA5599

Yes, this occured under the Carter regime. Reagan later eliminated this act and allowed states to set their own max speed limits. However, on many state and county roadways, the Max speed limit was not changed (left at 55) due to safety issues (e.g., traffic volume, narrowness of the roadway, number of highway access points, etc). IMHO, it’s time to revisit the issue of max speed limits in order to increase fuel conservation - that would be one approach to the current oil crisis. Other approaches would be to allow drilling of our own oil reserves, increasing the number of nuclear power plants, incentives for new technology that increases fuel economy for vehicles, etc. Until we get away from middle eastern oil, the problem will only get worse.


30 posted on 05/07/2008 3:05:58 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: SoldierDad

Doing 71 mph in a 55 mph zone is like doing 32 mph in a 25 mph zone. (29% over the limit)

Doing 41 mph in a 25 mph zone is like doing 90 mph in a 55 mph zone. (64% over the limit)


31 posted on 05/07/2008 3:06:06 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: drb9

Tell you what. Drive down a city residential street at 41 mph in a 25 zone, strike and kill a kid playing in the street, and see if you get charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide! 16 mph over the posted speed limit is not a small difference.


32 posted on 05/07/2008 3:08:46 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: thundrey

16 miles over is not a few miles.


33 posted on 05/07/2008 3:08:55 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: SoldierDad

Actually the Act was signed while Nixon was in office. I don’t know when it was eliminated, but my first guess for not raising the limit in certain states is due to revenue generation. Call me cynical.


34 posted on 05/07/2008 3:10:11 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: OA5599

The distance it takes to reduce your speed or come to a stop at 71 mph versus 41 mph makes your argument invalid.


35 posted on 05/07/2008 3:10:33 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: SJSAMPLE

I agree. Stupid headline. If you step in front of ME, you will die. Just the way it is. What is it with cops nowadays??


36 posted on 05/07/2008 3:13:37 PM PDT by packrat35 (If mccain is the answer-it must have been a REALLY stupid question)
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To: SoldierDad

Maybe so, but I would like to point out that most places that have a 55 mph or greater limit are limited access highways without intersections, driveways, school cross walks, etc. It’s not often you have to come to a complete stop. 16 mph over the limit on a limited access highway is no where near as bad as doing it in a 25 mph zone, which is typically in a residential area.


37 posted on 05/07/2008 3:17:35 PM PDT by OA5599
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To: Resolute Conservative
If she was operating over the posted speed limit it is manslaughter/murder

I'd go with assisted suicide. Don't stand in front of speeding cars.

38 posted on 05/07/2008 3:18:03 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools - Solon, Lawmaker of Athens)
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To: OA5599

So, let’s just forget about the volume of traffic on those limited access highways, and the potential for road hazards (such as a ladder that falls off of a pickup truck). That 16 mph increase does become extremely crucial when there are road hazards (and since no one can predict when something will happen, then if you choose to drive over the posted speed limit the onus is on you if something happens).


39 posted on 05/07/2008 3:21:29 PM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Soldier home after 15 months in the Triangle of death)
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To: Resolute Conservative

http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/silence/archives/2007/05/video_of_me_bre.shtml

The 55 mph speed limit on most Interstate highways is a joke.


40 posted on 05/07/2008 3:21:46 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: Resolute Conservative
"Apply your logic to your kid stepping in to the street. Sorry she was wrong."

Kids don't play on the expressway, and rational adults don't jump out in front of cars on the expressway.

41 posted on 05/07/2008 3:21:58 PM PDT by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani, gun grabber)
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To: Sopater

We were driving down a four lane highway one day, when a state trooper pulled off the road ahead of us and lurched herself out of her patrol car into our lane of traffic — she was trying to flag down a motorist behind us and acted as if we were not there.......with a car in the passing lane we had to slam on the brakes and pray.....she got out of the way just in time. Scared the dickens out of us. We were not speeding at all, but it IS 65 MPH on that stretch of the road. The fool was lucky to be alive after that stunt.


42 posted on 05/07/2008 3:25:17 PM PDT by tioga
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To: Resolute Conservative
No her ability to react was cut in half at that speed as compared to 55.

No, her ability to react, which is her reaction time, is exactly the same. The distance traveled at 71MPH is greater than at 55MPH, but only 29% more, not 100% more. The distance her car takes to brake from 71 is also greater than from 55, but again, not even close to twice as much.

43 posted on 05/07/2008 3:25:22 PM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: spunkets

See post 42. ;^) sometimes the do just that!


44 posted on 05/07/2008 3:25:55 PM PDT by tioga
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To: SoldierDad

>>she bears the bulk of the responsibility IMHO

Clearly the grand jury didn’t see it your way.

Around here, the de facto speed limit is more like 80 mph on 55 mph limited access highways.

The essence of good transportation is speed. Raising revenue using speed limits that are set way too low isn’t very smart, IMHO.


45 posted on 05/07/2008 3:26:37 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (<===Non-bitter, Gun-totin', Typical White American)
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To: SoldierDad

>>why is the Gov. not reducing the present max speed limits to conserve fuel given the current state of the worlds oil prices?

A more conservative approach is to let the market determine the best speed vs. cost trade off, not legislators and bureaucrats.


46 posted on 05/07/2008 3:28:09 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (<===Non-bitter, Gun-totin', Typical White American)
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To: tioga

Li’l Ms trooper doesn’t hit me as being a rational adult.


47 posted on 05/07/2008 3:31:12 PM PDT by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani, gun grabber)
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To: SoldierDad

Carter regime ? Try Nixon - Ford


48 posted on 05/07/2008 3:32:16 PM PDT by Seajay (Ordem e Progresso)
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To: OA5599
I don’t know when it was eliminated, but my first guess for not raising the limit in certain states is due to revenue generation. Call me cynical.

An even more cynical explanation is that an unrealistic limit exceeded by literally everyone functions as a loophole to void the 4th Amendment and allow fishing stops of literally anyone.

49 posted on 05/07/2008 3:33:03 PM PDT by CGTRWK
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To: spunkets

they let her carry a gun, I hope she passed the mental evals to get there! but, no, she did NOT appear rational at all leaping out into traffic like that.......scared me to death I was screaming and hubby was laying on the brakes and the horn.......we were still shaking five minutes later...


50 posted on 05/07/2008 3:34:29 PM PDT by tioga
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