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Cop 'tries to convert' pagans during arrest (Druids think their civil rights were violated)
WorldNetDaily ^ | 6/26/05 | WorldNetDaily

Posted on 06/26/2005 5:25:11 PM PDT by wagglebee

A traffic stop in Greer, S.C., this month is turning into a holy war of sorts, as a practicing Druid couple claim they were targeted by a Christian police officer who tried to convert them away from their pagan belief.

Debra and Tony Gainey say they were pulled over because they had a bumper sticker reading "It's A Druid Thing."

Tony Gainey was driving at the time of the stop June 10 and was taken into custody on charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.

"The reason they were stopped was the tag was improper on the vehicle," Greer police Lt. Cris Varner told WHNS-TV.

But Debra Gainey, a minister at the local Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church, believes it was the druid sticker that prompted the traffic stop, as evinced by the conversation with officer Tony Stewart.

"[Stewart said], 'Did those bumper stickers come on the car or did you put them on?' and I said I put them on," Debra said.

She says the officer asked if she knew what they meant.

"So he started talking to me about God and Jesus Christ. ... I just felt like he was really getting into it, I had never expected to actually follow-up with a letter or anything."

According to Mrs. Gainey, the officer sent a card and letter to her home address days later.

"In this letter, he promises our problems will continue unless we listen to the words of the Baptists," she told the station. "We're feeling like those are threats."

"It's just kind of flabbergasting to be told that because it says Druid that we were singled out," she continued. "I don't think it's a matter of his religion or my religion, it's a matter of violation of our Constitution and trying to take that away our freedom that we are guaranteed."

The Gaineys have filed a civil-rights complaint, and the matter is now under investigation.

"The issue is the stop," police chief Dan Reynolds told the Greenville News. "Did they stop them because of the stickers? That's what we're trying to determine in our investigation. What was the reason for the stop?"


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: civilrights; constitution; donutwatch; druids; establishment; fundiessuck; government; leo; pagans; police; religion
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Tony Gainey was driving at the time of the stop June 10 and was taken into custody on charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.

Sounds legitimate to me.

1 posted on 06/26/2005 5:25:13 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee; rageaholic

Druids are HARMLESS. Its the Islamists you have to worry about.


2 posted on 06/26/2005 5:30:30 PM PDT by John Frum
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To: wagglebee
I sometimes find it annoying when people proselytize to me, but it's not a civil rights violation. The Druids are too thin-skinned.
3 posted on 06/26/2005 5:30:53 PM PDT by Huntress (Possession really is nine tenths of the law.)
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To: John Frum

Maybe next time it will be an islamic cop who tries to convert them.


4 posted on 06/26/2005 5:32:19 PM PDT by cripplecreek (I zot trolls for fun and profit.)
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To: wagglebee

Funny, they didn't look Druish. 8>)


5 posted on 06/26/2005 5:33:08 PM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian (Shake Hands with the Serpent: Poetry by Charles Lipsig aka Celtjew http://books.lulu.com/lipsig)
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To: All

So the charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance is bogus? This loser needs to STFU and pay his fines.


6 posted on 06/26/2005 5:34:29 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: wagglebee

Unfortunately, the officer acted so unprofessionally that it complicates the situation. His actions during and after the stop may result in charges being thrown out. This cop needs a stern reprimand to keep him from doing it again and jeopardizing other, possibly more important cases.


7 posted on 06/26/2005 5:35:03 PM PDT by aNYCguy
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To: Huntress

If he did send her that letter I believe that was over the line.


8 posted on 06/26/2005 5:35:30 PM PDT by Aonecountry
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To: Huntress
I sometimes find it annoying when people proselytize to me, but it's not a civil rights violation.

It is if you get stopped because of a bumper sticker that reflects your faith.

9 posted on 06/26/2005 5:36:13 PM PDT by MRMEAN ("On the Internet nobody knows that you're a dog")
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To: wagglebee
Try driving with an improper tag... then, voila'!! The officer finds ALL those other violations.... WOW! You are not a victim, but a scofflaw!! Insurance is required in SC. That alone is some states will get you a hefty fine and a suspended license.

These folks are making this persecution up to cover their backsides. Plus, just maybe, they could get enough money to buy a new car, a proper tag and some insurance!! Oh, and a new cat or dog to sacrifice.

10 posted on 06/26/2005 5:36:42 PM PDT by Lion in Winter (Getting old is NOT for sissies.... trust me, I know!)
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To: wagglebee
....a bumper sticker reading "It's A Druid Thing."

What, exactly, is a "Druid Thing?" Driving with a suspended license, an improper tag, and failure to have proof of insurance?

11 posted on 06/26/2005 5:39:46 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Huntress
People who proselytize other people are annoying- BUT this is a Law Enforcement Officer- and he should not be using his position of authority to collect data to use to proselytize people he pulled over.

If that is what he did then I have a problem with it.

12 posted on 06/26/2005 5:39:48 PM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross (Code pink stinks!)
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To: John Frum

Unless there is a bog nearby, Druids really don't scare me


13 posted on 06/26/2005 5:39:49 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: wagglebee
"The reason they were stopped was the tag was improper on the vehicle,"

The officer had a legitimate reason to stop them. Beyond that, the officer may have exceeded his authority. The officer may well be concerned about the eternal souls of these pagans but can't use his badge to preach.

If he sent a note a couple of days later the complainants should be able to produce it.

ol' hoghead

14 posted on 06/26/2005 5:40:29 PM PDT by ol' hoghead (never, ever go to "FREECREDITREPORT.COM. Trust me on this.)
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To: wagglebee
Tried their Web Site looking for pictures (never saw a Druid before) and got this.

This page has been disabled temporarily due to the incident with the Police Officer in Greer. This is done to protect our membership from harassment by any information that may be gleaned from the information contained on this page.

15 posted on 06/26/2005 5:44:10 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

Huh, if this is true the cop is a twit.
Pure harassment over their religious beliefs.

Highly unprofessional
>>>>>>>

My Husband, Tony, and I were on our way home from Wal-mart. While shopping I had begun to experience joint pain (I have Degenerative Join Disease), so my husband in a kind gesture offered to drive the five miles home. Halfway home we were pulled over by the Greer Police. No reason was given for the stop and when I asked I was told there had been none. My husband had failed to get his driver’s license reinstated five years ago, so when he was asked for his, he handed them his old one. We had documents in the glove box verifying insurance coverage from the time the car was purchased until the beginning of this year, but we had insurance, the papers were just at home. After the Officers checked our ID’s and found nothing, they then checked the plate on the car. We were told that the plates were the wrong ones. They would not tell us whose they were, only that they belonged on a Chevy. They searched the car and found nothing (although they thought they had found something when they came across a geode in the glove box), and then called a tow truck to take the car overnight, even though we only lived three minutes away. My husband was hand cuffed and arrested. I was not arrested, but taken to the jail with my husband, along with our frozen food. At the jail, my husband had to show them how to use their new fingerprinting machine (he is in school majoring in programming). He was released on a signature bond even though he never saw a judge.

The interesting part of this incident happened at the back of our car. Officer Stewart asked us if we had put the bumper stickers on or if the car had come that way. I of course told the truth and said I had put them on. The officer wanted to know what they meant so I explained that I was an ordained minister of the Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church. The conversation continued and then Officer Stewart asked me if my church supported me? I asked him to explain what he meant by support and he clarified it as meaning ‘spiritually fulfilling’. He then begins witnessing to me and my husband. As they were putting my husband into the police car, and I was getting the bags of groceries out of the back seat, Officer Stewart came over to me and handed me $40.00 to help get the car out of impound and told me he would be writing the letter exhibited below. At the police station he continued to witness to me.

They never offered to report our tag as stolen. They left the tag on the car and did not hold it in impound until all proper documents were produced. They had plainly stated that there had not been any reason to have stopped us in the beginning, “but it doesn’t matter, the plates are wrong.”

Granted, my husband should not be driving, and he doesn’t, except this one time when I was in pain and we needed to get home. He was in the prosess to reinstate his license at the time this occured. We have bought new plates for the car, since our old plates are gone. And, thankfully a family member is the Chief of Police in another location, so we were able to find out who the plates belonged to.

Officer Stewart never mentions a reason for being pulled over, such as weaving, speeding, wrong plates or anything like that. He does mention the bumper stickers.

Whether he is a volunteer or regular, he should still be held to a code of ethics concerning violation of constitutional rights (freedom of religion without harassment). I firmly feel he over stepped his bounds the night of the incident and has continued to do so with his letter. He assumes about my faith, as he did that night, and offers a solution to all my ‘problems’ if I come to his church. I wonder about what is meant by “And for whatever reason, God is calling you to listen to words from the Baptists. This is clear! If you deny this, then you are pushing away the hand of God and that would not be wise.”

He also tells me “Chances are that he sent this intercession after hearing the prayers of someone for your welfare. Maybe it was your prayers, or maybe it was a loved one or friend who cares for you. But he did send intercession. Now, you must respond without delay and without excuses.”


16 posted on 06/26/2005 5:44:49 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: Selkie

ooops link here:

http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/theemerald/Greer.html


17 posted on 06/26/2005 5:45:16 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: ncountylee

And Ill bet a billion that this cop wouldnt have dared tried to bother muslims about converting.


18 posted on 06/26/2005 5:47:43 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: wagglebee
Great idea, I'll sue whenever missionaries come to my doorstep or talk to me on the street.

Note to stupid druid couple: "It's not a violation to your civil rights to hear something you don't agree with."

19 posted on 06/26/2005 5:50:14 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("A litany of complaints is not a plan." -- G.W. Bush, regarding Sen. Kerry's lack of vision)
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To: wagglebee

He wouldn't have tried to convert Islamists.


20 posted on 06/26/2005 5:51:55 PM PDT by familyop ("Let us try" sounds better, don't you think? "Essayons" is so...Latin.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
"It's not a violation to your civil rights to hear something you don't agree with."

Hell, every day for almost four years, the leftist media has been telling us that Islam is "peaceful," and the fact that they do not have one single example of their "pacifism" is irrelevant.

21 posted on 06/26/2005 5:52:55 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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From his letter: "...I am an unpaid volunteer. The reason I have volunteered for the last 14 years is so that I can be at the places where God would have me to be and at the right time."

He's clearly a busybody nutcase. If some weird volunteer cop started harassing me with unsolicited mail to my home address after a questionable stop, I'd be PO'd too. The guy should be off the job immediately.

22 posted on 06/26/2005 5:58:06 PM PDT by Honcho Bongs
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

LOL!!!! Great, just great.


23 posted on 06/26/2005 6:01:20 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Everything I need to know about Islam I learned on 9-11!)
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To: Aonecountry
This would freak me out ! LOL

Part of letter:

But I am ordained in the Baptist church. And for whatever reason, God is calling you to listen to words from the Baptists. This is clear!

If you deny this, then you are pushing away the hand of God and that would not be wise. Too many events were manipulated by God to bring us together to be a coincidence. Actually, I only police every 2nd Friday night, so just being on duty was rare.

You must respond to the words he wants you to hear. And you must be patient and faithful. It may tales weeks or month of obedience to learn the steps that it will take to get you back on the road to prosperity.

One visit, a few prayers and an occasional opening of his Bible will not be enough. You must be prepared to make some serious changes and do so now! You may not get another intercession.

Who knows? But you must admit that you've been contacted by God! And you must respond.

24 posted on 06/26/2005 6:01:32 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

His letter is harassment.


25 posted on 06/26/2005 6:02:33 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
For you to draw a parallel between a cop abusing his power and access to proselytize, and a missionary strolling up to your door to have a consensual chat is beyond absurd.

They were detained, and then under arrest, by an officer of the law during the time in which they were proselytized. Do you realize that this creates a different situation than one in which a Jehovah's Witness requests that you talk with them at your door, of your own free will, for as long as you feel?

Later, the volunteer cop abused his access to their personal information in order to send them a strange and vaguely threatening letter at their home.

For you to suggest that this is simply a matter of "them having heard something they didn't agree with" is not honest.
26 posted on 06/26/2005 6:03:38 PM PDT by aNYCguy
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

I really agree with you. Sending them a letter about his religion is WAY unprofessional and violates boundaries. I expect the police to enforce the laws, to be courteous and professional.I really do not need to hear their personal opinions about ANYTHING. and yes this could be a problem, cause the officer does not understand his role and legalities.


27 posted on 06/26/2005 6:04:35 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Everything I need to know about Islam I learned on 9-11!)
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To: wagglebee
That's funny....they don't look Druish....


28 posted on 06/26/2005 6:04:42 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: aNYCguy

Yes youre right , sums it up perfectly


29 posted on 06/26/2005 6:04:58 PM PDT by Selkie (I)
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

Surprised it took 5 posts to get there :)


30 posted on 06/26/2005 6:06:13 PM PDT by SShultz460
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To: wagglebee

There's plenty of idiodicy to go around on this one. Cop's an idiot for proselytizing, Druids are idiots for not keeping their tabs and such in order.


31 posted on 06/26/2005 6:08:32 PM PDT by Quick1
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To: wagglebee

And honestly, what kind of moron puts anything like this in WRITING? If he would have simply done it at the stop or something like that, he might have gotten away with it.


32 posted on 06/26/2005 6:10:21 PM PDT by Quick1
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
Hehe! I love the screen name. I am a hippie at heart myself!

I really do not like that he sent them a letter..if true that makes me angry. IF they got tickets for breaking the law- that is one thing- sending them a letter about their religious beliefs is out of control.

33 posted on 06/26/2005 6:19:14 PM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross (Code pink stinks!)
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To: aNYCguy
The proselytizing officer was way out of line and had no right to impose his beliefs on them.
34 posted on 06/26/2005 6:34:10 PM PDT by catonsville (If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for the future.)
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To: wagglebee

It could've been worse--the cop could've been a scientologist.

"License and registration... and those pills had better be vitamins!"


35 posted on 06/26/2005 6:35:31 PM PDT by Young GOP Samurai (Leftists: Hating America Since July 4th, 1776.)
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To: aNYCguy
Unfortunately, the officer acted so unprofessionally

Maybe. We only have her word for it and we see how honest they are:

charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.

36 posted on 06/26/2005 6:41:45 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Aonecountry
If he did send her that letter I believe that was over the line.

We have no idea what THEY said to him. Did they ask for info so they could pull this stunt? It's possible.

37 posted on 06/26/2005 6:43:59 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: MRMEAN
I sometimes find it annoying when people proselytize to me, but it's not a civil rights violation.

It is if you get stopped because of a bumper sticker that reflects your faith.

I think the improper tag was a good reason. Obviously these people don't.

38 posted on 06/26/2005 6:46:31 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: wagglebee

(Obi Wan): "These aren't the Druids you are looking for, They can pass"...


39 posted on 06/26/2005 6:52:53 PM PDT by Morgan's Raider
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To: Selkie
So we've heard their excuses. Whether she was in pain or not, it was illegal for him to drive.

No reason was given for the stop and when I asked I was told there had been none.

Sorry. I don't buy it.

We had documents in the glove box verifying insurance coverage from the time the car was purchased until the beginning of this year, but we had insurance, the papers were just at home.

Just full of "butbutbut".

Oh please! This just sounds too strange. I'm having a hard time buying their story. No. I don't think cops are always right but these people are guilty in their own words.

40 posted on 06/26/2005 6:56:47 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Honcho Bongs
after a questionable stop

Was it?

charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.

41 posted on 06/26/2005 6:58:54 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.

Naw, I'll betcha that little blue and white Druid smarted off at the cop. Sometimes that's all it takes...

42 posted on 06/26/2005 6:59:36 PM PDT by Morgan's Raider
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To: Morgan's Raider
Naw, I'll betcha that little blue and white Druid smarted off at the cop. Sometimes that's all it takes...

LOL!!

43 posted on 06/26/2005 7:01:08 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
MRMEAN wrote:It is [a civil rights violation]if you get stopped because of a bumper sticker that reflects your faith.

DJ MacWoW wrote:I think the improper tag was a good reason. Obviously these people don't.

From Post 16: Halfway home we were pulled over by the Greer Police. No reason was given for the stop and when I asked I was told there had been none. After the Officers checked our ID’s and found nothing, they then checked the plate on the car. We were told that the plates were the wrong ones. They would not tell us whose they were, only that they belonged on a Chevy.

44 posted on 06/26/2005 7:08:51 PM PDT by MRMEAN ("On the Internet nobody knows that you're a dog")
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To: MRMEAN

And just because that's the peoples story, you buy it?


45 posted on 06/26/2005 7:11:13 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Selkie
His letter is harassment

I don't think that sending one letter can be construed as harassment. My dictionary defines harassment as:

"the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism"

46 posted on 06/26/2005 7:13:16 PM PDT by judgeandjury
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To: wagglebee
But Debra Gainey, a minister at the local Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church

You mean there is a foreign ESDC as well ?
47 posted on 06/26/2005 7:15:51 PM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: wagglebee
But Debra Gainey, ... believes it was the druid sticker

She also believes in druidism.....
48 posted on 06/26/2005 7:19:45 PM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: festus

LMAO!


49 posted on 06/26/2005 7:21:51 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Lion in Winter
Try driving with an improper tag... then, voila'!! The officer finds ALL those other violations.... WOW! You are not a victim, but a scofflaw!! Insurance is required in SC. That alone is some states will get you a hefty fine and a suspended license.

See my Post 44 and Post 16. They had insurance. Officer Hellfire only discovered the improper tag after making the stop. The only reason for the stop was the bumper sticker. And if you want to argue that Officer Hellfire knew the tag was improper before making the stop, then you have to believed that cops are routinely driving down the road calling in tags for absolutely no reason.

50 posted on 06/26/2005 7:23:13 PM PDT by MRMEAN ("On the Internet nobody knows that you're a dog")
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