Occupy Denver: Man pulled over and ticketed for two or three honks in support of protesters

car horn.jpg
Daniel Garcia's Saturday night ended with an unwanted surprise.

While driving downtown after the night's police raid on Occupy Denver, Garcia chose to publicly support the group by honking his horn. This, he would quickly learn, is technically illegal. Thanks to "either two or three honks," he says, Garcia was pulled over and ticketed by a police officer near 14th Street.

Just to be clear, Garcia takes out the ticket and reads it. On November 12, at 8:30 p.m., he was cited for violating city ordinance 54-71, labeled "horns or other warning devices." Garcia drove down 14th Street and was about to turn onto Broadway when a supportive honk earned a show of headlights behind him, accompanied by the signal for him to pull over.

officers prepare occupy2.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Officers prepare for an altercation with protesters three weekends ago.
The details of the "horns and other warning devices" ordinance are:
Every motor vehicle when operated upon the streets and highways of the city shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal atmospheric conditions for a distance of not less than two hundred (200) feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound. The driver of a vehicle, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, shall give an audible warning with his horn, but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a street or highway.

"A cop asked me if I was responding to an emergency situation, and I said no," Garcia says. "He asked me why I was honking, and I said I was supporting Occupy Denver. He told me there's a city ordinance against honking outside of an emergency situation and then stepped aside to search my car and trunk."

The entire situation lasted about twenty minutes, after which Garcia was handed a $60 ticket and warned not to return to the area. "He said, 'If I see you over here again, we'll pull you over and impound your car for disturbing the peace,'" Garcia says. "I asked if that warning also applied to the next day, but the cop walked away."

Garcia's future court date is currently scheduled for December 23, and he plans to plead not guilty and contest the ticket. The next day, Garcia was again present during a ticketing at Occupy Denver, though not his own this time: On Sunday, he watched an officer give a citation for stopping illegally to someone who was trying to pick up a protester in front of the park. In the past few days, several protesters and supporters have reported being ticketed for stopping illegally in front of the occupation while attempting to drop off supplies.

"I felt like my horn was doing what it was supposed to do, which was supporting Occupy Denver," Garcia says. "I'm going to go in, plead not guilty, tell the judge my horn was not defective in any way, shape or form and that I feel like I was harassed unnecessarily."

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver: Police start ticketing drivers who stop to donate in front of Civic Center Park."


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177 comments
Anonymoose
Anonymoose

I see a few mistakes here - number one first and foremost NEVER EVER willingly talk to the police.  Do not answer their questions with anything other than a request to leave or ask if you under arrest. Give them your license and shut up.  The police are every bit your enemy as Al Queada and deserve far less respect.  They are made from the same cloth as those who manned the salt mines in Siberia or the concentration camps in Aushvitz.  If the U.S. ever starts using ovens to get rid of those it considers undesireable you can bet that these same police will be there and more worried about their pensions than the people they are killing.  Shun them, grant them no respect, and if you see one in trouble when some soul finally has had enough smile and walk away.  Let them bleed.  They are there to enforce the will of those in power not to protect or serve anyone but themselves.  They are there to ensure you are an obedient slave, nothing more.  Anyone cop with a conscience or soul would have quit long ago.  They are not anymore human and should be treated with the respect you'd give a leech or any other parasite.

Kenneth
Kenneth

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Kenneth
Kenneth

my friend's mom makes $87/hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her pay was $8737 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site ddp.net/vv3 

Rlovehurd
Rlovehurd

He should of said, "Yes the state of our union is in emergency, and I was beeping to give you a heads up on it!"

Jdor415
Jdor415

Unbelievable, the Denver Police are just plain out of control and Denver's new Mayor is doing nothing about it. What happened to the 1st amendment.

Dickson
Dickson

Isn't the mayor suspected of frequenting the hookers of Denver? Maybe he is preoccupied with his own dirty laundry. Maybe!

Bscott
Bscott

Totally excessive over reach "police state mumbo jumbo" in an effort to keep peaceful protesters and it's supporters "under their thumb "

Denise Bohigian
Denise Bohigian

Free speech is not limited to speech. Good Luck to you. Honk!

scotchleaf
scotchleaf

No, it's limited to 1) polite discourse in 'free speech pens,' 2) spending vast amounts of money on television commercials, and 3) anything you want as long as you are a right wing moron. 

Corbyweaver123
Corbyweaver123

Heneeds to sign the back side of th e ticket and then the officer will have to pay it!!!! 

emptyfull
emptyfull

Don't you defenders of this horn-honking criminal read about the Supreme Court's decisions? Money=speech. Therefore more money=more "free" speech. This guy is a student so he doesn't have enough money to speak in ways that other people might hear him. He's still allowed to speak against economic inequality, of course, as long as he whispers, in his perfectly clean, refuse-free appartment, preferably while muffling his face with a pillow.

Now, if he just decided to use his speech to support the ideas of really rich people like the Koch brothers, he could honk and shout as loud as he wanted. Cause they're loaded.

Senorx
Senorx

What Daniel needs to do if he wants to have any chance of succeeding (assuming the City Attorney doesn't dismiss the case outright, which is entirely likely) is claim that honking his horn is a form of political expression protected by the First Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

Suzgrrl
Suzgrrl

Best $60 you ever spent! Well worth it, IMO.

josh
josh

Honking your horn is not probable cause to search your vehicle. Never consent to a search and if you are searched, make sure you politely say you do not consent to searches of your property or persons. 

Mr Fawkes
Mr Fawkes

In defiance of this idiocy and in support of OccupyDenver, we're calling for RANDOM-ACTS of DRIVE-BY HONKING all this week!

Mr fawkes
Mr fawkes

In support, we're calling for Saturday November 19th to be the world-wide 'DRIVE-BY & HONK' day!

Rjstennis
Rjstennis

Driving isn't a "right", it is a privilege. 

Isabel
Isabel

We are in a truly fascist state!!

Angel Bethany
Angel Bethany

Wow, that's getting pretty anal isn't it? Not only are they attacking OWS but now they are told to pull over cars who support? Don't blame the officer, blame the 1% who are getting sooo scared that they are trying to stop the movement in any way shape or form. That just goes to show you guys are on the right track. Keep it up Denver!!  You guys will not be stopped because what is just is on your side.

wallyreverb
wallyreverb

Piggly Mentality!- Just who does he think he's working for?

Joseph
Joseph

This isn't a "movement" anymore; it's the second American revolution. Get it right.

Julian66
Julian66

"Be quiet, keep your head down, move along, nothing to see here, move along, move along...."This is how the Nazi's liked things, and this is the way the POLICE are instructed to view the public--as perps to be herded and told to be quiet and move along. PISS on these armed robots!!!! They work for us whether they like it or not. This shit where cops are acting like your bitchy old 2nd grade teacher who hasn't got laid in twenty years must end!!

Vegchefforlife
Vegchefforlife

Um, this citizen was responding to an emergency situation. As are the rest of the protesters. He should plead not guilty and sue on the premise that his "warning" was exercising his right to free speech - in protest. ...and this cop searched his vehicle without reasonable cause. 

Guest
Guest

Sue the cops and the city for abuse of power, they need a reminder of what DEMOCRACY means!

Kay Fogleman
Kay Fogleman

This has gone WAY beyond STUPID ! Have those cops even thought about what they 4 doing ?

Jeannie1025
Jeannie1025

What we need here are some party noisemakers.  Since they're not standard equipment on cars the law does not apply.

Mal Bumgarner
Mal Bumgarner

I can just hear some Homeland Security F*$ktard listing for local law enforcement all of the legal ways that police can legally harass Occupy supporters.  Folks, this is really becoming a war...or actually more correct, the war is finally coming out of the closet.  It ain't gonna be pretty, either. Just use your common sense, be careful, be peaceful, and if possible, always have at least one friend with you when at, or around an Occupy event. Be prepared for every eventuality and never resist arrest if it comes to that.  You won't win, and it will earn you a broken arm or jaw ( at least some bruises), pepper spray, handcuffs, and the potential for increased fines or jail time...you WILL go to jail if you resist arrest no matter what else you may have done, or not done.  This is what they want, they want you to resist, but as was learned in the civil rights and Vietnam War protests, don't give them a reason to amp up their actions against you.  Stay peaceful. Be careful...and keep up your support of Occupy!!

Kevin Conner
Kevin Conner

Honking your horn is like pulling a fire alarm in a crowded movie theater.  It's a loud disruption to notify people of an emergency situation.  He deserved the ticket.  For the record, cops will also pull you over for honking your horn on a public road if:You just graduatedYou are partying at OktoberfestYou are cruising during Cinco de MayoYou are just married (well they usually let this one slide, but you gotta be careful)You are going through a tunnel

People who think it's OK to honk your horn for any reason deserve these tickets because it can result in accidents.

Manowar
Manowar

Tell that crap theory to all the people leaving a Bronco game with the cops standing by watching. What a crock. This is selective enforcement and nothing else.

Haze0722
Haze0722

What's wrong with DPD - why would you help create revenue for a city administration that does not support you?

coloradojohn
coloradojohn

I guess I better not hear a fucking horn after the Broncos game if they win or any other event. Selective enforcement makes a law invalid you stupid PIG fucks. Further you are making Denver the laughing stock of the West. What next ? Are you going to bring some Oakland good old boy officers in to show you how to shoot innocent protestors in the head with rubber bullets. Thank God I don't live in the city limits of Denver or I'd move as your little Hitler mayor is a joke. .

Donaldvan
Donaldvan

I've never seen a black Hitler until now.

Cal Fire News
Cal Fire News

The search was illegal also! Never give consent! especially when you have nothing to hide... These goons have forgotten who they work for...

Clarsa_mcelhaney
Clarsa_mcelhaney

The law may not be applied randomly, or at whim. Unless the police establish that they have ticketed all persons honking in support (say, to election or other political signs), then the choice to do so only to those supporting Occupy Denver is discriminatory and illegal.  Regardless of the law, honking is a form of free speech - an audible expression of support for a political redress. It cannot be allowed for some causes and prosecuted for others.

Big Mack
Big Mack

I guess he didn't know that he could've refused the search because the cop had no line-of-sight probable cause. If the cop was demanding a search of a locked compartment, the guy should've simply told the cop that he would wait for a dog.

Never, never, NEVER EVER allow a cop access to a locked trunk, glovebox, or other secured area unless he can either produce a search warrant or he has line-of-sight probable cause. Give him your keys, and give up your rights.

In addition, ask the cop SPECIFICALLY what he is searching for, because that will limit the scope of the search, and thus, limits the scope of evidence that can be used later.

Ticketed for honking? Sheesh! How about catching drunk drivers or burglary suspects...?

A tree that speaks japanese
A tree that speaks japanese

I'm sure the meathead police officers are getting off on beating up people and ticketing volunteers. So I expect this to never end as its too much fun for them.

Police State of America

Peggyamaya
Peggyamaya

there is speculation that the money for all these raids nationwide is from the Department of Homeland Security.  Mayor Quan told reporters that she participated in a conference call of about 18 city mayors around the country, in preparation for this sweep.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Kalana Welch
Kalana Welch

When did this become Cuba or old Soviet Union. We start WAR's in the name of Human rights and then we start doing this to our own. SHAME SHAME

Boxy Bell
Boxy Bell

Death throes of a dying empire...

Here's a story
Here's a story

So, does this mean those "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper stickers are now illegal?

John Taylor
John Taylor

Just goes to show you the laws are not there to stop criminals, to protect citizens, so much as they are there to ensnare citizens who run afoul of the state and their corporate/bankster cronies

Stilldancing3o3
Stilldancing3o3

The Dpd have been abusing their authority for years ★honk honk honk!★

Jazzwoman53
Jazzwoman53

Even the RTD drivers are honking in solidarity.  Are the fuzz gonna pull them over, too?  Of course they will...it will give them the opportunity to pull the driver out and beat them bloody for the sport of it.  And, that is what the DPD does best.

RockyMissouri
RockyMissouri

What a creepy thing to do......... Did the guy lay on the horn, or do short toots...???? What pussies.

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