Cop Homophobes, Gays have had to enjure their kind for too long. Well, we can fight back now! Root them out and give them a taste of their own medicine.
One would think Jay …. but ….
NORTHFIELD – The city prosecutor admitted Wednesday she had no case against a Somers Point man who had been charged with drunken driving even though he registered a blood-alcohol reading of 0.00 percent.
Michele Verno dropped both the DUI charge and a reckless driving charge against Tyrone Foxworth on Wednesday in municipal court, saying she could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Afterward, Foxworth, a black man who in 2003 led a rally against racial profiling in Linwood, and attorney Justin Laughry questioned whether race was a factor in the initial arrest.
“It’s a question in our minds,” said Laughry, “and we have to reflect on it.”
It was about 3 a.m. Nov. 27, Thanksgiving morning, when Foxworth approached a DUI checkpoint along Shore Road while driving with two friends.
Verno told Judge Matthew Powals that standard procedure at such checkpoints is for every fifth vehicle to be flagged and pulled over.
“I felt as though the stop was arbitrary,” Foxworth said Wednesday, “although I agree that there are procedures and practices they’re supposed to follow.”
When asked by police if he had been drinking, Foxworth said he answered no. He was then asked to perform a sobriety “balance” test, he said, after which he was placed under arrest for drunken driving. A Breathalyzer test, however, resulted in a blood-alcohol reading of 0.00 percent.
It was unclear whether it was alcohol or drug use that was initially suspected by police, however. Laughry said one of the passengers may have been drinking – leading to an the odor of alcohol in the car – while the arrest report by Officer Kristina Ramsi states that Foxworth was suspected of being “under the influence of alcohol/drugs.”
Northfield police Chief Robert James said only that there was a “suspicion of intoxication.”
“I don’t want to say alcohol or narcotics,” James said Wednesday.
Foxworth denies using either drugs or alcohol that night. In any event, there could be no evaluation of drug use anyway, since there was no drug-recognition expert available at the time of the arrest.
“It was a multijurisdictionalDUI checkpoint,” James said. “Officers for several departments were involved. We followed procedure and followed the guidance of the legal adviser on call that weekend.”
Foxworth, James said, “was in one of the last cars to go through the checkpoint.” Northfield does not have its own drug-recognition expert, he said, and the department had been “utilizing an officer from another agency that had already been released for the night. We were unable to locate (another) one.”
No blood or urine was taken for testing, Verno told the court – “And even if they had a drug-recognition expert, I doubt they would have,” Laughry said.
The reckless driving charge was tied directly to the DUI charge, and Powals made sure to enter into the court record that there was “no observed improper behavior” on Foxworth’s part.
“They didn’t pull him over because he was doing anything wrong,” Powals said. “It was random.”
Foxworth was one of four people to be charged with DUI that night at the checkpoint, which had been featured in a Dec. 1 story in The Press of Atlantic City examining the effectiveness of such stops.
“I presume that their endgame required me to at least get an attorney to get to the bottom of this,” Foxworth said of why he believed the charges were not dropped earlier. “I’ll be reviewing my options with my attorney how to proceed with regard to whether my constitutional rights were violated.”