Instead Of Helping The Homeless, Cop Dresses As Homeless Person To Write Tickets (VIDEO)

In the state of Maryland, there are at least 50,000 homeless individuals on the streets every year, with hundreds in the city of Bethesda alone. With the weather getting colder, it is very important that someone brings some attention to the problem of homelessness and works on a solution. Unfortunately, that “someone” is not Montgomery County Police, who used a very real problem confronting millions of Americans to rake in some sweet, sweet money.

The department placed an officer disguised as a homeless man at an intersection in Bethesda — and, like many desperate individuals in America, he was holding a sign. But instead of a plea for help, kindness, or money, the officer insulted underprivileged people by writing, “I am not homeless. I am a Montgomery County Police Officer looking for cell phone texting violations.”

The officer would lie in wait for people checking their phones at the stop light, and then radio to uniformed officers nearby who would pull the drivers over and issue tickets. Now, texting and driving is a serious issue, one that increases the risk of a crash by up to 23 times the normal rate. Unfortunately, not only does this exercise not target people who are actually texting a driving (many who would not otherwise do that will quickly check their phones while stopped at a light, despite any technicalities in the law), but it makes a mockery of a pervasive issue in our society.

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Image via Fox News

“Ultimately, the law is a hands free device, so it can’t even be in your hand,” Officer Brian Nave told WUSA9 in explaining the sting. At least six officers, apparently having solved all other crime in the city, eagerly awaited the opportunity to shoot some fish in a barrel, the station reports. Sure, these officers could have been delivering food to the homeless, or distributing blankets to help those who have nowhere to live weather the increasingly cold weather, but the bottom line is just as good.

“If you’re using your thumbs texting while driving down the road, it’s totally distracting because you have to look down to see what you’re typing,” Sgt. Phillip Chapin told WTOP. “When you have your phone to your ear you’re distracted because you only have one hand on the wheel, and it’s hard to react.”

One driver who was caught with a phone in his hand at the traffic light called the ploy “smart,” but there is nothing “smart” about degrading those who are genuinely homeless to put some money in the city’s coffers.  Yes, it is important to deal with the issue of texting and driving, but once again, stopping people who pull out a phone at a stop light does nothing to deter individuals from engaging in long strings of text messages while on the road.

During the two-hour sting operation, police issued 56 citations and warnings, with each texting ticket bringing in $70 profit and each ticket for talking on the phone while driving amassing $83 in revenue apiece. Unfortunately, they only cited four people for texting while driving. Most were cited for “using hands to use the phone while driving,” which would include any circumstance under which someone was touching their phone for any reason. Almost half of citations issued had nothing to do will cell phones at all.

Texting and driving is dangerous — but so is lacking the humanity to consider a human condition worthy of being nothing more than a “disguise” to raise some money.

We contacted Chapin to ask if the department would consider donating half of the revenue raised by this distasteful checkpoint to help the homeless population, and he confirmed that none of the money will be used to benefit society’s most vulnerable. “We don’t feel bad for doing it,” he told AI, “because we made the roads safer.”

Watch a report on this insult to the homeless, below:

Featured Image via Fox News