She does not deny rolling through the three-way intersection of Summit Street and Vernon Street in her 1990 Honda five-speed.
In her letter to the Central Infractions Bureau she admits the officer had a right to pull her over, but with 28 years of driving in the city and no moving violations, she expected nothing more than a warning. Instead, on that day in early March, she was issued a $129 ticket.
Her “not guilty” plea, she writes, is “the most efficient way to officially present to official parties,” her “outrage at decisions made by official parties after the crime committed March 4 on Allen Place near Summit Street.”
On the day of her ticket, Hartford resident Elizabeth Davis noted that there were two patrol cars and one motorcycle officer assigned to this area. In her complaint, she writes:
I submit their presence had nothing to do with traffic safety in Hartford. I submit it had everything to do with Trinity College’s demand for police resources after the March 4 early morning assault on a student.
She called this a “waste of my town’s police budget,” and noted that on her way to take photos of fourteen illegally parked vehicles — including one Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes — which were not receiving tickets, she was passed by a Four Wheeler ATV “doing wheelies” up New Britain Avenue.
The traffic stop, she said, was more about the appearance of security than a matter of traffic safety or apprehending suspects in the March 4 assault. Davis writes:
Stopping me, giving a warning and then asking might have I been in the area at the time of the crime, could perhaps, have forwarded the investigation.
Calling herself someone with “great concern for reckless driving habits,” she presented scenarios during which this kind of police activity would have been warranted:
If I had been pulled over and ticketed for rolling through a stop sign at Park Street and Main Street after the egregious hit and run in May of 2008, I would understand. Had I been pulled over on Plainfield Street after Dartanyon Blake was found with unexplained injuries, I would understand. (In the wake of the attention to the assault on the Trinity student, the Hartford Courant reported Mr. Blake may have been a victim of a hit and run. Were officers deployed to Plainfield Street once this possible cause of his death came to light?)
Her case has been transferred to Superior court.
Meanwhile, in an email sent out to the Trinity College community on April 6th, President Jones wrote, “We are also committed to working with the Hartford Police and our neighbors in this community to support safety initiatives in our broader neighborhood.” Earlier, in the same message, he said “We anticipate that Margolis [Margolis Healy & Associates, the firm from which James A. Perrotti, the new interim director of campus safety, comes] will use an approach called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which can involve using a variety of approaches, including landscaping, lighting, fencing, and other devices to help manage campus access. This firm will also assess campus lighting, security cameras, frequency and styles of patrols, and the full range of campus safety techniques that characterize campus communities that are safe and secure. Margolis will develop a suggested plan over the summer, intent on beginning implementation next fall or sooner, where practical.”
Today, April 9th, was Perrotti’s first day of work at Trinity.