Shooting Brings Spotlight To AR Speed-Trap Town


A bizarre traffic court shooting has brought international attention to a Jericho, Ark., a speed-trap town with a population of 174 citizens and seven police officers. Now Police Chief Willie Frazier decided to disband his force “until things calm down,” a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff’s deputies are asking where all the money from endless tickets the seven officers write, according to the Associated Press.

The turmoil began when Fire Chief Don Payne went into traffic court to contest yet another ticket. Payne vented to Judge Tonya Alexander. An argument between Payne and the seven police officers who attended the hearing apparently escalated to a scuffle, ending when an officer shot Payne from behind. Doctors removed a .40-caliber bullet from Payne’s hip bone. Another officer suffered a grazing wound to his finger from the bullet. Town officials weren’t talking. Mayor Helen Adams said, “We’ll get with you after all this comes through.”

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