This Friday Cheers broke out as two Florida lawmakers abandoned their quest to strip Hampton of its cityhood, a notorious speed trap, known as Hampton Florida which gained even more infamy as a symbol of small-town corruption when the legislators threatened last month to yank its city charter. Who would of thought this small city of just 477 residents, 476 if you don’t count the former mayor, who’s sitting up the road in jail on a drug charge on top of it all could be capable of attaining 31 violations of local, state and federal codes, along with allegations of nepotism, double-dipping and personal use of city property. Just when you thought Florida was all sweet and not full of as much corruption like big cities such as, New York or Chicago, this may affect Florida negatively by not looking so attracting to tourist’s anymore by making it look less vacationy and appealing to relax in.
The trouble began innocently according Hampton’s newly appointed city attorney, John Cooper, first a Texaco station out on nearby U.S. 301 asked for police protection after a few bad traffic accidents and a couple of homicides. And so, Hampton agreed to annex a 1,200-foot stretch of highway. Only later did someone come up with the idea that there was plenty of easy money to be made from catching speeders and writing tickets, just like neighboring cities Waldo and Lawtey were doing. The only problem was, the police department constantly overspent its budget, and all that ticket revenue never seemed to benefit anybody outside of City Hall. A Bradford County Sheriff, Gordon Smith, said many of the officers weren’t trained properly, and the audit found that some of them drove uninsured vehicles. One officer, nicknamed “Rambo,” dressed in tactical gear and strapped an assault rifle across his chest, just to write tickets. Makes you wonder if these so called sheriff’s are really making our society a safer place or a scary place for people to live in fear of getting killed. This is just a prime example of how police officer’s abuse there power by treating civilian’s like money machines by punishing them to get money out of them.
In addition, to the code violations, the audit found plenty of other eye-popping irregularities which included a $132,000 credit account at the local BP station, for example, and $27,000 in credit card charges for items that “served no public purpose.” When lawmakers met with Hampton’s citizens last month, the two men were taken back by the passion of residents’ pleas to spare their city. Some said yanking the charter would be like victimizing them twice. The lawmakers listened, and threw down a challenge: If the city didn’t clean up its act soon, they vowed to move forward with a bill to dissolve the city’s charter. I think that Florida is already one of the city’s with the worst economy as it is and it is a shame that the people that are suppose to “protect us, the people” are out there using and abusing the citizens of this country in the sunny state of Florida to get money of of it’s own people and as a result bring us down more. In conclusion, justice will set us free is what we are suppose to stand for, but what happens when the ones that are working for the law and are suppose to be serving this country by enforcing the law are working against us at the same time by abusing their power. As a country so progessively improving to the point that we have a black president today, we have got to do better, enforcement on speeding on the highways are not a way to squeeze the little bit of money people work so hard just to get by, these sheriffs must be punished for causing so much harm on innocent people and bringing us down as a state and as a country economically, and emotionally overall.