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By now you may know that Mayor Adrian Fenty made a right-hand turn last night in Chinatown while driving his city-owned Smart Car—without using his turn signal—and received a warning from a police officer for his offense.
(Turning without a signal! We know, we know; the horror!)
But why not a ticket? Is there an unwritten police policy prohibiting writing Hizonner a ticket?
Well, duh, says Fraternal Order of Police Head Kris Baumann, who added that other officers who have written tickets to members of the mayor’s office “have gotten crushed.”
If you don’t want a headache, “don’t the write the mayor a ticket,” Baumann said.
The Examiner’s intrepid Bill Myers penned this piece in 2007 documenting accusations from the FOP that a Fenty aide tried to use her political pull to get out of a ticket—an accusation the Fenty administration and the police brass denied. (As you might expect they would.)
After, yes, yet another ribbon-cutting ceremony (for new housing in Ward 7), Fenty was asked by reporters about the warning Thursday. His response:
“We defer completely to the police department. Sincerely, a resident including me as mayor, should never tell a police officer how to do their business, and I have believed that since I was a civilian and believe it as mayor, and I just can’t say enough about the great work of the police department.”
Fenty then told a TV cameraman to get footage of him driving away in his Smart car, saying it would make good B-roll.
(Of course, this just proves Fenty isn’t really serious about traffic safety; if he was, he would have ordered the officer to write him a ticket! Vince Gray, over to you! Er, wait, maybe not.)