Many people do not remember Lester Maddox but Maddox was one of the most illustrious and productive governors to ever serve Georgia. He was Governor from 1967 to 1971 and then served as Lt. Governor from 1971 to 1975. Remembered as a backwoods,red-necked segregationist, Maddox was actually a street smart Atlanta boy.
Since we sometimes enjoy recounting his off-the-cuff, dumb-ass remarks I thought I would repeat my favorite. When asked what could be done about the abysmal conditions in Georgia prisons, Maddox remarked, “We need a better class of prisoner.”
I love that remark and the statement remains true today. I am a news junkie and one of the first things I do every morning is read the police blotter reports in the “Athens Banner-Herald.” Most are excellently written by Joe Johnson and almost all are characterized by a clearly apparent societal need: “We need a better class of criminal.”
Following is a list of just a few of the stupid things Athens criminals have done recently that put them in the express lane to the slammer:
– Speeding…… in a stolen car. Speeding –A proven attention getter! Driver escapes on foot. He’s the one who got away!
– Speeding 74 in posted 65 MPH limit. Gives bogus ID information. Has 2 outstanding warrants. Police get to know her better.
– Exits car, leaves parking lights on and wanders around apartment parking lot aimlessly at 2:00 AM. Looking for a bogus friend, “Chris.” Police find marijuana and scales in car.
– Another wanderer. Aimlessly looking up and down and back and forth outside apartment building. Constant rubber-necking attracts Police attention. Police investigate and find his weed and the scales hidden in the real weeds.
-Failure to dim lights for Police car. Police stop convicted felon with weed and pistol in car.
-Playing loud music. Neighbors complain. Cops smell marijuana at the door. Bad boys have weed scattered throughout house. Advice – If you’re going to jam while you
deal, use earbuds.
-Passenger without seat belt fastened – Police stop results in marijuana bust. Policeman
feeling paternal wanted to be sure the lad was safe….so he put him in a cell.
– Stopped for homemade cardboard license plate. Do not deliver weed to your customers if you do not have a valid license plate. Policemen are inquisitive. They want to hear
the sad story of how you lost your auto tag.
– Stealing cars that have broken down on the road. Stealing disabled cars has occurred twice recently in Athens. Come on fellows, steal Jags, Mercedes or BMW’s. Steal
cars that will crank and run. Is there an unwritten rule that if you have to manually
push it six blocks, you didn’t really steal it?
-Traffic stop results in search that produces crack found in a man’s mouth. The report
does not say, whose crack it is or whose mouth it’s in.
Our local criminals have never learned that police will stop your car if the license plate lights are not burning. Usually there two of these little lights and either one can be burned out. A burned out license tag light is much like a huge magnet to a Police car.
The Police will pay a “drive up” courtesy call right to your car and give you a friendly warning. However, if your car smells like a marijuana smoke stack, the visit will become more serious and that’s when all the formal introductions are made. This would be the perfect time to remember your real name and where you live.
Keeping the little plate lights shining brightly would be a good first lesson for crooks to remember but they refuse to learn!! They have been raised to believe they are invisible.
It all boils down to this! We need a better class of criminal!
Post script for Lester Maddox – To give old Lester Maddox his due, the backwoods, red-neck segregationist advanced the cause of education immeasurably with money to schools and money to school teachers and it has been often noted that during his administration as Governor, there were more African-Americans appointed to executive positions and given state jobs than in all previous administrations combined.