Man shot, paralyzed over unpaid parking tickets

I’ve sometimes made the reductio ad absurdum argument that we’re closing in on the day where the police will start conducting SWAT raids over unpaid parking tickets. This wasn’t quite that, but it was close, and the outcome was awful.

A man was shot Thursday morning in Lehigh County when a Pennsylvania State Constable tried to serve him with a warrant over unpaid parking tickets.

The constable told the district attorney he felt his life was in danger as he tried to serve 38-year-old Kevin McCullers.

McCullers, who had 31 outstanding parking tickets, was shot as he tried to back out of his driveway along the 3400 block of Portland Drive in Whitehall Township around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. His girlfriend says McCullers was on his way to Dunkin’ Donuts and was surprised by the constable.

“They never knocked on the door. No, nothing. I just heard the gunshots. He pulled the car out of the garage and all I heard were gunshots,” said Hafeezah Muhammad, who added that McCullers, who was hit in the back, may not walk again. “For parking tickets? It’s insane.”

“Constable” is an elected, somewhat antiquated position. The article suggests there’s little oversight or mandatory training for those who win the office.

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Radley Balko · July 29