On today’s edition of “The System is Broken,” New Hampshire police called in the SWAT team to deal with a man who was paying a parking ticket in pennies… yes, really.
When Billy Spaulding visited City Hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, with a 5-gallon bucket of pennies last week, and attempted to pay the $75 fine for parking in front of a fire hydrant, he was met with some resistance.
As the Free Thought Project reported:
“After approaching the country clerk, notifying him he was paying his fine in cash, and attempting to present the pennies to the government employee, the clerk sternly refused to take his form of payment. ‘You’re not paying it like this!’ he said. ‘Did we do this to you?…Did I do this to you?’ the clerk asked. ‘Yes. You did…You have to accept this. This is how I’m paying,’ he said. ‘Laugh all you want, I’m not playing around. I’m not having an argument here. I’m just here to pay my fine.’ The clerk reminded Spaulding he’d called police.”
The officers that dealt with the former U.S. Marine seemed more concerned with whether or not he had a bank account, which, quite frankly, is none of their business!
The officers also told Spaulding’s friend that he was not allowed to film the encounter, because he did not tell the officers ahead of time that they would be recorded
Is it inconvenient for the state when someone pays a fine using 7,5000 pennies? Absolutely! But it’s not illegal. By attempting to pay a fine in coins, Spaulding was not breaking the law. By open-carrying in a city hall in New Hampshire, he was still not breaking law. And most importantly, by filming an encounter with a police officer in public, Spaulding’s friend was was still not breaking the law.
This is an example of an incident in which it really makes you wonder—why are these officers wasting so much effort harassing law-abiding, and what should they have been doing with their taxpayer-funded time instead?