Friday, August 7, 2009

Actions of Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell were beyond reckless

Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell has caused a stir by telling the media that he did get a ticket a couple of weeks ago for doing 111 mph in a 60 mph zone.
According to this video from KTBS, Caldwell was stopped at 6:30 on a Sunday morning on I-20 at Airline Drive. Doing 111 anywhere at anytime is foolish and reckless. Doing it on I-20 at Airline is beyond reckless, it is approaching homicidal.
The National Safety Council says that the major causes of traffic collisions and fatalities are speed, aggressive driving, driving while impaired, and following too closely. You will notice that speed is number one on that list.
In 2000 State Rep. Pinky Wilkerson was killed on this same stretch of I-20 in a 6 car accident caused by a driver who was speeding and did not stop for traffic.
As soon as I finish court,” Caldwell said of his September court date, “I’m gonna pay my ticket and move on. I’m not asking for any special treatment. Hopefully, (the judge) will let me go to traffic school and keep it off my record — feels kinda funny saying that.”
I don’t think that will happen, nor should it happen.
Louisiana state law allows the court to: defer proceedings and allow an offender to participate in this program provided the following conditions are satisfied: (1) The offender pleads either nolo contendere or guilty to the charge; (2) the offender has not participated in such a program within 2 years; and, (3) the offense did not involve exceeding the posted speed limit by 25 MPH or more.
I believe that doing 51 mph OVER the limit pretty much eliminates that possibility.
What is most disturbing to me about this is that Caldwell seems oblivious to the fact that he could have killed someone with his actions. He said he was surprised at the attention this is receiving. He shouldn’t be. He is one of the highest elected law enforcement officers in the region; of course it is going to get public attention.
He says that he is ready to pay his $250 fine and move on. I hope he can take away a new awareness of the danger that his actions presented.


  1. 111?? What was he thinking? Jim you keep hitting on this one theme whether you realize it or not. That is high profile people doing or saying dumb things and setting bad examples. Imagine being ticketed by this guy or being judged by a judged that may have done the same thing. At least he seems willing to admit guilt and take his punishment. Imagine the uproar if he tried to fight it and or got off without punishment. This also brings to mind a question. If a normal person might have gotten off with a lighter judgement, but because this isan eleceted official and the judge does not want to have the appearance of favoritism because of this persons position, can this marshal o others elected officials expect to be judged harsher than an everyday citizen? Another words, is justice blind in this case? Just raising the question.

  2. That's a very good question Darrell. According to the DA, this will be treated like any other case. It just shows such horrible judgment on his part. To his credit, he isn't trying to run away from it, as you pointed out. We can only hope that he will learn a big lesson from this.

  3. Another though, how many people would think he should be, or want him to be, judged more harshly because he is an elected official? But when it comes to us and our friends, we want the lightest judgment possible or to even be let off completely. I have been guilty of that.

  4. Jim,

    According to the Times this morning its already not being treated like any other case. The trooper stated that he could not confirm it per the orders of the DA and then goes on to say typically these type of things are released. Why would Schuyler Marvin try to protect someone that commited this type of wreckless act???

  5. i dont believe the statute involving the freedom of information act can be ignored by marvin, although he appears to want to try and cover it up for some reason. the arrogance these politicians have in covering for each other pretty much openly-and they seem to get away with it.

  6. ya'll must have read a different story than me. the article i read quoted the DA as saying the marshall won't be given special treatment, that he wo0uld be required to appear and plead either guilty or not guilty. what more is the DA supposed to do?

  7. hopefully you are right---i looked up the statute and since he was speeding over 25mph over the posted speed limit, the judge cant cut him any slack on keeping it off his record even if he goes to driving school (as caldwell mentioned he hoped the judge would allow). so if marvin doesnt drop the speeding ticket down below 25 over, he is out of luck---hopefully marvin will hold him to the same standard everyone else is held to

  8. Lets see, If my sixth grade education is right then he would have to shave off 26 mph to get it into the range. Thats a lot and would raise a lot of suspicion. He is just better off for his career and the others involved in this are better off paying for what he done in the long run. Darrell

  9. caldwell court date today. i guess we will see what the DA and judge do. hopefully its not reduced, him getting away with drinking while driving and going 118 in a 60 is bad enough


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