A Florida man was placed under arrest on Saturday morning in the city of Apopka, for what local police are calling obstruction of an officer without violence and a "pedestrian violation." As this is Florida, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was something insane. Rather, he was protesting his fair city's use of red light cameras.
66-year-old Mark Schmidter was on the corner handing out fliers to motorists stopped at red lights. The double-sided fliers had a petition and a message about a city council meeting, where citizens could voice their concerns about red light cameras. This was all well and good, until Schmidter was approached by a police officer.
Schmidter told the officer he didn't have a permit for the protest, and when asked for identification, responded that as he wasn't driving, he had no need for ID. When he continued to (peacefully) resist the officer's requests for identification or information about who he was, the officer cuffed him and made an arrest.
Schmidter's argument about the cameras was that, "Red light cameras are all about money - not safety. Governments choose tax money over safety of motorists." Citizens across the country seem to support this reasoning, with TheNewspaper.com finding that in 30 public referendums across the country, cameras have been overturned 90 percent of the time. Schmidter was fined $65 for the pedestrian violation and was held for 12 hours before being released on $500 bond. His push to remove the red light cameras requires 500 signatures before a public referendum can be held.