A traffic stop turned into controversy last month when Henry County police ended up arresting Lauren Angelica Law for obstructing a police officer in Stockbridge. According to an audio posted on Facebook under the name ʞhammad Zakir Khan-yes, the same name as the star of MTV’s “Porn Song,” – Law six times cited People vs. Battle, also a case from California that made the point that police cannot seize property without first proving the suspect is guilty. In her defense, she cited free speech and that police officers are just trying to do their job. But it seems that wasn’t enough: Angelica Law was eventually found guilty and given a bench warrant for her arrest.
Police arrested Law after she failed to cooperate with them on a routine check of her vehicle. According to the report, after they failed to find any illegal substances in her car, they asked her to step out, then detained her. When she refused, they searched her car and found several illegal drugs, according to the police report. They also found a loaded gun in the passenger seat, which was hers. She was taken to jail and later released on bond, according to the report.
The story doesn’t end there. About two hours later, Henry County sheriff’s detective Dennis Rader noticed that Angelica was posting on Facebook about a man who had been in custody with her in Henry County Jail, saying that he was “rated” six million dollars and that his bond was high. According to Rader, Law was at the courthouse in town and saw the posting; upon viewing the post, Law became agitated, took down the post and reportedly told the detective, “If you want to come get me that [expletive] in jail, I’m going to need all the help I can get.” According to Rader, he asked why she would post something like that about a man who was in jail, and she replied, “just so you know.” He asked her again why she did that, and she said that she didn’t know that the information was public record and didn’t know that the information on the detective’s computer was accessible by anyone else.
When he asked her why she wouldn’t just come clean and let him know that she was using her car to drive to work and back, she said that she didn’t know how to do that and didn’t know how to get caught. According to the investigator, she told him that if he wanted to search her car, he could look for any weapons or drugs that might be found in the vehicle. Several months later, after the case was completed, he was presented with a search warrant. He asked for permission to search her vehicle because he said that he didn’t feel comfortable with her keeping things in his car while he was in it. She said that she didn’t know what he meant, and gave him permission to search her car.
When the investigating officer asked her why she wrote down the description of the events that occurred during the traffic stop, she said that she couldn’t remember. She said that she saw the officer pulling her over and didn’t remember whether or not he had given her a ticket. She also said that she saw the traffic stop sign, and saw him take the keys from her. According to the officer who wrote the ticket, Lauren Angelica Law had been cooperative throughout the entire investigation. The traffic stop was one of many that she had done throughout the day. She didn’t give any reason for the traffic stop.
When interviewed by the state prosecutor, Lauren Angelica Law claimed that she had nothing to do with the scene of the accident. When the prosecutor asked her if she had given any money to the victim, she said no, and that she did not open the door of the car or give anyone keys to it. When the prosecutor asked her if she had been drinking that day, she said that she wasn’t, and that she had only a sip of coffee. The investigating officer found that there were no signs of injury to the victim in the vehicle. He explained to the state prosecutor that the victim could have been lying on the ground, but that there was no way to tell for sure.
Angelica was charged with one count of driving under the influence, a felony, and faced a maximum sentence of three years in prison. She would have to give up her license, undergo mandatory alcohol education, and pay a large fine, which would have caused a financial hardship. She requested a trial date, and the state agreed to trial by video. Her trial was set for July 8, 2009. The judge assigned a traffic judge to preside over the case.
Lauren had hired an attorney, Mark Furston, who handled drunk-driving cases, and she was represented by another attorney, Patrick McClellan. McClellan argued that Angelica was innocent because the police officer had not been trained in traffic laws, and because there was no blood alcohol test, which he said was not required by law in Florida. He also said that Angelica’s blood alcohol level did not rise above the legal limit when the officer arrested her.v