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Props to John Clifford !

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  • Props to John Clifford !

    There should be a "Clifford's Law" where social respect is enforced!


    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

    Man Who Yelled at Phone User Acquitted

    By SAMUEL MAULL
    Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) -- A retired police officer who screamed obscenities at a train passenger who was talking on a cell phone and who hit the hand of another passenger who intervened was acquitted Tuesday of misdemeanor charges stemming from the confrontation.

    John Clifford, who is also a lawyer, was found not guilty after a two-day nonjury trial at which he acted as his own attorney. He had been charged with misdemeanor counts of attempted assault, disorderly conduct, harassment and attempted petit larceny and had faced up to a year in jail if convicted.

    Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen issued his verdict immediately after closing arguments: "I see no crimes having been committed beyond a reasonable doubt. The case is dismissed and sealed."

    The 6-foot-4 Clifford acknowledged during trial that he was aggressive and overbearing when he approached Long Island Rail Road commuters he considered rude for talking too loudly on cell phones and for other behavior.

    During trial, Clifford, 60, admitted cursing at Nicholas Bender, "a 19-year-old nitwit waking up one girlfriend after another," and slapping the hand of Lydia Klein after she slapped his when he reached for a business card she was handing Bender on the train from Long Beach to Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station on March 28, 2007.

    Clifford, who retired as a police sergeant after 10 years on the job, said Tuesday he had been arrested eight times after being accused of throwing coffee, spewing expletives and getting in the faces of people whom he considered loud and rude on the commuter line. This was the only case that wasn't dismissed.

    "It took a lawyer and an old ex-police sergeant to stand up to it (public rudeness)," Clifford, of Long Beach, said as he left court. He said that unless lawmakers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority do something, the lack of public civility will persist.

    Asked what he regretted about his behavior, Clifford replied, "Nothing."

    He added, "I don't want anybody to think they can't have a private conversation (around me), but keep it private."

    The LIRR issued a statement saying it was "disappointed" but accepted the judgment of the court.

    "Some of our customers feel as if they have been abused by Mr. Clifford's behavior," the statement said. "We will not tolerate aggressive behavior by Mr. Clifford if he seeks to impose his own standards of conduct on others. We will not hesitate in the future to call on police if necessary to protect the safety of our customer and employees."

    Meanwhile, Clifford, a lawyer since 1984, has filed five lawsuits against passengers and against the MTA, which runs the region's mass transit system, for issues arising from his reactions to rudeness.

    Clifford, formerly a security staffer for HBO, was fired after being arrested several times in connection with his LIRR confrontations. He said he plans now to "hang out my shingle again" and practice law.

  • #2
    Re: Props to John Clifford !

    I'm disappointed by this. While I very much agree that people should be courteous and considerate of those around them, particularly on mass transit, I am not going to give props to someone for harassing, physically assaulting and menacing other passengers. You shouldn't have to worry about being terrorized by someone like this on a train, and it strikes me as odd that someone is attempting to fight rudeness with violence! He frankly sounds mentally ill and in need of anger management counseling, and I'm glad the LIRR is standing up to him.

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    • #3
      Re: Props to John Clifford !

      Yeah, he does sound a bit off, but if LIRR (which is in the lame embarrassing Penn Station filled with hordes of rude people pushing and shoving each other like feral boars) won't do anything about it, then I think sometimes it takes something outrageous to call attention to and rectify the problem.

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      • #4
        Re: Props to John Clifford !

        I disagree. You don't try to change quality of life issues by denying others quality of life. He's targeting and harassing individual customers and he's being violent. He's not bringing attention to the problem of rudeness, he's a menace and a bully. And if he ever dared to hit my hand on the train, I'd have the police waiting to arrest him for assault at the next station.

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        • #5
          Re: Props to John Clifford !

          Good for John! The man is my hero for opening his mouth. Just try riding the Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station to Long Beach on a summer morning. Absolute hell on earth.

          People are oblivious on that train. The live to hear themselves talk and there is really no way to politely shut anyone up without moving to another car.
          www.shardsofglass.etsy.com, www.shardsofglassmosaics.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Re: Props to John Clifford !

            Apparently she slapped him first, but who knows.
            Public behavior is really going down the hill. I used to think Rudy's Quality of Life campaign was a bit gestapo, but I think the rat was on to something.

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            • #7
              Re: Props to John Clifford !

              Here ya go:
              http://www.thesignaljammer.com/porta...al-jammer.html

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              • #8
                Re: Props to John Clifford !

                Originally posted by Vidis View Post
                Apparently she slapped him first, but who knows.
                Public behavior is really going down the hill. I used to think Rudy's Quality of Life campaign was a bit gestapo, but I think the rat was on to something.
                Haha Vidis! You actually have a good point. I was in Dubai this past fall for a few days - and it's basically an Islamic dictatorship. VERY strict. Far more strict than I'm comfortable with. But I was surprised at myself to find there was an upside to that. Everyone knows what will and won't be tolerated. This kind of rude behavior wouldn't be tolerated there for a second. So call it Gestapo - or whatever you want. But I have to say, it made being there really nice. Their subways are sparkling clean and no one would dare behave this way on the trains or anywhere else in public.

                I came home kind of thinking it might be nice to have a benevolent dictator as a mayor (except for the fact they'd eventually take it too far). Someone who enforced some kind of social order that people had to abide by when they're in public, whether they liked it or not. We're seeing what happens when the attitude is - to each their own. Basically we all feel no one can tell anyone else how to behave in public. No one agrees to the same set of standards and no one sets a standard. So this is what we get when there are no standards.

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