Look, in a civilized society, there’s a need for order. We need cops. We need law and order. It’s essential for any city, town or village to function appropriately. Still, why do so many cops have to be raging assholes? Why do they have to be so power hungry? Why do they have to be so damn obsessed with their status that they forget common sense, manners and civility?
Let’s face it, how many times have you, my readers, been approached by a cop for a minor infringement and been treated like a a piece of shit? I’m addressing this to everyone but the really pretty girls. That whole “innocent” and “bashful fluttering of your eyes” trick is not a myth. I know people who’ve used it to their advantage. No, I’m addressing all of us who haven’t used our looks to get by in life. I’m going to guess that all of you people have had a least one rude run-in with a cop.
With that said, I apologize for what I’m about to say because I truly wish it wasn’t true . . . I don’t trust cops. I could care less about them, in fact. I fully and whole heartedly believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Cops are a prime example of that theory in practice. I am of the thought that cops should get a higher degree to get those badges . . . Otherwise, we have a country full of uneducated, angry former high school jocks, whose lives never amounted to much after high school . . . then we hand them firearms. These types aren’t the kind of people who practice patience and humility. These are the types who want to get even with the rest of the world for some invisible injustice done to them called “high school graduation” . . . and poor Joe Schmo with his speeding ticket is caught in the cross hairs.
Listen, many of you are thinking, “Well, say that when you really need a cop.” You know, I agree with you. In times of dire, dire need, cops are great. Fortunately, I’ve NEVER had one of those times — I’ve have never interacted with a cop in one of those life threatening situations. I’m guessing a GREAT majority of the population hasn’t.
Regardless, those aren’t the times I’m talking about. I’m talking about the non-life threatening situations . . . The ones where suddenly the cop becomes a power hungry, rude piece of shit who KNOWS they have the UNFAIR advantage of treating you any way they like while because you can do nothing about it. Let me give you an example of what happened to me today.
I went to my internship, fully knowing I was far from being over my illness. I just had to get out of the apartment. I’d been there three days straight and needed some air. By noon, my boss sent me home. I’d done most of the work I was supposed to, so he felt it would be better to get more rest. I agreed. It was still good to get out of the apartment for a few hours. However, I was really sick.
As I’m pulling off the 101 highway onto Hollywood Blvd a radio PSA comes on. It’s JUSTIN BIEBER (or some other manufactured Disney teen heart throb). He says to all of us drivers, “There’s so many people out on the road. So many people in cars. People with families. Peoples with dreams. This is where I get inspiration for my music. So, really, is that text message worth it? Take the pledge to not text while driving.”
I know that when I’m looking at the trillions of cars on a gridlocked freeway I get inspiration to write songs . . . BARF. Anyway, so I’m driving Timmy style – ten and two at the wheel, thinking about that PSA, when police lights flash behind me about 4 blocks from my apartment. I’m being pulled over? Holy cow! I haven’t been pulled over since I was 22. This is nuts.
My first thought was that maybe my license plate sticker is a problem — after all, I’ve had the car for a little over a month and I know the paperwork is still being processed at the DMV. That I can deal with. A simple conversation. Two cops exit the squad car and approach both sides of my car. I roll down my window.
“Please roll down your passenger side window for my partner.” Okay. Easy enough. Done. Next.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?” I really don’t. He continues, “Did you know it’s illegal to talk on your phone and drive in the state of California?”
I did not know that, but having lived in Chicago for 11 years, where that is the law (a law that Chicago cops ignore like it’s in fashion) I really try to stay off my phone while driving. As well, having been a cyclist in Chicago where almost every close call with a car was due to some idiot talking on their phone, I take the law very seriously. Besides . . .
I WASN’T ON MY PHONE!
It was in my pocket.
So, naturally, I say in my sick, hoarse voice that makes me sound like a whiny baby, “But I wasn’t on my phone.”
“Give me your license and registration.”
I’m so floored I have a million thoughts going through my head. The above thought about Chicago makes a few rounds. I also think, “What the fuck! Do you want to see my call log, you fucking pig? You’ll see that my last text and my last call was an hour ago when I was leaving the Warner Brothers lot.”
Then I think, “But Justin Bieber JUST told me not to use my phone while driving. I take Justin Bieber very seriously.” However, what comes out of my mouth as I reach into the glove compartment is, again, “But I wasn’t on my phone.” I say this more to myself than the cop. The cop is clearly one of the types described above; he has blue blockers on, a buzz cut and severe line-backer shoulders. It’s clear he’s a former high school jock trying to relive the glory days.
As I am grabbing my registration, he slaps the side of my car and says, “Stay off your god damn phone!” Then he returns to his car and squeals off. This says two things about the situation;
1 — He knew he ws wrong, Maybe I had my hand by my head because my illness was causing havoc on my sinuses. Even then, he could have asked me politely, instead of acting like a complete and utter prick, if I was on the phone. There’s nothing I hate more than being accused of something I didn’t do. If I was on the phone, I would have admitted it right there — I firmly believe that in these situations, honesty and a little sugar go a long way.
I think my floored response at his accusation made him realize he made a bad call. Instead of apologizing and saying something like, “Listen, it looked like you were on your phone. If you weren’t, I’ll take your word for it. But remember, it is illegal to talk on your phone while driving.” Nope, he had to take the route of the pouty 4 year old — ladies and gentlemen, LA’s finest. What a fuck tard. HE WANTED THE LAST WORD! Grow up!
2 — There’s also a good chance he just pulled me over for his own amusement. A way to pass his miserable existence with harassment.
LAPD, learn some manners and respect. Not once did I show disrespect to you. It’s a shame that the cops can label something like explaining your case as disrespecting an officer. It makes it so a civilian can never explain his or her case until court — and what a monumental waste of time and taxpayers money. I wish I had gotten his squad car number.
I will add, that I fully realize that some people have had it much worse than this. I literally thought, as I drove away, about all the times people in the country have truly been racially profiled. I was pulled over once for something I didn’t do. I can’t imagine having that happen on a regular basis. The thought of it makes me sick and very sad that this is still the world we live in.
I hope that cop has fun staring at his high school trophies while crying tonight. This is the best it’s ever going to get for him.