I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I REALLY LIKE COPS! Proof?
1. One of our nephews is the Chief of Police in one of those small Kansas towns where the picture show is hanging on by a thread. “The two biggest problems we have here is drugs and other stupid stuff.”
2. The stepson of my best friend ever, now deceased, is Chief of the Glendale, California, Police Department. That is tall cotton.
3. For a short time back in the early 60’s while in college, I served in a US Army Reserve Military Police Company in Tulsa. Never handcuffed no body and never said “Show me your hands!”
See how I love them?
But it’s time I get over this ranting about mistreatment by our finest – that rare Officer who skips the law and reason and deals while in that state., because it has been bothering me too long. Here’s a clue – it involves petty offenses against me by cops who sometimes behave like jerks. Why me, says I.
But I should explain why I’ m about to sob on your jacket.
What caused this one particular column to be written is this: A coupe weeks ago, I was responsible for a “fender bender” here in the city. Traffic was behind me, and I was parked at an angle. One guy stops, and then motions for me to back up, thinking everyone behind him would stop also. However the guy IN FRONT of him backed u at the moment I started back, erasing that momentarily empty space…. and we met gently somewhere back there.
I was at fault! We exchanged information and he continued on his way. I reported to my insurance company and got all that stuff done, took my car to have what looked like a couple of scratches repaired and got a shock at the amount (minus my deductable) my company was going to pay.
I assume the other guy did the same. Anyhow, this was MY fault, but I want you to know that (And you knew I was going to say this) in 74 years of driving, THIS is my first at-fault accident! (You are laughing, and I think my Insurance guy was holding it in, but it is the truth.)
But, back to incidents where I held my temper despite being high-jacked by servants of the people.
I’m speaking not in the general idea of major, organized, corruption such as to make the front pages and result in major prison time….I’m talking of specific acts against ME! I’ll divide them into two groups –1. – Individual acts by individual badge owners on their own, and 2. – Acts being carried out, as a policy, by local governments.
Before I start off on this tirade, I will acknowledge that, in a few cases, I was legally stopped because I had done something wrong. In those cases, I acknowledged, accepted the volume of paperwork, mailed in the fine and, in one case, I took a one-day “Comedy Traffic School’.
One example: We flew in to SFO after a trip back east. I picked up my car from long term parking and we dove to the on-ramp to US 101 – the only one I knew right there, but it was blocked –“Closed for cleaning.” Searching for another entry, I stopped for a traffic light and started my U-Turn while my wife was yelling “and pointing to the NO U-TURN sign. The watching motorcycle officer pounced and we did our business. He then told me of the secret route to 101.
BAD EXAMPLE NUMBER ONE: Killeen, Texas, 1955. This place adjacent to Fort Hood was stopping and fining military persons and dependents at random, and it was well known. Early one morning I was driving to the base with three others in my car. We were all alert to hidden cops and I was driving 30 in a 35 MPH zone when I was pulled over.
All four of us told the cop I was not speeding, and he KNEW I was not speeding, yet he SAID I was speeding. I went to court with all three of my passengers. “Court” wa walking into the Killeen police station, down a long hallway with cells on both sides and to a ten by twelve foot room with no chairs and someone pretending to be a ”Judge.”
The judge listened as we told him what we KNEW to be the “facts.” That crook said: “The court rejects your reasons and fines you ten dollars.” (I could not afford a ten-dollar fine, but I paid it.)
My takeaway: I got some revenge. Shortly after, the Commanding General of Fort Hood, fed up with the graft, cut off the auxillary water supply, a pipeline the Army Engineers had laid to the city of Killeen from Lake Belton. It was an auxillary Military provided water supply for the Post, following a long drought. The General told the city: Stop this crap if you want the water any more water. They did for a shot time.
Because of the problems, we moved a few miles to Temple and I was able to watch Clyde Barefoot Chesser and the Texas Village Boys on KCEN-TV.
EXAMPLE NUMBER TWO: San Francisco. Traveling east, heading downtown, I came to a four way stop,. As I approached, I kept an eye on a Black and White, parked on a side street. There was an older male officer in the driver’s seat and a younger female officer in the passenger seat. Since I saw them, I was behaving very,, very carefully. The male was turned toward the female and they were in a conversation. I stopped then carefully proceeded, but the flashing light went on and the two officers were on me immediately. The male officer informed me with a straight face that I had “failed to stop”….a blatant LIE. I HAD stopped and HE was NOT looking in my direction when I did so. The female officer must have been very new because she would not look me in the eye .
My takeaway: He was “Me Tarzan-ing” the heck out of the situation for the benefit of the young officer.
EXAMPLE NUMBER THREE: Mendocino County, Highway 1: Headed for Mendocino, we were second in line behind a huge mobile home, being escorted by pickup trucks and with lots of flashing lights. When the group of vehicles reached a slightly wider area, the caravan pulled half off the highway. There was a stopped line of cars with a traffic director holding them, in the other lane facing me. A flagman came out and directed the other car and me around the stopped traffic, then let the group facing me pass to continue their Journey. About three quarters of a mile further on, around a sharp curve and down a steep hill, a California Highway Patrolman beside a stopped Highway Patrol pickup, waved us in. He informed the other driver and me that we had, “Passed an oversized convoy, in a no-passing zone.!” We carefully informed the clod about how we had been directed around the HALTED caravan and had done nothing wrong. He scratched his head and said (although he could not have seen us) that we MUST have illegally passed the vehicles since he was parked there to help them along and nobody had radioed him. We continued to try to reason with him and the other driver, an Asian lady, began to cry.
I sent in the money, along with a lengthy explanation appeal, and got my money back.
My Takeaway: I will never forget that idiot’s words to me and to the crying lady in the Honda: ” I’ll just write you up and let the judge sort it out!” ( I passed that little bit on to the official reviewing me appeal.)
I could go on, about the State Highway in new Mexico where the STATE speed limit is 60 MH until you reach the top of a long hill, start down and notice you are NOW on Navajo land, and the speed limit is 50 MPH …and just ahead…..on the right, is …