Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mixing it up with the Fuzz

Have you ever spoken to someone who acts like they don’t believe anything you say? If you have, then you understand how frustrating it can be, especially when you are telling the truth. If you haven’t, where do you live? I want to live there.

Sadly, it seems like the police officers I’ve had to deal with seem to assume I’m lying. I can understand that to a point. I’m sure they get lied to a lot of the time because people don’t want to get in trouble. If that’s the majority of what they deal with, I can see how they would tend to be skeptical of what they hear.

I respect Police officers. They don’t have an easy job. I feel comforted that I can call 911 and they’ll come rushing to my aid. At the same time, I don’t appreciate being assumed guilty until I can prove my innocence.

Yesterday I was driving down a side road and came to a “check point” set up by the police. They were seeing if drivers had their licenses and that their registrations were up to date. Why they were doing it, I don’t know. It’s not like I live in a crime ridden area. My town is a great place to raise a family and is generally quiet.

When it was my turn to be “inspected” by the police, I had my driver’s license ready. I rolled down my window and handed it to the officer. He looked over the license very carefully, double checking that I looked like me. (Which, in my opinion, I do.)

He gave me back my license and said, “I need to check the tags on your license plate.” The officer walked to the back of my car, looked for a moment and then came back to my window.

“You’re plates expire today,” he said.

“No they don’t,” I said. “I put the new sticker on just a few weeks ago.”

“You’re wrong! They expire today.” he said forcefully.

I was taken aback by how insistent he was. “Officer, go take a look again. I know my tags are up to date,” I said.

“I checked already,” he said, obviously agitated.

(Okay, even I’ll admit I was a bit out of line with this next part.) “Well, go check it again and you’ll see I’m right,” I said, matching his tone.

“Show me your registration,” he said gruffly.

“Fine!” I said, exasperated. While I reached for it, I said, “I don’t understand why you just won’t go double check. It’s not like I’m going to try to run away will all these other police around.”

By this time, another police officer came over to my car.

“Is there a problem?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “This officer is insisting my plates are about to expire, when I know they’re fine. He won’t go double check and is bordering on harassment.”

I handed my registration to the second officer. The first officer was about to say something, but was silenced by a look from the second officer. Reviewing my registration, the second officer saw it was indeed up to date.

“One moment,” he said.

He motioned for the first officer to follow him behind my car. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I saw the first officer point to what I assume was my license plate. He returned a moment later.

“Your tags are fine,” he said. “Have a nice day.”

1 comment:

  1. Not even an apology? I didn't even know they were allowed to stop and ask for your credentials without cause.