Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Police In Your Rearview? Do's And Don'ts...

I’m told I play “devil’s advocate” very well. My response, “I’m skeptical of the existence of an “external” devil.” What does this mean?  Despite my ability to identify discrimination, prejudice and general unfairness…everybody who cries “innocent”…ain’t. Yes, I purposely slaughtered grammar, spelling and syntax for emphasis. The point I’m making is this…I’m noticing a growing trend towards failing to own up to individual responsibility. It starts with something innocuous and small and graduates to small cases of pandemonium leaving us to finger point, speculate and attempt to assign blame. I’m a pre~emptive girl in a reactive world, so I thought I’d pass along a handful of “do’s” and “don’ts”. Today’s focus?
The Do’s and Don’t Of A Traffic Stop (or any other interaction with the law enforcing sirens in your rearview…)

(Typical blog caveat: The scenarios listed herein apply when two rational, honest and (reasonably) law abiding citizens encounter each other. Rogue cops and outlaws live by completely different rules. And it’d be my personal pleasure to round them up and banish them to the Outer Crab Nebula, but until then…)

Keep your hands visible, making no sudden gestures or moves to your pockets, purse, in the waistband of your sagging jeans or under your seat. The thing to immediately realize is that the police don’t realize that you secret your most prized possessions under your bootleg, Teflon reinforced Oakland Raiders baseball cap so they have NO idea what you’re reaching for.

Wish you could take it back, dont ya?

Behave erratically. Nothing makes an officer (or any right thinking stranger) suspect ulterior and potentially dangerous motives more than the person who is incapable of maintaining some eye contact, with constantly flailing appendages and speech that makes no discernible sense. Believe it or not, police training includes identifying some symptoms of mental illness, however when the previous symptoms are accompanied by evasive maneuvers…it raises a red flag. (And tasers…and billy clubs…and guns…).

Tell the truth, and shame the debbil.   Seriously. You’re a law abiding citizen, right? The 20 miles an hour over the speed limit was due to your fallible humanity and impatience. Admit it. “Yes Officer, I was speeding/unaware of my speed”. “No, Officer, I’m not sure why you stopped me” is also an acceptable response. The point is to speak the truth as you see it. (Yep, you read that right…take it how you will). And note: I didn’t use any of the derisive farm animal terms that people seem willing to toss about all willy nilly. Keep it civil.

Act a fool. You’d be AMAZED at people’s level of comfort and familiarity with authority figures carrying debilitating weapons. This is not your neighbor’s mischievous puppy pooping on your front lawn or the cashier at the fast food joint who gets your order wrong for the 5th time (…although you shouldn’t exercise your frustration on them either!). If asked for your identification or to step out of the car, do so with a minimum of fuss. You’re NOT in court on the corner of Main & MLK in Anytown, USA. It’s simple. Follow instructions.

Image your average Tuesday at work, completing the TPS reports. You’re not 100% sure you want to be there, a long way from a lunch break and even further from quitting time. Your boss, their boss and the Mayor holds you responsible for everything from your colleagues to your customers. And everybody with a cellphone or camera is recording your every move, when in walks an erratic, swearing, shifty eyed  liar  person looking to avoid personal responsibility. And to top it all off, you’re not sure on any given day who may or may not have anything to lose by ending your life.

This is the long and short of the matter. What’s a human to do? Because, despite the inconvenience…they ARE humans, with a job to do.

1 comment:

  1. Ahem! As a fellow law abiding citizen I (giggle) and support this message... save the two crown and coke message... I don't lie to the po-po.. LOL


Questions, comments, concerns, contributions?