I had jury duty recently and one of the questions that was asked of all of the potential jurors was if anyone had an issue trusting police offers to tell the truth. To my surprise there were 3 people who raised there hands and said they would not and could not believe anything ever said by any police officer and believed that all police were corrupt and self-serving. After listening to more comments from these same people I eventually determined they must be consistent law breakers since two of them outright confessed to using drugs and other petty crimes. So their opinions sort of didn't hold a lot of water for me.
But, I started thinking about all of my run-ins with the police. And now that I actually stop and think about it, most of them have been pretty negative. Sure, I've had 3 speeding tickets in my life and I deserved all 3 of those. I even admitted to the officers that I was speeding, and things moved along by the book. But I thought I'd share some of the unfortunate scenarios for discussion.
- About 14 years ago I went to the courthouse in downtown Ft.Worth to get my marriage license. I parked at a parking meter which said "No Parking 4-6" I had plenty of time, so I thought. When I came back out the time was 3:55pm by my watch. But there was an officer writing a ticket for my car. I thought the meter had expired. When I saw that it had not, I asked the officer why he was writing me a ticket and he yelled "NO PARKING 4 TO 6!" I looked up at the HUGE clock on the top of the court-house and even it said that the time was "3:55pm." So iasked the officer, "What clock are you going by? that big clock that is supposed to be the official city time says it is 3:55." He completely ignored me and moved onto the next car. Then I realized there was a whole string of tickets he had already written for other vehicles down the line. That means those vehicles were ticketed well before mine. I never did fight it, I just paid it.. but I sure thought pretty lowly of that officer.
- When I just turned 21, many years ago, and was trying to get my first CHL, at that time we had to visit a police station to get fingerprinted on a card. So I called my local station and asked if they could do that. The officer that answered said, "Sure, come on down, we can do that for you." So when I got there, and entered the main entrance there was nothing but a lobby and a phone. I picked up the phone and an officer answered. I told him what I was there for and he chewed me out saying that they don't do that there. I asked, "Can you please check with somebody else because I just called up here..." before I finished my sentence he chewed me out again and told me if I didn't leave immediately that he would come out and have me arrested. I left and went to a neighboring city's police station and got it done. Fortunately, for CHL we get fingerprinted by a special 3rd party company now.
- About 10 years ago there was some kind of accident in front of my street when i came home at night. The police had the street blocked off. There is no other way into my street. I pulled up and the officer told me that the street is blocked off and nobody is getting in. So i turned around and pulled onto the street directly across from mine and parked along the curb. The street was plenty wide enough and people park on the curb there all of the time. So I figured I'd just wait it out until the problem was cleared. About 10 minutes later an officer approaches my car and asks what I'm doing there. I explained that I was waiting for my street to open so I could go home. He then started to accuse me of something I had not done. "You are the kid who came barelling down this street at 90 mph and nearly ran us over aren't you! I told you to get lost, now get out of here or I'll have you arrested." of course, that is totally untrue. I saw the flashing lights half a mile away, I would have had to be a retard to do what he accused me of. In fact, I approached them barely crawling at all because I was afraid I'd run over some debris that might puncture my tires. So I left and came back a few hours later.
- I was pulled over a few years ago for a speeding ticket, going like 6 mph over the limit. The officer asked for my license, so I opened my wallet and handed it to him. He saw my CHL still in my wallet which had been behind my driver's license. He asked if I was carrying a weapon and I said yes. Then he proceeded to chew me out and tell me he could have be arrested and my license revoked for not telling him up front that I had a weapon with me. Then he wrote me a ticket and sent me on my way. Now, interestingly enough the reason I didn't tell him right away was that a law had recently changed in Texas which now allows any citizen to carry a firearm in their car even without a CHL. And it is not required that you tell the officer that you are carrying a weapon, either. However, when I took my most recent renewal class my instructor actually pointed out the irony of this. If you are a regular non-CHL citizen you can carry a gun in your car without telling the officer. BUT - if you have a CHL, you are still required to inform the officer. How odd is that?
Anyway.. So those are all of my bad run-ins. I know police are human and all, and I do believe that most of them are just trying to do their job and get through the day alive. I also know that they have to deal with a lot of low-life scum. But on the other hand, I can certainly see why some people might not trust them.