Monday, April 29, 2024

Police Patience

think there should be an award for police officers. If they manage to do, say, ten years on the job without shooting someone at a random traffic stop, there ought to be a plaque or a trophy. We can call it the: "Hasn't Shot an Single Idiot in the Face Award.", that is an achievement, as I see it. 

Since last summer, I have watched a large number of "body camera" videos on YouTube. (What? I can stop any time I want to... If it wasn't for the stupid algorithms...) The number of people who turn a ten-minute traffic stop into chaos is overwhelming

What I see is officer-after-officer accosted with obnoxiousness from the start of every encounter. 

One I just saw showed a woman on the phone as the officer walked up to the car. The woman on the phone was shouting that "This ____ just a stopped me for no _____ing reason..." 

When the officer asked for identification, she was ignored. When the officer explained that the plates on the car were invalid, she was equated, by the driver, with a famale dog. When the officer asked for the woman in the car to step out, the woman refused to and was warned -- not less than five times -- that if she didn't leave the car, willingly, the officer would pull her out. The woman then got out and started to walk away, cursing. The officer told her to stand behind the car. The woman stood in front of the car. The officer told her to stand behind the car -- again -- and the woman walked over to the sidewalk and started backing into the bushes...etc...etc...etc... 

Eventually, the officer decided to cuff the woman, and the woman started screaming horror movie screams and asking, "What did I do? What did I do?" When she was put in a patrol car, the woman complained that she "didn't feel safe" in that car and demanded to be moved to another car... (I saw another video, by the way, of a guy who ran from the cops at a traffic stop, and, after he got tackled and cuffed asked "What did I do?")

I mean, I'd have to be thinking: Man, the gun is right here... 

I'm, of course, using hyperbole... These days you have to say that out loud. Swift woudl be in trouble in big 2024. 

...but, I have to give the good officers out there (and I believe most of them are good as I believe most people are good) credit. The patience it must take not to unleash one's wrath on people is astounding. 

Just a few weeks ago, I saw a dash cam video of a state trooper who pulled a guy over who had given him the finger and gotten in his way during a pursuit. The trooper walked up to the car and the driver said, "Can I ask why you were driving so fast?" TO THE TROOPER.

The trooper lost his marbles. He didn't hurt the guy, but he did go on to explain that he -- the trooper -- was driving fast because he was chasing a speeder and asked the driver how he expected him to catch a speeder if he wasn't speeding. The trooper also went on to cite the state law that grants permission for officers to ignore traffic laws while in pursuit situations. Then, he explained (at high volume) to the driver that he had 14 months left before retirement and he couldn't wait, "because of @#$holes, like you."

This is not about race by the way. I know when discussions come up about police and Black people, some say, "Well, if he'd just listen to the officer..." and then others counter with, "But Black people know the danger they are in in a rqcist world..." This is all, clearly, both possible and debatable, but I have seen videos with people of all ethnicities and of both sexes acting like drunken orangutans and transforming a routine stop into bedlam. 

Yeah, there are bad cops out there, but your average man or woman in uniform is just trying to make a living and make the world a bit safer. And, man, do they get asked to take a lot of malarky on a daily basis ith not enough pay for doing it. 

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