Posted by: anniewilson | October 27, 2008

Cops, cash and career

“…I remember getting busted with a little bit of marijuana. Yes, they just took it from me and that was that. I am sure they smoked it later that evening. Things just were not as scary then…”

No, they weren’t. No one wanted to scare us in the 70’s. We were all still practicing ducking and covering in case of a nuclear blast. That was scary enough.

There were 2 kinds of cops back then, those who would confiscate your weed which you would never see again and those who would dump it on the side of the road and kick it in the dirt. We had many debates over which kind of cop we preferred. Personally, I preferred the cops who smoked it because they were breaking the law themselves, they wouldn’t bother a bunch of kids from the suburbs.

None of the cops really bothered us back then. You’d pretty much have to commit armed robbery at the corner store where everybody knew you and your parents. Even then, the cops would take you home if the gun wasn’t loaded.

Cops used to be more like older brothers or sisters back then. They didn’t work so hard on being the enemy. A couple of kids who got into a fight at school would never have seen the cops. They were busy waiting for a crime to be committed.

It’s not as though we didn’t do stupid stuff, the cops just didn’t want to give us a record for life over one mistake. When some politician says he’s going to hire more cops, check to see how many cops responded to things that no one would have bothered with 3o years ago. They have to keep all of the cops busy, so they just pass more stupid laws in response to stupid things that happen on the news.

I imagine that the cops in the 70’s had to give SOME tickets out to bring in revenue, but it wasn’t a factor in the decision to arrest a person. Cops are actually taught that if they’re going to pull over a high end car for speeding, they should pull one over from out of state. That’s because those people are more likely to send a check than to fight the charges.

I spoke to a cop the other day who told me that if he asked a person to let him search their car, he would let it go if the people didn’t care. Well, I care. I wouldn’t want my car searched for no reason at all. It’s the principle of the matter. Isn’t it stupid to think that only guilty people want to protect their own right to privacy? Does that mean that all of the rights are only for criminals? That cop basically told me that yes, he would search my car one way or another if I didn’t let him. What kind of sense does that make?

I can’t imagine what I would have in my car that would be illegal but I still don’t want it searched. Cops can be little assholes and I don’t want an asshole rummaging through my car. Especially not an asshole whose career is advanced when he arrests people. They could arrest me for having a heart pill in my blood pressure pill bottle. I had a cop tell me that he could do that if he wanted to. Then, he made sure to tell me that he had 2 years to press that charge if he so desired. That miserable little prick was scrubbing for something to arrest me for.

The cop I was speaking to also told me that they’re taught to pull over messed up cars because if someone can’t afford to get their car fixed, they probably can’t afford insurance and you can arrest them right there. Isn’t that a nice sentiment? Those people seem to be in some sort of trouble, lets try to make it worse.

Over twenty years ago a cop pulled me over because I didn’t have a license plate on my car. It was a new car and the temporary thing had fallen out of the window. I had the license plate, it was in my backseat. The factory hadn’t punched out holes to screw the plates onto the car so I tossed the plates in the backseat and drove away. When I explained that to the cop, he just got some tools out of his car and fixed the problem for me. He could have done something annoying, but he chose to help me out. I doubt that he is chief of police today. He was far too decent.

I’m sure there are still some good cops out there today but if they’re being taught to consider cash when dispensing justice, how long will it take before that stops bothering them and they become assholes?

I’m a 50 year old white woman, can you imagine how these cops treat young black men? I live in Cobb County and they have a saying here, Count On Being Busted. It’s as though the cops want to get everyone at least once.

The cop I was speaking to seemed to be a decent young man who doesn’t let his power go to his head. But, even he was paying far too much attention to skin color. In the 60’s, newspapers never mentioned skin color unless the person they were speaking of was black. Then, they went out of their way to point it out. This cop dude was doing the same thing. He couldn’t mention a black person without making sure that I knew it was a black person. (That’s not the term he used.) There was no reason to add skin color to his stories, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do it. He didn’t say anything terribly racist but just the fact that he thought so much about it gave me the willies.

If he was one of the nice guys, I can’t imagine how bad the real assholes are.


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