Cops Can Be Real Dicks When They Wanna Be

Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

See, I mostly have a very prominent dislike for cops. Not because I'm a criminal, but because it seems like it is a cops job to treat you like a criminal at all times. To me, the sight of a cop should make me (someone who doesn't ever commit crimes) feel safe. How did you feel the last time you saw a cop? Chances are you got a little nervous and started thinking about exactly how you were driving. That is always the way I feel when I see a cop. Did I stay at that stop sign for long enough or was that a "rolling stop?" Am I staying completely in my lane or drifting a little bit out of it? Does that make me look drunk?

Let me be clear, I have never once been drunk in my entire life. This thought process is completely irrational, but with the way cops analyze you for any slight mistakes, it breeds paranoia. I should never have to be paranoid about a cop pulling me over because I don't commit crimes, but they will find something you did wrong. One of the lights above your license plate is out, better check if you're drunk. Why else would you be out driving in the middle of the night? Well, the license plate light seems to be working fine once we got home, so I guess that was just a load of bullshit.

Delivering newspapers has put me up against cops on plenty of occasions. The thing is, it's actually made me kind of like them. I usually pass them when I am driving down the shoulder of the road, the wrong way. Or I'm doing a u-turn right in front of where they are parked so that I can deliver a paper out my window and then continue down the road in the wrong lane. One time when I did that last thing right in front of a cop, he pulled out and drove up next to me at the next box. I rolled down my window and he asked if I was delivering something. I said yes and held up one of the papers, and he replied "Oh, that's fine then. Just making sure." and drove off.

The other day when I slid off the road a bit in front of someone's mailbox and a man in a truck stopped to help pull me back up, a cop who was driving past stopped. He asked how I'd gotten there and I told him I was delivering papers. He took my license, then stopped traffic while we worked on pulling me back onto the road. Afterwards, he told me he was giving me a verbal warning because I needed to rotate my tires and I was improperly using the lane by being on the wrong side of the road. I was a bit confused. I said, "Even with the paper delivering?" He said yes. So, that means that all the cops I've passed while driving down the wrong side of the road could have pulled me over and given me a ticket, they just aren't dicks and they understand I'm just trying to do my job. That cop that drove up next to me and asked if I was delivering just wanted to make sure before he gave me a free pass to bend the rules.

So, really, it's entirely in their hands whether they want to be a dick about it or not. Back when I delivered papers in town, I would drop papers off at stores and in the big metal paper machines around town. This meant I usually double parked in front of the stores when there weren't any available parking spots, because I was only going to be there a minute at the most. Of course, one day a cop pulled up within the minute it took me to reload the box in front of a local coffee house.

I explained to him that I was just filling the paper box, but he didn't really care. "It doesn't matter if you're delivering anything, you need to park in an actual spot." Of course, this was complete bullshit, because several times a week I would have to maneuver around the beer trucks that were double parked in front of the bars downtown for at least a half an hour at a time. I mentioned this to the cop, and he informed me that they delivered to the back of the bars. Funny, every time I've seen them it has been in the street, so I guess he's just never come across that despite the fact they're sitting there for much longer than I ever do. Or maybe it's just that he decided he wanted to be a dick to me right then, and he valued the beer trucks more than the newspaper. His choice I guess.

In a small town the police force is usually full of the dumb jocks from high school that couldn't achieve anything better in their life. Of course, in a big city you come across more serious issues like racial profiling and bribing. Cops should make you feel safe, but when it seems to be completely up to their mood that particular day whether or not you get a ticket -- or worse -- well, it's hard to feel safe, and not just paranoid.

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