So I get pulled over for speeding September of 2011. I’ve never been arrested and I have a “great” example of a police officer.
I’m coming from Buescher State Park which is 2 1/2 from where I live. I have to drive through all sorts of little counties. I’m tired and it’s about 9:30ish as I head home and I feel as if I’m lost. I take a moment to look at my map (Google map that I printed out to go there. In all my wisdom, I’d forgotten to print one for how I get back from the place). I must have missed a speed limit sign because I’m going ~45-60 mph. There’s a few kids trying to cross the street, late at night, that really should have been at home. I slow down for them as I get out of one of the small counties.
I speed back up to 70 outside of town when I notice the flash of lights. I groan, because I’m the only one on the road and I pull over and get out my license and registration.
As I do that, I wait. I see a cop coming alongside my right rearview and pay attention to that side. Suddenly, there’s a knock on my left. I give the gentleman my license and registration.
Shortened for brevity’s sake:
“Did you know that you were going 59 in a 45 mph zone?”
“I thought the limit was 45 er.. 55?”
“So you were going close to 60 in a 35 mph zone?”
“Where you coming from?”
“Buescher State Park” I show him my Google Map with direction. I also have a little sign on the front of my car where I paid the entrance fee.
I say nothing in return. Where did I get to a 35 mph zone? And where were these guys with a radar gun? He tells me to sit tight. I hadn’t eaten all day and maybe I wasn’t thinking all too clearly, but after about a minute of sitting still, I notice my jalapeno beef jerky on the floor and reach to pick it up. I pull one out and grab a bite.
Suddenly, the same cop that asked me where I was going asked me to step out of the car, to which I said, sure no problem. I just had to get my shoes on (I had taken them off during the drive) so I patted them on the ground, then stepped into them. He basically searches my pockets, asking me about if I had anything to poke him with. The only thing I have on me is an mp3 player (kept in my right pocket).
He asks me to step over to his car and keep my hands on the bar in front of the car. Again, he asks where I’m coming from, to which I reply with the same answer, wondering if A) he looked at the front of my car or B) if he saw the Google Map.
The story seems to get quite absurd from there. I should describe myself. I am 6’2″ tall, and skinny. I’m wearing a t-shirt and blue jean shorts (with a belt), cropped hair, black running around sneakers that are coming apart. I also happen to be African American.
The cops were:
~5’4 fair skinned, endomorphic build, ~210 – 240 lbs, late 30s, no glasses, flashlight in hand
~same height and skin color, glasses, late 50s -> early 60s, quiet type, both wearing hats with their respective county on it.
As I stood there, the officer seemed to want to berate me for some reason. He asked me where I was from, which I told him.
“So do they have the same signs there as here?”
I didn’t answer the question (IIRC), because I found it to be quite insulting. Odds are, on a Texas highway, the sign is going to be the same. Even then, the main answer I would have given was an incredulous “Yeah…” as I would have said with my tone that perhaps that’s not something to really try to push right now.
As he’s writing the citation, I forget about his rule of keeping my hands on the car and my hand slips into my pocket (nothing is in there, just a habit of mine when I’m nervous), both officers look at me and warn me that “for my safety, we need you to keep your hands on this bar.” What?
Again, I’m searched by the older officer and ask them point blank, “Do you want me to take the mp3 player out of my pocket?” I don’t have a small voice, I’m sure it carried for both officers to hear so why was there a need to search me yet again? As I’ve declared any weapons in the car that’s visible (none) and even claimed a machete in the trunk (I cut bamboo around my home), there’s really no reason for me to lie to the officer.
Even after this, the officer (the younger and rounder one) decided to ask me the same question yet again to which I reply, Statesville. It’s fairly obvious that he believes I’m on drugs, drug running, or lying about where I came from regardless of the information in front of him. So basically, there’s nothing more to the story.
I found that county’s police officers to be belligerent, rude, and overall, they have no sense of respect for people. Oh yeah, to add insult to injury, after getting my citation he tells me “Well, you should make sure to get some sleep if you’re tired, and be careful of the other counties as you head home” (something to that effect)
NO WHERE in the line of questioning from this officer did he say ANYTHING about being tired. It came up after he has basically treated me as a criminal.
To which I say, thank you for having no respect for citizens’ rights! I’ll freely admit I may have missed a sign but I find it quite odd when I look at the citation, he supposedly got me for going 59 in a 35 mph zone. Rather difficult that such a thing could occur when children drive in front of you before you leave the town.
In the end, I paid the ticket, because going down to the town to actually fight was too much of a hassle. But by the Gods, was it ever an unnecessary hassle just to go home after a day of relaxation!