Writers Workshop: Honest, Officer…

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Understand, I’m a law-abiding citizen who supports the police, because I know most police officers are dedicated individuals who would take a bullet to keep me safe. Still, there have been a couple of situations where I can’t explain why they did what they did.

I used to work as a supervisor at a food plant making cracker meal for use in breading fish and chicken for food manufacturers. I worked with James, an older guy (he was in his 40’s, I was in my early 20’s), who was the supervisor on the other line. He didn’t live far from me, and he was nice enough to drive me to and from work, and I would buy the beer for the ride home. I know, you’re not supposed to drink and drive, but it was hot work and we were thirsty after the second shift.

Anyway, one night he dropped me off at a corner nearby, and I took the empties and tossed them in a wastebasket. Seconds later, I hear this voice, "HEY, BUDDY, STOP RIGHT THERE!" So I did, and two plainclothes cops got out of a sedan, flashed their badges, and one frisked me while the other went to the wastebasket and fished out the bag with the empties in them.

"What were you two guys doing?"

"Riding home from work."

"Yeah, where do you work?"

"Newly Weds Foods, Fullerton and Pulaski. We’re supervisors. We just got off second shift."

The other cop pulls the empties out and shows them to his partner. "Had a couple of cocktails after work, did you?"

"Yeah, it was hot and we were thirsty."

"Okay. Don’t let us catch you again, understand?"

"Yessir." They got back in their car and drove off.

It didn’t stop James and I from having a beer after work. We just kept an eye out for them. It might have been because James was Black and I was White, and they might have assumed we were up to no good.

Another time, I was in Des Moines working with a client. I finished with them and went back to my hotel, found a restaurant in their directory, and decided I’d walk there, because I’d been in a computer room all day, it was a nice evening, and I thought I might have a couple of drinks with dinner.

So, I walked to the restaurant, enjoying the sights around Des Moines (there ain’t a whole lot of them), had a good dinner and a couple of beers, and started walking back to the hotel. About halfway there, I sensed that I was being followed. I turned around and saw a police cruiser behind me. So I stopped and said "Yes?"

Two cops get out of the car and one frisked me. "What’s going on?" I asked.

"We had a complaint that someone who looked like you was wandering aound and had a gun."

Huh? "I don’t have a gun."

"Well, what were you doing wandering around downtown?"

"I’m here working, I’m staying at the Holiday Inn, I was inside all day, it’s a nice evening, I thought I was going to have a couple of drinks at dinner, so I walked to that Mexican place and had dinner and a couple of drinks."

"All right." They got back in their car, made a U-turn (which is probably illegal, and I was tempted to do a Gomer Pyle "CITIZEN’S ARREST! CITIZEN’S ARREST!") and drove off. No "sorry to have bothered you, have a nice day…"

I got back to the hotel and found the bar. I’m chatting with the bartender and the waitress (who didn’t have a whole lot to do, because it was Des Moines and Monday evening), and I tell them about the whole thing. They were shocked. "That doesn’t sound like our police force," they said.

A while ago, I saw this video by Chris Rock called "How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police." I present it here as a public service. You’re welcome.

15 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: Honest, Officer…

  1. I’ve had just one speeding ticket in my driving life. That taking place on the return trip home from picking out my wedding dress in the good old Bronx, New York. I told the officer that I was just so excited after finding my gown that I didn’t see the posted speed limit.

    He replied…”Doing 50 in a 35 is no excuse! Good luck in your marriage and slow down!”

    And handed me the ticket.

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  2. Pat has been watching videos on YouTube lately that show cops totally overstepping and abusing their power of authority. It’s really hard to stand by and let someone frisk you when you didn’t do anything wrong. That being said, I wouldn’t want the responsibility of doing their job.

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    1. They can’t all be like Reed and Malloy from “Adam-12,” can they? On the other hand, I knew a few police officers in Chicago, and if half the stories of the crap and abuse they take are any indication, I’m surprised there aren’t more incidents of brutality. There’s only so much you can ask anyone to take. The same cop who’s hassling you now might be the one that would take a bullet for you later, so I show respect for the badge.

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  3. Chris Rock is Hilarious and I must show this to my hubby. I recall being stopped by the police because I was speeding but he looked at this little blonde dumbnut looking scared and sent me on my way. Another time, my hubby, a friend and I got I to our car after a late movie. We were warming the car up but we were talking so everything fogged up. Next thingq we hear a tap on the door and it’s a cop wanting ro know what we were doing. We just told him and he told us to get going. We did and laughed afterward because he thought we were having good time.

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    1. I’ve gotten speeding tickets, and most of the time I was speeding, though there was a time or two that I think I got the ticket because I stopped…

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  4. That was one of the funniest video’s I’ve ever seen…I have the flu and I think watching that broke my fever lol.

    The Beatles and Monkees have got me out of tickets…were playing them in my car and on different occasions the officer gave me a warning. The last time I was stopped…I was stopped for going 10 miles under the speed limit…he saw the confusion on my face…apparently you cannot do that.

    My uncle was Sgt of Vice in the 70s and 80s…he told me something simple…always be polite and NEVER resist arrest…he said if you do that you are in trouble.

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  5. I’ve never had any run-ins with the law except for a citation for going too fast – many, many moons ago. I enjoyed the Chris Rock video.

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    1. I’ve had a couple of speeding tickets, one of which was arguable, so I didn’t include those.

      The thing I like about the Chris Rock video is that it’s so true. Obey the law and don’t give the police grief, you don’t get beat up or arrested.

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  6. John,

    That’s some interesting stories. I can honestly say I have never had any run ins with the law. Perhaps I have a low threat look or something. 🙂 The Chris Rock skit cracked me up. Thanks for sharing. I really needed the laughs after this horrible crazy month and I’m not talking about the Á2Z challenge either. There’s been a lot of junk going on around here that has me pulling my hair out. I hope we can get some of the home repairs done before I go insane and that nothing else breaks!

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