Ammo Grrrll returns with “LEO Encounters 101: A Primer.” She writes:
If you have never been pulled over by a Law Enforcement Officer of any kind, you are either Lady Luck’s own child or very very law-abiding. And good for you either way!
I was pulled over once in Wisconsin in a 1980 VW Rabbit doing 85 in a 55 zone and the guy let me go with a warning because he didn’t believe a Rabbit could actually DO 85. Now, admittedly, I was a much younger and marginally-cuter person of the female persuasion and I think we probably have an easier time of it with Highway Patrolmen. But you best believe that I was all about, “Yessir, and no sir, and here’s my license and registration, Officer. Sir.”
It is one of the first things we told our son when he learned to drive, right after “Always use your seat belts.”: Do not be a hostile smart-ass in any encounter with law enforcement officers. Which would not be intuitive for someone with smart-ass genes rolling like a mighty river down both sides of his gene pool. (Or as Mother says, “Plant corn; get corn.”)
Several years ago, coming across Texas on the way to California, I saw the dreaded flashing lights behind me and pulled over. An African-American Highway Patrolman asked for license and registration and asserted that I had changed lanes without signaling. Though it is my practice always to signal, it is possible that I did not, since no one had been behind me roughly since Oklahoma. Every Texas driver passed me like I was parked. This Patrolman was not courteous. Now if you say that to anyone in the Grievance Industry they will say that I didn’t like him because he was “uppity”. No. I didn’t like him very much because he was rude. But, seeing my out-of-state plates, he did give me a warning on a little slip of paper touting the “Drive the Texas Friendly Way”, for which I thanked him profusely.
For those who see everything through the race prism, I could make a case that this black officer enjoyed the power he had to harass white drivers, that I was a victim of Driving While White. Or I could say that it was a slow, boring day and he just felt like it and race didn’t enter into it. He could easily have been an equal opportunity jerk. Or just having a bad day.
A more recent example of a law enforcement officer encounter occurred right here in our Dusty Little Village. A few weeks after Michael Brown made a series of stupid and, ultimately, fatal decisions, The Paranoid Texan Next Door made a right turn onto our main drag. He saw the flashing lights behind him and pulled over immediately. He rarely wears a wife-beater undershirt, so he did not take off in a high speed chase hoping to be featured on an episode of Cops. He did not leave his vehicle to attack the cop.
However, since this is Arizona, what this particular polite, professional, local black cop said even before “License and registration, please,” was “Sir, are you carrying a gun?” To which The Paranoid Texan replied, “Yes, sir, I am; it is in an appendix holster on my right. I’m putting my hands on the steering wheel while you remove it.”
Which the cop did. He removed the magazine and checked for a round in the chamber.
(When I asked The PT later if he had also given the cop the weapon in the glovebox, he said “No, he never asked about that one.” All info from The Paranoid Texan is on a need to know basis. And hence, his name.)
Our friend inquired as to his offense, and the cop said that he had “rolled” through the stop sign without coming to a full and complete stop. Now, the Paranoid Texan is known to all and sundry as someone who speaks Sarcasm as a Second Language. Did he say, “Hey, that’s just the way I roll, Law-dawg.” No, he did not. He is a wit, not a half-wit.
Once again, just a warning was issued, the officer gave him back his gun and The Paranoid Texan and his life rolled on, though not through any stop signs in the immediate area.
Rich Lowry was bang on when he shocked the liberal mush-minds on Meet the Democrat Press by asserting that the main lesson of Ferguson was (paraphrasing): “don’t walk down the middle of the street after committing theft and assault and don’t charge a police officer and try to get his gun.” Had Michael Brown followed these sane, simple rules, he would be alive today no matter his color or the color of the cop, and nobody would have heard of Ferguson. Several local businesses would still exist.
So, to review:
Wrong way: Charge the officer; punch the officer; grab the officer’s gun in his vehicle and say, “You won’t shoot me because you’re a p***y.”
Right way: “Yes, Officer, I agree that I should not be walking down the middle of the street. I am moving to the sidewalk right now, Sir. Would you care for a cigar?”