Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Thursday, September 08, 2011

WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU



Our sleepy (?) little town with a state highway running through it sits off a major interstate. We have a lot of truck traffic as semi's exit the interstate to avoid weigh stations ahead or other inconveniences that might delay their travel. Automobile traffic also exits the interstate in exchange for our highway so they too may avoid obstacles in their paths like the Highway Patrol.

Monday evening we were enjoying our meal at the local restaurant (yes we only have one) and a local police car with lights flashing came barreling down the highway, made a quick U-turn and pulled over a car. Our police officer hopped out of his car, stood behind his open car door with his weapon pointed and began issuing commands. As the man in the suspect vehicle held is hands out the car window, he slowly reached his left hand down to open the car door. By then our officer was joined by another local policeman and a third, unmarked police vehicle. As the suspect exited his vehicle the police rushed him and threw him to the ground to cuff him. Meanwhile the real entertainment was taking place in the restaurant.

Our waitress was heating up like a cheerleader at a ballgame. "Look at those dumb cops! Look what they are doing to that old man!" (This 'old man' was at least ten years younger than Ron or I). Other locals began to join her outcry. "What do they think this is, an episode of COPS?" "What are those idiots doing?"

I was interjecting "Old men can shoot guns just like young men." "They might be protecting and serving our community." "Who knows, this guy might have been on his way to our restaurant to rob and kill us all and the police stopped him."

A couple who arrived late and were passing through from Texas joined me in my defense of the police. It was an amazing exchange. I got the attention of the waitress and asked, "Why do you dislike our local police officers?" and her reply was "Oh it's not just our police I don't like, it's all police."

Meanwhile Ron was sitting quietly, probably wishing his wife would shut up, and finally he made the one statement that settled this crazy waitress down. He said "I only know that I wouldn't want to have to do their job."

Which team in the restaurant would you have been cheering with...the COPS or the Bad Boys?

21 comments:

  1. Its early yet for me to comment on such a thought provoking post but here was my first thought::
    nothing in life is cut n dried, black n white, right or wrong, fully:)
    we see a Moment- and all that came before that we are blind to, yet we think we can make a judgement. those are usually based on our own past experience.
    Like your husband, I too wouldnt want to do their job. I also wouldnt want to be the citizen, falsely accused and forced to prove myself innocent.
    I look forward to seeing what other folks have to say concerning this issue..

    see ya soon

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would have reserved judgment until I found out why the police were acting that way.

    It is possible, in a small town that has little police-type action, that the cops were over-reacting. Time will tell.

    Did you ever find out why they were doing it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I support the police, always, but wonder what exactly happened. Did you ever find out?

    I came to a rolling stop at a stop sign several months ago - I was returning from a client visit and was cutting through a residential neighborhood when going back to the office. An Atlanta city police car was sitting there and pulled me over. He approached my car with caution, as they are required to do, but visibly relaxed when he saw my guilty smile.

    He went back to the police car to run my license and when he came back he said, "Ms. _______, we aren't out here because of people like you, so I'm going to give you a ticket for a seat belt violation (even though you are wearing your seat belt), because it will be much less money and won't hurt your driving record."

    I go through that stop sign all the time and learned that lesson well - come to a complete stop. I thanked him for that and for all they do for us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. sonny -- For someone who didn't have time to comment, you came up with a pretty thorough statement. I do agree that nothing is cut and dried (or as it seems).

    kenju -- I have to believe that we see a lot of drug traffic exit the interstate and take our highway to avoid the authorities. It's my guess that our local police had been notified of this guy's direction because they were coming toward him with lights and siren before they reached him and spun around to pull him over.

    Lynn -- Now that was a good experience with the police that you had. I have to believe the majority are like that. Once when my children were small the police banged on our door at 1:00 AM threatening to break down the door if I didn't open it. It seems someone had reported a person with a gun was inside. It was a mistake and when the police left when they saw their information was wrong. I wrote the police chief demanding an apology and he wrote back that there would be no apology forthcoming and they would do the same again if need be because a dire threat had been reported and that was a normal response. My second experience had to do with the police capturing a gunman who, one hour before, had placed a gun to my head and threatened to kill me. They got the guy and the money he stole and a confession. You never know do you?

    If I learn what happened to the "old man" I will let you know. (Did I mention that he looked like a short Tony Soprano with white hair? Not very fragile looking at all.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Maybe I'm naive but I have to believe that for the most part police are there to serve and protect, risking their lives to do so. I am definitely on their side.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cops. The way they handled it makes me think there was more to this than a regular traffic stop.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have two family members in law enforcement. I pray for their safety every day. Were the police over reacting? It is always a possibilty, but hopefully not. As to the waitress, if ever she needs a police officer, perhaps she will just call a friend and avoid calling a person from a group she doesn't like

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know that police aren't perfect, but who is? I'm always rooting for the police, because they usually are the good guys.
    I once saw a takedown like that happen outside my apartment building. It was a little scary to see the cops waving their guns around, but it all ended peacefully.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My 16 year old daughter wants to join the police force when she finishes her education, and I really wanted to be a policeman myself for many years. So you have my answer right? :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. That sounds very anti-cop to me. I wouldn't assume right off the bat that either side was wrong. And I'd never be able to do that job. Sure, there are some bad apples - same in every field. But I think the majority are risking their lives for a pretty small sum.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good question.

    I would like to say that I would support the police, but living in Connecticut has made me a bit cynical about the overkill during a traffic stop.

    They say that there's safety in numbers, but sometimes, you really have to wonder.

    As for me personally, I've had nothing pleasant encounters with the police over the years, even when one of those encounters has made me avoid a particular section of my local town park unless it's during a town festival since 2008.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a very very healthy respect for police officers and the work they do. The waitress will eventually grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It not so much the question if I would participate in a discussion about police, but if I see Miami police jump out of their cars with the gun pulled, I am already lying under the table... ducking the bullets...lol

    ReplyDelete
  14. As I have many friends in law enforcement I would have sided with the police officers. I have also lost some good friends because of good situations gone bad. While others may think the cops over reacted, it is better to err on the side of caution and do what you can before the situation gets out of control and someone does get hurt. As for that waitress not liking any cops......next time she needs help from them, she should rethink how she feels. Because whose gonna save her butt? Not the bad guys.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The cops...always and I wouldn't want their job either.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pat MacKenzie – Yes, much like our military – protect and serve. The willingness to put themselves between us and the bad guys.

    Dani – Doesn’t sound like to needed to think about that one:)

    Maria – No doubt I know where your prejudice in favor of the police comes from. I don’t have any relatives in law enforcement but several friends serve including some undercover drug police. Scary job.

    Sparkling Red – Good point that lots of people are not perfect. Sometimes we forget that “a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. A few years back our Chief of Police was spending counterfeit money the department had confiscated. He was quickly found out and tried and convicted but some people still hold that against this entirely new police force. (Which I think consists of two guys.)

    LL Cool Joe – Yep, it was easy to figure out your choice in the matter.

    Riot Kitty – It was a very anti-cop reaction and I think I was so shocked at her outburst that I immediately took the side of the police. I wasn’t even viewing the event and something to take sides over until the waitress got all crazy about it. It was my natural assumption that the police knew what they were doing.

    G – Well what was the encounter before 2008? You stirred my curiosity.

    Marla @ Always Nesting – It does seem that she was a bit immature. However I believe Ron thought the same of my as I quickly jumped into the fray. LOL

    Holland – Absolutely right. I was truly considering such a diversion at the time as the thought of any shots fired could endanger us. I’ll bet Miami citizens don’t doubt the cops very often.

    Bonnie – Aren’t you and Hut both some kind of volunteer police or something like that? I knew you would side with the cops. Erring on the side of cautions is exactly right.

    Changes in the wind – Once again you didn’t need to think twice about your answer did you. Love a gal who knows her mind.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Did you find out from your local newspaper what happened yet??

    Sad to say but I wouldn't have cheered either side on...sorry...until I knew exactly what happened I would have been an excited voyeur.

    Just as much as I agree that cops put their lives on the in every day there are so many injustices that they often make me cringe...and with that said most of my husbands family are retired cops so my feelings are said lightly!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would want to know why the dude was stopped, I think. Was he illegal? drunk? speeding? Running a stop? Or on the most wanted list? I hate waiting for the police blotter two weeks later in the paper... But always read them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Brown English Muffin -- Would you believe that our town does not have a local paper. I am not having any luck finding the outcome of the stop. About your feelings said "lightly", I'm betting they are also said quietly around that bunch. I have to believe that the few instances of bad cops get so much press it appears they are the majority of events rather than only representative of a few events.

    Snaggle Tooth -- Don't know where I can find the police blotter since we don't have a local newspaper. And I wonder if there turned out not to be any arrest, would the stop even show up anywhere in print? I just might end up getting an education on police activity over this deal.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm with you. We don't know what that man is being pulled over for. These officers never know what they are getting into when they pull a car over. Each situation has the possibility of violence. If I'd have been there I would have jumped in with YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  21. OGO -- We agree on a lot of things don't we? WooHoo!

    ReplyDelete