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So, I was pulled over on the way to work this morning.  The officer, after going through the charade of looking at my license and insurance, assured me I wasn't speeding.

He stopped me because I had a "service dog on board" sign on my car, one I put there after the car accident at the recommendation of the EMTs so they'd know to look for him and treat him differently than a pet.

Signage can be helpful, but it also leads to lots of different kinds of hassles.

He wanted to know where my service dog was, and when I indicated Itzl, he refused to believe Itzl was a service dog - even Itzl was the one who told me a siren was sounding behind me.  I hadn't pulled over to be stopped, I'd pulled over to let the police car go by.  When he pulled up behind me, I was surprised because - yanno - I wasn't speeding or breaking any traffic laws.  I thought maybe someone had reported a car similar to mine being stolen or used in a crime, and a simple running of my tag would eliminate that.

But, nope.  This particular police officer thought he was some kind of authenticity maven and that it was his job to make sure every bumper sticker and sign posted on a car was 100% accurate.  Granted, mine are, but what if I'd bought this car from someone for whom the signs were legit?  Does he pull over everyone with handicapped signs or disability indications to confirm they have those disabilities and handicaps?  Or just ones with service dogs?

So he begins this lengthy questioning.  What does the dog do?  What's my disability?  Do I have proof of it?

I explain to him that what he's doing is illegal, and he disagrees with me.

I haul out the ADA card and show him it's illegal, and request that he call the number on the card to confirm.

He goes away and takes his sweet time returning, so I pour Itzl a bowl of water and open the bag of cookies I was taking to work for snacks.

When he comes back, because I'm eating a cookie, I offer him one.

He draws himself up with this gleeful look in his eyes and says, "Ma'am, are you bribing me?"

Ummmm, no.  I was offering you a cookie because I was eating one.  It's manners.  I blinked at him a moment, then said, "A cookie is not a bribe.  Money is a bribe.  Favors are bribes.  A cookie is just a cookie, and it's your loss if you don't want one, these Newton Fruit Thins are amazing."  I was eating the fig and honey ones.

So he babbled on about how I shouldn't scam the public and take advantage of laws and blah blah blah - I didn't hear most of what he said.

Then he said he'd just write me a warning.

Before he could do that, one of my copious number of relatives (also law enforcement, but highway patrol) stopped.  He got out to see what was going on, took the city police officer aside, and waved me on my way to work, where I wasn't late.

I'm not going to pursue this, thanks to my cousin, because I know he will start an internal affairs investigation and make sure this rookie and his cohorts are educated on ADA and service animal laws.  Since I didn't get a ticket or a warning, and wasn't late for work, it's not worth my efforts to go further with this.

I don't know whether to laugh myself silly because this arrogant rookie police officer actually though a cookie constituted a bribe or be pissed because this arrogant rookie police officer was stupid enough to break the very laws he's supposed to uphold.

Anyway, I'm at work waiting for the clock to strike "work time" and munching those crunchy, tasty little bribes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A warning ticket about what? (6+ / 0-)

    If you got a warning ticket, what would have been your next step?

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 06:31:24 AM PDT

    •  Dunno - he never said (3+ / 0-)

      I suppose he could have written a warning about abusing service dog laws because Itzl doesn't look like the stereotypical service dog.  He didn't get a chance to tell me before my cousin rolled up.

      If I'd gotten a warning ticket, regardless of what it was for, I'd have gone to court with Itzl (one of the few times I would bring him to court) and my attorney and my cousin.  

      I can't really project any further because I don't know what the warning would have been for.  Everything would depend on that.  

      How many helicoptors does it take to make the color blue?

      by Noddy on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In Mass., cops have to ticket or issue a warning (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Statusquomustgo, Noddy, trashablanca

      IF you get pulled over. If they let you slide w/ a verbal warning, you can sue.

      About a month ago I was driving in the center of my town and I entered a rotary. If you know anything about driving in Massachusetts, all yield signs, especially at rotaries and highway entrance/exit ramps MUST BE IGNORED.

      So while I'm negotiating the rotary, some ass-hat w/ NH plates (tied w/ Maine for worst drivers in NE) is approaching the rotary and is going to enter it w/o yielding and hit me. Naturally, I start wailing on my horn and slow down blocking this guy. He starts yelling at to which I reply" get a fucking driving clue!"

      Well, this NH hillbilly didn't take kindly to my sage advice and started chasing me. We both got pulled over and when I explained to the cops, they just gave me a verbal warning. Now I could sue them, but since it's my town and I pay taxes, I basically would be suing myself to pay myself.

  •  It will be interesting to (5+ / 0-)

    hear the follow up from your relative.

    A stop for an ADA bumpersticker, actually any bumpersticker, on the surface I sense someone who is a weak officer with an itch to scratch by using his power in a situation where he can feel strong.

    Im sure this sets off enough of an alarm for your relative to check into what else this officer does in the line of duty.


    Scratching around in the ancient dirt of repellent prejudice instead of tackling the real issues is amateur hour. ~ Henry Rollins

    by mawazo on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 07:20:38 AM PDT

    •  Way back when, there was a case (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      where a cop with a strong affinity for Texas A&M started ticketing University of Texas fans who placed those orange longhorn stickers on their license plates for defacing a license plate.  Apparently this was not a case of "Humor in Uniform".

  •  I'm glad it was handled (5+ / 0-)

    I probably would have had a panic attack.

    "Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices." — Terry Pratchett

    by LoreleiHI on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 08:53:08 AM PDT

    •  I don't panic over traffic stops anymore (5+ / 0-)

      Since I seem to be related to half the law enforcement around here, 99.99% of the stops are relatives passing along messages.

      My problem is that, being related to all these LE folk, I don't seem to give the ones I don't know the proper degree of respect or something - especially the rookies - and they have to demonstrate just how little power I have and how much power they have.  

      It's made worse by several factors:  I'm old, fat, female, plain-looking, and disabled.  You would think the LE would have nothing to prove to someone like me, but apparently, it works the other way - they feel safer flashing power to people they consider powerless and not likely to report them.  But see, I only look powerless.  I have a smart mouth on me, no fear of LE (courtesy and respect, sure, but since my taxes pay their salaries I consider them one of my employees and treat them as such), and lots of not-so-obvious connections, so when one of these power-boys tries to play the Big Bad Cop on me, it backfires on them.

      I'm glad my cousin came along when he did.

      How many helicoptors does it take to make the color blue?

      by Noddy on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 10:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You ROCK, Noddy! (4+ / 0-)

    Heh, a cookie is a bribe... makes me shake my head in wonderment.

    No one ever died from laughing too often

    by googie on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

  •  I gave the DirecTV man a cookie yesterday (4+ / 0-)

    No one for 4 years had been able to fix problem, in the past 2 weeks 4 people came, I had to cancel appointments & personal plans to stay home all weekend and DirecTV tried to tell me it was not their problem if the DVR recorded blank,

    Took this guy 5 minutes to figure out the previous DirecTV guy had disconnected the video cable. I had been baking & gave him a cookie.

  •  Ah gee Noddy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, trashablanca, Alexandra Lynch

    Sthuff sure happens around you.  Try to stay cool, I here it's gonna go over 100 there again today...  28 days in a row per NPR...

    •  Thanks, markdd (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca, Alexandra Lynch

      I've been told I was always going to live in interesting times...

      It's a scorcher all right.  They've had to turn the a/c off here at work in order to raise the water pressure to fire department standards.  Other businesses were urged to close to reduce the load on the water mains, but we're "essential personnel" so we get to stay and swelter.

      Itzl has a couple of chill pads I've been switching out for him and a fan, so he's comfy enough.

      How many helicoptors does it take to make the color blue?

      by Noddy on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 11:37:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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