Didn't care for it
by Matt Worley
It was a Monday morning speed trap, but easy enough to see. And I wasn't speeding anyway.
After a couple of days of driving, I wasn't in the mood to push things. Besides, I was just an hour or so out of Kansas City, our final destination for the vacation week.
As usually happens, a lot of cars cut their speed anyway (I was on cruise right at the speed limit of 75), so I had to go around a few. On an interstate, this is pretty easy. Lots of room, and it was after the early commute anyway.
After passing the second cop, I looked back. He was pulling out.
Soon enough, he pulled me over. Even though I hadn't done anything wrong.
My brother, his wife and daughter were in the car with me. A rental car. A black Dodge Avenger (which, despite the aggressive name, gets pretty good gas milage). With California plates.
I rolled down my window and turned off the car. The cop came to the passenger door and knocked. My brother, who was in the passenger front seat, opened the door.
"Why did you shut off the car? It's hot out here. You've got a kid in the backseat, turn the car on and get the AC going," was pretty much the first thing out of the cop's mouth.
I've never had a cop tell me to turn my car back on after being stopped. That's the kind of thing you can get shot for. Always turn the car off. You know, fleeing the scene and all.
And since I had no idea why he pulled me over, he told me, "You didn't use your turn signal when you changed lanes back there."
"I'm pretty sure I did. I always use my signal." It's a pet peeve. But this was the cop's reason for pulling me over. I knew I wasn't going to get a ticket.
By the way, this happened on the very day, at about the same time, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona's "papers please" law. Basically it said that cops can ask for proof of citizenship if they pull you over for another reason.
I was pulled over because I had a California license plate, but the cop stated I didn't use my turn signal (something neither of us had proof of, for or against).
After running my info (and he might not have even done that since cops can't access anything other than APBs in other states), he told me he wanted to talk to me in his car.
I was frisked (even though I had about three articles of clothing and a couple of bucks in my pocket) and then told to climb into his vehicle "where it's cool."
He then wanted to know who I worked for, where I've lived, where I was going and basically anything he could think of that might point to, say, me being an illegal. I am from New Mexico, you see.
I've been out of this country one day in my entire life (and it wasn't the day I was born).
"How do you like living in Albuquerque," he asked, eventually.
"I've been there for twenty years, I guess it suits me fine."
"Well, people around here don't care for it," he said. So, apparently, I was pulled over to be warned that people in Eastern Kansas were asshole bigots.
He quickly added, "I've never been there myself, so I don't have an opinion," even though he was completely willing to offer that everyone else in Kansas did have an opinion, and it wasn't pleasant.
After saying a few more things that really bugged me (including stating that his job was to "pull people over."), he gave me a warning and sent us on our way.
I don't think he was aware of that morning's Supreme Court decision, but this pretty much shows how stupid the decision was. Cops can make up whatever reason they want to cover their actual intention. I was pulled over for no reason at all. Except he thought I was from a western state, one that people in mid-America apparently don't care for much.
Personally, I didn't care much for the racist cop.
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