Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weren't you the Officer who.....

A few weeks ago I handled a hit and run traffic collision. The call came out early during my shift for the collision which occurred the day prior. The gist of the call was one neighbor (neighbor A) had their car parked on the street in front of their house. The other neighbor's (neighbor B) teen aged daughter parked her car in front of her house. It appeared that the daughter left the car in neutral and didn't set the parking brake.

She gets out of the car and goes inside. Sometime during that late afternoon, early evening the daughter's car rolls forward and into the rear of neighbor A's parked car. Neighbor A was a little upset because they had recently had the rear of that very same car fixed from a prior hit and run traffic collision which caused substantial damage.

Of course neighbor A' version is that he very politely walked next door to contact neighbor B about the "bump" between their cars. Neighbor B is very irate, and insulting during this initial contact. Of course I later contact neighbor B and his demeanor was polite and neighbor A's was very threatening and rude.

I facilitated the exchange of information between the neighbors and all went away happy. You'd think that was the end of the story right? Wrong.

The next day I'm in traffic court for a seat belt ticket and unsafe lane change I had issued to a teen aged driver. As I'm sitting in the court room I see neighbor A sitting in the row in front of me and several seats over. He sees me and mouths "Hi". I give him a nod back before he looks forward.

I look at my traffic subpoena and notice the last name of my defendant is the same last name as neighbor A. Yep, it was his daughter I had cited while driving one of the cars which caused all of the drama from the day before.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Biased Journalism? Oh You Betcha!!

The other night I was watching the news and the story came up about the shooting death of Oscar Grant and the change of venue for the trial of former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle.

As I listened to the story, the pictures of both victims caught my attention. The picture of Oscar Grant showed a smiling young man. The picture of a stern faced Johannes Mehserle was his booking photo at Santa Rita Jail. Now who in the hell would be smiling for a booking photo, especially for this situation?

This pissed me off! Okay we all know this is a very touchy situation with fingers being pointed everywhere claiming racism, police cover up, and so on and so forth.

Nobody knows exactly what happened on that BART platform or what was going through the minds of Oscar Grant and Johannes Mehserle. Unfortunately Oscar Grant can't tell his side.

Oscar Grant didn't deserve to die, but the media is painting him to be a great guy and anglicising him, while the media demonizes Johannes Mehserle. Tell me that the two different photos don't have an affect on public opinion and if you believe that you probably believe in the Wizard of Oz.

That just goes to show that our media, meaning television news and newspapers aren't neutral, unbiased and are not reporting all of the facts about both of these individuals and if they have they have minimized the criminal history of one of the individuals involved.

I'm glad the Judge granted a change of venue, the Bay Area is too inflamed on both sides to allow a fair trial.

Where are the ethics of these reporters be they television or newspaper? Sensationalizing the story and twisting the facts is what appears to drive these people to get more viewers or readers. Shame on those "sheeple" who's opinions rely on the crap that is written or televised.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Missing Person?

I hear a lot of radio traffic during my shift, especially when our Communications Center dispatches for three other police agencies and several substations not including South City PD.

My motor partner, Juan Jalisco and I were on our way to breakfast when I heard the call for one of South City's patrol units about a missing person.

During our breakfast, the officer who was dispatched to the "missing person" call showed up and tells us all about his call.

Apparently an Asian Indian couple got into an argument. Hubby says to wife he wants a divorce and for her to go back to India. She says sure and packs her bags. Hubby drives wife to SF International Airport and drops her off. After the wife walked away with her bags into the airport, Hubby drove off only to circle around expecting to see his wife curbside asking to come home.

Hubby drives by the terminal and his wife wasn't waiting curbside. He figured a couple of more laps around and she'd be there....NOT!

Hubby had a change of heart knowing his bluff had been called. He was able to speak to his wife a few times via cell phone and white airport terminal courtesy phone trying to get her to step outside. Well she didn't step outside after she had hung up on him.

Needless to say, he drove home and then called the police to report his wife as "missing". According to the Officer, he contacted the Hubby who could not comprehend the fact that his wife was not a missing person and that a report would not be taken. He was adamant about her missing person status.

The Officer politely reminded him that he had told his wife he wanted a divorce and to go back to India and even drove her to the airport.

I guess Hubby got the clue because he hung up on the Officer.

To the Hubby, be careful of what you ask for because as in your case it looks like you got it. I guess the old saying "You catch it, you clean it" is something above his comprehension.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Personal Accountability, what's that?

I haven't yet met anyone who enjoys getting a ticket. I've probably heard about every excuse under the sun about why a driver committed a vehicle code violation after getting stopped by yours truly.

I was sitting at one of our local hot spots parked along the curb out in plain view watching the morning salmon run (commute). I see this car drive by me with a female holding her cell phone in her left hand, up to her left ear and was obviously having a conversation.

I stopped the car and walked up to the driver door. Usually the driver will sit there silently until I tell them why I've stopped them, etc., etc. Well as I stood by the driver door as the driver was rolling down her window, I get the "Why'd you stop me!" in that tone of voice like I had inconvenienced her.

So I told her I had stopped her for her not using a hands free device while talking on her cell phone. I get the "I wasn't talking on my cell phone" excuse. I politely told her she drove right in front of me, with no tint on the windows and the fact that her cell phone was pink and clearly seen in her hand. She again said she wasn't using it. I told her that her cell phone was pink.

After asking for the usual driver's license, registration and proof of insurance, she's fishing all throughout the front passenger compartment for the stuff. She tells me its in the trunk of her car. So I follow her back to the trunk and she cannot find her registration and proof of insurance. She fishes out her driver's license from her purse and her pink cellular phone fell to the ground. I asked if I could look at her call log and her obvious answer was "no".

I'm sure the car is insured as it's a newer Volvo S80 sedan. So I tell her if she finds the registration and insurance, just show it to me when I come back to her driver door.

So I scratched out a quick rag for the hands free device violation and walk back up to the driver door. She tells me she couldn't find them. So I politely tell her that I'll give her a verbal warning on those missing documents and she'll just have to deal with the hands free violation which incidentally I told her was not a moving violation meaning no point on her driving record.

She tells me she isn't going to sign the ticket and to just give her her copy. I do the usual, "This isn't an admission of guilt" thing to help sell the ticket. She tells me she has her registration and insurance and begins to look for it again and tells me "I ain't signing no ticket."

As she's turning the interior of her car upside down, I politely interrupted her and told her that I'd have to place her under arrest and take her to jail in the hopes that her case can be heard in front of a Judge sometime during the day. She gets out of her car still looking for the missing documents I had verbally warned her for.

She tells me her husband is a cop. I asked her where he works as there was no confidentiality to her driver license or vehicle license plate. She very impolitely tells me "Don't worry about it."

Well I've just about had enough of her attitude. I had been polite and professional to her. So not recalling if the registration on her car was current, I asked dispatch for the information again as the month and year tab on her license plate showed the her car to be expired.

Once I got on the radio she stopped tearing up the inside of her car and asked "What are you doing?". My reply, "Don't worry about it." During my request I also asked for a supervisor to respond as sometimes when you have those stripes on your arm it helps to get the ticket signed. Turns out her registration was current.

It turns out her husband isn't a cop but had attended a police academy. While waiting for the Sergeant to arrive I politely added the not having her registration, insurance and improper tabs. While she stood there trying to call hubby on her cell phone, I held my portable radio up to my mouth, did not key the mic and asked for a patrol car to respond to my location for transport of an in-custody to the jail.

When she heard that she immediately said "Okay I'll sign it." and muttered "cracker" under her breath. So after she signed it, I reminded her of how much more difficult she had made such a simple incident which almost cause her to go to jail. Not to mention the extra time spent when she could have quickly been back on the road on her way to work.

So ticket signed, her copy in hand, another customer blaming the "po-po" for all of her problems in the world. She gives me a parting shot by calling me a "pecker wood". End of story right? Not!

She called our front lobby and bitched at the Office Tech to make a complaint about me. Hell I hadn't even had a chance to make another traffic stop! She was very rude to him and became even angrier when told she'd have to call our dispatch center. So she calls our dispatch center and begins bitching at the dispatcher. The call gets dispatched to my supervisor about my rude, racist, unprofessional behavior about my "profiled" traffic stop.

Oh did I mention that the driver was a certain ethnic group? So she ranted and raved to the Sergeant. As soon as I heard the complaint come over the air, I called the Sergeant and told him I was coming to the station to talk to him about it.

Unbeknown to the driver, I had digitally recorded the entire contact. Complaint squashed. It's always fun to listen to them back stepping when they're told "You know I listened to the Officer's recording of the traffic stop...."

For those that read this and are of the ilk to make false complaints against Officers for doing their job and those drivers who refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions, piss on you!

I love my job! For as long as I've been doing it I still enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my weekends like everyone else does but when Monday is rolling around I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike and "making friends" and not looking for an excuse that I haven't used before to call in sick.

What liberal repealed the law that made it a crime for people to make false allegations against police officers? I think it'd be nostalgic to hang them by the feet and stone them.