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.


  1. The stupidity of some people amazes me. Does she not understand English? You basically let her go with a slap on the wrist.

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that CA penal code 148.6?

  3. 2WT:
    Man, you should roll around in MY neighborhood, if you ever want a "taste" of racially-motivated attitude!

    Oh, wait...that can't happen...our PD (Ft. Wayne) dumped the motorcycles because they weren't "cost-effective"...
    I'm not making this s**t up, honest to God.
    Luckily, we STILL have cruisers...LOL.

    But our department seems to get sued about once a WEEK for frivolous "racial profiling"...
    Excuse me, but it IS called CRIMINAL PROFILING.
    (the area just happens to be 90% "ethnic".)

    I told the quadrant captain we could have ALL BLACK officers and you'd STILL get the crap end of the stick regarding race.
    (playing that card gets real old...real fast)

    People (and communities) like this need to step up, man up, and become RESPONSIBLE for their OWN actions and behaviors.
    And teaching their kids along the way would be a damn good start!

    That motorist will never know HOW fortunate she was when dealing with you, only becasue she has something we called screwed-up priorities in life.

    Good blog you have here.

    Stay safe.

  4. Sometimes Justice does get dispensed.

    Glad you got to hook that chick up with a helping of it.

  5. Just a civilian, giving you kudos. What a jerk she was.

    Thanks for defending the rest of us from the crazies and the jerks on the streets. You don't pull people over for no reason... even when it's me!

  6. I like the woman one morning who, as I gave her a no-points, no-costs, fine-goes-to-the-literary-fund seat belt ticket instead of the reckless driving (for eating soup while driving), dead tags, and dead inspection that I could have given her, accused me of only giving her a ticket because she didn't speak English well. Despite the fact that I was speaking Spanish to her, and she was answering me in English...

    I really hoped she was going to trot that out in front of the judge when I saw that she came to court... but she didn't.