Cop Rant

Tip-toeing through the last 20 miles or so of I-70 in eastern Ohio. It’s not easy to go in slow motion (the truck speed limit in Ohio is 55). This has me chewing on that speeding ticket that I got in Tennessee last week.
I’ve realized that I have no respect whatsoever Law Enforcement anymore. And with good reason. Seven and a half years of truck driving have made me all too aware of how predatory law enforcement in America has become. I am a safe, courteous driver. I am no wild child. No speed demon. And yet since I started driving a truck I’ve paid $1,000-1,500 in fines. Each time I paid that fine knowing full well that I’d been screwed.
Last week’s speeding ticket is textbook example of what I mean. I was trying to pass a straight truck, who sped up on me. So I had to go even faster to get around him. What I wound up doing was 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. I know this because just as I saw the state trooper parked on the side of the highway, I looked down at my speedometer.
When the trooper pulled me over, he claimed that he clocked me going 78. But since he was such a nice guy and all, he reduced it to 70. It did me no good to point out that my truck is governed at 65 and won’t go any faster than that. Like every cop before him who I have told the same thing through the years, he said “You should get that checked.”
Right. Well, maybe I should. After all, every truck I’ve ever driven has somehow managed to exceed its governor by 10-15 mph. There’s obviously some industry-wide problem that needs to be addressed. They also need to check with the companies who make those highway signs that tell you how fast you’re going, as well. Through the years they’ve been universally wrong, usually matching up with my faulty governor and speedometer.
Look, I freely admit I was doing 65 in a 55. Back in the old days if a cop gave you a break, it would mean writing you up for 60 instead of 65. Now it means lying about how fast he clocked you going (78 in this case) and writing you up for more than you were actually going anyway.
If this were an isolated incident I probably wouldn’t mention it. But it’s happened so many times, the same exact way, through the years that an obvious pattern of predatory activity, involving, in my opinion, fraud and extortion, has emerged. And just as obviously, these tactics make a lot of money for the state. Extortion is their business. And business is good.
This is only one of the reasons I’ve lost respect for Law Enforcement. Every time they kick down some old lady’s door and blow her away because she reached for her glasses, I lose respect for them. Every time their officials come forward and shrug it off as “an unfortunate incident” I lose respect. Every time no one is held accountable I lose respect. How many times have I seen a black family standing on the side of the road while cops pull every single thing out of the car? How many times have people I’ve known done hard time because they had enough drugs on them to get a bug high? How many women have I known who were raped and found no justice because the district attorney refused to press charges because she wasn’t from a good family but the rapist was?
I could go on and on. It’s all built up to a point that when I see a cop, I don’t see a protector, but a predator.
This is about the point where someone will decide to write me with the tired old admonishment of “you’ll respect law enforcement when you need them.” Well, you know what? I respect law enforcement when they’re willing to stand in harm’s way to protect other people, but not when they’re shaking down the local prostitutes for blowjobs. And in my experience, the latter is more likely.
Also I’ve never understood why some people deify cops. Yeah, it’s a tough job. I understand that. And I respect that. But it’s their fucking job. Didn’t someone tell them what was involved when they applied for the job?
I applaud you if thinking of cops gives you warm fuzzies. But in my experience those good, decent cops that I knew as a kid are long gone. What is left in their place is bunch of aggressive predators in paramilitary uniforms who zip around on the highways like madmen while singing to themselves “Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
Am I going to respect law enforcement when I need them? In my world, cops exist to fill out the paperwork after you’ve dealt with the problem. As one cop told a friend of mine, “unfortunately there’s not much we can do until he’s actually tried to kill you”. Well, you know what? That weekend he did. Shot her five times in front of their four old girl and then killed himself.
Afterwards, the cops showed up and did their duty. They filled out the fucking paperwork.

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