Okay, let me start by saying that I was wrong. I was wrong because I had pulled over into a bus stop. I didn’t want to but it was the only clear space on the block (on any block) since un-melted mounds of snow take up a lot of room. But I was lost and before I drove any further I wanted to make a phone call to verify the address of where I was going, and get my bearings.
When I checked my rear view mirror I didn’t see a bus coming but I did see that another car had pulled in directly behind me but I didn’t think anything of it. As I was finishing up my phone call the car behind me started flashing lights and sirens letting me know it was an unmarked police car. Since I’m not fluent in siren Morse code I put my hands in the air and looked into the rearview mirror to see what the officer wanted me to do. He gestured impatiently for me to move out of the spot. I did. He then moved out from behind me and drove off.
On the bright side, I didn’t get a ticket. But I also didn’t get any help. The officer never hoisted his hips up out of the car to find out if I was okay. Was I sick, lost, in need of directions? Gee, I might been have since I was driving a car with an out-of-state license plate, which I’m sure Officer Helpful took the time to run before chasing me out of the spot.
Is this what community policing looks like where the barometer for a successful interaction is that I didn’t get ticketed or tased? A badge to enforce the law is not a license to be a dick. If we’re wondering where the relationship breaks down I’m guessing it’s right at the “C” in “CPR,” the slogan painted on New York City police cars, which I thought stood for Courtesy, Professionalism, & Respect; but maybe I’m wrong about that too.
The Urban Erma, the longest running column on StageTimeMagazine.com, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann Lord. Listen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Watch the video edition on YouTube.com. If you enjoy The Urban Erma please leave a comment, Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter, And share it with your friends. (Share it with people who are not your friends and maybe they will be.) Get her free e-books of The Great Spanx Experiment and Sometimes I Wish Facebook Had a Hate Button.