So I keep reading about this police boycott against Quentin Tarantino and it just has me in a state of shock. Can anyone really understand how the people who hired by our government using our money to protect us is upset that a man calls them out killing innocent people. I mean throw a rock and you hit a new story about cops hurting people, shooting dogs, throwing kids onto the floor.
I mean its easy to look at these events in the paper or on TV and judge not knowing both sides. Not knowing the full story. After all I always tell everyone that the real truth rests somewhere in the middle. It almost always does but sometimes the other story is lie.
I've spoken about some of my problems with law enforcement on Clean Jeans before but by and large I stay out of politics but today I just had a run in with a cop and it inspired me to share some of my experiences with the boys in blue.
My earliest memory is of coming home to find a man inside my apartment stealing stuff from us. My early life was full of random days where we would come home and our stuff would be gone. It was just a fact of life for us. This was the first time I can remember, I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 at the time. The man saw us and ran out, my mom called the police and they showed up. The cop yelled at my mom and blamed her for the break in. We didn't have bars on our windows so we were inviting people to break in. That's how they think. That's how their minds work. I moved to the apartments known as the Blue Roofs. I had a few run ins there. I remember one time this guy who was a known drug dealer tried to force himself onto my friends sister but my friend stopped him. The drug dealer called the cops and my friend was arrested. Keep in mind these were apartments where police would go into the trap house every week bringing presents and walking out with little brown lunch bags. You figure out what was going on. When me and my friends tried to tell the police what happened they told us not to repeat that story or we would be arrested as accessories. That makes sense right?
Another time, while still in the Blue Roofs me and my friends were walking home and we saw our friends uncle getting out of his car and walking home. Three cops stopped him and threw him against the car. He dropped his bag and a box of a BB gun fell out. They started to beat him with their billy clubs and when we asked what happened they pointed to the bag with the box sticking out slightly and said he pulled a gun on them. They then arrested him.
I was living in Lewisville Texas at the age of 17 and was walking home from a walk. I like to walk and cops love to pull me over while walking. I never knew that walking was a crime and to the police defense they always tell me that I didn't do anything wrong as they frisk me and run my ID and ask me all kinds of questions. If I'm treated like this for not breaking the law I'd hate to see how people who do cross that line are treated. Well back to Lewisville. So I was walking home and cut through an alley because it was faster, a cop car pulled up and started questioning me. He called in reinforcements. I had three cops yelling at me, telling me that they saw me trying to break into a building that I never even went near. The cop then asked me what I would say if they found a screwdriver on the ground around where I was. The ground was littered with trash so I told him I'd tell him congrats, there is all kinds of junk around here and it doesn't make it mine. The other cop said what if we just pick one up on the way to the police station. I told him that would be planting evidence and they let me go with a warning. A warning after threatening to frame me for a crime?
At 23 I was in Arlington Texas and was driving home. I tried to avoid a pot hole and failed. Not only did I hit the pot hole I hit the curb and my car spun out of control. I ended up in the middle of both lanes while my tire axles flew off. It was about five minutes before an ambulance showed up and another 10 minutes before the police came. I was a block from home but the cop told me they couldn't tow it to my house, it had to go to the impound. I said fine and asked if anything else was going to happen. He told me no. It wasn't my fault so I didn't have to worry. He said it was bad enough what happened to my car and I thanked him. Three weeks later I got a ticket in the mail for over $300 where the officer said he saw me fall asleep while driving. He got there 15 minutes after the accident but says he saw the whole thing. I tried to fight the ticket but was told that if I did I would have to drive out to Austin Texas and if I lost i would have to pay the police officers salary while he was off in court. So that is how innocent until proven guilty works? You have to go out of your way to prove your innocent and if you can't you have to not only pay the fine but also pay the man who framed you. American justice is a great thing is it not?
That brings us to today. I was driving a little fast. About 42 on a 35. I know, I know, speeding is bad. I spot a bike cop and start to slow down to 35 hoping to avoid a ticket. He zooms out of his spot a head of me with his sirens on and waits for me to get past him before pulling me over. He then tells me that I was going over 50. I told him I was going around 40 and he called me a lair and gave me a ticket. I was speeding, give me a ticket for going 42 miles. Why lie and say I was going 50? Could it be that the cost of the ticket would be higher? Bingo!
These were just some highlights of my run ins with police. Now I know some of you will say that I'm being unfair because not all cops are bad. Fine, great, not all cops are bad. But why don't they do something about the ones who are? Well because when they do they get fired. You hear about it all the time. Cop speaks out about corruption in the force and they are fired. Fired for trying to do their jobs. Maybe it isn't the police that are bad maybe it is the system that is corrupt. The system needs to change. They need to remember that they work for us. We don't work for them. They are here to protect and serve. Maybe they should start.
Jonathan Gutheinz vents about everything under the sun.