Thursday, December 24, 2015

Microstory 219: Police Brutality (Part IV)

Oh, the irony, is all I can think to myself. Yes, it’s true that law enforcement is a tough job, and not without its risks. Yes, when we’re involved in high speed chases, we are more likely to suffer damage, but that is not what happened. I was responding to a three-car pile up, but the driver of the white van involved reported no serious injuries. I didn’t so much as have my lights flashing. I wanted to get there as quick as I could, but it wasn’t what we in the business would call an emergency. I was driving the speed limit, obeying all traffic laws, and as calm as anything. I’m about to turn right on red onto the street where the call came from, and as I’m looking over my shoulder, I see that the way is clear. I expect the driver in front of me to go, but I’ve forgotten one major thing: I’m a cop. When I’m driving in my personal vehicle, I see people cut each other off, speed up through an orange traffic signal, and just generally drive recklessly. When I’m in my cruiser, though, I tend to find people to be extraordinarily cautious...dangerously so. Nobody wants to make a mistake and risk me pulling them over. I think they would rather just pull off to the side every time and wait for me to pass. The guy ahead of me should have turned. There’s a median between us and the parallel traffic headed forwards. We have a nice, smooth curve, and a long lane just for us while we prepare to merge. But he doesn’t. He waits. He’s scared of me. He may not be sure turning right on red is legal in this state, he may be worried I’m having a bad day and just looking for a reason to yell, or he may have just frozen up. I don’t know his reasoning, because as we sit here, I’ve yet to leave my vehicle. Now I’m the one who’s scared. It was my fault; I should have been paying attention, and ensured that he really had gone on through the intersection. Man, my colleagues are gonna have a field day with this one. I’ll never live it down. But I’m saved from the embarrassment, for now. I don’t have time to deal with the situation. My dash cam recorded the other driver’s license plate, so I can contact him later. Dispatch alerts me that following the accident from my original call, there was also a bus crash and a car that caught on fire. Now is the time for me to flash my lights and drive dangerously.

Part V: Bad Thoughts

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