After work, I celebrated a bit too early, thinking that I would be able to get gas, pick my son up from school, and make it to his Taekwondo practice early enough to chill. Headed down 47th street, just a few minutes away from the school, a police car gets behind me.
“Shit, I hope this muthafucka don’t pull me over!”
This is what I say every time one of those black and whites pop up out of nowhere and get behind me. I should’ve known that today was my turn again. I haven’t been pulled over since 2012 (I think?). My average is about 3 times per year.
Today this guy did the usual song and dance by hanging back about half a block, while following me for a mile. I was a little nervous, but for some reason thought today wouldn’t be my day…but it was. Before I could cross Imperial Avenue, I got the flashing lights.
I pulled over immediately, stopped the car, and rolled down my window. The police car pulled behind me and flashed that bright ass light into my car to get a better view of me. Then two cops exit the vehicle, one approaching from the driver’s side and the other from the passenger side. Both of them walked slowly with their hands on their guns.
“Aaaaaaaahhh shit!” I thought. “Is it about to go down…like this?”
I sat still, making sure not to move an inch. I made sure that my hands were visibly rested on the steering wheel, hoping they wouldn’t find a reason to draw down and shoot. I was taught early, that a coward with a gun is the most dangerous.
The officer on the passenger side stood behind my care, while the driver approached.
“Could you turn off your car?” he said while looking inside (hand still on his gun).
“it’s already turned off”, I said flatly.
I could tell right away that this dude was anxious, afraid, and a rookie. How could he not know that my car was turned off…the car was silent and the keys were in my lap? This instantly made him ten times more dangerous. A nervous, rookie cop, with his hand on his gun, approaching a black male wearing a white t-shirt. This scene had "justifiable homicide" written all over it.
He gave me one of the usual scripts that I hear when I’m pulled over, which is “your right tail light is out”. He then asked for my drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance. I said slowly, “my license is in my wallet, in my right pocket. Can I get it out?”
“Sure” said punk ass officer
“My registration and insurance are in my glove compartment. Can I get it?” I asked
I slowly open the glove compartment, pausing to show that there is no weapon inside before grabbing my “free papers” and handing them to punk ass.
To make a long story short, waited in my car for 10 minutes while these dumb bastards ran my name to see if I have a criminal record, on parole or probation, or a gang member. Of course he came back with nothing. But instead of giving me a fix-it ticket and sending me on my way, he found a reason to keep me there. He pointed out that my insurance expired last month and that I need to have proof of current insurance. I offered to pull up my policy on my iPhone to show him. Obviously a rookie, he couldn’t decide whether to wait for me to pull it up, or let me go with a citation. After realizing that I was really pulling up my insurance policy online, he checked with the other officer and finally let me go.
All of this over a tail light?
All of this over a tail light?
By this time, 25 minutes had passed and I was running late. Before he said his final words, I made long eye contact, with the intentions of piercing his soul…letting him know that I see inside his weak ass heart. Basically, “fuck you”.
A few minutes later, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I picked up my lil man. My first thought was “I hope he never has to experience this”. I was so happy to see his little face. His energy was just what I needed at the moment. He was especially mellow today, very warm and engaging. Minute by minute, I thought less about what happened and enjoyed the presence of my son. He had an excellent day in practice and we went home.
It’s like a jungle sometimes…