Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Knowledge's Negative Cop Experience?

I go to class and finish up at around 9:30, then I stay at the library until 11.

I got home earlier than I expected, so I decided to turn into a parking lot that I've never turned into before
. As I'm pulling out, a cruiser pull in. I flash my high-beams really quickly (I figure I could say that I was trying to signal left but I accidentally tapped it.) They then turn around.

I pull out left and into the intersection, making sure to go to the inner-most lane first even though I have to make an immediate right (I was dedicated to not be pulled over again). Then I check my rear-view and they didn't follow after me!

I pull into my garage about a minute later and they end up tailing me. They pull into my driveway sideways like I'm trying to escape or some crap. I get out and they ask me "is this your car?" I respond, "Yup...well I just pulled into my garage..." Then he says "it doesn't have to be your car to pull into your garage" but he and I both know it's my car. Fine, I drop it. He asks me why I pulled into the parking lot. I truthfully told him that I just wanted to see it (fishy, I know. I was thinking about saying that I was making a u-turn, but decided to tell the truth to see where it'd land me.)

They ask me to get my licence & registration. I give them my card-holder with my stuff in it & the female cop asks, "is this your licence?" to which I respond "that's just my registration...one sec."(I make sure to add a little quiver in my voice so her partner thinks that he senses some intimidation. I see that it works 'cause the dude gives a big smirk at the quiver.

They tell me to wait and not to go inside while they check some stuff. I wait outside for a bit, purposefully leaning on my car while texting some people to seem care-free and laid-back. After about 10 minutes, I get cold and decide to wait in my car, blasting music just loud enough to not get in trouble, but so they can hear the bass from my house music. I made sure to watch the rear-view mirror while bobbing my head to the music (making sure to exagerrate the movement), and the whole time...the male cop's just looking at me (it was really visible 'cause they turned their in-car light on).

A couple more minutes pass, and they come into my garage handing me back my crap. Here's how the conversation went:

Her:"We're giving you a ticket for giving us attitude."

Me: "Excuse me?"

Her: "You have a burnt-out headlight, but it's our discretion as to whether or not you issue a ticket. However, this won't stick if you bring a receipt to court and show it"

Me: "Does it hold any weight that I JUST replaced the headlight?

Her: "You did it yourself?"

Me: "Yup, I wiggled it and it was working again...but I guess it went out again"

Her: "Get a receipt from Canadian tire showing that THEY replaced it" (I decided to drop this and move on to what I really cared about)

Me: But let me get this straight, you're giving me a ticket because I gave you attitude?

Her: Did you not listen to what I said? It's up to our discretion, whether or not we issue the ticket.

Me: "So you're essentially giving me a ticket that you know won't stick because you THINK I gave you attitude?"

Her: "You clearly had a burnt-out headlight"

Me: "That's completely justified, but the only reason you chose to give me the ticket was because you don't feel that you guys got the respect that you think you rightfully deserve?"
At this point, she was getting a bit flustered/agitated...and my mom stepped in to break up the conversation.

What I find hilarious is that the 25 minutes they spent in front of my house, was 25 minutes they could've been catching speeders (the parking lot is right at a hill where people tend to gun it) or some other useful thing.

The main point of the story is that they're essentially giving me a ticket (which they didn't have to) because they think that I gave them attitude. All these people have negative stereotypes of cops, and they're really not doing anything to fix that. It was also pretty stupid of them to tell me that they gave me a ticket because I wasn't the typical citizen who quivers in fear at the sight of police.

My curiosity (both with the parking lot & to see what they'd do) does have a price though. I now have to waste my time and money to go to court on a bogus ticket which won't stick (which both the officers and I know).

What a great system: I
nconvenience the guy who doesn't give the people who demand respect, their respect...instead of giving them a reason to be respected. I can't give them all the negative light though, because I will admit that I did sort of provoke it. But would it STILL have happened if I played it any other way? Who knows.


- knowledge


  1. they have nothing else to do...they need to waste time and if they dont give out enough tickets they get demoted, or worse, fired. pretty fucking sad though - after that ticket i would have given them some SERIOUS attitude. Yeah it would be nice if they actually gave a fuck , but they don't - i guess thats life (or maybe just TP)


  2. Phex, is there any proof to your statement in which the police don't give out enough tickets they get demoted or fired? To be honest, what can you expect? There will always be good police officers and bad police officers. Just because you encounter a negative police officer, that doesn't make the rest of the force its equivalent, but I'm sure we all know this. Although it is hard to resist the urge of pegging all officers as scum, we have to realize that there are some great ones out there. Scott Mills and Arthur Lockhart for example are two officers which I've had the pleasure to talk to and find out more about.

    The problem with most officers is that they're trying to instill fear within the community as opposed to security and comfort. But then again, the entire Canadian Criminal Justice is merely a facade to begin with. Therefore, when the foundation is unstable, everything after just crumbles. The Canadian Criminal Justice System = A Gang

    The 3 lies of a gang are:
    1. We'll protect you -> In fact, gangs are talking about retaliation and promoting fear.
    2. We're a family, so we'll always protect you -> Once you're in jail, absolutely none of your gang members would visit you.
    3. Fear is respect.

    The 3 lies of a criminal justice system are:
    1. Law officers come directly after a crime is committed -> This is not the case, depending on a person's race, that'll be how officers view the importance of the report. Even so, the police are not there 24/7.
    2. Everyone is protect -> Never the case. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is merely a facade to delude the populace.
    3. Respect the law -> This is only seen if the punishment is harsh enough.

  3. ^ name!! It's a great post, but I'm tempted to delete it without a name.

    My problem wasn't that I got the ticket...it was the deciding factor:

    I'm more likely to get a ticket for a burnt-out headlight because I gave "attitude", and NOT because my headlight's burn-out.

    That's some fucked up shit.

    But you're right. There are a lot of pleasant officers in Toronto who actually do their job competently, and it's a damn shame that the few, power-tripping ones over-shadow them. All it takes is ONE bad experience to forget about all the good ones.

    - knowledge

  4. As for a name, well I dunno, how's De La Soul? I personally do not know you, I only got to your blog through facebook a long time ago (came up on a friend's page that he was tagged in a note of yours).

    Haha yeah, that is pretty preposterous =/. I totally agree with you on that, your attitude (albeit not even a negative one) shouldn't even come into play. The headlights were burned out and that pretty much warrants a ticket. Although, they should have just let you off with a warning because you were under the impression that the headlights were fine after wiggling them.

    - De La Soul

  5. Alvin,

    I recently had a similar experience. My sister's boyfriend was driving us home one night and this overzealous police officer (fresh from pulling over someone else) tells us to pull over and told us that my sister's boyfriend's(ironically enough is also named alvin)car's registration is expired. It turns out the plate said nov09 and that day was nov20-09 or something and so he wrote us a ticket for nothing because it wouldn't expire until its actually dec09 and he said "you can go to court to contest it" because he knew it wasn't completely right to issue the ticket but he was already there so he figured might as well. WHAAT AN ASS EH? hmm.

  6. @ De La Soul:

    Good stuff, good stuff...I look forward to seeing your comments. Also, please drop me a message on fb so I know who you are!

    @ Kathy:
    That's not even that bad.
    I've seen officers take a wad of cash from some teens at Warden station, get in their car, and drive away. I guess it's sort of a win-win, 'cause the teens don't get arrested & lose money...while the cops don't have to file paperwork + they get a little bit of a mandatory bribe. Hmm.

    - knowledge

  7. so that's how it went down, eh? well, maybe next time you'll remember that everyone's supposed to be afraid of the police. haha. just joking. the respect that police expect are actually driving forces for people I know to choose policing as a career.

    It actually is true that police have quota's. when the end of the month comes around, they kind of give tickets away wherever they can and let you know that you can fight it if it seems unjust. the worse are false parking tickets because you have to make your way over to that office, wait for your number to come up, register for your court date and then when you find out 6 months down the road you have to miss school or a potential work day to go to court where an officer probably doesn't even show up ( based on personal experiences)


  8. So, I had something similar happen to me yesterday. It's not as bad as your encounter though. I was driving west on Eglinton (I know it doesn't make a difference where/ what direction I was driving), when I passed a cop who was sitting in a driveway to one of those plazas along Eglinton. I specifically remember looking down at the speedo to see if I was speeding - which I wasn't. So I continued on driving. I noticed that the cop had pulled out of the driveway in my direction so I tried to drive as properly as I could. Taking a right on Midland, I made sure I took the first lane. The cop also hangs a right. Coincidence maybe? He follows pretty far behind me when all of a sudden he switched on his lights and pulled right up on my bumper. So I pull over and turn on my 4 ways. "Driving pretty fast, weren't we?" to which I didn't respond. I figured if I told him I wasn't then he would think I was giving him attitude, but if I agreed with him then I would be admitting to speeding. The speed limit does drop from 60 to 50, so at the MOST I was probably doing 5 over. As he was checking my info on his computer, I was trying to figure out why he would have pulled me over. The only reason I could think of was that I was out a bit late (1:30) and my windows are more tinted then Ray Charles' sunglasses. He came back to give me my licence back. "Let's try to keep the speed down, Jonathan" with the most condescending tone he could muster. Thankfully I didn't get a ticket. Not as bad as some of the other encounters I read, but the punk-ass bitch ruined my good mood...
    Do they honestly have nothing better to do?
    - Martone

  9. @Jen:
    It actually is true that police have quota's. when the end of the month comes around, they kind of give tickets away wherever they can and let you know that you can fight it if it seems unjust.

    There isn't a "quota" set in stone, but there's a general unspoken number of tickets that they try to issue. The problem is that if they issue under the unspoken amount, when their review comes around...it seems like they're slacking. There seems to be a bit of pressure to issue undeserved tickets, to begin with.

    @ Jonathan:
    "At the most, I was probably doing 5 over...do they honestly have nothing better to do?"
    That's not too bad. It is sort of odd 'cause the general rule of thumb for most officers is 10 over. Keep in mind that your speedometer is purposely set 1-5% lower than your actual speed. Usually, they don't issue 5-over tickets...they just give you a warning and inconvenience you a bit - which I think is pretty fair.



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