One person's thoughts may change the world
In my fifth segment on the number of times an officer of the law drew their guns on me, it was back in the 90’s when I worked at EDS ( Electronic Data Systems ). Now, I have to admit, the reason why they pulled me over was my fault, but not the reason why they pulled their guns on me. The reason why the pulled me over was…. Expired license plates. It was the last day of the month, and I always played renewing my plates by the hip, I hated going to the secretary of state, too many long lines. But, as I was headed to work at the Fisher building in Midtown Detroit, I noticed a police car driving down Grand Blvd. I didn’t want to pass them, so I slowed down, and because of this, they slowed their car down. They had me, and I knew it.
So as I was just about to turn into the garage into the building they put their flashers on. So, While sitting in my car pulled over, I waited, and waited, and waited, to which the two officers just sat there. “What were they doing?”, I asked myself as I looked in my rearview mirror at them. I noticed that they were two black female officers, which didn’t bother me at first. So finally, they both got out of the car, and walked towards me, slowly.
Now, this was back in the “suit” days of going to work, so I had a suit on, a very nice suit on, with a silk tie. When they got to the car, the officer who was on my side of the car pulled her weapon. I turned to look at the officer on the other side of the car, and she had her hand on hers as well. “Put your hands where I can see them”, to which they already were and the nine and three o’clock position, to which I moved them up to the ten and 2 position. So I moved my hands up, and with her pointing her weapons at my head, I looked up at her and said, “good morning officer”.
It was a tense few seconds. I stared at her, and she stared back, as if to see who was going to blink first. By this time, I’d grown numb to a police person pointing their weapon at me, so I wasn’t afraid. So I stared at her, with a lot of contempt. She finally said, “I need to see your license, proof of insurance, and registration”. “When you holster your weapon, I will do what you ask officer”. For some reason I sensed a wave of calmness on her, so she holstered her weapon, and I proceeded to get the information she asked for. She issued me two tickets, gave no explanation as to why she pulled her weapon, and I proceeded to turn into the parking lot, went to work, walked to the secretary of State office at lunchtime, stayed there for an hour until my name was called, and renewed my license registration. I never knew why they treated me that way, but I had a resolve to fight the ticket, so I went to Saturday court to stand before the judge. Unbeknownst to me, Saturday court would turn out to be somewhat of a comedy.
I will not go into detail of what I saw and heard at Saturday court, but, it was surprising and enlightening. Many people, with a long list of violations, were down there, arguing their cases. Everyone before my turn before the judge had some major violations on their record, and I saw no reason why the judge, who seemed rather exasperated, to overturn my tickets. I had nothing to hide, and nothing on my record, so I decided to be as direct with her as she had been direct with everyone else.
I stood before the judge, and then she stated, “Do you have any prior violations?”. To which I answered, “No your honor”. She looked at a sheet on her desk, to which had no violations for me. Now, she did this to everyone else before me, and after she found something on each person before me, proceeded to read down a lengthy list of violations, some rather serious I would say, in court, further embarrassing the individual. She had nothing to read on me. “It says here you were driving with an expired license plate, do you care to explain that?”
Now everyone else went through an elaborate explanation as to what happened, hoping to get sympathy to being in an already compromised position be prior violations. I didn’t.
I responded just as directly as she stated to me without blinking, “That’s exactly what I was doing your honor, driving with an expired license plate”.
The judge, who was wearing glasses, slightly lowered her head and peered at me above the rim of her glasses, as if I had defied her court. And that’s when the court advocate jumped it. She read over my violation, and noticed I renewed my plate a few hours later. She then leaned over to me and said, “Don’t say anything else”.
“Your honor, the defendant does not have any other violations on his record, and, he rectified the plate a few hours later at the secretary of state office. The judge then said, “I’m going to reduce the amount of the violation to 25 dollars, dismissed”. I thanked the judge and began to walk out. The court advocate, who was a woman, said to me, “Get out of here”, with a smile.
Thank God for Officer Duncan..