I was reading a great article in the Miami Herald’s Sunday Paper and on the front page is the story of the FL State Trooper who pulled over a Miami Police Officer and busted him for speeding. KUDOS to the State Trooper (Donna Jane Watts) for putting her foot down and gave a ticket to a cop for breaking the law. Its about damn time!
If you missed reading this with your breakfast toast, Read It Here.
Living in South Florida, we are regular witnesses to the dark, arrogant side of police officers who blatantly and regularly break the law for their own convenience. I mean, how many times have you seen a copy put on his lights and siren just to blow through a busy intersection? Seriously.
Or, there’s the one that’s more of an insult to our intelligence… the cop who blows by you on the highway, without any lights or anything, not indicating that there’s a true emergency. I see this alot, and it burns me just as much as the red light cheating cops. If I can’t do these things, how come you get to get away with it?
Taking a realistic approach to this debate, I think its only fair to mention that I’ve gotten a few speeding tickets, and it’s been an expensive proposition. Whether you take part of your day to roll the dice with a court appearance, pay a ticket clinic or lawyer to fight your case, or you just pay the fine… ITS EXPENSIVE NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT.
Plus, depending on the outcome of all this speeding ticket nonsense, chances are your insurance company gets a whif, and you’re going to get dinged by them for more money to renew your policy.
So how do you feel about all this? If you ask me, this pisses me off pretty bad. Why should you get to drive down 95 at any hour of the night at 80+ mph and get away with it?
I have two short stories about speeding cops that I can relate to this directly, check these out.
1) I was working a late shift and I took the highway home from work, and the evening commute was moving fast, not too many cars on the road. I’m driving a very modified Ford Mustang, with performance intake, exhaust, etc.. (my car was a fast one). I’m going around 65 mph down the highway, and I get a flash from the headlights of the car coming up behind me. This car was coming hard and fast, so I moved out of the way, into the lane to the right.
Who’s this jerk with the heavy foot? Its a cop of course. Flooring his car on the highway, not even one light or siren on at the time. I was young and PO’d, so I ratcheted up my mustang and eventually caught up to him, and recorded the police car number, tag number and noted the time.
Since I’m the kind of person that writes letters, I fired off a letter to the local county police offices, complaining about this disparity. I got a form letter back in the mail about 1 month later, stating that the officer in question was responding to a non-emergency call on the other side of the county. How’s that for a bullshit response? He was about 40 minutes away from that area, and was going nearly 100 mph without any sirens or even the tiny police lights in the front grill. Yeah, right, a non-emergency call my ass.
2) More recently, I was coming home from south beach and I got passed, and I mean whizzed by a cop that HAD to have been pulling at least 110+, as I was going about 80 and he flew past me like I was standing still. But wait – they can do this.. but the minute I decide to hot rod my wheels, I get a ticket for going 70. How is that fair?
There’s one caveat here that think makes sense to mention here, that MOST miami-dade cops aren’t paying much attention to speeders, and unless you rudely pass a cop or do something obviously stupid in front of one on the road, you’re good driving down here in Miami. You almost have to cut and flip off a Miami Cops to get pulled over, so there’s a balance here. If you are driving near my house in Pinecrest, FL, you completely have to watch your speed (they don’t play down here in this SW corner of Miami).
Having said all that, I do see alot of FL State Troopers doing a great job, and I applaud them. The way I see it, if I’m driving like all is well, then I’m not going to attract any attention to my ride. I do however drive a Black Dodge Magnum [yes, with the HEMI V8] and I have a Decepticon sticker on my back window, I’m a troublemaker!
Back to the point here, I’m happy that a cop gets ticketing (and hopefully embarrassed) by another person in law enforcement. It’s common knowledge that “the blue wall” or “blue line” exists, and that cops look out for each other. This really means that cops who are breaking the laws and abusing their positions – their actions are almost always overlooked as a standard; you just don’t bust another cop, do you?
I’d like to know that there’s some semblance of fairness here, that cops just can’t speed at will, but is this a realistic debate? Is there ever going to be any change? Probably Not – as long as the good ol boys are watching their own backs. Besides, how you gonna ticket someone you work with, that same guy who you drink with after work?
Probably not gonna do that, are ya? No, I didn’t think so.
By Louis Wing