posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:33 PM
My perception of Law Enforcement has certainly changed over time, partially due to the things I have seen some of my friends and family go through,
but more specifically because of a situation that involved me:
Three weeks after I buried my second wife (I'm twice widowed, breast cancer 2001 and stroke/MRSA 2005), I was feeling particularly depressed and went
to visit one of my sons. He lives about 15 miles from me, but the route to and from his home is bottle-necked by bridges approximately twenty miles
apart. For me to make the drive I have to cross one of these bridges, and it was about 10pm. Believe it or not, at that time of night in my area,
cars on the road are few and far between, so there's no getting lost in the crowd. I drank two 12 ounce beers at his house early in the evening, and
then went back to my normal coffee. I drink coffee almost exclusively all day long. He gave me another beer to take with me, and I had put it on the
front seat of the car earlier and forgot about it.
After I crossed the bridge around 10pm, sure enough there sat a Deputy with nothing to do, waiting on the next poor soul to drive by. She pulled out
behind me and followed me for about 2 miles and pulled me over. After looking at my paperwork, she told me that the reason she stopped me was that my
license plate bulb was inoperative, and asked me if I had been drinking. I told her the specifics, and showed her the warm beer on the front seat
which was not open. She then asked if I would allow her to search the vehicle or she needed to get the dog out to search. I allowed the search, but
she had me face away from my vehicle and lean palm-down on the hood of her cruiser. After about 10 seconds she returned with a pistol pointed in my
face, told me she had found a bag of marijuana and a bag of white powder that would have to be analyzed. She said she found them on the front seat
beside the warm beer.
After several minutes of questioning, the other Deputy showed up and they placed me handcuffed in the back seat of his vehicle turning up the radio so
that I couldn't hear the discussion, and opening the trunk of her car so I couldn't see what they were doing in mine. In a few moments, the female
Deputy, opens the door next to me and tells me that "The drugs I SAID I found in the vehicle; that was my mistake. The charges I arrested you on are
dropped, but I can tell you've been drinking and I have no breathalyzer. The other Deputy will take you to the county jail to be breath-tested, and
your car will be towed. If you fail the breath test you will be charged with DUI, but if not you will spend the night in jail, and be released in the
Once at the jail, I passed the breath test and they locked me up for the night, taking my wallet and other personal effects. At that point, I had
$130.00 in my wallet, but they didn't count it in front of me or give me a receipt. In the morning my wallet had just $75.00 in it, although the
rest of my personal effects were intact.
After they released me, I walked to the impound yard, which is about 4 miles away to find out about getting my vehicle back. He said it would be
$97.50... Well when I went to jail, I had the cash to get my vehicle out, but with part of my money missing, I was stuck. I called my
daughter-in-law who is a corrections officer, and asked her to bring me the balance, which she did. Once in the yard I checked the license plate bulb
which worked fine, so the whole event was complete harassment.
I missed a day of work, had to pay $97.50 to get my vehicle back, plus the $25.00 I borrowed from my family, and the money that went missing from my
wallet. I wasn't even charged with a crime. The deal went bad from the beginning because the vehicle was registered in my father-in-laws name, and
I am not legally allowed to give consent for search in my state. In my mind, I spent the night in jail because she was upset that her set-up didn't
work, and it made her look like a fool. I found out later it was only her second week with the Department as Canine Officer, after having transferred
from dispatch with the police dept. She was trying to make a name for herself, and I just happened to be the guy that crossed the bridge that
Since that time I have had a few more encounters with this Deputy, but she has been very respectful, and helpful in some cases. I have no ill
feelings toward her anymore, and talk to her when I see her in town. So far this is the only bad encounter I've had with an officer, but it
seriously changed my perception of them in a negative way.