What Happened to Protect and Serve?

This weekend really got its shit together. It was cloudy and grungy all week, but by Friday the sun returned to Boston. I decided Sunday would be the perfect day to get back into tennis by wiping the courts playing w/ B. We headed out early to ensure we got a court and avoid the suns’ harmful afternoon rays (yeah, I’m cool like that).

We figured the local community college would be a good place to play. It’s a two-second drive from my apartment, and who’s going to be there on a Sunday, right? We get to the school and the courts are way back in some bumfuck corner. What is it with campuses lacking appropriate signage and having streets that come to a dead-end with absolutely no notice or reason? We finally found a visitors lot, grabbed our gear and headed to the courts. I saw a police officer and I wanted to ask him if where we were parked would be okay for an hour or so. He had a question for me, too.

OfficerFriendly: Was that your car I just saw that was going the wrong-way down that one-way?
Me: Oh, I don’t know, maybe, we were looking for –
OfficerFriendly: You didn’t see the one-way sign? Or me, standing in front of it?
Me: No, sorry, we were just looking –
OfficerFriendly (to B): Do you have your license on you?
B (confused b/c he hadn’t been driving): No...
Me: I was driving. Sorry if we went the wrong way, we’re just looking –
OfficerFriendly: Do you have your license on you?
Me: No...
OfficerFriendly: Okay, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m a STATE POLICE OFFICER, and, personally, I find it pretty insulting when a car blatantly goes the wrong way when I’m standing right there. We’re going to head to your car and I’m going to issue a moving violation. Then I’m going to run your license assuming you even have one.

I start sweating on the walk back to the car, wishing we weren't dressed in suspicious looking clothes, carrying our glocks and reeking of pot. Oh wait, that was the last time I was approached by a cop. B and I were wearing gym shorts and sneakers, carrying our rackets and a can of calls. I guess I can understand the cops' initial iciness; we did look like hardened criminals. 

We get to my car and now he wants to be an even bigger douche. He needs to remind us again how he’s a STATE POLICE OFFICER and seems to forget that we told him less than a minute ago how neither of us have our license with us.  This cop clearly had a huge chip on his shoulder and planned on giving us shit no matter what we had done.

OfficerFriendly: I can’t let you drive away without your license. And you can’t leave your car here. So it’s going to get towed.
Me: Isn’t this a visitors lot?
OfficerFriendly: For visitors of the school. Are either of you students here?
Me: No, but we were under the impression the courts were for public use.
OfficerFriendly: No, only for student use.
Me: Are the people playing on them now students?
OfficerFriendly: I don’t know, I haven’t made it over to them yet. I’ve been too busy harassing you guys b/c I hate to see people having fun when I’m stuck at this shit job and I’m going to take the only pleasure I can out of the day by ruining someone else’s. (maybe he didn’t say that last part)

Another cop car comes over so OfficerFriendly can run my license. He takes my name and DOB to run the search. He’s at the cop car and I’m literally shaking with rage. B and I have a muttered conversation about how this is such bullshit. Yes, we went the wrong way down a one-way. But it was an honest mistake; one I see happening all the time. Quit being dick about it b/c you’re a STATE POLICE OFFICER and stuck at some community college. We get it; you’re a laughingstock to all the other real staties and need to swing your dick around on campus b/c it’s the only area you have the slightest bit of power.

I’m livid that we’re practically being treated like criminals when all we did was go the wrong way down a one-way street in the middle of Boston during rush-hour, causing horrible traffic delays and serious injury to a nearby pedestrian.

Oh wait - IT WAS A TINY LITTLE STRIP OF ROAD ALL THE WAY IN THE BACK CORNER OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE ON A SUNDAY WHEN THERE’S NO ONE ELSE AROUND.

Is this really happening? Are we on some new hidden-camera show to try and save the reputation of cops, and in a minute Lindsay Lohan is going to come out and the cop is going to be like, JK guys, and I’m going to get a voucher for a free meal from the dining hall here, is that how this works?

I scrounge around in my car for a pen and paper because I plan on getting this guys name and badge number and issuing some kind of formal complaint. You can’t treat people like this, officer of the law or not. 

OfficerFriendly saunters over from the cruiser and is singing a different tune. He says he’s running my license, and as long as its a valid, he’s going to let us off as long as we leave the campus immediately. This is so generous of him, being a STATE POLICE OFFICER and all.

I’m thinking what happened is that the cop who drove over to back him up is a decent human being and after OfficerFriendly tells him what he plans on doing to us, the cop is like, are you kidding me, all they did was accidentally go the wrong way on a one-way and you’re giving them this shit?

Either that, or he saw me getting my pen and paper ready to expose him for the piece of shit he is and decided to back the fuck off.

It took them an awfully long time to run my license. Part intimidation tactic, part due to the fact that when he was writing down my information, I saw him spell my name Bridgett. Honest mistake, I guess, but I wasn’t about to do him any favors after the shit he was giving me for my honest mistake.

My license is valid, so he lets us go. Not before reminding us a final time that he’s a STATE POLICE OFFICER and that this is real generous of him. I shudder to think what would have happened if a lowly neighborhood cop had pulled us over. We might have even been treated like – gasp – human beings!

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