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A deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office received an earful of, dare we say it, racial abuse during a traffic stop. The deputy purchased his own body cam to protect himself during his working day. A good thing he did because he had no way of knowing that he would meet the Teacher of the Year. She was Black, and the deputy was Hispanic.
He stopped a woman for using her cell phone while driving. She started to rant as only a self-absorbed, entitled person can rant. I know that people don’t care for these traffic violations, but if it’s a sin for an officer to enforce them, he paid for that sin by having to deal with ‘Little Ms. Sunshine’.
This traffic stop reminds me of one that my partner and I had one night. The driver was White. Every other word out of his mouth was the ‘N’ word, and then ‘F’ bombs; “Why are you stopping me, you should be stopping all these-insert the ‘N’ word out here. His stupidity meter went from zero to a hundred. My partner wrote down his mastery of the English language on the judge’s copy of the cite without asterisks.
Our subject pled not guilty. A few weeks later, my partner gave me a call and said our subject’s trial would occur the following morning. He said why don’t you come to court to see what happens. The judge that had the traffic court duty that month was Black. I told him I would love to be there.
In our jurisdiction, the judge has a copy of the citation as well as a printout of the driver’s DMV history on the bench. It’s not a good idea to tell the judge you have a clean DMV record if that is not the case. I wrote a citation to a young man for running a stop sign. He told the judge he brought witnesses to testify to his innocence. The judge told him that he would like him to give his testimony first. He told the judge; “I rolled through the stop sign.” The judge replied; “You can stop now, you’re guilty.” What about my witnesses? The judge said we don’t need them, you admitted that you didn’t stop. Perry Mason is never around when you need him.
Cops sit in the back row of traffic court, and my partner told all of them about our foul-mouthed subject. When the all rise call went out and Judge Brown walked into the court we all looked at our subject. When he saw that Judge Brown was Black he started looking for a way out of that courtroom. When his name was called he stood in front Judge Brown and said he was changing his plea to guilty. The Judge asked him if was sure that he wanted to change his plea. He said yes your honor. Every cop in that room was sending a telepathic message to the judge; “Read your copy of the cite.” Alas, it was not to be. Our subject made the fastest exit out of a courtroom in the history of jurisprudence.
The moral of this story is that stupidity is a common feature of humanity and has nothing to do with race, color, or creed.Published in