Contrast that with the community next to us. They have one of the lowest pay scales in the state, and some very incompetent cops who have (or have had) a penchant for harassing local high school students.
During the few years I worked with local teens, my view of law enforcement officials began to change. The addicted sister of one of the girls who would infrequently attend the youth group I led at church was roughed up by those same cops, to the point where her story appeared on one of the national evening news magazine. There were, and still are, rumors of several million dollars of liability suits pending.
Imagine my shock and dismay when I ran afoul of police harassment. I am Republican, Episcopalian, Caucasian. I fit all the “right” status groups. White women don’t get harassed by white cops, do they? If you’ve been listening to Barack Obama, only African Americans are harassed by cops; by white cops. This is where I think Barack Obama is so very, very wrong. There are bad cops of every race, theology and ideology. Some of them are racist; others are just plain bad. The one who harassed me was just plain bad.
Several years ago I was driving the parents’ Cadillac through a large southwestern city, which I will not name because I still fear the cops there. We were traveling, my mother in the front seat, my father napping on the back seat with the poodle. The back seat was cluttered with things for the puppy and several Louis Vuitton handbags. My father had a bag full of snack food and paperbacks.
I was less than a block from the entrance to the Interstate when a black-and-white pulled up behind me, its siren blasting. I’d done nothing wrong, was in the right lane, had stopped at all the lights. Nothing was wrong with the car. I knew enough not to pull over on the side of the rush-hour road, and drove another half-block to a large truck stop, where I drove into the parking lot in a highly visible location, and parked.
The white cop greeted me with a drawn hand-gun. His partner went to the other side of the car and held one on that side of the car. They demanded the usual license, registration, etc. which were in the pocket of the seat, behind me. They would not allow my eighty-year-old father to reach across the seat for it. Instead, the white cop (the other was Hispanic) held a gun on me while I climbed out of the car and went into the back seat to find the information. He then pushed me back in the car and held his gun on me while I rummaged through my purse for my license.