An American Disgrace
On my way to Joanna’s this weekend I saw something that was “potentially” very disturbing, on I90. As I was heading West, I looked over on the Eastbound side and saw a woman in a van pulled over by a State Police officer, who was riding in a State Police van. Now, the reason I say “potentially” disturbing is because I couldn’t really tell what exactly I saw in passing. All I remember seeing was this woman standing behind her van with her children, the back doors were open, and this officer was either helping her with something, or going through her personal belongings.
Now, I am not one to jump to conclusions, so let’s just look at this from both angles. Look at the possibilities.
Let’s say that this officer was helping this woman with something. Why would the children be outside the vehicle? Especially on a highly traveled roadway where cars, trucks, and tractor-trailers are frequently traveling at speeds of 75-80 mph? Would not his first concern be to keep everyone safe, being a servant of the people? You know, doing his job. Also, how would this officer know this woman needed help with something so mundane as it appeared to be? Something in the back of her van? This obviously was not car trouble.
From what I saw, he seemed to be half-kneeling. He didn’t seem to be struggling, and from what I saw, there only seemed to be luggage and things of that sort in the back of this woman’s van. I’m sure if she had a problem with something concerning her luggage, an officer of the law would not be concerning himself with this. If she really couldn’t undo that zipper, she’d wait until she got to her destination to fiddle with it.
The only logical conclusion I can come to, as far as help is concerned, would be that this woman had a flat tire (which was not apparent in the least), and this officer was getting a spare tire out of the back of the van. Even this does not seem plausible because he did not seem to be reaching into the floorboard or wall of the van, where a spare tire may be kept.
Now here is what I think happened. It’s nearing 5:00pm; near the end of his shift. It’s been a long and frustrating day. Patrolling the long stretches of I90 can be monotonous at best. An uneventful 12 hours on duty can get to even the best of them.
“Something’s got to give,” he ruminates to himself. “Why aren’t there any criminals out today?” Then he remembers the lessons he’s learned from believing in and supporting Republicans and George W. and his family. If there’s no one to hate, attack, bomb, or dehumanize, you’ve got to manufacture that target (Iraq, the American People, Peace Groups, etc.).
That target came to him like light at the end of the tunnel. Calmly obeying the speed limit, about ¼ of a mile down the road, was a woman and her 3 children
Through her rearview mirror she sees the flashing red lights and immediately pulls over. Being a responsible citizen, she has her license, registration, and proof of insurance ready for the officer when he arrives.
“License, regi…” His demand was interrupted by a glowing smile and all three forms of I.D. politely extended to him. There was nothing that infuriated him more than an unafraid and willing “suspect.” Even worse, she was happy to give him what he demanded.
“Where are you heading, ma’am?” He shuffles through her paperwork while examining her window stickers; looking for anything he can get her on.
“We’re just heading home from a vacation, sir. May I ask why we’re being pulled over?”
“Well, ma’am, your vehicle matches the description of a suspicious vehicle we received a report on a few days ago.”
“I see,” she replied, trying hard not to sound skeptical. “What was so suspicious about this vehicle, officer?”
Seeming to ignore her question, he continued slowly to saunter around the van, looking it up and down – paying particular attention to the rear, attempting to peer into the windows, which were obviously too high for him to see inside the vehicle. His frustration and anger were very visible.
“Is something wrong, officer?” By this time, the children were getting antsy. What was this guy doing?
“Yes, ma’am, there is. Please step out of the vehicle,” he said as he marched up to the driver’s side door.
“What did I do?” She began to sound scared; exactly what he wanted. Frightened people act irrationally, and if provoked enough, she’d make a sudden movement (regardless of what it was), and he’d be able to shoot her in “self-defense.” He’d only wished there was a way to mow down her children, but there was no way to aggravate children to the point where they’d assault an officer of the law. All those years of social conditioning from the television (mainly “COPS”) taught them you did whatever police officers say no matter what it is.
“Ma’am, step out of the vehicle.” He opened the door and motioned for her to leave the vehicle.
This poor woman. If only she knew she had no legal obligation to leave a vehicle without being told why.
Reluctantly, she steps out of the van. He escorts her over to the back of the van and instructs her to open the doors. “I need to look around a little bit.”
“What are you looking for?”
“I’ll know when I find it.” He then tells her to get the children out of the car.
Not knowing any better, that she has the Constitutional right to refuse a police search without probably cause, he intimidates her into letting him search – uninhibited.
After scattering her personal belongings on the side of the road and throughout the van, he concludes his search. After finding nothing to hold her on, he concludes the assault on her freedoms with a simple “have a nice day, ma’am.” Walking away, he leaves her to pick up the pieces of clothing, along with her dignity.
This, I’m afraid, is the more likely scenario. Thanks to the Patriot Act, as well as a general attitude from our government that the American people are the enemy, we are now (at least it appears) embarking on a Police State.
It’s one thing to read about these things online, or in the newspaper – but it’s totally another to see it happening in your own backyard. It really hits home.
This government is preying on its own people. Using the FOX News Channel and it’s “Fox News Alerts,” along with the “Color Coded Terror Warnings,” constantly keeping us on edge, thinking something horrible is going to be happening at any second, we become accepting of this new environment.
And, of course, COPS. That show is the worst thing to hit the airwaves. Interesting isn’t it that it’s made available to every household in America, not a cable-only show. They cram that show down your throat to let you know that State Power will always win. No matter how “free” you think you are, they can bust your house down and imprison you –conditioning people to just accept it when the Cops are beating their neighbor. Just sit back and watch – they are bad people who did something very wrong to be treated that way. As long as you don’t get involved, you’ll be safe.
I suppose that’s the message they want to leave us with. To be weak and impotent. As long as you don’t get involved, you’ll be ok.
Always remember that. When the government starts stomping all over your rights, just remember that it’s happening to someone else. You aren’t involved, so you’re ok. Just keep watching COPS.