I’m driving on a one-lane road near a construction zone, and a police car is parked at the side of the road. There is a line of cars in front of me waiting for the light to change. The other cars start moving, but the car in front of me doesn’t. The driver is talking to the policeman in the police car. I see that the light has gone back to red again, while this conversation continues. So I honk my horn a little bit to remind the person in front of me that I’m behind her and would like to make the next light. The driver drives off to the side, apparently in order to continue her talk with the officer.
As I drive by, heading for the red light, the cop yells at me “Take it easy!”. I ignore him and keep going.
This reminded me of the last time I was addressed by a local police officer. He was parked in a lane that is used to drop off and pick up passengers at the train station. He was blocking traffic. When we eventually got around him, by driving over a low divider, I gave him a look. He noticed and said something like “You got a problem?”. I can’t remember what I said — our car was moving and there wasn’t a lot of time for discussion — but it might have been something like “We’re trying to get around you”.
As we drove around the nearby traffic circle, the cop put on his flashing lights and pulled us over. He was upset that I questioned his authority in public. We had a fairly long talk. I was kind of hoping he’d arrest me for something so I could sue the city. Perhaps he thought I was obstructing justice by interfering with the performance of his official duties, i.e., sitting in his parked car in a special lane that is designed for dropping off and picking up passengers.
I wonder if police officers in the suburbs are so pressed for real confrontations that they look for excuses to exercise their authority. To prove that they are in charge. They don’t have lots of bad guys to deal with, so they try to insure that we citizens treat them with total respect, even if they’re blocking traffic for no good reason.
It’s not an earth-shaking situation for sure, but this is my blog and there don’t seem to be any cops around.