It never ends people.
I changed my route to work this week in hopes of not being harassed about my car. The car, after much fuss and the expenditure of far more money than is reasonable, now has a temporary tag taped to the back windshield like a boot-print on my soul.
As I was driving through Hiram this evening on my way home from work, I came to an intersection (with Highway 92 I think), and ended up at a redlight next to a police car (illegally parked to my left in the median). There was another police car parked to my right in whatever parking lot is over there.
So I thought, "Great. Here it is. A trap. Maybe even a trap just for me." I tried to be subtle about reaching up to lock my door, grabbing for my cell phone, and keeping my face turned strictly forward so they wouldn't know I had noticed them, but Lo and Behold, I was proved right about the trap. The officer on the left threw his car into reverse and started to edge into traffic behind me. The SUV in the parking lot pulled out toward the road.
Why? Well, don't be silly. They don't need reasons why. Innocence is no defense for us.
So I start recording the interaction before the light even changes. Cop A is driving behind me. No blue lights flash. Obviously he's waiting for a reason to stop me (which I'm pretty sure is illegal). I turn on the blinker and merge into the right lane, hoping that I can make it to a nearby parking lot before anyone finds an excuse to pull me over.
No laws have been broken (by me anyway), but the blue lights come on. It's the third time I've been pulled over this month for not breaking the law. Incidentally (and I'm planning to show you a full breakdown on the stats here at some point) I had been pulled over a grand total of one time in the three years before I was arrested in 2014. Since then it's been (I don't even know anymore off the top of my head) at least six.
Some teenager with a badge and a gun comes up to my window. Evidently, my temporary tag (clearly visible from the back glass of my car, as I was instructed by the DDS) isn't back enough for him. I mean, it's clearly on the back of my car, just not back enough for this overpaid and over-empowered teenager's liking. I informed him that it isn't against the law to have a paper temporary tag on the back of my vehicle. He let me go with a warning (a warning about what?). He probably only let me go because he didn't check my license into the GCIC, which would have told him all about how I'm a persona non grata. Or maybe he was just intimidated by the cell phone.
I credit cellphone cameras as being the only reason I'm still alive by the way.
And you know, I should complain about this to the Hiram police, because following people around looking for a reason to pull them over and then pulling them over even when you don't have a reason isn't legal. But I know how this "works". You make a complaint, you assert your rights, and then they just look for more ways to harass, rob, kidnap, or kill you. Even if you're innocent every time and they can't quite catch you and kill you, they'll just run you through the courts so many times that you'll eventually be DDoS'd into poverty.
The police are above the law, and we are under it.
And, after calling a pimple-faced teenager "Sir," I drove away while his partner in crime started radar-gunning me, because they've just got to find a way to get me dagnabit.
So I have to go home and wonder, is this because they recognize my car? Do they recognize my face? Have the police in the whole tri-county area all gotten together to conspire against me again? Or am I just the unlucky man who happened to pull up next to a cop who was going to make life Hell for the next guy to drive by? Hard to say I guess.
In any case, it looks like I'm going to have to go back to wearing a bullet-proof vest to work again. Land of the free and all that.