“Take your hands out of your pockets! Stand back up there, on the curb sir!”
It was a nightmare scene but one in which thankfully, I wasn’t going to regret for years and years. I felt last night great empathy for black men in America, all of whom would be able to relay similar tales of cops yelling at them and treating them like guilty prisoners, despite simply being by the side of road ‘under investigation.’
I did do a u-turn, and yes, I was driving home from the Rendezvous. As the blue lights and the glaring spotlight bore down on me, I opened the door, asking the officer what the problem was. “DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE,” were his first welcoming words. From there, Cory, a Turners Falls officer, proceeded to grill me and hound me and try to catch me in lies. But I had the upper hand–I had had one beer and was ready to blow into whatever device he put in front of me. He was convinced he was about to add another notch to the “more than 101 DWI arrests in my career,” as he noted proudly.
Despite the sticker that said ’12’ on my rear license plate, the hard-ass patrolman had something else on me–an expired registration for my truck. So despite his insistence on a battery of roadside sobriety tests which he berated me the whole time, he did have me there, and quickly a tow truck was dispatched to take my truck away for a mere $100 fee.
Cory the rookie cop was furious and kept clipping me, “stop talking right now!” and “stand over there,” and his attitude was that of the most zealous and inexperienced patrolman…not realizing as seasoned cops know, that being an asshole isn’t the way to get what you want.
I got my truck back, got a fine, and a lesson. Never ever let you registration lapse and if you drive after more than one beer, well Cory is eager to notch number 102 DWI just as soon as he can.