Monday, May 29, 2006


Local governments are starved for money, which may be why the cops are giving out summonses like crazy, especially (it seems to me) to drivers not wearing seat belts. Drive past a cop car, and the cop focuses on whether you're wearing a belt or not. And the fines are through the roof! (I've been victimized.)

In Kingston, NY, a weird female cop stopped me. She said that I had been hitting my brake repeatedly. Huh? That's why she pulled me over. "Do you know why I stopped you?" she asked. "I wasn't speeding," I said. "You said I had been hitting my brake." "I pulled you over because you weren't wearing a seat belt." Huh? "Where are you coming from?" She asked the question twice; I gave her the same answer twice. Then she asked my son, in the passenger seat, "Do you have a license?" He seemed puzzled, but answered yes.

One weird cop.

As a reporter, I've worked with cops--and many of them are "nice guys."

But...when I was a little kid, I got lost. A girl who was supposed to take care of me deliberately ran away from me. I wound up in a police station. "The next time you're here," an old cop said to me, "we're going to throw you in jail. With rats."
Not a nice thing to say to a child of 5. I was terrified.

New York cops are the worst. I was stopped for (what else?) not wearing a seat belt--along with several others. As I was waiting, I got out of the car--my back was hurting. "GET BACK IN THE CAR!" a cop yelled.

Another time, in New York, I saw that a man atop a building's roof was yelling--I thought he needed help. I went over to a cop. "That man is yelling." "He's yelling?" he replied sarcastically. "Yes, he's..." The cop had this nasty look on his face. I walked away. I should have gotten his name.