Nearly one decade ago, I had put in a marathon, 16-hour shift at work… only becoming aware of my exhaustion after I had clocked out and was heading for the parking lot.
It being late December and well past nightfall, my car had accumulated quite a bit of snow and ice. While warming up the engine, I switched on my dashboard and exterior lighting (minus the headlights) and proceeded to clear the windows.
About fifteen minutes later, I was pulling out of my parking space and heading for home… erroneously believing all was well. You see, owing to the brightness of an endless array of urban streetlights… the type fully capable of turning night into day… I had neglected to engage my headlights.
As it turned out… someone parked, nearby, in a SUV was deeply concerned re this potentially hazardous situation… to the point of alternately flashing their vehicle’s high and low beam headlights several times… but I had failed to make the connection that this “lightshow” had all been directed, specifically, at me… had not even realized the signaler had been a police officer. After all, I had grown up in an era where the cops only patrolled in regular cars (a.k.a. cruisers).
Since I had failed to respond, the officer had one remaining viable option… to make a traffic stop. Undoubtedly, her goal was to issue a citation for (perhaps) burned out headlights and/or maybe even to (literally) sniff out an inattentive, DUIL driver.
Well, the cop soon realized that both car and driver were in fully working order. Ergo, upon presenting my driver’s license, registration and proof of no-fault auto insurance paperwork, she quickly returned to her vehicle.
About a minute later I felt my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. I realized I had made a blunder that could’ve even been grounds for getting my car towed and impounded. This traffic stop going down mere days after my (renewed every six months) auto insurance policy had expired… I had supplied the no longer valid form.
Fortunately, I did have the updated paperwork on me so I got out of my car and walked back to present it to the officer. Having never been a bad guy, it had never even occurred to me that she had no idea, at that point, what my actual intent had been. Hell, my totally innocent act could’ve gotten me shot.
It would not take too vivid an imagination to consider what could’ve happened to me had this event taken place in today’s world… in our society seething with anger and violence.
Folks, traffic stops, just like the one I had experienced, are going down today… perhaps even while I type this out… while you are reading these words.
Depending on how threatened the police officers are feeling, these situations can and oft do escalate to the point where… to protect both themselves and the rest of society… they’ll resort to using deadly force.
Then, once the 20-20 perfect hindsight kicks in to reveal they had never actually been in any danger, at all, the public opinion, rapidly, rabidly, escalates to public outrage.
The understandably upset people then take to the streets… some to demonstrate peaceably… others exploiting the situation due to their flat out insanity. The latter group then opens fire and cops and civilians, alike, get wounded and killed.
Understandably, the cops, now feeling even more threatened than ever before, can and do resort to even more drastic measures in the future. More people get shot and more outrage ensues… and… scenes like the one seen below… are becoming nearly everyday occurrences. [WARNING: PROFANE LANGUAGE]