Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cops and Jury Duty

Question of the Day: "Would you be more likely to believe a police officer testimony because of their job?"

I recently (Tuesday) served my civic duty of jury duty for the City of Brotherly Love. Don't get me wrong here... I enjoyed having the valuable time of my day dedicated to reading magazines I was smart enough to bring while I was shuffled back and forth between uncomfortable wooden pews.

Following a friend's advice, I arrived approximately five minutes late. Apparently, my friend gave this advice to everyone on jury duty that day as there were a plethora of people who had chosen to not quite be on time. I passed thru security with little to no issues and entered Room 101. Finding myself with little understanding of just exactly what was going on here, I grabbed my mini-golf pencil and form 1 & 2 and hustled back to the theatre chairs all the way at the back that meant a little extra leg room. I filled in the information at the top of both sheets, listening for my name to be associated with a juror number (secretly wishing for juror #4)...

Peter Bartlett: I didn't bribe anyone.

Casey Novak: (sarcastically) Nooo... that fifty thousand dollar payment to juror number four was charity.

But alas, just as I began my filling in my answers to the questions on page #1 and #2, I was given the number 6. I had made it all the way to the question with which I started my blog and a flashback started to occur...

***Enter whispy dry ice fumes....

Monday, I am driving thru downtown Philadelphia and find myself at 16th and Chestnut at 1:38PM. I must go approximately 4 city blocks until I enter a covered garage and proceed upstairs to a meeting being held at 2PM. As I pass 16th, the two cars in front of me turn left leaving me the solo driver in my lane for the next block as several cars deep are waiting to turn right on 15th. As I approach the intersection of Chestnut and 15th, three youths streak across the intersection across traffic. Please note I had a green light.

Due to the actions of these fine young men, I now find myself slamming on the brakes. Since they clear the street before I even have the chance to hit them, I now clear the intersection as it turns yellow out of the corner of my eye. I am now stuck at the next light, as lights inevitably change in unison. When the cars behind me advance, I see a cop car pull up behind me and then flash its lights.

Now. The following things are true:

1. I drive a bright red passat.

2. My age is sometimes mistaken and I have been asked unreasonable questions about my age in multiple locations (example: at 22, I was asked if I would be driving soon. True story.)

3. I believe that I am a good driver.

So when I see the lights, I think, "They should have turned at 15th. There is a lot of traffic here and a bus on my right. How are they going to get past?" Naivety.

Folks, they stopped that cop car right there, got out and approached my vehicle. Having had my car broken into twice last year, I actually did not know where my registration and insurance was at first and the lady cop to my left was very curt when she informed me to stop freaking out because I hadn't gotten a ticket yet so my attitude could go a long way towards helping that. Also, I needed to "turn my radio down!" (Note to cops out there: Please do not speak to humans in a tone used for a naughty dog. It tends to bring out the b*tch in all of us). She asked me my age (check the license lady) and asked me if I knew why I was stopped (obviously not given my surprise at your tapping on my window as I sat in traffic) and then I then sat in the left lane blocking traffic until 2:02 when they brought my papers back and told me to have a safe day.

...smoky fog clears****

Do I have any bias towards the Philly Police department who has not shown up to my car break-in and then wasted twenty minutes of my day not writing me a ticket but warning me not to try to hit people who are jaywalking while I have a green light? I think I have done enough jury duty for this city for a while.


Jenn / Bing said...

Note to MR: Hit the jaywalkers next time! Your time is more important.

Anonymous said...

Fyi pedestrians always have the right of way at a crosswalk

it's only jaywalking when you cross outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk, which does not sound like the case here.

Even if you have a green light you have to stop for pedestrians. And the law does not provide for an "oh i'm too flustered to remember where my registration/insurance is" clause.

And it would only have been polite to turn the music down instead of having waited to be reminded... like a child.