This is the question posed to me while I politely minded my own business waiting for my healthy Mexican Pizza from the Border. A stereotypical Town citizen asked me the question above. I say “stereotypical” because the aura of self-entitlement surrounding her was stifling.
She briefly explained to me that an officer (I didn’t ask where or which cop) was very rude to her on a traffic stop. She said he yelled at her.
MC: Did you get out of the car?
MC: Did he yell to you to get back in the car?
MC: Did you comply?
MC: I’d have told you to do the exact same thing.
I went on to explain to her the frame of mind of a police officer on a traffic stop. Allow me to educate the rest of you…
Let’s say I’m pulling you over. I don’t know you. I most likely can’t see into your car. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a ’09 Mercedes or an ’89 minivan. Cops can’t afford to make snap judgements of drivers based on their ride. If the driver’s door opens and you get out, I will tell you politely (but with command) to sit down. If you don’t, I will yell at you to sit down.
Make no mistake, friends. During a traffic stop, you are being detained. It could not matter less to me if you think it is justified or not. I am not interested in your opinion of either my tactics or my reasoning for stopping you (refer to blog title…you deserved it). During a detention, you are more or less bound by law (within legal reason) to do what you’re told. Most adults don’t take kindly to that. I understand that. I don’t care. My tactics, whatever they may be, get me home to the Wife and Kid.
Now, I didn’t say all of that to the lady at Taco Bell because, let’s be honest, I just wanted my damn mexican pizza. I gave her the reader’s digest version of “It’s for our safety and yours”. She rolled her eyes. I am not kidding. I pointed at her face and said, “If I can be perfectly honest with you, that is more than likely why you got yelled at. Your attitude and demeanor.” I actually said it very politely and I think she may have actually listened to me.
I know a lot of you that read this are either cops, dispatchers, or married to them, but I know there are some that have no idea about our world. By in large, cops aren’t “out to get” you. When our paths do cross, however, just be polite. Take responsiblity. And, without sounding cliche, do what we tell you. It truly is for your safety and ours. I get that most of us don’t like to be told what to do. I get it. I guarantee, however, that if you give up a little control and go with the program, whatever the issue is, it will go much more smoothly than if you decide to exert your own wants/desires.
Until a scene is rendered secure, regardless of the detail, your wants/desires rank right up there with my desire to be in a kayak next to a humpback whale (They scare the shit out of me…they’re fucking HUGE!)
So, to answer the original question…”Do you think it is worth complaining?”
Nope. Do what you’re told.