Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cops and White Middle Class Female Privilege

This is not one of my old posts, but one by Pervertically Virtuous.
In the process of recovering my own old posts via email I discovered some of hers. Like me, her old accounts have been terminated, and she seems to have disappeared from the internet. This is a damn shame since I consider her one of the best sex bloggers I've ever had the chance to read and follow. I'm reposting her old posts as a historical archive, and if she ever returns to blogging I'm happy to hand them back to her.
To be clear: the copyright on this work is hers, and remains with her - I didn't write it and I make no claim to it. 
(FYI: some links in this post are dead)

Pervertically Virtuous posted: "Last night on my way to the gym, I ran a red light on my bike at a major intersection in Brooklyn, effectively cutting off a cop car. Well, I didn't quite cut him off - I looked around, saw he was far enough that I could get through the intersection befo"

recovered post by Pervertically Virtuous

Cops and White Middle Class Female Privilege

by Pervertically Virtuous
cyclist-running-over-stop-signLast night on my way to the gym, I ran a red light on my bike at a major intersection in Brooklyn, effectively cutting off a cop car.
Well, I didn't quite cut him off - I looked around, saw he was far enough that I could get through the intersection before he got to it - but he was the only car coming this way and I was the only person (on bike or foot) running that red light right in front of him.
By the time I realized it was a cop car, it was too late to stop.
A few seconds later I heard the siren. I knew it was for me.
I contemplated running from him trying to escape. I know people who've done that multiple times: With all the one way streets and busy traffic in NYC, cops often can't keep up with a bike. But we were in a part of Brooklyn I don't know that well and traffic was light that time of the night, so I decided to stop and try to talk my way out of it.
He pulled over next to me, rolling down the passenger window. It was a cute Latino guy in his early 30's, probably not very tall, fairly overweight.
"Do you know you ran a red light? Right in front of me?" he asked, visibly pissed. Understandably so. I would be too if I were him.
"Yes, I know. I'm sorry, officer, I am running late, I was in a hurry." I tried to apologize.
He asked for my ID.  I realized that probably meant a ticket. So as I handed him my ID, I leaned closer to the window and started pleading not to write me a ticket.
He wasn't having any of it.
"Step back ma'am," he said coldly.
"But, officer, please..." I kept trying.
"Step back from my vehicle, ma'am," he ordered more sternly and started rolling up his window.
I obeyed. A few minutes passed as I watched him enter my info in the system. This was it, I thought, I was getting a ticket.
But I couldn't believe it was happening. I don't get tickets. I ALWAYS talk my way out of them. Like that one time I convinced the cops that my pupils were not constricted due to heroin (as they'd suggested), but because it was bright out (which was true; although me and everyone else in the car was rolling their asses off on ecstasy). Or that time I convinced the cop that I was parked in a disabled spot (which no one ever seemed to use) because as a foreigner I didn't realize the disabled sticker applied to the driver and not the car (who belonged to my disabled friend). Or that time I convinced the cop that we were wrapping up the party that my landlord called the cops on me for at 8 AM. Or that time I convinced the cop that I was lost (which was somewhat true) and he should therefore not only forgive me for speeding (50 mph in a 30 mph zone), but help me with directions. I could go on... The only time I didn't manage to talk my way out of a ticket (a noise violation) was a sweet, mellow guy was accompanied by an angry, bitchy female cop.
Was this the first time I was going to get a ticket by a guy?
For a second I thought about offering him a blowjob. I've always wanted to try that - bribe a law enforcement officer with a blowjob - but have never had the chance. This was definitely not the time nor place for it, though. I was on my bike on a very busy street, wearing workout clothes, all sweaty and red in the face after having biked 10 miles, with a dumb-looking bike helmet on my head. I am sure I did not look particularly attractive.
But I couldn't give up so easily. I had to try the pleading once more.
"How much is the ticket?" I asked him, despondent.
"I don't know, about $300," he said.
"$300?!" I exclaimed in horror, genuinely shocked. "Officer, I can't afford that. I'm a student."
"Well, you should've thought about that before running a red light," he responded, much softer now.
"I know, I'm really sorry, I was in a hurry..."
"Do you even realize you ran that light? You didn't even see me."
"I ..." I tried to defend myself.
"Let me finish," he interrupted me. He proceeded to chastise me with a (not entirely inappropriate) lecture on how I was being careless, breaking the law, endangering myself and others on the road, and complicating the co-existence of cars, bikes, and pedestrians.
He (understandably) needed to vent. When he was finished, I used my sweetest voice to say:
"You're right, officer, I know, I shouldn't have done it. But, I did see you, I really did. I looked both ways, you were the only car coming and I calculated that you were far enough, and I had enough time to cross before you even got to the intersection."
"How many times a day do you run red lights?" he asked, visibly calmer and almost amused now.
"I don't know..."
"You don't know?! So you do it all the time?" he responded, laughing.
"No, no. Look, I can't say I've never done it, but I pay attention. I don't do it when there are cars or pedestrians, I'm a really good cyclist, I promise, I've never hit anyone, I've never caused an accident... Please don't write me a ticket, sir, please, I really can't afford $300 right now, I'm just a student."
And with that, I had made my case.
He gave me back my ID.
"OK, I'm gonna let you go now, but I want you to stop at every red light. Even if there's no one coming. Your info is in the system, don't let me catch you again," he warned me. "If I do, I WILL write you a summons, I promise."
THANK YOU OFFICER!
I rode off, running my next red light only a few blocks later. It really makes no sense that bikes are expected to stop and stay stopped at red lights when there's no one around. Not in a city where pedestrian jaywalking is all but legal. And not when in Idaho, IDAHO! the land of reason and progressive thinking, cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs, and red lights as stop signs?
I know, sooner or later, I am going to have to pay those $300.
In the meantime, I'm grateful to the Universe I was born white, attractive, middle class female.
Pervertically Virtuous | October 22, 2013 at 10:58 am |

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