Me and the police

I awoke this morning to someone pounding on the front door. As I was trying to wrangle the barking dogs, I heard from the other side, “Police. Open the door.” I do as instructed, while my wife handles the dogs.

“Who wants to pay the $124 fine?” says the officer.

Being that I am only half awake, I give him a very confused look.

He raises his voice and changes his tone saying, “In (my city) it is illegal to leave an unattended car running. We have already had nine cars reported stolen today. How long have I been sitting out here?”

Again, I give a confused look.

“I have been out here two minutes.” He is pretty much shouting at this point. “Now is that enough time for a thirteen year old thug to smash the window and drive off? You do it again, and I will fine you.”

With that, he turns right around and bounds down the walkway. I look at my wife, again with the confused look. She says that she started her car to leave for work, and realized that she forgot her lunch. She came back in to grab it and in that amount of time, he was knocking on the door.

Now, I am lucky that I was awake enough to keep my mouth shut or this asshole cop would have got a lot of smart ass. A $124 fine would have been the least of my trouble. I really don’t understand why I got the attitude. I guess he just hates life. I thought of filing a complaint against him for a second but quickly realized that I don’t want to be on that list.

As the day went on, I kept wondering to myself, “Why is it illegal to leave a running car unattended?” I understand that it is careless and inadvisable behavior. But illegal? Some would argue that it entices thieves. So does wearing a Rolex watch. Or pulling out a wad of cash in public. Or leaving your blinds open so your big screen TV is visible from the street. Or announcing on Facebook that you are going on vacation. Shouldn’t these be crimes as well?

It got me thinking that this is a law to control your behavior so that real crimes don’t occur. How many more of these laws exist? And should they?

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6 Responses to Me and the police

  1. Chris says:

    “Do I give these quarters to you or do I shove them directly up your fat ass?”

  2. emdfl says:

    Nothing to do with “crime” and EVERYTHING to do with generating revenue…

  3. dustydog says:

    It is a good law. A fourteen year old steals your car and slams it into a wall, or into a SUV full of kids, and that has a high societal cost. Same with motorcycle helmet laws and speed limits. I’ve lost an hour due to traffic jams caused by car thieves totaling a convertible on the beltway – how do I get an hour of pay back? Me and the other ten thousand inconvenienced commuters. A car thief commits a separate crime from the person leaving the car running. Analogous to the criminal statues for not securing weapons if kids or prohibited felons are around. Analogous to the requirements for pharmacies and gun stores to have adequate protection and safe guards.

    As an aside, was the running car parked on private property, or in the street? For my state at least, the cops don’t have any authority to ticket or fine for cars on private property (such as drive ways, garages, and private parking lots).

  4. Bobby says:

    It’s a “good” law? WTF? How about it simply gives the police another avenue of harassment. What a statist prick!

    Maybe if that cop wasn’t sittin on his Dunkin Donut, he could’ve been out doin something useful … like settin up a speed trap, or pullin people over for DWB. /sarc

  5. Kristophr says:

    Dustydog: Fuck that.

    The BATFE used that bullshit excuse to shut down most of the FFL holders in the US during Clinton’s regime.

    If someone commits a crime against a real victim, punish them enough that they will think twice about a replay.

    What is it about urban areas that produces such intense infantilization in adults?

  6. Scott says:

    “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.” — Edmund Burke.

    Dustydog, your logic falls right into their plan of conforming us all into Sheeple. I acknowledged in my post that it is careless behavior to leave a car running. But do you think my other examples should be illegal as well?

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