Why do police officers surprise me by continuing to do such stupid stuff? Don’t get me wrong, I’m the biggest supporter of the police. I feel bad every time there’s a shooting, because most times, I agree with them. And most of society doesn’t. They seem to be under this belief that cops can get shot at and put their lives on the line, but should try to nick the bad guys in the leg and not shoot them in the chest (which is what they are trained to do, aside from what you might see in a Mel Gibson film).

I’ll proudly use the cliché “Some of my best friends are cops,” although now that I think about it, I can’t really say “best friends.” I do have friends that are officers. When I see them, once a month or whatever it is…our group of friends usually spends that time complaining about our latest tickets.

The Reader did a story on a cop that had put evidence in his locker. If memory serves, it involved dash-cam videos and could result in a lot of cases being thrown out of court.

And on a lot of the talk shows yesterday, I was hearing about this cop in Dallas that gave a woman a ticket for not speaking English.

On CNN, they said one officer gave 39 drivers tickets for this in a three year period.

I would have no problem with cops doing that, except for one small thing. There’s apparently no law against this.

There should be.

I know, I know. The idiot liberals out there will scream and shout about that. But why? I’d like to think that if there’s a sign that says “Slow Down – Road Construction Ahead,” that EVERYONE knows what that means.

Or “yield” and “stop” or whatever other signs you come across.

But what perplexes me is that the cops didn’t know this wasn’t a law. So these $204 fines are going to be thrown out. And there’s talk of charging the officers with “dereliction of duty.”

I think these officers should be given the option of either losing their jobs, or paying back the amount of time spent on these bogus citations. After all, when cops are involved in something like Balloon Boy, they charge the family for the police services. So, why not have these cops pay back our tax dollars? When a ticket is given, they have to sit in their car for awhile, filling out paper work. This adds up.

I can understand how frustrating it might be to pull someone over and ask “Do you know how fast you were going?” Only to hear a response of “No habla English.” Or mere silence.

My initial thought would be that they are just playing that card, hoping for sympathy. I’ve heard from cops that every excuse imaginable has been used. Wives being pregnant, no bladder control, that time of the month, a bee sting, etc etc etc.

If I were an officer, I would ask for the license and registration. And if they didn’t understand what I was saying, I would just proceed as if they refused to hand it to me. I’d ask them to step out of the car. If they don’t step out of the car, I’d gently help them out of the car.

I’d continue asking them for their license and registration, and if they really were that clueless that they not only don’t know English, but they also don’t know the procedure when they’re pulled over -- I’m going to cuff them and take them in. And, they’ll be charged with driving without a valid drivers license and not showing proof of insurance and registration.

I’m guessing most of them would find they know English really quick. And I’m guessing others would think this is extreme. But what’s the alternative? For the cop to grab her purse and get the license out of there? Yeah, right. That’s a whole other can of worms.

And if it became a bad PR move, I’d ask the citizens what they think cops should do when they pull people over and they aren’t cooperating. Or they dare you to tase them. And when the officer does, they’re the ones in trouble.

Comments

BigBadWolf Oct. 28, 2009 @ 2:09 a.m.

Do you have any idea how much money the City of San Diego pays employees to speak Spanish or other languages besides English? Many employees get an extra percentage of their base salary if they are bilingual. I don't understand it. If you know the language when you are hired, you shouldn't get paid extra for a skill you bring to your employment. You are hired based on the skills you have. Does the employee that is a little more proficient in their work get more money? Not in a government setting where salaries are fixed in the position in which you hold. I can understand the employer paying for an employee to get training to become bilingual, I just don't understand why we would pay people extra for skills they bring to the table when getting hired. I'm sure some people have been hired over others because the fact that they were bilingual. Why pay them more. They got the job with what they had to offer.

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Josh Board Oct. 28, 2009 @ 2:14 a.m.

Crissy, you're speaking in tongues. I'm guessing you said "It hands over the license or it gets thet hose. And the taser gun."

Yeah, BBW, I agree. Well, no, I don't. It makes sense to be paid more if you can speak a second language and deal with more "customers". But I think that shouldn't exist. Every time I'm in traffic court, and I see two or three people that get a court appointed translator, it drives me bonkers. Enough to make me want to follow all the traffic laws and stop getting tickets.

I would have no problem with the court ALLOWING a non-English speaker to bring in a family member or friend, that can help them. That's fine.

But to know we are paying people, with our taxes, is insane. And, is it just Spanish? I'm guessing so, but that sure isn't fair to the Vietnamese, Lao community, Fillipinos, etc.

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rickeysays Oct. 28, 2009 @ 2:27 a.m.

I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, they design road signs to be understandable whether or not you speak the language. This seems like a good thing. I know I'd appreciate it if I was a visitor in another country. Also, even I know "licencia", so it's not that hard for a cop to convey the basics. If more thorough questioning is required, then by all means, take them down to the station to get some translation assistance. Ticketing them BECAUSE they don't speak English is assinine (misspelling intended). ON THE OTHER HAND, Teddy Roosevelt said it better than I can: "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the person becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Josh Board Oct. 29, 2009 @ 2:05 a.m.

rickey...well, you're right and wrong. It wasn't Teddy Roosevelt that said that, but Teddy Pendergrass. No, you weren't wrong about that. But about street signs.

Sure, stop signs or whatever, may be designed to be understood easier. Nothing says STOP like a big, red octagun shaped sign and word.

But, there are many signs that have phrases that aren't common. I see one around the corner from the 101 in Solana Beach that says "Speed humps." Aside from laughing, as I always call them "speed bumps", what person that doesn't know English what know what that means (until they hit one going 25 mph).

And, lastly, I'd like to end this apologizing to any person that doesn't speak or read English, that may have had a translator read this to them, so they could be offended.

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NachoDaddy Nov. 7, 2009 @ 3:55 p.m.

What gets me is that people get interpreters when they take their DMV tests. Interpreters that have no intentions on riding shotgun with these people indefinitely. Also, I'll never be convinced that they aren't being fed answers. I used to have a friend with a Spanish speaking wife. Whether he wanted his child to attend a school outside his boundary line, or get something on his electric bill corrected, if it was wrong in English, he'd let her use Spanish, and he would (and still does, I'm sure) get his way every time.

Racism.

Once, Hula on AJ in the Morning (93.3 back then) claimed to be able to tell whether the caller at one of his jobs was Filipino, and he would give preferential treatment. "Helping your own" is what he called it.

Racism.

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