So last nite I had to drive from DC to Orange County, New York to do a show at SUNY Orange. About 10 miles out from the hotel I got an e-mail that I needed to read. So I pulled over to the side of the road like Oprah told me to. I put my hazards on because it was a dark stretch but there were lots of trucks out so I wanted to make sure anyone who might need to pull off the highway could see me sitting there.
As I was reading a car pulled up behind me. Turns out it was a state trooper patrol car. But they never put on their red and blues, and they just started shining the flood light on me so I couldn’t see who/what they were. So being a single woman on a deserted highway and there being nothing to indicate they were police, I shifted the car into drive and get ready to pull off. I didn’t know if it was a trucker coming to kill me or what. But as I start to try to pull away, I hear someone banging on my passenger side door and I floor it. Still can’t see its a cop cuz I’m blinded and they haven’t said anything (don’t they have speakers in those cars?). But then the one in the car moved the flood light and I can now see there’s a cop standing outside my passenger side window with his gun drawn. He yells for me to roll down the window and then yells, “What are you doing? You could have run me over!” And I said, “Well I couldn’t see you because of the light and I’m by myself…” Showed him I was just reading an email while NOT driving — per the law. But the reality is: to him it looked like I was fleeing. To me it felt like I was being attacked… It could have all ended terribly. I know someone who lost their life to a cop in this very same way 10 years ago. Exhale.
When I got to my hotel I called the NY State police to complain. I watch enough TV to know that there had to be a lapse in protocol here. I mean, no lights… no identifying themselves as cops before they approached the car… The officer I spoke with on the phone gave me a lot of party line crap about how the officers are worried about their safety too and how their job is to assists motorists in trouble… Fine. I get all that. But they did nothing that would indicate they were law enforcement officers. She ASSURED me that I just didn’t see their siren lights. And I ASSURED HER BACK that she wasn’t f–ing there and that those lights were the first thing I looked for. Why would I want to unnecessarily be scared out of my mind?
Bottom line is this could all have been avoided if they had on their red and blues… I am beyond thankful it played out the way it did. But I do feel as if I’ve become a member of a new club — the “F” the police club. Like far too many people I know, I now know what if feels like to be looking at the ‘business end’ of a policeman’s gun. I was way too young to identify with this song when this song came out, but now I kinda do:
Pardon the language… but surprisingly there’s no radio edit available for “F*** Tha Police.”
Moving on… In honor of my new member status I was thinking maybe I should bring back my Jheri Curl…
Or at least buy some 40’s and learn how to play dominoes.
Have any of you ever had any really bad/scary encounters with the police? Exhale.