About 2 months ago I decided to drive my motorcycle to the corner store to go buy a pack of cigarettes. Yes, I smoke. But that’s not the purpose of this article. Now normally when I break out my motorcycle to ride to the corner store I purposely drive the scenic route which causes me to drive my bike a distance of probably 10 miles to reach a spot that’s literally about 2 miles away from my house. Anybody who rides motorcycles can relate to that. So as I arrived to the store to buy my cancer sticks, I smoked one then hopped back on my bike to make this 10 mile trek back to the house. On my return trip home I have to drive down this extremely windy 2 lane road which sucks ass if you get stuck behind a car that’s not going as fast you because on this street, there is only about a quarter mile stretch where you can pass somebody before encountering another endless series of windy curves. So as I’m about 4 miles into my drive down this windy street I come up to a traffic light. I turn right on this street which leads me into another country road, but this particular section of the road is a fairly straight 4 lane highway that doesn’t have much traffic on it on the weekend. So it’s perfect for people like me who like to open a bike up to really get it in for a good mile & a half before the road converges back into 2 lanes. So here I am on this street at the traffic light, I turn right onto the 4 lane highway completely downshifted into 1st gear. I make the turn then I start kicking the bike back up to 5 fifth gear as fast as possible which causes my bike to go from probably 5 miles in the turn to over 100 mph once I kicked up the speed…all in a matter of about 4 seconds or less.
Now on this 4 lane road, as soon as you make that right onto it, less than a quarter of mile onto the street there is a slight hill in it to where you can’t tell if a car is coming up the hill or not in the opposite direction. So here I am, doing about 110 mph on this 4 lane road, approaching that hill. As soon as I hit the crest of that hill, guess who I see on my left coming up the hill in the opposite direction? That’s right, a cop car. He spots me, busts a u-turn, hits the lights and proceeds to come after me.
At that point I had 2 options to choose from:
I chose to go with option 2 that day.
I slowed my bike down and pulled over on the side of the road. Cut my bike off, took off my helmet, and waited for him to approach me. He approached me, asked to see my driver’s license, insurance, & registration…the typical shit. That day all I had on my was my driver’s license. I left my insurance & registration card in my motorcycle jacket. Luckily I had just put the new registration sticker on my license plate, so he said I was cool on that front. Anyways, he told me how fast I was going & asked why I was going that fast. I told him these exact words, “I have no excuse Officer. You caught me.” Seriously, that’s the only thing I could think to say because I knew I was WAY THE HELL over the speed limit.
Anyways, here I am on the side of a country road burning the hell up in the heat, smoking a cigarette all while waiting for this cop to run my information & give me my ticket. As I’m out there smoking & waiting, in the front of my mind I’m thinking “I know my registration is good, I do have insurance which I can pull up on my phone, & I know damn well I do not have any warrants.” But in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “This muthafucka might lock me the fuck up for being a super speeder, he might impound my bike, worst case, this dude might taze or shoot me if I react threatening to him. This could quite possibly get ugly.”
The cop exits his vehicle & comes back towards me. He hands me a ticket & to my surprise he says to me “Due to your honesty I’ve decided to drastically reduce the speed you were going to have it reflect that you were only going 15 miles over the speed limit versus the 60+ miles over you were doing. So here is your ticket sir. Pay the fine by this date. You are free to go.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. No seriously, I honestly could not believe what the fuck I was hearing. After he handed me my ticket I kind of just stared at him for a second too to make sure this wasn’t some type of joke, then I asked him was I really free to go & the cop said yes. So I jumped back on my bike, pulled back into traffic slowly and rode my bike the speed limit all the way back to my house in a trance of sorts for not being arrested for blatantly speeding well over the speed limit on a motorcycle.
I say all of this to say this…
I’ve watched the video tape of Sandra Bland getting pulled over about 5 times so far & I’m honestly trying to figure out what in the fuck went wrong to cause this cop to lose it like that. Sandra Bland didn’t do a proper signal during a lane change…ok, got it. The cop pulls her over, runs her information, writes her a ticket then proceeds to issue her a warning ticket. But in the process of issuing her the ticket, he decides to start fucking with her because I guess she wasn’t playing the “Yas Suh Boss” game I’m assuming he felt he was entitled to receive from her. During the process of him fucking her, Sandra Bland decides to smoke a cigarette in her car, which is perfectly legal. He asks her to put out the cigarette, which legally she does not have to & then he fucking loses it & begins to accost her for apprehension. A day or two later….she’s dead allegedly from suicide.
My situation: I’m grossly over speeding, I get caught, I give a dead honest reason, I’m smoking a cigarette, I get my reduced traffic ticket, I’m back on my bike, & I go on with my life. So what did I do during my encounter to not piss this cop off to the point where he felt the need to let me go AND write up my citation in such a way so I don’t have to pay fines possibly into the thousands, get locked up, and have my bike impounded. Honestly I’m not sure. The only conversation between the cop & I was my “You caught me” excuse & the final convo of him explaining to me all of the shit he COULD arrest me for but didn’t. All of this while I was smoking a cigarette in front of him. Maybe that day just wasn’t my day. I honestly have no clue.
I really have no clue as to why my situation turned out so very much differently from that of Sandra Bland’s unfortunate encounter which started the chain reaction to her death. But due to all of the shit has been taking place between the police & Black society, I think most Black people who get pulled over always have this thought in the front of their mind wondering if today will be the day their name becomes the next trending hashtag on Twitter.