There are so many things to teach my son, Caesar. One lesson will include when you eat a peanut butter sandwich the peanut side has to be on the top or it will stick to the roof of your mouth. One lesson my father taught me was to have respect for the law.
My father had a wide array of jobs throughout his life and one of them was a police officer. When I started driving one of the first things he taught me was what to do if a police officer ever pulled me over.
His first lesson was, As soon as you stop, put your hands on the steering wheel in plain sight and don’t move around too much. He explained that when a police officer is walking up to the car he has no idea what he is approaching and this little act helps calm the situation.
“No matter what, the police officer is always right. Always,” was his next lesson. I questioned him about this and he said even if he is wrong don’t argue, just say yes sir. He said the time to disagree is in court not with the officer. “Never argue with a police officer because it is pointless,” he said.
Once in college, the lessons my father taught me came in handy. I was pulled over one night and I knew I had done nothing wrong. I wasn’t speeding, my car did not have any violations and I could not understand why this police officer pulled me over.
I stayed still and kept my hands in sight and as the police officer commanded me to turn off the vehicle. I did as he said and never questioned him. I can’t remember how it went but I had to turn the car off with one hand and drop the keys in the passenger seat. He then had me step out of the car and face backwards and walk towards him. I never questioned him. I just did as he said. After a long 20 minutes of trying to figure out what was going on, the officer thanked me and explained there was a big car theft in the area and the car matched my car’s description. My windshield even had a crack on the same side as the recently stolen car. I went on my way unscathed and with an apology. Had I argued or complained, I am sure things may have gone differently.
Recently there was a 77-year-old woman, Lynn Bedford, who was dragged from her car during a traffic stop here in Texas. It was caught on video and has gone viral. I admit it looked like she got dragged to the ground pretty hard. However, she didn’t follow my dad’s rule of respect the law either. Had she had more respect to the police officer I bet she wouldn’t have gotten dragged out of the car. She was disrespectful and did not follow the officer’s instructions. The officer told her to get out of the car 10 times before forcefully pulling her out. She wanted to explain how she had a bladder infection and her situation. The police officer wanted her drivers license.
The family of the 77-year-old is demanding a formal apology and anger-management training for the officer.
I would like to demand that everyone remember that every single police officer puts their life in danger every single day to protect the public. The least you could do is when an officer asks you to hand them your drivers license is to do so. These are lessons every one parent should teach their children and you might want to brush up on the idea yourself also. I would hate to see another person dragged to the ground needlessly in the news .
© 2012, MaLu Bradford Beyonce, All Rights Reserved.
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