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An evening to remember...unfortunately

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  • An evening to remember...unfortunately

    Moderators, my apologies if this doesn't fit here. It's a bit of a mixed post.

    Traveling home late last night on the bus, as always, the bus gets pulled over by LE. We wait most of 45 minutes while LE and bus driver "discuss" what happened - back to that in a minute.

    Bus gets moving again, drops me at my stop across a major street from my complex, as always. I look at traffic patterns carefully, find a safe time to cross the first half of the the street. There is a car in the parking lot across from me, getting ready to pull out. I see his left turn signal on, but niavely think surely he sees that he can't turn left, he just has the wrong signal on. So I go on about my merry way to the island in the middle. He pulls out, drives STRAIGHT at me and comes with in inches of me. Mea culpa - I shouldn't have taken it for granted. I move to one side, he swerves the same direction. I look back, and there's a car coming up behind me. He finally comes to a complete stop, or else I most likely would have been pinned between the cars. I made it to the island and collapsed to one knee. He backs up, pulls up alongside me, and rolls down his window. He asks if I'm okay and if I want him to call someone. I say no, I'm almost home. Off he goes. This was at not quite 2100. I don't think my heart stopped pounding until almost 2300, and that with some medicine to help me get to sleep.

    So, back to the bus traffic stop. According to the driver, he passed the LE cars at a traffic light, then changed lanes in front of them. In his estimation, he "pissed them off" by getting in front of them. He showed the ticket to some of the passengers, and apparently they ticketed him for turning without a signal, which of course he says (after they're gone) is impossible and a lie. He did, however, tell them they were lying when they gave him the ticket. Again, according to him. They also apparently told him to get off the phone when he tried to call his supervisor. One of the passengers got off the bus to see what was happening. According to her and the driver, the LEO told her to "Get back on the bus." They both said the LEOs were rude.

    Questions - based on what second hand information is provided, were the LEOs out of line? It makes perfect sense to me for them to keep everyone on the bus - you never know, right?

    Oops, I left out that when he walked back to the bus, the LEO followed him. Driver asks if LEO thinks he's going to get a gun. Later, outside, driver has hands in pockets, LEO says take hands out of your pockets. Driver says, what you think I have a gun in my pocket now? Back on the bus, he makes the statement that obviously no one has a gun on the bus. I almost asked him how he knows that none of us has a CHL, or just an illegal firearm, but decided to hold my piece through the whole thing. The entirety of my contribution was "Hope your night gets better" (just before almost becoming roadkill). Should I have spoken up in LEOs' defense? Would anyone handle it differently?

    Sorry for the ridiculously long post. I'm apparently still not quite recovered from the whole near-miss thing.
    That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

  • #2
    WOW - time to buy a lottery ticket when you have a close call like that. Yes people often turn the opposite way to their blinkers (indicators) and often they forget to turn them off. When I worked the late night buses as an Inspector about 10 years back on a fill in basis, often the drivers were happy for me to go home on one of their buses. A few times the LE's would stop them for an RBT (Random Breath Test) and I would always ride shotgun so I would see and hear the comments made to the drivers by unruly passengers.

    As I always say - it is better to lose the battle and win the war as in a getting a kick in the pants by a smart alec LEO in order to keep your wallet fuller than give them more grounds to issue further tickets. I try to keep out of any LEO matters that do not involve me unless called upon as a witness or if things go from bad to worse.

    Hope you are ok now.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu


    • #3
      Whether or not the police were acting reasonably is often in the eye of the beholder. Remember that their job does not require a courteous demeanor, but does require a professional response.

      If they (the police) were swearing at the bus driver, calling him names, beating on him, etc, that would be wrong. But if they pulled him over for a valid violation, and he gave them attitude, he should expect that they were not going to get nicer with him. Often times at the original time of contact between the police and driver of a stopped vehicle, it is a tense time for both, and the officer is in a more aware and cautious mode. This is often when the officer seems strict, and up-tight. If the stop is going well, the officer often loosens up.

      In regard to the officer following him to, and on the bus, yes that's valid, and a proper thing to do because he (the bus driver) just might be getting a gun, dropping drugs , or whatever. Making any phone calls while being officially detained (as on a traffic stop) is a no-no, as you are delaying an officer in the performance of his duties, a crime in many states. When the police are detaining someone they OFTEN tell that person to keep their hands out of their pockets as an officer safety issue. Lets face it, if there is a weapon on the person, it's in or under their clothing.

      Due to the limited time nature of a traffic stop, many officers feel that keeping the passengers on the bus during the stop will keep the passengers from getting in the way, or possibly causing other problems.

      The bus driver always has the right to make a complaint against the officers with their department if he feels they were way out of line, BUT he better make sure they really were WAY out of line, because making a false / fraudulent claim against the officers is a CRIME in many states, and the officers can also sue the person who made the claim if the claim was false or fraudulent.

      The bus driver can also go to traffic court to fight the ticket. I'm just glad that the bus driver was smart enough to sign the ticket, because he would have been taken to jail if he refused, and you would have been stuck where the bus pulled over. But, then again, that would have made you get home even later and you almost getting hit by the vehicles (at least those two anyway) would not have happened.


      • #4
        bpdblue, I agree. If driver and one or more passengers file complaints, that is there prerogative. Domestics are the most dangerous followed closely by traffic stops. We were taught we needed only to be civil not necessarily polite. I was very polite; somehow sugar draws the flies and the tales they do tell! Then too, I have played good cop and bad cop if that were necessary.
        Enjoy the day,


        • #5
          I agree wholeheartedly. Those echo almost exactly my thoughts - the officers have no way of knowing whether any of the passengers are armed, or even just violent. And when the idiot bus driver had the temerity to make not one but multiple comments "joking" about a gun...if I was LE, or even as a civilian, I sure as heck wouldn't take that as a joke on face value. The officer did apparently threaten him with going to jail if he kept it up. When the driver got back on the bus, he said he was trying to call his supervisor to find out his protocol. Two things: First, professionally, why don't you know your protocol? That seems pretty important to me. Second, and more importantly, at that moment your protocol is whatever the cop tells you it is.
          That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.