Monday, March 5, 2012

38. Close Encounters Of The Cops Kind - Three More Cop Stories: #3. I Just Wanted To Make You Talk

They were the final few days of our December vacation. The traffic lights were suspended overhead on this modernized stretch of Galle road between Kollupitiya (Colombo 3) and Bambalapitiya (Colombo 4). We were driving slowly looking for an address. Suddenly the cop who jumped in front of us blowing his whistle, flagged me down. As I was stepping out of the vehicle with the documents, the typical Sri Lankan way, Deepa said, 

“Henry, please don’t go to argue with him. Let him fine if he wants.” 

This was obviously, because we were supposed to fly back in a few days and we certainly didn’t want tangle with the law.

“Why did you jump the red light?” The cop asked.

“What red light?”

“Uh huh! You didn’t even notice, huh? That red light.” The cop pointed at  the overhead color lights at the pedestrian crossing we just passed when it was green.

“I was watching the light all the way. When I crossed it, it was green. I don’t know it it turned amber when I was right under it.”

“All the other vehicles stopped. You sir, just jumped it.”

“I actually came with several other vehicles when you flagged me down. All of them passed us.”

“NO. All of them had stopped. Only you didn’t and you jumped the red light totally ignoring it.”

“Okay.”

I decided to keep my mouth shut and let it ride.

The cop who checked my documents made so many other remarks but all I did was nodding keeping my mouth zippered shut, which seemed to bug him.  

Why is the world so unfair?  How can an innocent survive in this world?

“This is gonna be a court case, not just a spot fine.”

I immediately opened my mouth, as a court case was the last thing we wanted with only few days to spare.

“Please don’t do that, make it a spot fine if you really must, officer.”

He peered at me under the helmet visor.

“Even we know it’s very inconvenient for everybody just to sue for a minor case like this. I JUST SAID SO JUST TO MAKE YOU TALK. WHY ARE YOU SILENT? You didn’t say anything for some time”

My silence has also bugged him. I had imagined it was the arguments that pissed them off.

“I already have said everything I had to say. Nothing else is there.”

“Where are you from?” He checked the address on my driver’s license.

 “Aha!” He exclaimed triumphantly, “People in this area attacked the police station recently right?  Ha ha ha… Were you also there in the mob, sir?” 

“I read there was an incident like that on the internet. I wasn’t even in the country.”

He wrote out the ticket and detained my driver’s license.

You pay this up to the post office and take the receipt to the police station. If you are too busy to come you can also send it through someone else.”

“Thank you very much. I have no one else to send. Bye”

The next morning we returned to Colombo just to pay the fine for an offense I’m quite positive I didn’t commit. So, the tax was paid at last. You can’t outrun the long arms of the law.

7 comments:

  1. Yeah, I have a court appearance tomorrow for the same offense. I stopped at a pedestrian crossing in front of the Apollo Hospital that wasn't light-controlled to allow a pedestrian to cross. I then drove on. A cop flagged me down because at that moment another pedestrian stepped onto the crossing, two lanes away. She calmly crossed behind me but I was charged anyway. I asked the cop whether I was supposed to sit at the crossing indefinitely while any number of pedestrians strolled up to cross. No answer. City crossings should be light controlled.

    The cops stopped vehicle after vehicle for the same offense. Meanwhile, a hundred metres away, at the Park Road junction, buses were running the red light, trishaws doing U-turns, and pedestrians dashing across the road with no interference from the guardians of the law.

    I told the cop he should be ashamed of himself and that he was a disgrace to his uniform. No reaction.

    ReplyDelete
  2. David, Thanks for the comment.
    I salute you for having the courage to question the cop's judgement. Sometimes we have no option as we have no way to prove our innocence.
    I WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST AT THE COURTS TOMORROW,and please comment again what happens there.

    henryblogwalker the Dude

    ReplyDelete
  3. as far as i know a single officer can't give a ticket there must be at least two ...i don't know whether its truth or no but i read it recently in fb(my dad also said something like that but im not sure that because of this emergency law)... i think what you have done is right.because when the ticket is written it can't undo no matter what...

    my father is also working in a department that law taking place so whenever they take us down for no reason he can show his id but whenever the ticket issued there's nothing to do...

    my father always saying that "being a police officer is a tough job... its a job filled with stress"

    when im reading this post and the previous there was a song that reminds me about policemen..."iraj's policiya song"

    after all i have to say law is a web who know the law and who have the power can easily brake through it...

    (im sure this will be my second English class i loving this now i have confident thanks for push me up)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, two and a half hours in court, thousand-rupee fine, two-thousand rupees to the lawyer, and i have to go back in the afternoon to pick up my licence. All for crossing a pedestrian crossing at 15kmph. You can drive at 200kmph and it's just a spot fine of a thousand. Logic?

    ReplyDelete
  5. OOOps, David! What a logic! Thanks for sharing it anyways. Better Luck in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. This is what makes me lean back more into my chair and let those who drive just drive. i don't think i will have the patience to face such a situation. and well done Dude. you acted in the best way possible at the time. and also awesome drawings!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Dude, I blogged about it in more detail if you're interested: http://blacklightarrow.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/pedestrian-crossings-in-colombo/

    ReplyDelete

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