(Picture from Google)
On Thursday April 20, 2017 I had a run in with “Johnny The Law.” I was on my way to work my nightly shift at Red’s Roadhouse (located in Kennedale, Texas). Like many people here in Texas, I drive ten miles over the speed limit; if you are not first, you’re last right?
Well, little did I know a cop would be waiting for me on the corner of Meadow Drive and East Kennedale Parkway, catching me going 45mph in a 35mph limit? There was no time to slow down. He immediately flipped on his lights, and I found an old abandoned store parking lot to pull into. This was the first time I had ever gotten pulled over, no other cop has caught me speeding before. I began to panic; the thought of going to jail frightened me. Then I soon realized that I was only speeding, and all I would get was a big fat ticket.
I heard my Mother’s voice in my head. “Put your hands on the steering wheel. Do not touch or get anything out from the glove box until the police officer has instructed you to do so. And Salina, don not forget to use your manners.” There I sat with both hands on the steering wheel, waiting for the cop to get out of his car and walk up to my window. An African American police officer soon approached my car, he smiled, greeted me, and instructed me to roll down my window. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen. My 2007 gold Honda Accord has some minor problems; the window on the driver’s side will not roll down. I asked him politely “Sir, my window will not roll down, may I open my door?” “Of course!” he replied. I opened my door and waited for his next command. He then asked for my licenses and insurance card. I advised him that both were in the middle console of my car, and then asked him for permission to retrieve my documents from my middle console. He chuckled at me and gave me his permission.
Long story short, after running my information through the system for warrants of arrest or outstanding tickets, he came back to my car and advised me that he was going to let me off with a warning. I couldn’t believe it! I thanked the police officer profusely for only issuing me a warning ticket. The next statement from the police officer, shocked me. The police officer thanked me for my manners and respect towards him and my actions when he approached my car. He stated that the fact that I knew to ask for permission to remove my hands from the steering wheel was very impressive and that my parents must have informed me to do these actions. I informed the police officer, that my mom had instilled this behavior.
In conclusion, my mother had “the talk” with me that was referenced in one of our previous lessons Black Stories Matter.” However, my ethnicity is not African American, it is Hispanic/Latino, therefore, it is evident that no matter your skin color, your respect for authority should be shown at all times, no matter what the situation you experience with law enforcement.