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On my Facebook page over the past few days, I have had two major discussions going on. Both involved individuals behaving badly. One made the major news while the other didn't.
The first involved Ms. Tiffany Rent. You all know her. She is the woman who pulled into the Walgreens store parking lot and chose the handicap spot so that her virile, able-bodied and lazy boyfriend - oops I meant fiancé ("boyfriend" is the current trend since a wedding is never on the horizon) - could go into the store.
At some point the CPD arrived and words were exchanged. Tiffi was given a ticket for parking in a handicap space (something most folks want to have happen to trifling folks who do it) but she didn't appreciate the ticket. So she proceeds to give the police a piece of her profanity-laced mind, tears up the ticket and then throws it in the officer's face (imagine now if the cop had gotten a paper cut to the eye!).
According to Tiffi, her Boo (I ain't buying fiancé) comes out of the store and wants to know what is going on and gets involved in the altercation. The next thing Tiffi, Boo, and her 3-year-old and 9-year-old are all in the car. The children have already been privy to Tiffi's display of bad behavior when the cop tells her she is under arrest and to not move her car or the cop will tase her. Tiffi makes motions to roll up her window and the officer tases her. Oh yeah, Tiffi is also eight months pregnant while displaying all her negative behavior.
I must admit when I first heard the headlines regarding this incident, I thought the worst of the cops. I personally know what it is like to have the police catch you doing something you shouldn't. Just a few weeks ago, I got a ticket for driving with one headlight burned out. I was angry and mad because I didn't want to have to pay a fine. I wanted to tell the cop where to go and what to kiss, but one of us has a gun while the other only has her trusty cellphone. Thus I took my ticket like a woman. I mentally called the cop every name I could think of and chastised myself for not having taken care of replacing the light bulb immediately. But what I didn't do was cross the line and escalate a situation where only I would be the loser.
Anyway we now have Tiffi all over the television. Her cussing and bravado have been replaced by tears of possible financial gain as she recalls her encounter. Tears that now want the city to pay her $75,000 because after doing wrong and not following the police's order, she reaped what the cop promised.
If there is one thing everybody needs to understand, it's that police powers are just that - power. The Supreme Court has already ruled that it is OK to tase a pregnant woman. The police have the right to ask us for IDs and when they are speaking to us, we are in effect "detained." We don't have the right to cuss them out (can be deemed a threat); we can tear up the ticket but letting it fall on the ground is littering; and throwing the ticket in the officer's face is assault.
It is not often that I would want the city to pursue a case and refuse to settle. But Tiffi's behavior is an example of the bad behavior that occurs more often than not by people when they want to do as they please and ignore the rules. Her pregnancy was not at the forefront when she began to cuss; her concern for her children and unborn child took second place when she put them at risk by inciting an incident with the cops, and even her Boo got arrested and a broken wrist from getting involved.
Let's hope the only outcome of this will be a healthy baby whose parents grow up and begin to act like adults with a semblance of common sense and that the unborn baby boy won't end up a statistic like far too many who grow up without the proper kind of parental guidance.
My second incident is a tape put on YouTube for all the world to see. It was made during a funeral procession for a thug right here in Chicago. As the procession drove to Mt. Hope Cemetery, the young people in the procession hung out the car windows screaming and hollering. At times they drove not in a single file but two cars side-by-side violating every rule of the road as they zigzagged in and out of the procession line proudly throwing up gang signs. At one point in their exuberance they almost passed up the hearse!
Their weaving in and out of the procession line could have killed someone. Of course if the police had pulled those fools over, the news headlines would have screamed about mourners being harassed.
We live in a society that has order based on rules and laws. To take part in a funeral procession is a privilege. Those who cannot obey the rules need to suffer the consequences for their actions, and the police should not have to fear being asked to do their job.