Yesterday as we were pulling into Tampico on our way back south, we were about 10 minutes from our friend’s house when a police car pulled up beside me. He asked me to pull over.
His claim was that I did not use my blinker when I changed lanes. I cannot say whether I did or did not. I most often do, but not always.
This is a particularly bad area where the police try to take advantage of the people. This is my third encounter with them in town.
It all boiled down to he was going to write me a ticket for $120 and take my license. The fine I could pay the next day at 5:00 in the afternoon. Or, I could give him $60 on the spot and he would take care of the ticket for me. After I lectured him on how illegal that was he asked me if I was a Christian (as opposed to a Catholic). I told him that I was, but that it did not matter. What he was asking me to do was illegal and that I would not do it. I would rather take the ticket and pay the proper fine than to do something illegal.
My wife was getting a little panicked at this point. She thought I might be facing arrest if I did not back off. But the officer knew as well as I did that what he was doing is called extortion. For one, I do not think that the failure to use a blinker would really command a $120 fine. Nor would he want to go through the paperwork to make it happen. I was not at all concerned.
He then backed down and said that if I would just buy him a coffee, then all would be good. I told him to give me my license and paperwork and let me go, or to give me a ticket and leave me alone. He handed me my papers but still asked for a coffee. I shook his hand and walked away. I got in the truck and left with him still standing there with his hand out for his money.
I will not bow to that!
What hurts is that there are so many people who do. On the other hand, because it is such an easy money making (illegal) business, he would rather let me go than to have a fight on his hands. It is not worth the time for him to escalate to actual legal proceedings.
This is a follow up to a post from 2 weeks ago.