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Old 03-19-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Vehicular Profiling...

Kls wrote:
> The trouble with that logic of course is why would he have stopped
> you if he hadn't seen you speeding? Trust me, he didn't stop you
> because you were driving a Porsche. He saw a lot of other sports
> cars that day and probably left most of them alone.


I guess a few of us will disagree, knowing full well that vehicular profiling is quite common -- have experienced it several times myself over the years. Here's a missive I wrote shortly after one of such experience:

I know my big mouth often gets me in trouble -- and admittedly it wasn't very smart of me to attempt lecturing this officer about the necessity of having good & honest cops. But that's what I felt that very moment.

In any case, I've had it. As a foreigner I'm amazed that people here seem to accept the bad crop of police officers. Although it's quite prevalent to badmouth the police, I've never seen any action taken to change and/or improve things the same way the public often does in other instances. For example, I know a girl who became a victim of identity theft -- not only did she fight her predator to the full extent of the law -- she later became an activist for identity theft, to lobby the legislators in Sacramento to pass new laws which will protect the citizens instead of the credit companies. So what do people do when they get victimized by bad cops? Not very much -- and sadly, I find myself in that category.

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't even be writing this, at least not when my blood is still up, but I feel the need to somehow vent my frustration; last Sunday it was my turn to get a bogus speeding-ticket based on vehicular profiling.

I know my Ducati is a magnet for the cops -- over the years I've been pulled over many times by cops who try find something to write me up for. This also happened the previous Sunday while leading one of the groups during Doc Wong's Riding Clinic. Luckily, I didn't get a ticket that time, but was harassed with some dimwitted questions. However, last Sunday I took another spin up in the Santa Cruz mountains. On my way back, I decided to stop by work at Stanford where, by the way, I've been driving for 14 years -- I know almost every turn, stop-sign, manhole, etc., and I certainly know that the speed limit is 25 mph. As some of you might know, Stanford campus is also a stop-sign heaven -- every 50-150 yards there's a stop, at least. So I'm doing my usual squirts between the stop-signs -- gassing it up to 25 and brake just in time for the next stop. Rinse and repeat. Even if I never go above 25, the hard acceleration of my bike and its short brake-distance would make it impossible for a car to catch up with me -- without exceeding the speed limit, that is. And sure enough, a Stanford Sheriff tried to do just that. He claims that he had to go 40 mph to catch up with me... and then, sadly, he proceeded to write me up for the speed HE was going, but not mine.

Although his complete erroneous calculation of my speed is the main culprit to this, it's more to this issue which I think explain the officer's very negligent demeanor:

When I saw the officer catching up from behind, I put my hand up and pointed ahead of me, to signal that I'll pull over at the nearest safe location. Later, even this was used against me -- the officer claimed that he had to follow me for quite some time before I discovered him. Utter nonsense.

When I came up to the first mass-parking area, I pulled in and parked my bike at the base of an empty spot. The cop parks a few yards behind me, in front of a parked car. After the cut-and-dried "how are you doing" he asks if I know why he pulled me over. I said it can't be for speeding since I always keep an eye on the speedo when riding on campus, and I know very well it's 25 mph speed limit all over the place. He then asks for my papers. I dig into my wallet and put my drivers-license, registration, and prof of insurance neatly next to each-other on top of the seat of my bike, a few inches from the officer. Instead of picking it up, he just stands there, stone-faced. I'm waiting, bulb eyed, not knowing what's going on, and then he repeats; "Can I have your drivers-license, registration, and prof of insurance, please." So I respectfully slide each item towards him, "This is the registration, this is the insurance, and here's my drivers license." Obviously that wasn't good enough for him, so he bluntly goes, "Are you gonna hand this to me?"

Well, I do realize that the police have certain procedures they try to follow, but it's interesting to see that it's more often the procedures which can intimidate that are prone to be imposed, while the more congenial "Serve and Protect" is thrown out with the bath-water: As he goes back to his car with my papers, a girl walks up to the parked car which he has blocked in. Since the officer doesn't seem to notice her, I take a few steps towards her while pointing at her so the officer could see that she's about to take her car and leave -- i.e., that he needs to move his car. Completely ignoring the girl, the cop instead tells me to go and stand next to my bike. So there she has to sit, waiting for the cop to let her out. I can't believe it -- what's wrong with this guy, can't he just move his car a few feet and let the girl go? Oh no -- not this guy. After a few minutes, I've had enough, so I politely ask him if he could let her out -- but again, he commands me to stay put and quiet next to my bike. More minutes passes, and now also the girl gets impatient -- in an attempt to get out, she starts the car and carefully wiggles it back and forth, but unfortunately in the process turns the steering-wheel the wrong way, making her car to lock in even more. Smug faced, the cop still refuses to move his car. Feeling bad for the girl, I start giving her hand-signals on how she should turn the wheel, and in the end she actually manages to get out of there. Naturally, at this point I had built a fierce disliking for the cop, and since every opportunity to intimidate seems to be used, it dawns on me that this guy's gonna give me a bogus ticket, no matter what.

Certainly -- along with a bogus ticket comes the bogus claims. Again he talks down to me. This time he asks if I've ever heard of a procedure called "pacing". Although I tell him that I'm familiar with how the CHP uses pacing, the officer insists on explaining this procedure to me as if it was some rocket-science. When done with his elaborate explanation, I told him that if this had been on a highway, pacing would've been an appropriate tool for establishing my speed, but not here on these back-streets of campus. It's senseless to claim that he could catch up with me and then follow me at steady speed -- since there was no steady speed to establish -- the distances between the stop signs are simply too short. While he was accelerating from one 90 degree stop-sign, I was already braking for the next.

I again attempted to explain for him that the only way to catch up with a vehicle which accelerates so much quicker, is to compensate by going faster on the straights -- and hence, the pursuing vehicle will get a higher speedo reading. But the officer replied, "It doesn't matter, since I could hear that your motorcycle was speeding."

Okay, so now the officer can 'hear' what speed I am traveling. Impressive.

Well, perhaps my motorcycle looks fast and is quite loud. However, it's foolish to think the look and its sound relate to whether it travels over the speed limit or not, (my bike is even loud at idle). But yet, this officer used loudness as a measurement of speed. Is it possible to apply a less scientific approach of judging speed? What's next -- pull over cars with speed-stripes just because they look fast?!

Instead of issuing bogus speeding tickets, why not just admit that they don't want motorcycles on the roads, at least not loud ones -- and then give tickets for that. But no, they have to "justify" their vehicular profiling with something that appears more cogent in court, just to give an impression that the reason for their profiling relates to safety.

But the real kicker came at the very end when the officer once again showed the level of accuracy he chose to apply to his job. Although the officer had my registration, which clearly states that my bike is a Ducati, he couldn't get it right. Also my insurance, which he had at hand, list my bike as a Ducati, and even the bike itself has four large 15-inch stickers, all which clearly says DUCATI. But no -- to him my bike is a Honda, and that's what he decides to write on the ticket! Just when he was about to leave, I ran after him to point out also this error, but he just replied "I wouldn't worry about that" and drove off.

But I do worry. What worries me is the fact that this guy spent ample amount of time on writing this citation and still couldn't get the elementary things right, but yet claims he is perceptive enough to judge my speed in a matter of seconds from far distance and by the bike's sound! What a hogwash.

If this officer had the skill (or desire) to pay attention to details, then he would also see how differently my torquey motorcycle accelerated/braked compared to his sluggish pursuing car -- something which greatly affected the discrepancy of our speedo readings. To compensate for what his car lacks in acceleration and braking power, his option was to go faster. Clearly this guy didn't pay attention to such a crucial detail, or for that matter any other detail.

But why would it matter to him; 25 or 40 mph, Ducati or Honda -- he gets his salary either way. However, his negligence will now probably cost me $400 and a lot of wasted time. This ordeal also lowered my respect for police officers -- people who I think are paramount for our society to function.

I believe the reason why we have bad and dishonest cops isn't because the good ones aren't reporting the bad ones, but because the public doesn't seem to care (or perhaps too afraid to do something about it..?)

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Old 03-19-2007, 08:44 AM   #2
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Well honestly dude your whole report is well written but it sounds to me like you are looking for trouble. What do you expect when you rev up your bike in a 25 MPH zone - which as we all know is "infested" with cops - and then when you are pulled over start lecturing the cop?

BTW: This is not a Californian issue, (I am originally from Germany but live here since 1994) German cops would have done exactly the same.
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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i once did the same thing, pull over at the safe spot, and cop was very pissed, he said that he doesnt know who i am and if im trying to ambush him by pulling over where i want, instead where he wants me to pull over, even though it was 9am on lakeshore drive in chicago with my gf at the time w t-tops off.
so now whenever they put their lights off i stop right there, intersection or not, and if they want me to pull over anywhere else they tell u over the speakerphone thing.
just go to court for that and present your case man, you will be fine.
btw, few months back i had a wrx for a month or so, and got pulled over, cop wrote down 97 impala even though my paperwork said 04 subaru hahaha, and he put one number wrong on the plate, so i went to court and it was dropped.

and here comes the hate again on the cops, we hate them when pulled over, but hope they get there fast if its real trouble, we all do it (at least majority of us)
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:19 AM   #4
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My brother was doing 100 MPH on some back roads in his 71 chevelle, and the cop just said cool car and let him go. So for every bad story there probably at least one good one. Sucks though, some cops are cool, other are total dicks. Just because they have authority they think they deserve respect, some do, some dont.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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God this type of topic is boring. Pay, don't pay, whatever!
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
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Brucelee wrote:
> God this type of topic is boring. Pay, don't pay, whatever!

God your type of replies are boring. Read it, don't read it, whatever!

-- peer
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer
Brucelee wrote:
> God this type of topic is boring. Pay, don't pay, whatever!

God your type of replies are boring. Read it, don't read it, whatever!

-- peer
Peer, you're missing the point. Your time is much better spent discussing fun stuff like bedside weaponry, rocket launchers and such. This is a Porsche forum, after all. And if you refuse to learn what's good for you, a boring thread like the one you just started can get locked -- for your own good. See, not all cops are bad.

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Old 03-19-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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WOwow everyone in a bad mood today...yes its monday get over it!!!!!

read half the post in here, they are pure nonsense anywayz....so what if this dude wants to vent....allow the man!

read the next post under this one, about guns......
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
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Check for the chicago guys...like who really cares...but it is a post...you don't have to reply to the post if the topic does not interest you...thats a forum, open for whatever the hell you wanna write about!
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z12358
Peer, you're missing the point. Your time is much better spent discussing fun stuff like bedside weaponry, rocket launchers and such. This is a Porsche forum, after all. And if you refuse to learn what's good for you, a boring thread like the one you just started can get locked -- for your own good. See, not all cops are bad.

Z.
I not sure I have read such fine sarcasm since, when ?

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Old 03-19-2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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z12358 wrote:
> Peer, you're missing the point. Your time is much better spent
> discussing fun stuff like bedside weaponry, rocket launchers
> and such. This is a Porsche forum, after all.

Note to self: This is a Porsche forum, therefore we should discuss rocket launchers and bedside weaponry. This is a Porsche forum, therefore we should discuss rocket launchers and bedside weaponry. This is a Porsche forum, therefore we should discuss rocket launchers and bedside weaponry.

-- peer
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:46 AM   #12
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Hence my comment on boring.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:52 AM   #13
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Yes it is Monday and Im having the crappiest time of the week and it's not even 1pm here in CA....3 more hours to go...aaarrgghhhhh

*okay, done venting out
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
I not sure I have read such fine sarcasm since, when ?

Thx much. I even surprise myself sometimes.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:14 PM   #15
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Hey Brucelee,

You know these smilie things we have? Could you see if we could add a child stomping his feet smilie and a crybaby smilie? I could use those.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:41 PM   #16
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Hey I've had a complete day from hell, and while I can certainly agree with the points you raised, I think we've all been in this boat at one point or another. I dont think any of us like the cops, and while I, too, would love to see both the laws and the ones enforcing the laws changed, I've simply grown to accept the fact that it will always be a case of cat and mouse with the cops. Sometimes you get lucky, others you dont.

Either way, this is a Porsche forum, and so I'm sure this is the best place to rant.... for what its worth, I ride a Honda RC51 V-twin sportbike with very loud cans, so I know exactly what you are talking about.

Patrick
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:54 PM   #17
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Here ya go, Griz :



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Old 03-19-2007, 01:01 PM   #18
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...I dont think any of us like the cops.....
Patrick
And just when I thought this thread couldn't get any worse. Folks we have a winner.

I yearn for the days where we had good decent threads - like the one about expired milk.
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:07 PM   #19
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My apologies to all you guys. I am just in a very pissy mood today.
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:10 PM   #20
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It is recommended that forum members use this emoticon when suggestively shooting each other with their handguns:

Interesting. What size and type of handguns?
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