Driving while Sniffing Trees

little-trees1So, I went to pick up some photographs I got framed at this local frame shop today. I started talking to Ahmad who worked there. He is an American originally from Afghanistan. So he started telling me a story. He was driving in Upper Saddle River and this is a very upper scale exclusive white neighborhood. He told me that he was pulled over by a police officer and he wasn’t speeding. So I asked him what reason did the police say for pulling him over then and he said that they gave him a ticket because he had an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. An air freshener!? Are you kidding me?

I understand you’re not supposed to have a lot of stuff hanging from the rear view mirror because it can “obstruct the drivers view” but they sell those pine tree air fresheners with the little string or ribbon in every super market in the united states. Your supposed to hang them on the rear view mirror. So let’s be real. These are little laws that are put into the fabric of police work so as to give them a reason to profile citizens and gives them a legal reason to pull people over even if there isn’t “really” a reason to be pulled over. watch out for the big Bad Pine Tree.

You might want to take any Air fresheners down if you have them up because a police officer can stop you and god forbid you had an extra glass of wine at dinner or you have a pending ticket that you never paid. It will only cause trouble. But let’s be clear what really happened with Ahmad. They saw a brown-ish man in a very expensive town and ran his plates and when they saw his name is Ahmad, they pulled him over for that big bad Road Obstructing Pine tree. Profiling. Now unless you live under a rock you must know that New Jersey State Police  is known for profiling its citizens.

 I have had conversations with State Cops that will tell you to your face, yes,  that was part of their day every day. They admit it and a lot of them hated to have to do it. That brings another thing to mind. I have taken a lot of crap for supporting black lives matter. I took crap for my Facebook posts about Ferguson. A family member actually told me that if I didn’t trust the police than I must have something to hide. Really? Something to hide? Let me tell you something. I have nothing against police officers. People tell me ..you better watch it because when you need one they won’t be there… Well you know what, I have needed them and they weren’t always there anyway. I have stories, believe me. Especially NYC Police. What a bunch of bullshit. God forbid you want to fight a ticket. Once my alternator blew and I was in the middle of Seventh Ave at night, Broken down. I almost got killed because cars couldn’t see me because none of the lights in the car worked and the police wouldn’t give me a sparkler to put behind my car even though I ask various police officers to do that. How was that helping me? I will tell you what they did give me. A ticket for double parking. Double parking, WTF. I was towed by a tow truck because my alternator blew, how can you give me a ticket for that? You can’t complain because I tried and they told me tough your complaint it closed. Even when you have proof. I had the receipt from the tow truck company, and the receipt from the mechanic that did the alternator replacement. You can’t fight the bullshit. I had even worse  experience before with the NYC police, I call it my “Crash moment”. (ever see the movie Crash) I’ll talk about it at another time. The police actually terrorized me and the man I was with becasue I was white and he was black. We were stopped for no reason other than that reason. Ill talk about that incident another time, this is about Ahmad today.  That doesn’t mean I hate all police. That would be stupid.  Right?

Police are human, some are bad and some are good, some are great. I know that. They have a very difficult job. I get it. That doesn’t mean we can ignore the people in the streets in Fergueson or any other town in America.  I refuse to ignore the people in the streets.  When there is that much civil unrest there is a systemic problem. There is bullshit going on. For god sake, how in god’s name …how is it that in the middle of LA, and other cities..we allow the gangs to kill each other in such a way that its soldier warfare. All these kids killing each other with assault weapons. Did you ever ask yourself why that happens, five miles from The Hollywood Stars. That is some man-made American violence and it exists because someone wants it to. Someone with power. This is the result of good ol USA oppression and its disgusting.

I don’t hate cops, I have a problem with the whole damn system. I know this shit trickles down from the top. The corruption is what I have a problem with. Don’t tell me there is no corruption in the legal system and don’t tell me that the police can’t do better within the communities that they are supposed to serve. Don’t tell me there isn’t room to improve.

Don’t ask me why I support Black Lives Matters. Ask yourself why you don’t?

And if you really think Ahmad was stopped for any other reason than his brown skin and his name than you’re in denial, youre the one with something to hide. You can keep your mind closed and support every thing the police do even when they kill unarmed people but don’t give me crap because  I think we can do better. Don’t you think the police officers themselves would be happier if they didn’t have to work within a legal system where the laws keeps changing depending on who’s on the other side of it? Don’t you think that is stressful for them. It puts them in a working environment of abusive misconduct.

This blog is in honor of Ahmad and anyone like him that had to be profiled because of who they are. People that have to worry when they drive in a neighborhood from which they are not from. You better hide those Pine trees. Hide those license plate frames too, they can stop you for those too even though they are sold in every amusement park, zoo and stadium in America. Do whatever you can to fly underneath the radar. I want to thank Ahmad for his story today. God Bless All Americans of every Sex, Color, Nationality,  Religion and Sexual orientation. And God Bless the Police. We are all human. I think we can do better. You have a right to fight that idea but I choose to acknowledge it.  I have nothing to hide.










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