I was traveling down Congress Street in Lafayette headed toward Ambassador Caffery Parkway from downtown. That is when he hit me with the blue lights. I pulled immediately into the parking lot where the Albertson's grocery store is located.

I thought to myself. This is going to be trouble. I have seen the videos on TV. This guy is going to shoot me through the window or rip me out of my seat and throw me to the ground and hit me with a taser. Then about six or seven of his police buddies are going to jump on top of me and beat me senseless with their clubs.

If you don't know what sarcasm and cynicism are please familiarize yourself with the concepts before you go any further in this piece or else you will miss the whole point.

Here's what happened. The officer using his loud speaker requested that I, the driver, exit the vehicle. I did so slowly and made sure I kept my hands in plain sight and I removed my sun glasses so he could see my eyes.  He came around his police cruiser and asked if I was aware that I had a brake light out. I told him I was not aware of that issue.

He then offered to verify the fact that my tail lights and turn signals and brake lights were working or not working properly. I did in fact have a brake light that was not functioning. He asked when I thought I might be able to have that repaired. I told him I would get it taken care of that day. I did.

He asked to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance. I asked permission to retrieve the information from my glove box in my car. He said that would not be a problem. He reviewed my information, reiterated that my vehicle needed to be repaired in the interest of my own safety and the safety of other drivers.  I thanked him for pointing out my issue and we both went on our way.

Wait! There was no taser? No clubbing? No use of deadly force? What kind of officers do we have in this town? We have very well trained, professional, courteous, and dedicated officers that's what we have.

I suppose I could have been written a citation for my brake light. I guess if acted like a douchebag I probably would have gotten one. But, I didn't. I was brought up to respect police officers. Not because they have a gun and I don't but because they represent the law. The law that we the people agreed to abide by. Some people tend to think the law does not apply to them. Well here is a shock, it does.

It is only when we do not cooperate with law enforcement do we see issues with handcuffs, tasers, and blunt force trauma. If it's one thing I have noticed about almost all of the horrific videos on TV where the police are painted in a bad light it all starts with the citizen being a total horses ass.

You and I know that officers carry weapons. The officer has no idea what I may or may not be hiding in my belt or under my front seat. He or she has to be ready to act based on our actions. I cannot begin to imagine the stress of that job. I am grateful we have men and women who are wired in such a way they can handle the stress, remain calm, and make decisions, usually good decisions, in the blink of an eye.

Are there bad cops? I guess there must be. There are also bad disc jockeys, bad accountants, bad bakers, bad bartenders, bad school teachers, bad politicians, bad preachers, bad horse riders, bad land men, bad lawyers, and bad just about any other job you can think of.  I am not saying we should not hold police accountable. I am simply saying I think we all should be held to the same high standards that we want our police officers held to.

It really bothers me when  people in my industry, the media, paint the good guys with a bad brush when they don't deserve all the blame. The police do make mistakes. Sometimes their mistakes do cost innocent lives and when those mistakes are found to have been preventable, negligent, or intentional I am all for the harshest of punishment.

I do think our officers and all law enforcement officers deserve respect. Not because of the person behind the badge but because of what that badge represents. It represents me. It represents you. If you disrespect the badge then you are disrespecting yourself and every good person in our community. Let's not gang up on the good guys. Let's go get the bad guys.

I have had my say. I will be honored to respectfully read and or listen to your opinion.


More From 97.3 The Dawg