Do as I Say, Not as I Do.

A police cruiser was caught parking in a handicap spot at a Tim Hortons on Tuesday.  A woman took pictures of the cruiser and sent them to CP24, and a police spokeswoman has stated that the cruiser was not breaking the law because a legitimate handicap space has both a sign and a painted designation on the ground below it.

So the officers that are responsible for parking in a handicap are guffawing at how dumb us citizens are.  Don’t we know, it’s

Perfectly legal, especially if you're wearing a badge

perfectly legal if there’s not a sign and a painting.  Even if I knew this was true, I don’t think it would ever register in my mind that parking in a handicap spot is a justifiable idea.  There are people who need them, such as my grandma.  I wouldn’t want to make someone’s grandma have to walk any further than she had to, when I have two mighty fine legs of my own to walk around on.

And these are police officers.  Although they are parking officers, there’s still a certain fitness requirement to being a police officer.  My grandpa was in the RCMP and if I told him I like to park in handicap spaces, he probably wouldn’t defend me.  It’s just not right on any level.  And I’m only talking about the crime committed now.  That’s not even the real issue.

The fact that a spokesperson defended the officers saying that it was perfectly legal is disgusting.  Getting a parking ticket sucks, when you get one you know it comes attached with the feeling that somewhere there’s an officer who got really giddy when he realized he was about to write you a ticket for breaking the law.  There’s TV shows about it, where the cop waits in the bushes for someone to park somewhere illegal and then as soon as they’re out of sight, BAM, ticket time.

It shakes my confidence in the law when these matters aren’t attended to.  These are police officers who should know a lot better.  At the very least they should have been given a ticket just like everyone else.  And as officer’s made a public apology.  It’s not right, and I have to question the law.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he talks about how if you start to clean up the smaller crimes such as graffiti, you end up curbing the bigger crimes like drugs and violence, because it alters the way people view their community.  In a place where there is tons of graffiti, people subconsciously understand that this is a dirty, bad, uncared for place.  But take graffiti away and people understand that someone takes care of the place and keeps an eye on it.

This is relevant because it’s these small oversights that add to a larger crime rate.  I don’t support a police state, but we should all try, at least, to be good people.  We shouldn’t park in handicap spaces, we should give up our seat to the elderly or infirm on the bus (I don’t see two signs, so next time I’ll just tell granny to take a hike, right?), we should try to be kind and show compassion for the homeless (even if we don’t always give money as Conor Oberst says, “nobody ever plans to sleep out in the gutter”) and we should do this not for the community but for ourselves because the community is a reflection of what goes on inside our collective heads.

I’m outraged and it is not okay to tell me that what those officers did was legal.  No one is above the law, not even the law. (That’s why it’s the law).  I don’t think all laws are fair or important, but I live by the code that if I don’t like it I can go somewhere else, and if I can’t go somewhere else, well, shit, I’m just going to have to live with it until I can.

Bryan

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