Monday, September 22, 2014
The Man 1, Righteous Dude 0
Law enforcement history is rife with documented cases of corrupt and/or bullying cops. From torture to rape to murdering for the mafia, police officers sworn to serve and protect the public have been convicted of some of the most heinous misdeeds in the annals of crimes.
Making an illegal left turn is not one of them.
Imagine, then, the absurdity of a 69 year old civilian crusader chasing a police car down the street, flashing his lights and honking his horn until they pull over for him.
Michael Reilly says he had just seen a Montreal police cruiser make an illegal left turn, so he took it upon himself to hold them to account. His pursuit of equal justice for all didn't turn out so well. Reilly was handed a $162 ticket for being a public nuisance, and effectively told to mind his own business when it comes to police matters.
Like it or not, that's good advice. It doesn't matter how informed, intelligent or righteous you are - you will never win an argument with a cop. If the two officers who ticketed Reilly were making an illegal turn out of sheer laziness (Reilly says they didn't use their flashing lights or turn signal despite telling him they were on a call), they deserve to be called out, but directly challenging their authority is poking the bear with a sharp stick. Ask Brian O'Carroll, who similarly confronted a police officer for double parking outside a St. Laurent depanneur in 1985. Well, actually, you can't ask him. He's dead, but the video speaks for itself.
There's a process for police complaints. It's arduous, monotonous and often to no avail, but it is what it is, as the kids today are wont to say, Taking down the time, date, location and squad car number and reporting it through the proper channels might not have been as emotionally gratifying for Michael Reilly as confronting the officers directly, but at the very least, it would have saved him 162 dollars.