Day 160: Police Abuse Of Power

Last night, I bore witness to a cop abusing his power.

After about eight hours on the road and three separate flights, I finally pulled into my metro stop in the DC area. It was late and I was tired, so I hopped in a cab rather than walk the mile and a half home.

We got no further than a half mile from the station when I saw flashing lights in the rearview mirror. The cab got pulled over. The driver has a few legitimate violations: some lights were not properly functioning and he didn’t properly display a few identification requirements within the cab. That wasn’t the abuse of authority.

It occurred when the driver handed over his documents to the officer, including two MVA (Maryland’s Department of Motor Vehicles) registrations. One of the registration’s was expired, the other was current. When the officer gave the driver back his license, registration, insurance, etc., the current registration was missing and the cop denied taking it. As meticulous as the officer was about the rules and regulations for cab drivers, he would’ve said something immediately had the registration been expired and impounded the vehicle.

Now the cab driver, who has done this for a living for 20 years he told me, is riding dirty until he can recover his registration, endangering his livelihood all because a cop wanted to mess with him. While this isn’t the worst police transgression in history, it’s messed up and wrong and the cab driver and taxpayers of Prince George’s County, Maryland deserve better.


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