Dear, Most Awesome Chicago Police Officer

The time was around midnight this past Thursday night and I was on my way to a friend’s house in the city.

We had trekked onward from our stronghold in the suburbs and progressed both with mindfulness of the law and speed limit as well as an ill placed aggression that is the norm with Chicago drivers.

As the density of police officers grew steadily while the number of country clubs dwindled, we knew we were getting closer and awaited the dread that is motoring in traffic under the watchful gaze of the surveillance cameras in Chicago that come equipped with a perfectly chilling pulsating blue light, there just to remind you that you are indeed being monitored.

The cameras make you think that any misstep you take will lead directly to a ticket, and having Chicago’s notoriety in mind, that one ticket could easily escalate to a few more if not handled with care.

Arriving closer to our destination, somewhere around Halsted, we tried to find parking only to encounter the familiar three states of parking spots in the city:

1. Occupied
2. Occupied by snow
3. Occupied by furniture

We were upset that on a Thursday night in Chicago, at 1 AM, these people had the audacity to be home and sleeping so that we couldn’t find a spot. They did this on purpose.

We tried parking in a few snowed in spots, only to get stuck a few time while managing to wake up a few neighbors to the lovely screeching sound of zero traction.

We didn’t mess with the furniture placed on the street to save the parking spot for the resident.

YOU NEVER MESS WITH THE FURNITURE.

For 15 minutes we drove around the block trying to find a spot, and right before we did, we came to a red light.

While pulling up to stop at the light, a police car passed us coming the opposite way, and being the careful driver that I am, I made sure to come to a complete stop before progressing on making my right turn.

I approached closer to the intersection and saw another police squad car on the other side. Driving upon the street intersecting with the one the cop and I were on was a taxi. This taxi had the uneventful task ahead of it to make a left turn and be on its way. For reasons unknown, the driver of this taxi could not pull off this maneuver and went straight into the left turn lane of oncoming traffic on the road he was turning in on.

On the other side of the intersection was the officer with a front seat view to this embarrassment.

Q. Was this a ticket-able offense?
A. Yes.

Q. Were my friends and I laughing at the predictable coming ticket-slapping of this cab driver that we were about to witness?
A. In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”

This poor taxi driver thought he could simply just reverse and get out of the way, until he discovered there was an officer sitting right behind him; sitting like a jaguar observing its prey. The driver of the taxi was trying to correct himself but was getting so nervous because of the police officer behind him he couldn’t think of where to go and just stopped his car to let the officer by.

So much time passed that now the light was green for the road the squad car and I were on, and before making our right turn we waited to see the cop turn his lights on and bust the taxi driver.

What the officer did instead is make a U-turn and casually drive away, pretending he didn’t see anything.

As much as I dislike what law enforcement has become, it is people like this cop that make me cling onto the faith that there are decent human beings behind the badge.

That Chicago cop displayed one of the coolest moments of not only mercy of the law, but human understanding and compassion; all the signs of a true keeper of the peace.

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