It seems like almost everyone in Isla Vista has a story of how and why their citation or arrest was unjust. I’ve heard talk of the various “bad” cops, and have received two traffic violations myself; however, prior to last Sunday night I always put my faith in the officers. After all, it must be tough to be a cop in Isla Vista and put up with the thousands of students who inhabit this area. It was, however, the unprofessional nature of two officers that took away the respect I held for the I.V. Foot Patrol. In your Tuesday, Feb. 7 Police Blotter I read about my arrest in a story titled “Driving Miss Crazy.” The story provided by the arresting officer was amusing, although the details of my arrest were largely skewed.
After picking my boyfriend up from the Amtrak station Sunday night I drove him home to the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive. We pulled up alongside the curb in front of his house in order to unload his bags from the car. Two cops then approached the vehicle and told us we were illegally parked. I mentioned that the vehicle was running and was immediately ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the roadway. The arresting officer began yelling “sign the ticket” but being so upset I could hardly move. He shoved the ticket into my hand and in my upset and not thinking state I signed “Fuck You,” followed by my initials. I was arrested for failure to obey a lawful order.
While I do not deny that prefacing my signature with my honest response to the officer’s tone and actions was disrespectful, I was wrongfully arrested as I never failed to obey his orders. The citation called for me to write my signature, which I did. If it was deemed wrong for me to include the remark I should have been asked to sign it again, not be arrested. Despite being a small girl under 5’5″, I was forcefully pulled from my vehicle and slammed up against the side of it to be handcuffed. For those who haven’t been handcuffed in the back of a cop car, it consists of hard plastic seats and metal bars. As a female cop drove me to the police station I was slammed around the inside of the car, yet when I asked to wear the seatbelt in back she told me “no.” You’ve gotta love our legal system. I’m not given a damn seatbelt in a law enforcement vehicle – ironic.
The night concluded when I was taken to the station and locked in a windowed room while the cops outside continuously mocked me and referred to me as “Little Miss Fuck You.” I quote: “Is Miss Fuck You drunk? She’s not drunk! Well then she’s crazy… She’s the wacky one.” Way to protect and serve… I’m hyperventilating, trying not to vomit, and sobbing while they sit around laughing rather than getting out and fighting crime. Eventually they realized I was about to pass out, called my boyfriend and I was released. When my parents later asked about what happened the arresting officer claimed that I “lit up and started cussing him out.” Right, the hyperventilating girl who took 15 minutes to audibly speak her address cussed you out? No sir, I preferred the written approach and spoke only when forced to. I later apologized for my disrespectful actions, however, I would suggest that certain members of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol be more professional and model the respect they expect.
Amanda Gates is a junior sociology major.