Police here are silly.
I have had only a few run ins with them but they never seem to go well. The first one happened right before I went to the United States last year. I know I wrote about that whole experience and that was part of it. I have actually run into that police officer that impounded my car a few times. One time was this summer when the mayor of Rio San Juan introduced us to him and told him that we were friends with the mayor and if they ever had a problem to go to him. That policeman has never bugged me again.
The thing with the police in this city is they do so much of what they do to get a few extra pesos. You can buy them off pretty easily. I hate this because they love going after the gringos because we have the most money.
We have had some interesting run ins with the police in the past few days.
The first one did not involve me but it is funny. At the outreach center in Rio San Juan not too long ago there was a little accident. Someone had run into the downstairs window and bent the metal sliding door. Norm was there, heard it, and went down to see what had happened. Well, upon seeing what had happened he called a good friend of ours and asked her to call the police. He could not exactly tell her what had happened because she does not understand a lick of English. Well she ends up going with one of our really good friends, Freddy to the police station. They told the policeman we had an emergency and he proceeded to say that he was the only one on duty at the moment and could not leave the station and we would have to deal with it ourselves. We finally did get the situation worked out days later, but our Dominican friends were not happy with what that man said and we will just say he will not be wearing a badge for a while.
The second one did have to do with me. I was leaving Rio San Juan going back to Bobita when they had a ton of police stopping every car that went by to check for papers and seeing if anyone was carrying fire arms. I had to stop and as I was waiting they stopped a man on a motorbike. They got him off and were going to empty his pockets because he looked suspicious. Keep in mind, this man to this point has done nothing to merit being stopped or being frisked. They end up hand cuffing him and throwing him in the back of a truck because as they emptied his pockets some money fell out and started to fly away and he tried to grab it. It was unbelievable.
I was carrying apparently the wrong insurance paper and they, again, were going to impound my car. They ended up letting me go but I had to wait a good hour on them. (Oh yeah, and I was on my way to watch the Tennessee versus Florida game so I was kind of in a hurry.) For nothing, they were going to impound my car and make me come get it the next day.
That is how police work here. Men with no uniform, caring huge guns (that probably have nothing in them) stopping people for no reason and just trying to get a few extra pesos. Oh and one man that day drove up shook a policeman’s hand and the policeman did not even look in his car. The man was his cousin, so he let him go.
Even though it was a frustrating experience I had an opportunity open to me to be an example. Carlos was with me and he was not happy either, but we got to talk about patience even when you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it is the innocent that get the hardest time. That is exactly what Jesus did for us.
Lord knows that I am not innocent, but Jesus was and look what they did to him.
Thank you for the opportunity to have a lesson from you and a door open to talk to someone like Carlos. I do not know why things like these police situations happen. I hate that they are just in it for a buck, but the whole situation turned out to be a blessing. Thank you for that.
I love you everyday!