This web page details our opinions of and/or experiences with:
Sande English (#0843), an employee of:
Redmond, Washington, Police Department
I once drove to a large electronics chain's store to return a misrepresented electronics item (it was supposed to be a USB interface, while in reality it was an ancient serial port-driven device). It was a simple matter; the USB representation was clearly marked on the box, and there was no USB port on the item. It doesn't get any simpler. I wanted a refund. Easy as pie.
I politely asked the customer service rep, a tattooed young girl sporting more facial piercings than an oft-caught carp, and a t-shirt that said, "I'm proud to be a Effing Queer" (well, really, WHO CARES), for a refund. And who needs the anger that exudes from some people like the sour stench of fear-sweat? Are they angry because they're gay? Then how do they expect the rest of the world to not notice them, as seems to be their wish?
She calmly and politely replied, "I'm sorry to hear you're from Texas."
Taken aback, since I've never lived in Texas, I wasn't sure what to say. Perhaps she was having a stroke or some other small cerebral incident, so I let a few beats pass, thinking she'd misunderstood me, and I repeated, "I'm sorry but I just need to return this."
The girl replied, calm as ever, "There's nothing I can do about your stomach ache."
I was taken aback again. Stupidly, I thought I could remedy the situation by speaking V-E-R-Y slowly and clearly, so in my best-possible diction I said, "I. need. to. return. this. item." I made sure not to raise my voice, as is so tempting to do when speaking to the blind, the stupid, or to non-English speaking persons who immigrated here twenty years before.
Her reply: "Look, we don't sell blue paint here."
After several more exchanges like this I DID begin raising my voice, which caught the attention of the spindly security guard standing by the door. He came over and inquired as to the nature of the problem. The girl then understood perfectly and spoke the Queen's own English quite well, leaving the security guard to wonder just what in the hell my problem was. He then departed, secure in the knowledge that all was well, and the bizarre exchange with this miserable woman took up its place, as bizarrely as ever.
I should have merely walked out and handled the matter with the corporate office by registered mail, but there's something that tends to compel a person to make themselves understood when they're not, so I bumbled on, falling ever deeper into her insidious trap. But after twenty minutes more it was done (she finally GOT that I wasn't leaving). I had my refund. The woman had her victory, whatever it was.
About five months later I received a collection notice from Dunn and Bradstreet. --Seems this giant electronics company had initiated a collection procedure against me for a completely manufactured transaction. I answered Dunn and Bradstreet by registered mail, and never heard from them again.
Two months after that this national chain went under and closed down in bankruptcy.
That's too bad, because I was so looking forward to cheating them of my business forever.
Of course this girl had learned this evil trick merely to piss customers off. It served no other purpose. And it was successful.
This peculiar ploy is rare. Not many people attempt it, though I believe as society, and human nature, continues to devolve, especially in America, we're going to see more of it. Sooner or later someone, somewhere will become so enraged at this assault of illogic that they'll boil over and do that person physical harm. It's only a matter of time.
We're going to relate an encounter between a private citizen and a Redmond, Washington city police officer that transpired back in early April of '09. The following transcript was tendered to hard copy within minutes of the exchange and is accurate, and may certainly be verified by polygraph and "other" means.
To set the stage, let's briefly recap the procedure that occurs when anyone buys a new or new/used vehicle: You pay your loot, and you receive a "temporary" license plate which is, actually, a sheet of paper in lieu of the actual metal plate, and you take this paper temporary plate and affix it with tape in the back window of the vehicle you've just purchased. It acts as a license plate until the real, metal plates arrive in the mail. This is the procedure with any vehicle purchased through any dealer. Most people have done it, oh, a few dozen times in their lifetimes. Almost every 16 year old has done it at least once. One would think that a duly-sworn law enforcement officer working traffic in a busy city like Redmond, Washington, would be aware of this procedure.
And perhaps she was.....but rather CHOSE to play this game.
The violator here was in a hurry, trying to read a map while driving to a new and unknown location. Let us say that we VEHEMENTLY object to speeders. Most people see speeding as a thing they have some obscure, God-given "right" to do, the only crime being in getting caught. We say bullshit. Speeding leads to accidents. Period. It's documented ten thousand times over. Speeders may, and perhaps will, kill you, your family, your friends, relatives, your children, your pets, their own passengers---we're bloody sick to death of them and we'd like to see every single one of them do mandatory jail time. There are a FEW bona-fide "speed traps" in the country, where the speed could SAFELY be set at, say, 45 mph, but is set at, say, 25 mph, for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of catching unsuspecting drivers off guard and fining them for purposes of revenue for the city or county when no actual safety hazard exists. Those do situations exist. But, honestly, those speed traps are rare, and becoming more rare every year because citizens challenge them in court and get them modified. In this particular case, there was NO speed-trap. The street was set at this speed limit legitimately. 25mph was the fastest safe speed. This driver ignored that. He was caught. He was cited as he should have been. He acknowledged his crime, apologized for it, sees the stupidity of it AND the illegality, and has paid his fine. He will be more careful in the future. All is as it should be. --But NOT QUITE:
Some police officers are too confrontational, too unprofessional, too uninformed, too dishonest, and just plain too damned stupid to be employed in such a job as law enforcement. Barney Fife was an endearing TV character. In real life he should have been fired, prosecuted and jailed. Read on:
Statement from cited driver, tendered to us on 4-5-09:
Thursday April 2 2009:
I was pulled over by a Redmond City patrol officer, one Sande English.
She approached my my car window and asked:
"Do you know hwy I pulled you over?"
"You were speeding, it's a 25 zone around here and you were doing 44"
"Oh, I had no idea, sorry"
"Does this thing even have registration?" [note: this was a newer dually pickup in perfect condition with a valid temporary plate displayed properly in the back window with several weeks left on it before it expired]
"Uh, ya I just bought it." (I handed her my license, registration and insurance )
"Are you supposed to have plates on it?"
"Uh, ya, that's what the temporary sticker is for in the window there."
"Where are your plates"
"I think they just came in the mail and they are on the counter. [at home] "
"Where are your plates?"
"Uh, I just told you, do you need me to restate myself?"
"Ya I guess you do because I just don't get it."
"The plates were just mailed to me and I think they are on the counter at home."
(before I could finish saying this she walked away, and I called to her and said)
"Did you hear me?"
She jumped around to face me and blurted:
"What's your deal!!??"
I responded "what's your deal?" ...completely bewildered at the bizarre attitude and questioning of this woman.
She yells "You were speeding 44 in a 25 and I pulled you over and asked you a question!!!"
"And I answered it, twice." But once again she ignored me and turned and left.
She went to her car, wrote me a ticket and returned with a professional greeting and attitude and said
"Here is your citation, please read the back."
I started to say, "Ok, thank you." But once again before I could say anything she had left.
We have, ourselves, run into this bizarre treatment from borderline personalities in law enforcement on more than a few occasions. We were once walking through Seattle Center, for instance, about 8 p.m.. In one of the buildings a dance was being held, complete with flashing lights and pounding music. The building had many windows, all in a line, and a dozen or so of the public were standing there spectating into one of the windows. Since that window was crowded we moved to the next window, roughly 14 inches away, which viewed into exactly the same space the crowded window did, and we watched from there. We'd been there perhaps 30 seconds when a Seattle City foot officer approached us and informed us we were not allowed to look through that window. There were no signs, no ropes, nothing to make anyone think that looking through this window, from one public place to another public place, would be prohibited in any way. We had been standing there quietly and had not exchanged or uttered a single sound or word to each other or to anyone else; we were dressed in normal street clothes, properly fitting jeans, blank t-shirts. We didn't smell bad. We had business-cut hair styles. We were not tattooed, painted, didn't have piercings. We had been standing stock-still, merely passing a few minutes of time before we continued our journey from the restaurant we'd just eaten at, to our homes in a high-rise downtown. So we asked the officer, simply, "Why?". He gruffly repeated that we had to move along. Again we asked politely: "Why?" The reply was an even more condescending, "Because I said so." We then pointed out that he wasn't telling the dozen or so people two feet from us to move along, and we asked why that was. The officer replied that we would either move along or be arrested. We were absolutely incredulous. We told him to arrest us. He then simply stared at us, obviously incredulous himself at the prospect of someone who was doing nothing wrong standing up to his imperial authority. We asked him politely to explain to us the difference between the window we were looking through, and the window a dozen or more others were looking through. He repeated that he really meant it -- that he would arrest us if we refused to stop looking through that particular window. We then asked if he would arrest us if we looked through the window that everyone else was looking through, and he said NO. We again asked what the difference was between window "A" and window "B". He refused to reply. By this time a small crowd had gathered around, and some of those people began pointedly looking through our window to see what this misfit would do. The officer ignored them, but continued to threaten us with arrest if WE looked through that window. We wished we would have had the time and patience to go through the arrest procedure, then sue this clearly off-center genetic blank (actually, we would have sued the city who employed this nut-ball), but we were tired and just wanted to get home. Encounters like that, with law enforcement's worst, stick in anyone's craw for the rest of their lives, making all law enforcement suspect in the extreme. Because of a hundred such experiences in most every western state and several so-called civilized countries, our respect for law enforcement has deteriorated from a value of nearly 100% in childhood and early 20's, to an all-time low of about 10% today. We don't trust them. We don't trust their education, their training, the psychological screening that deems them fit for this job. We don't trust their instincts, their motives, their sense of honor, their ability or predisposition to tell the truth. We just don't trust 'em, and any statistical study bears out the validity of that mistrust. Hell, let's call it what it is: Fear.
This officer, Sande English, appears to us to be, simply, a moron. Or perhaps it is an emotional or hormonal imbalance, or a peculiar, intentional predisposition to obtusity (our word, don't steal it). Perhaps she's just a human crackpot, in law enforcement for ALL the wrong reasons. Perhaps she's insane. We just don't know. But we're betting THIS formal complaint against her won't be the last -- maybe not even the first.
In the end, we caution law enforcement officers with a predisposition to this kind of stupidity to get a clue. This is an electronic age. "We" don't go ANYWHERE anymore without a dash cam. It disconnects with the snap of a switch to hang around the neck. It's digital and doesn't even require that we rewind a tape. It just records and records and records. Our advice to officers of this low caliber is to get a grip on reality, start doing your jobs PROFESSIONALLY (assuming you're capable of that), and start acting REASONABLY and INTELLIGENTLY (assuming you're capable even of THAT!). The days of the Wild West are over. Come on up to the 21st Century. There's hardly a place you can go, a move you can make today, a sentence you can utter, where you aren't being recorded. Don't let a putrid attitude ruin your career, because if your attitude is inherently and intrinsically putrid, it's only a matter of time before it's exposed.