So much crap going on in this world, it’s enough to make you sick. People killing each other, violent protest, murders just for the sake of killing someone. It’s in the news every day. And the people that are supposed to protect us from it are the ones people are rising up against. It’s just plain stupid.
We have all seen the news in the last year or so, from the riots against police in Missouri to the protests that turned into riots in Baltimore. They are all against one group of people, the police. These are the people that took an oath to protect us, to keep us safe and to keep criminals at a minimum in our messed up society. And according to a large group of people they have suddenly turned on us, “out to get us” so to say. And this does have a “trickle down” effect.
Nearly every local race track has a police presence. And with good reason, aside from the large amounts of testosterone and competitive hostility in the pits, racing fans are some of the most loyal fans in sports. Fans will fight with their drivers if need be, sometimes not even having good reason, it just seems like the thing to do. And when you get arrested for it or pushed out of an incident, the outcry comes.
And what exactly are they crying about? In today’s world, cops have to have eyes in the back of their head, gone are the days of a perpetrator trying to fight back when making an arrest, now cops are being shot in the head while sitting in their cars, not even payback from a previous incident, just because they are “cops” by someone they have never even encountered. So the police are on high guard, and fans and drivers alike need to see the other side of the situation.
Now granted, some cops take being physical too far. And more times than not those are the three incidents you see on TV as opposed to the other 25,000 incidents that ended peacefully. But other times that I’ve seen, they are simply trying to diffuse a situation. The quicker a situation is ended, the less aftereffects you will have. I see it quite often at two different tracks most notably, Hickory Motor Speedway and Bowman Gray Stadium. Each track is different in the police presence but both places have the police there for a reason… to simply save us from… well, us.
At Hickory, the same group of Sheriff’s deputies have been there for years, and they are great guys, they will pick around and joke with you like any one of your friends. But when things get out of hand, they have a job to do. When you try to run on the track or hit someone with a car, you will be dragged out willingly, or unwillingly, either way you’re leaving. That’s their jobs. It’s nothing personal, and nine times out of ten the police and guy they took out are friends the week after. Most people know when they are in the wrong. It’s just that racing gets us all fired up and has our adrenaline going, a tough situation for the boys in blue when there are 20 people on edge at once.
I write this after seeing some posts recently running the police at both tracks into the ground. People give me instances and I look at the other side of things. One crew member said, “I went to my driver’s car and was helping him get his window net down after we got wrecked and this cop drug me back and told me to get away from the car.” Yeah, I guess that would piss me off too. But then I put myself in the cops shoes, if I have no idea who you are after an incident just happened, you could be someone trying to get to the driver to hurt them, we have no idea of knowing these days.
At Bowman Gray they have 30 police officers on hand every Saturday night, I’m positive no other track in the country has a police presence quite like that. But they also have 12-17,000 fans and over 80 teams in the pits with about 3-5 crew members with them on average. And being that the place has a rough and tumble product on the track, the police are set up for scrutiny as we all know “something” controversial is going to happen every week. But now suddenly the cops are rough with people and purposely beating people up. That’s just not true.
The police have been around long before any of us were alive. There have always been cries of police brutality, but that was from people who I dare say put themselves on the wrong side of the law. Now, the problem is us and the mainstream media. They just didn’t start kicking our ass in the past two years for the hell of it. We watch TV where a common criminal gets hurt by police, and we all watch to cry out for the criminal. These news channels eat it up; a good-hearted story doesn’t sell. How criminals have become the victim in recent years is beyond me. But that’s what we see, we don’t see things that led up to a situation, or the persons past, or how many times the police tried to apprehend the suspect without violence, we just see a cop beating or hurting someone. That’s because controversy sells, the show “COPS” wasn’t a hit on TV because every suspect went peacefully and without incident. America as a society loves drama and reality violence, and now people have got it in their mind to act out against the very people we adored just years ago for doing their job.
I’m not some squeaky clean guy who hasn’t had my share of run-ins when I was younger. I’ve had the a-hole cop that thought he was the man and wanted to assert his authority. But if you think about it, it’s a job, we are human people, we all have an a-hole person at our own jobs. Every time I ran across the police when I was younger, it wasn’t because they “picked me out” they don’t do things without reason. I know that, but at the time of course I was in the right in my mind. I’ve been places where a large fight has broken out and we all were subdued, of course after it was sorted out those not involved were let go but the police have no idea at the time. When tensions are high they never know who the enemy could be, because as a society they are the enemy to us no matter what in those situations, and they know that.
I go to tracks every week and deal with these very same officers that others say are “bad”. And they are really great people, they treat me the same way I treat them. The old saying and one that has been repeated a lot lately on the internet is true, “If you don’t do anything illegal you have nothing to worry about”. Sounds clique and so simple, we simply roll our eyes and make excuses for it because it’s just too easy.
I’m not defending all, there are bad apples in every situation at times, but as a whole the police force, especially at your local tracks are some of the best around. They are swarmed by hundreds of screaming people at numerous times a night, and they have to look and see who is screaming for joy and who could be screaming in rage. The majority of the boys and girls in blue took the job because they wanted to help and protect their own community, and over the past five years especially, that community has turned against them. It’s a tough situation, but if we all act like upstanding Americans we can all come out the other side smiling. Together.