If you try telling the state trooper who just pulled you over that you're speeding because you're late for a conference, you probably won't receive any mercy.
But if you're a fellow cop, you might not get pulled over in the first place.
A video posted to YouTube on October 8 contains police scanner chatter between an aircraft and waiting police on the ground in rural Washington state, capturing the officers' reports on speeding vehicles — and their sad realization that the unsafe speeding cars were driven by fellow police, all late for a drug recognition conference.
"I mean I understand you don't want to be late but that's a little too much," the officer in the air says uncomfortably of the speeding cops going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Near the beginning of the video, the airborne officer alerts the ground car of several speeding vehicles, but as the ground car regularly replies that the speeding cars are police vehicles, the pair begins to joke sadly back and forth.
"You're not gonna believe where the motorcycle's going," the ground officer reports, saying it was conference-bound after the airborne officer had said the bike was speeding and making unsafe lane changes.
"It became clear that all these speeding police cars were on their way to a 'drug recognition expert' conference at Lake Chelan," wrote Bill Gillam, the man who noticed the speeding cops and recorded the scanner chatter, on his blog. "Apparently that’s good enough for [Washington State Patrol], they let them all through without stopping any of them."
While the officers, clearly uneasy with the situation, didn't pull over their fellow cops, there was an upshot for drivers who were caught in the speed trap: The Associated Press reported that speeding tickets issued to drivers in the area were being dismissed as the Washington State Patrol recognized that up to eight officers had blown through the speed trap without being cited.
"There weren't many [tickets] written on [October 8] because the troopers were fundamentally uncomfortable with what was going on anyway," said Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins. "They saw the inequity. They were still stopping people, but they gave them warnings."
Calkins described dismissing drivers' tickets as "simple fairness."
The video was burning up Reddit Sunday morning, as thousands of people weighed in on the apparent hypocrisy.
"[Dismissing other drivers' tickets] is better than nothing, but I think 'simple fairness' would have dictated citing the officers rather than dismissing tickets," one commenter wrote. "And 'satisfying justice' would dictate imposing a 3x penalty."
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