Good Cop? Bad Cop?
Today as Deme and I weaseled our way through traffic running errands on the moped/motorino, we noticed some traffic cops hassling a man who had parked his bike in the ambulance zone of a hospital. (We were also on our way to the hospital as I was in need of having a blood test done.) As we drove around in circles looking for a place to park the moto, Deme took it upon himself to berate the traffic guys for giving the man, (not an Italian) a hard time. I was helpless to do anything about it as I watched and listened to Deme hash it out with both traffic guys. My DH saw it as an abuse of power of a public official and wanted to let them know that they were being unfair. The conversation went something like this:
Deme: “You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Why don’t you give tickets to the guys who have doubled parked on a one way street 3 feet away instead of hassling this guy.”
Traffic Guy: “Why do you care, mind your own business, he is parked in the ambulance zone and that is illegal.”
D: “Don’t you have anything better to do than to hassle people? You are such a buffoon.”
TG: “You cannot call a public official that, I take offense to that. I am going to give you a ticket right now.”
D: “Go ahead, write me a ticket, if you are a public official, give me your name and ranking.” They guy does not give him the info. and they proceed to go back and forth, arguing. We did not get a ticket, yet…
TG: “Why don’t you come and meet me here at 2 pm after my shift and we can settle it then.” I did not think this was a good plan on either part. At this point I was signaling to Demetrio that I wanted to leave and just get out of there.
Eventually, a bystander came up to Deme, patted him in the arm and said “Let it go, let it go, you were right.”
We left without further incident but I got nervous as both men were face to face for some time. I did not catch all the details of the conversation but could not help but feel sorry for the guy who was harassed. Were the traffic guys singling him out? I am not sure and I did not appear on the scene from the onset so I can’t say definitively. I often wonder about the prevalence of racism in Italy, all I know is that I have been a victim once or twice. Maybe the DH should have been a lawyer.
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