My friend and I hailed a taxi on the corner of 44th and 8th. Less than half a minute later, as we waited to make the turn, a patrol officer pulled over the driver.
Officer: License and registration
[Driver hands over license and registration. Several seconds pass. Nothing happens.]
Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Officer: You stopped in the middle of traffic.
Me: [To my friend] Wait, what? We were on the corner and he wasn’t blocking traffic.
[Friend shrugs; officer stands around doing nothing.]
Officer: [To driver] Pull over around the corner.
Driver: [To us] You should get out, this may take a while.
He didn’t charge us because he was a kind and understanding man. I gave him twelve dollars. My friend and I waited for another cab and saw the cops hold the guiltless driver there for several minutes on their power trip. These officers made up this supposed infraction and harassed a man just doing his job within the guidelines of the city. If cops have this much time on their hands, perhaps we don’t need as many. Taxi drivers—in general—are hard-working immigrants who have put a huge amount of money toward a medallion, not to mention their gas, maintenance and garage fees. The idea that these men and women need any more trouble from a city that depends on them is ludicrous. Shame on you, NYPD.