Just typing that title felt ridiculous, but that’s kind of exactly what happened after I saw the most AWESOME APARTMENT EVER. (Seriously, you all will LOVE visiting me there. Cross all your appendages for me and hope that I can make this work!)
So, I was waiting for a train after seeing this apartment, and I was feeling really good. The train arrived, but as I was stepping on, I hear someone say “Miss! Miss!” behind me. I turned around when I realized that someone was addressing me, and I saw two police officers, one of whom asked me to get off the train and show him my ID. I thought this was an odd way to do a random check, especially since I was already on the train, but as I’d done nothing wrong, I figured that must have been what it was, so I got off the train and showed them my driver’s liscence.
The train left. (Grrr! I had something I was trying to get to!)
Bad Cop: Any reason why you decided not to pay today?
Me: What do you mean?
Bad Cop: You didn’t pay to get in here.
Me: Um…yes I did. I swiped my Metrocard. I have a weekly unlimited pass.
Bad Cop: Didn’t look like it to me.
Good Cop: Why don’t you show it to us?
(I take my Metrocard out and show it to them)
Bad Cop: Why don’t you take a walk with us to the turnstiles while I check this card out.
Me: Um, sure. It’s an unlimited, so…you’ll see really clearly that it was just used.
(NOTE FOR NON NY-ERS: If you have an unlimited Metrocard, once you’ve swiped it, you can’t swipe it again for 15 minutes. This is to prevent social people for paying for their friends or nice people from helping homeless people.)
Good Cop: (as we walked) We just have to check. You know.
Me: Well, I don’t exactly have the energy or strength to jump a turnstile, you know what I mean?
*chuckle from the Good Cop*
(Subtext: HAVE YOU SEEN MY FAT ASS?! THERE’S NO WAY I’M JUMPING OVER ANYTHING, AND I’D PROBABLY GET STUCK TRYING TO GET UNDER THE THING! AND DID YOU HEAR THE ALARM GO OFF FROM THE EMERGENCY EXIT?!)
So we get to the turnstile area where Bad Cop had already gotten out and tested my card. OBVIOUSLY I had swiped it. Yet, when he hands it back to me with my liscence, there’s no acknowledgement of it checking out, or of his mistake. No apology for the hassle and for making me miss my train. He just handed the stuff back to me saying “Here you go” and walked away, looking me up and down as if I was getting away with something that he knew I did but couldn’t prove!
Quite possibly the most RANDOM thing I’ve ever experienced in my life! Not only would I never have reason to jump a turnstile (the few times I’ve ever been caught without train fare, I’ve asked people to swipe me in), but the movements necessary to get past the turnstiles are really obvious. Either someone needs to jump them, or someone needs to squeeze under them, which for an adult would be really obvious. OR you would sneak in as someone is using the service entrance, but that’s really obvious, too. Especially if you’re a cop standing around looking for that stuff. I clearly didn’t do any of those actions, so I don’t know what the cop thought he saw.
Did I look like someone they legitimately saw sneak in? Don’t think so, as the hoodie I was wearing has a distinct design on the back that isn’t very common. Did they stop me because I’m brown and just felt like it? Who knows, and I hate playing the race card even if it may apply. Do they have some kind of weird quota where they’ve made it a PRIORITY to nab fare jumpers?!
It shook me up a bit, because I’m someone who doesn’t do stuff like that. This reminds me of the time a cop actually tried to ticket me for jaywalking when I was in college during the Giuliani Administration (“America’s Mayor” my ass. New Yorkers hated him exactly for shit like that). You’d think that the NYPD would have bigger fish to fry, wouldn’t you?
And for the record, people wouldn’t need to jump the turnstiles if the MTA didn’t keep raising the fares every other day. Just sayin’.