My first thought when I saw the above picture come across my Facebook timeline from Police State USA was that there must be a Dunkin Donuts nearby, even though I’m not one to jump on cliched stereotypes.
I even went through the trouble of checking on Google Maps in Davie, which is a municipality in Broward County, and learned that the closest Dunkin Donuts from those spaces is within walking distance, but are way too many parking spaces in that area to justify three cop cars taking up two handicapped spaces as well as the no parking buffer in between.
Perhaps the cops were responding to an emergency, but we’ve all seen cops do that and they usually just park along the curb.
And while it’s not uncommon to see cops park illegally while they’re having their lunch, it is uncommon to see three cops cars doing it so blatantly.
After all, it’s one thing to park in a no parking spot in areas where parking is tight, but it’s another thing to take up two handicapped spots in an area with endless parking as you can see from the Google map below where I circled the parking spots and the Dunkin Donuts with the larger circle.
But perhaps there’s a good explanation behind it, so I won’t make any judgment at the moment. For all I know, it may have had something to do with the production of this video, which appears to have been recorded in a similar looking parking lot (but all parking lots look the same in suburban sprawl Broward).
Either way, I’m sure it is on its way to become an internet meme. And it’s another reminder to cops that we are watching with our cameras.
And just to be clear, I’m not usually one to raise a stink about cop cars illegally parked because I see it so often down here, but this one needs to be addressed because you don’t just take up parking spots from people who might really need them.
Maybe they’ll provide an answer on their Facebook page if we ask them.
UPDATE: A Broward County dispatcher whom I’m friends with on Facebook provided the following explanation:
“First, that photo is from a weeks ago, surprised it’s still making the rounds. Secondly, they were responding to a burglary in progress. Third, what the photographer did not bother to do was show all the other available handicap and front row slots available, as this was a Sunday in the morning when most of those shops were closed, these were because they were closest to an in-progress felony. Fourth, if the photographer cared to call and ask, they would have been told what wad going on. Instead, they chose to go for sensationalism and emotion instead of critical thinking.”
UPDATE II: The cops have been disciplined.