Cesar Baldelomar, a graduate of Harvard on his Thanksgiving break from law school, was on his way to his parents’ home in Hialeah, Florida for Thanksgiving dinner when he pulled up to a stoplight next to a Hialeah Police officer who was filling out an accident report — as his car radio was blasting the N.W.A. song, “F**k tha Police.” Officer Harold Garzon heard the chorus which repeats the line “F**k tha police” four times in a row. He was not amused.
“Really?” Garzon shouted through the open car window, the Miami New Times reported. “You’re really playing that song? Pull over.”
When he told Baldemar that it was illegal in Florida to play loud music within 25 feet of another person, Garzon was not aware that he was dealing with an educated man with two degrees from Harvard and who is now a law student at Florida International University.
“In 2012 the state supreme court struck down any law banning loud music,” he says he told Garzon. “I knew that because it was a case I had actually studied in law school.”
Garzon demanded that Baldemar produce his proof of insurance which he promptly produced, pulling it up on his cell phone.
That was not satisfactory for the cop who said, “It’s got to be paper,” although the law changed a year ago to allow for an electronic insurance card.
In the end Garzon issued three tickets to Baldemar: no proof of insurance, having out-of-state plates on his car and for not wearing a seat belt, although Baldemar says he was wearing his seat belt throughout the entire incident.
Baldemar says that he intends to dispute the tickets and that the incident illustrates a larger problem of police who abuse their authority.
“I’m educated. I know my rights. And I speak English, so I can fight this,” he said. “But what about when this happens to someone who’s not so lucky? Policing has to change in this country.”
h/t: Huffington Post