A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Miami Airport Cop: Did You Know My 9 Year Old Was There?

Good thing about having a blog is that writing a letter that will be answered with some condescending bullshit about "public safety" is no longer necessary. I can just write it here.

Saturday night my wife goes to Miami International Airport to pick up her parents from a 3 week trip.

She entered the "arrival" section at 9:30 p.m. Like most Saturday nights at that hour, there was no one else there. No one.

My wife stops in front of Delta amid a sign: "No Parking Active Unloading Only." Pre 9-11 that meant you could park in the no parking zone, leave your car, go inside and meet your party. Post 9-11, take 2 steps away from the car, and it is obviously a bomb.

But in all seriousness, that sign mean you can be "actively loading" luggage and people while the car is parked, just don't take more than 10 seconds to do it. Eventually it will be required that the car keep driving while the people are trying to get in and load their luggage. Hey, there's a war on terrorism, get with it.

My wife stops, her parents walk out with some luggage. They load the luggage, and walk back in to the airport to retrieve more luggage. Three week trip, lots of luggage.

Officer Friendly appears. His greeting: "I'm sure you can read."

My wife's a lawyer, she reads pretty well, and advises the officer that the luggage in the car was brought out by her parents and they went back in to get more.

"It says no parking, active loading only." "And don't tell me they went back in to get more luggage, I've worked here a long time and I know it all comes out at the same time."

Officer, I was born in Miami, and I can tell you, it is a requirement that all your luggage not come out at the same time. Many of us have memorized the last 6 bags coming around while we wait for that last bag. You know, you hear the truck pull up, and pray to God that your bag is coming.

He's not done, after my wife begs, begs him to just let her remain there, with no other cars around, he relents: "I'm going to be nice and give you 2 minutes."

After he leaves, my 9 year old daughter says "Mommy please, lets just go."


Yes officer, you scared the crap out of my daughter who was sitting in the car listening to you act like a complete asshole for no reason.

And no, I don't know your name, and I'm not going to waste my time writing a letter to your chief, who will tell me that I "have to understand the times in which we live." I understand that you are a power hungry piece of crap who has no regard for the badge you wear and the impression you leave on people. Did you have to be such a jerk? Could you have not just asked my wife how long she was going to be and if it was going to be more than a couple minutes if she wouldn't mind driving around? Maybe then said hello to my daughter.

You know, it's funny, even as a criminal defense lawyer who deals with an occasional jerky cop, I always encourage my kids to respect the police. Thanks to you, my 10 year old now has her own impression. The last cop she saw gave her mommy a hard time while she was picking up her grandparents from a long trip. Congratulations jerk off.

So I just wanted to say officer May 30, 2009 at 9:30 p.m. by Delta arrivals, grow up. Get off your power trip. We live here and are used to rude cops, but there's plenty of tourists here in Miami (you've been working at the airport "a long time" so you probably know that) who don't need to come here and have the first person they meet, be you.

And you owe my daughter an apology.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


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  1. Anonymous1:53 PM

    You should try and take a camera to an airport. I take pictures of airplanes for a hobby and have worse then what you describe from some airport police. They always say about the same thing."have to understand the times in which we live." BS."Or "since 9-11.....". So I know exactly what it is like to get harassed by airport police all over the country.

  2. Mike Foley1:44 PM

    Brian, we were delivering food at Easter and had some extra boxes. I stopped to ask a local LEO if he knew anyone that was particularly in need. He directed me to another officer. When i walked up to that officer, at the direction of the first officer (who shouted that I was coming), I was greeted with a growl directing me "move away from my vehicle". When will they learn that it isn't until we get treated with such disrespect, that we learn to disrespect them. I understand that LEOs have a tough job, but I can't understand why they insist on making it so much harder on themselves. Oh, and Brian, you are better than I am, I can't tell my granddaughters to respect LEOs any more. I can tell them to fear them and their power, and respect what they can do to them - but not them.

  3. Anonymous2:02 PM

    And you call yourself an American!

  4. And people give me crap for writing on my blog that we live in a police state.

    I can hardly wait for the next Revolution. Hmmm...the British wore uniforms in the last one, too, didn't they?

  5. Brian I have read your article. I know that jerky cops how they do their duty. I think they don't have the emotions, actually they don't have!!

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