POLICE ARE OUT OF CONTROL
York, South Carolina. County Deputy Terrance Knox initiates a traffic stop, a pickup truck he has spotted with an expired tag. A 70-year-old citizen named Bobby Canipe pulls to the side of the road and stops. A brief moment passes and he opens his door and creaks out. The truth is, Bobby Canipe looks pretty much expired himself. It is just a guess from watching the deputy’s dashboard-mounted video camera, but you probably wouldn’t want to trade bodies with Bobby Canipe, at least not the moving parts.
There are three fundamental stages of the life cycle of the human male: First, you smile at the pretty girls and they smile back. Then you smile at the pretty girls and they look away, disgusted at the thought. And finally, the bleak end, you smile at the pretty girls and they smile back—even speak—because you are so obviously harmless you have turned cute. And it is a hard fact of life, but the girls smile back at Bobby Canipe.
So as we were saying, Bobby gets out of the truck, the missus stays inside. As I remember the interviews—and I was not able to reach Mr. Canipe to make sure of this, but my memory is that he and his wife are on the way to the hardware store. Bobby walks with the aid of a cane, as they say, and he reaches for it in the bed of his truck. The truck has also seen better days, and unless she has a Derringer in her underpants, Mrs. Canipe is unarmed. All to say, the Canipes are pretty much a collection of old parts and do not appear to need shooting.
To Deputy Knox’s credit, on the other hand, after this is all over nobody will ever accuse him of profiling. And weirdly enough, after this is all over Deputy Knox will end up as a vaguely sympathetic character, but maybe not so much to Bobby Canipe. For now, though, Bobby picks up his cane and Deputy Knox emerges from his patrol car and begins to yell.
You hear the deputy panic, right away, losing control by the second. Is there a snake in the car? The old man can only be thinking that this is not his day. One minute you’re driving along with the missus, minding your own business, and then a county deputy pulls in behind and for no reason you can see turns on the lights. You get out to ask what’s up and he shouts at you to put down your rifle. Think of the questions going through Bobby Canipe’s head. I know the questions because except from not having a hole in my stomach, Bobby Canipe and I are the same person. First the whole world fills up with this dot-com bullshit and now they’re screaming for you to drop a rifle.