I did it for education.
By now many students have heard of the girl who got into a heated dispute with Officer Westbrook of the FAMU Police Department.
It is already known that I was illegally parked and was going to be towed.
But what many onlookers fail to understand is that I was not illegally parked to go see Bobby Valentino, nor was I parked to sit on the Set.
I knowingly parked my car illegally, after searching for a student parking space for 20 minutes, to get an education. I needed to go to class and receive the education my tuition pays for.
I looked for one of the parking spaces for which my tuition also pays.
But since the officers who call for tow trucks forget that little fact, let me remind them.
Out of the 5,264 students registered there are only 2,430 student parking spaces available.
Guess which student I was while looking for parking – student number 2,431.
But being towed is just a part of the problem. As students, we all know the golden rule – you can’t be towed while you are in you car.
You must pay a fine half of the total tow cost if, while in the towing process, you get to your car before they leave.
Hundred of students who have been tow truck victims have paid the $40 fee and went on with their day.
But when an officer takes it upon himself to verbally abuse and physically assaulted you to enforce a tow, where do we draw the line?
Is FAMU in need of funds that bad?
Or are the officers so bored that they abuse students to insert excitement in their lives?
We should all know our rights.
We have the right not to remain silent when we have been done wrong.
We have the right to feel safe at school.
We have the right not to suffer from a panic attack after dealing with an offensive officer.
And we also have the right to results.
I am not saying I was right for parking in an undesignated parking area, but what I am saying is the reason why I parked can be justified.
I am asking the FAMU administration to re-evaluate those who they have hired to “protect and serve.”
The fact that an officer has been on the force for 10 years does not justify his actions. His time in the force should be more of a reason for him to understand the professionalism that is tagged along with his badge.
Now, I am not saying that all FAMU officers are on a power trip. Those, such as Officer Scott, restored a small portion of my trust in this campus’ law enforcement.
Those who listen, understand, take consideration of the situation and execute in a professional manner have my utmost respect.
However, you know what they say about the bad apple. Anna Taylor is a junior Public Relations Student from Miami. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.