My friend, a nice-looking, affluent professional woman and busy suburban soccer (and basketball, volleyball, softball and track) mom probably in her late 40's at the time, was driving one of her kids and some teammates to a high school basketball game across town.
My friend was traveling Interstate 70 through downtown Columbus when, in a moment of confusion, she pulled off the freeway onto the ramp marked "No Fourth Street Exit" and from there proceeded to Fourth Street.
As soon as she reached Fourth Street my friend saw behind her the flashing lights of a police cruiser accompanied by a loud, long, blaring siren.
Through the cruiser's megaphone system a police officer ordered my friend to pull over.
"I was terrified," my friend recounted, "the lights, the siren, the megaphone, my first thought was that I must have hit someone."
My friend pulled over. There were two officers in the cruiser. One of them, a young man probably in his late twenties, approached my friend's van.
"Officer, what did I do?!" cried my friend, her heart pounding.
When the officer explained to her that she'd made an illegal exit off the freeway she cried, "What?! That's all? You turned on those sirens and that megaphone for a traffic violation? My God, I thought I'd done something terrible! I thought I'd hit someone! All you had to do was turn on your lights and I'd have pulled over, but you turned on that siren and that megaphone and you scared me, and you scared my kids!"
"I was just so angry," my friend recalled, "I really let him have it!"
Readers, how do you think the officer responded to my friend's tongue-lashing?
"Oh, he said it was his partner who used the megaphone," my friend continued, "so I said, 'well, why doesn't he get out of that car and come over here?!'"
"And the police officer didn't arrest you for mouthing off?" I asked my friend, incredulous.
"Well, no, " she shrugged, "he just wrote me a ticket."
And that was the end of my friend's story. And both she and the police officer got on with their day and with their lives.
My friend is white, by the way.
Rest in peace, Samuel Dubose.