Video courtesy of the Trentonian

The first Latina elected to our state legislature, Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, can't be too happy that a police video of her DWI arrest has been made public. In it, she plays the power card reminding officers three separate times of her status as an elected official.

“You’re dealing with a sitting assemblywoman. Everyone’s going to hear about this sh–," she's heard saying in a video the Trentonian obtained through a public records request and made available to New Jersey 101.5. Things got heated after they told her they were detecting what they thought might be the smell of marijuana coming from her car. Ultimately no marijuana was found either in the car or in here system, but there was alcohol present in a blood test which her lawyer says was of a borderline amount.

"Oh my God. There's no marijuana in my car. I smoked cigars earlier."

She went back and forth on agreeing to having her vehicle searched.

“Are you serious right now? I’m a sitting assemblywoman. Do you think I’m f***ing smoking cigars — oh, I’m sorry – smoking marijuana at this time of night? I’m calling my lawyer,” she snipes. “Is that what they said? These people who f***ing rear-ended me?”

“Not at all,” the cop replies.

“That’s bull****!”

It's bad enough that a member or the legislature would speak abusively to police officers. Playing the "Do you know who I am" crap is pathetic.

Why argue with law enforcement? You would think a lawmaker would know more than anyone that the time to argue allegations is in court and not on the side of the road. Does giving an officer attitude ever pay off? I once worked with a woman who was pulled over for speeding and she actually had the audacity to say to the officer, "Don't you have anything better to do?"

You can disagree with an officer without arguing in a nasty way. It's called being polite with all due respect. Sworn officers are owed that. This nonsense the Assemblywoman pulled with the don't you know who I am game is insulting. Because no, he didn't know who you were when he first showed up. And once he found out should it matter? Is she really advocating a New Jersey where an officer suspects marijuana use in a vehicle but certain privileged people will get away with it and everyone else won't?

Arguing with a police officer with nasty language or a snotty attitude shows contempt for the very dangerous job they do. Disrespect for officers across the country has hit critical mass the past few years. The Black Lives Matter movement has fanned the flames even more. When a "sitting assemblywoman" as she likes to point out behaves this way, it encourages this behavior as acceptable. It's not. Being civil in a traffic stop doesn't mean you're 'sucking up' or 'kissing ass'. It simply means you know there's a time and a place, and grievances shouldn't be handled in the road. Take it before a judge.

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