This is quite striking, to me. I've never had this exact experience, but I've been shown leniency, too (little stuff, seatbelt laws, etc). But some folks I know would find the above anecdote to be completely foreign and bizarre.
oh yeah, for sure. i'm quite sure my interactions with cops are not how things go for a lot of people.
another time, on tour, middle of the night driving from kentucky to ohio if i remember right, i get stopped doing like 85 in a 55 mph construction zone (fines doubled!). cop asks "what are you guys doing?"
"we're, um, a rock band, sir."
"where you headed tonight?"
"alright. take it easy on the gas pedal for me, ok?"
and that was it. we couldn't believe it.
i've been stopped for speeding probably a half dozen times, they always let me off with at most a written warning. one cop said "you pulled right over and admitted to speeding so i'll let you go". this was surpising to me, as i couldn't imagine what else you'd do in that situation, but i guess cops deal with people lying to them all the time, and if you're just honest, it's like a breath of fresh air to them and they're inclined to give you a break. but of course i say that as a non-descript looking white dude...