A transit policeman in Tijuana has won a cult following while putting smiles on the faces of motorists and pedestrians with his style, in refreshing contrast to the worsening reputation of Mexico’s police.
José Rubén Echeverría Garibay is the Michael Jackson of traffic cops, dancing to the sound of Billie Jean as he directs traffic in downtown Tijuana. The veteran officer, aged 61, was caught on video and the clip has since gone viral online.
Echeverría connects his cell phone to a speaker as he works on the city’s main streets, gyrating his hips and sweeping his feet moonwalk style in classic Michael Jackson moves, keeping traffic and pedestrians moving.
He said in an interview that he dances so that being caught in traffic is more pleasant for motorists and pedestrians, and it helps improve people’s moods and attitudes.
“You see them, wanting to cross, to get through, and so you need to look for a way to make that moment pleasant for them while they are stuck there, so when they finally make it (through) they can continue with a different attitude.”
But he has to be careful not to cause too much of a distraction. Yesterday, many onlookers wanted to have their photo taken with the now-famous dancing police officer. And motorists hope the light will remain red just a bit longer so they can have more time to enjoy the sight.