In the wake of the George Floyd, Black Man Death By Minnesota Cop fiasco, MSN’s daily poll asked
Have you ever called the police?
Usually, they show up just when you don’t want them. When it happens to someone else, we revel in the schadenfreude. I was recently held up at a major intersection by a driver who – finally – made an illegal left turn…. right in front of a cop car.
The only time I ever called the police was the night that I was a little late for my Security Guard shift at a downtown hotel. I was allowed to park free in the hotel’s parking garage, and keeping an eye on its contents was part of my job.
Around 2 AM, I noticed a teenage boy wandering among the cars, and went out to accost him. He quickly disappeared. I went to my car to get my lunch and found that, in my haste, I was the only one who forgot to lock my car. In a garage full of a hundred Cadillacs, BMWs, and Mercedes, he got into my little Volkswagen and lifted a cheap backpack, a towel, my lunch, two pocket books and a bag of hard candies.
With no hope of getting them back, I called the station to give a description and incident report. Two hours later, a him-and-her cruiser team showed up to take a statement, and I was offered a beer from a six-pack they had on the front floor with them.
How comfortable do you feel when in the presence of police officers?
I don’t know
Somewhere between Somewhat, and Very Comfortable. I begin with ‘White Man’s Privilege’. I am far less likely to have a bad interaction, than members of many other groups. I have been exposed to members of police forces at various levels, all my life. I have seen them perform stupid, questionable, dangerous, and illegal acts (see six-pack, above). I am not impressed. They put on their egotistic persona one leg at a time, the same as I do.
My own self-confidence borders on arrogance, but that is a fine line that should not be crossed. Police forces, and most individual officers – including the females – run on testosterone. They like to feel that they are the alpha, but are realistic enough to accept that there are those above and outside them. I can dismiss or discount them, but I’d better not disrespect.
It is best to sternly treat them as a schoolmarm would deal with a ten-year-old bully. EVERYTHING is illegal. If they think that they have been insulted, they have ways to make even an innocent man guilty.
When I worked as a Security Guard, I was accepted as one of the pack – a wolf cub – but one of them, someone in a uniform, trying to keep order. Police don’t necessarily want to enforce the law. They just want social peace and quiet.
Have you ever been stopped by the police?
I don’t know
I would be interested to meet the hermit who has never been stopped by the police, at least once in their life. Just before I turned 13, a group of us yobs were returning from the beach bowling alley, down at the south edge of town, after it closed at 1 AM on a warm August night. A half-block from the main street, there was a lane – an alley – which ran behind the stores, for deliveries. The group had come to a stop while we discussed something. I noticed headlights coming up the street behind us. They got brighter, but they didn’t pass.
I turned, to see the local police cruiser nestling up to the group. I threw a startled look, and took off running full-tilt up the alley. Wellll…. Barney lit ‘em up – lights and siren, in hot pursuit. If I had wanted to ‘escape,’ there were walkways. I gave him room on one side and continued up the lane. The cruiser screamed past, he cut me off…. and I calmly walked over to the car.
He tumbled out, and immediately demanded;
Why did you run??!
Because I can.
Where are you coming from?
The bowling alley.
What were you doing?
I just stared at him – fast food, girls, entertainment, swimming.
Well, why did you run??!
Exercise? Youthful exuberance?
Where are you going?
Well, you make sure that you go straight home, (which he can’t legally demand) and don’t let me catch you (doing what?) again!
I have been waved over into several RIDE Program checkpoints, both in a car, and on my motorcycle, during the Oktoberfest drunken craziness week.
I was stopped while driving the daughter back from a dog breeder, because she was cuddling her adopted puppy on her chest/shoulder. The patrolman marched up to the car, realized that she was holding a dog, and waved us on. If you’re in an accident, it’s acceptable to kill a pet – but children must be restrained in approved car seats. My Weekend Weak-End
I was stopped at 1:30 AM – in August – for going too fast in a school zone. He was right, but he was also bored, and wanted to flex his legal muscle. I didn’t get a speeding ticket, but a $30 fine for not having the most recent proof of insurance in the car.
I was stopped, driving three co-workers home after a 4PM to 1:30 AM shift at a railway warehouse on the edge of town. We just reached the end of the driveway, when a cruiser went past to the right. I turned left – in-town – but soon had flashing lights behind me.
What are you guys doing?
Going home after work at XXX Transport.
I didn’t know anybody worked out here on Saturday.
(Then you don’t know your patrol area well)
But officer, this is the end of a Friday night shift.
Oh…. yeah. Okay, away you go.
The site manager, and the shipper, both drove past while we were detained, after stopping to lock the gate, and wanted to know what and why on Monday.
I am bewildered by the existence of an “I Don’t Know” option at the end of the second and third questions. If you’ve been pulled over, or had to call the police, wouldn’t you know?? Wouldn’t it be exciting enough to be memorable??!
Martha, that time we had a home invasion, and those three guys with guns broke into the house, what did we do? Did we go on the Dr. Phil Show? 🙄