Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lost In Translation

The next comes from my favorite "English teacher", Yuri. Yuri is especially NOT fond of my lack of page numbers in The Boogie Man books. So, instead allowing him to fix my "not going with the norm" behavior, I have vowed to torture him all the days of my life. And to no offense, Yuri, because I think you are superfabulous and very sweet! Some of your emails have truly touched my heart.

Hey, did you notice my blog doesn't have page numbers either?

Yuri gave me several encounters with the police, both favorable and not so. I will address the not so first. Here it goes...

Pulled over for suspicious activity. (This was before I had my CPL, so there isn't the required awkward conversation regarding weapons.)  Two of my kids were doing rehearsals for a musical.  They car pooled to the church with another parent and her kids.  I just had to pick them up from the other parents house. They were supposed to be done at 11:00pm and home by 11:30.  It was a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are cards and cigar night for me, a few guys, and the occasional gal.  We end the games around 10:30-11:00, so it was a no brainer for me to pick the kids up.  I pulled up to the house.  No van in the driveway.  I call my daughter. "We're done and leaving now, we should be there in twenty to thirty minutes."

I pull a u-turn and head out of the sub division and around the corner to Taco-bell.  Because, fourth meal.

A cruiser follows me into the Taco Bell, and lights up the party lights.

COP: "How are you doing?"

YURI: "Okay, a little hungry.  On my way to getting a burrito."

COP: "This your car."

YURI: "Yes."

COP: "Where are you going?"

YURI: "Taco Bell" [DUH]

COP: "After that?"

YURI: "Pick up my daughter.  Go home."

COP: "Where do you live?"
YURI: At home.[ DUH.]

COP: "You understand that the direction you were going doesn't match where you live. What were you doing before?"

YURI: "Playing cards at a friends house."

COP: "Where's that?"

By now, I'm totally confused.  I used my turn signals, wasn't speeding.  Wasn't using my cell phone while driving.  And he hasn't asked me for any identification or registration, POI etc. I explain where my friends house is, where my daughters friend lives and where I live.

The officer looks back to his partner, I can't hear if his partner says anything, but then explains to me there was an attempted break-in on the street where my daughter's friend lives.  They had seen me pull up, make a  call and leave with no-one getting in or out of the car.  Just making sure I wasn't an accomplice.

He thanked me for being cooperative and wished me a good night. Again very professional.   On hindsight, he asked questions that he could verify by running my plates, and gauge the truthfulness of my answers, all without the "Papers please!" routine.

We as private citizens need to keep in mind that the popo deals with the worst of society on a regular basis and need to keep our attitude and ego in check when it's our turn.  On the other hand, assholes will be assholes no matter what their profession.  We know that God loves them a lot, 'cause he made so many of 'em.  And we should make an effort to love them too.  In short, cut the popo some slack, but call 'em out on anything abusive.

One of my neighbors was a retired dispatcher.  He told me a few stories about cops and how they used to get away with a lot of bad behavior.  Mostly DUI stuff.  The key take away for me was the phrase, "used to."  Again, I think that the crap cops deal with every day can and does affect them.  Hopefully, as we learn more about the psychological toll on our officers, we can offer ways to help cope that doesn't include alcohol, and officers can be "man enough" to seek help.
In this case, I don't know what the reason is why you looked like a burglary suspect ;) lol
Apparently they didn't tell you why they pulled you over until the contact was over. They aren't going to tell anyone right up front that you match a suspect vehicle or person. They are going to question you on things they can get from your papers and license plates because they want to see if you are driving your car, know the car you are driving, and/or if it is someone else's or stolen. Red flags go up when simple details don't match the computer data they can find out. Then the further questioning begins.  Sometimes being the only car pulling out of or into the area is going to warrant a stop if it is a hot call. I could go into huge detail about how burglars work and how cops work. That's for another day. You handled the call like a good citizen and kudos to you. I can tell you when we ask "the obvious" it isn't because we are stupid. We are usually trying to gage your body language, your answers, and, yes, we are judging your credibility and truth factor. Good citizens are easier to figure out than the ones that are irritated because we interrupted their lunch. Thank you for playing along with him until he figured you were not his suspect. And quit looking suspicious. DUH! (big smile)
My Canadian friend Joe was pulled over by a State Trooper.

JOE: "Your American cops need to chill the fuck out!", Joe said.  Joe is a PLC programmer.  He was born in Sarnia, Ontario.  Currently living in Windsor, he was contracted to a local panel shop for a project my company was installing in Brampton.*

YURI: "Why do you say that, Joe?"

JOE: "I got pulled over last night, and the cop just went bat-shit crazy yelling at me and looking like he was going to blow a gasket."  Joe has a somewhat vulgar vocabulary and a bit of an aggressive manner.

YURI: "What did you do?"

JOE: "Well, I pulled to the side of the road, got out and started walking over to him.."

YURI: "Tell me you didn't. Oh man Joe, you're lucky you didn't get shot!"

JOE: "That's what he said.  I think he just needs to chill the fuck out."
Although your email was longer, Yuri, I posted it at the most important point. Yuri went on to explain to his friend why the American police view this as a big problem and definitely will come out as an "asshole." In America, never, never get out of your car. We know how to fly and it isn't on brooms. Any behavior like that escalates the contact to high risk as most of us in the country will understand. Exiting your car and coming to the officer is the WORST thing you could do to be HELPFUL. Stay in the car. Officers get ambushed by thugs that get out abruptly and come toward the patrol car. People that exit, run. People that exit are dangerous. People that exit don't want cops in their car and try to distract us. People that exit are just A BAD IDEA. Most often it will get you an upset cop and possibly a gun in your face if you continue to advance and try to explain. It exudes aggressive behavior and a cop sees that as a threat.
Remember...fight or flight. That is going through out mind. Basic instincts.
Yuri, thank you for your positive contact stories on child safety seats and other instances. We try to be a public resource and not just a public pain in the arse. Cops are different in all parts of the world and I can only speak for what I know. We should be professional. We aren't always. I was never perfect in that realm as you know. We are all snarky. Just in different ways.


GunDiva said...

You'll love this:

I got stopped for a headlight out, though at the time he lit me up, I had no idea why I was getting stopped.

As I had been instructed by many officer friends and my firearms instructors, I turned off the car, turned on the overhead light in my car and kept both hands on the steering wheel.

The deputy approached, asked me a couple of questions and then abruptly asked, "are you wanted?".


I might have actually laughed at him when I answered.

Then I asked why.

"Well, ma'am, the only people who keep their hands on the steering wheel are those who have a warrant or who have a gun in the car."

I explained that I had neither a warrant (any more - there was that cat at large thing), nor did I currently have a gun in my car. However, with Jay plastering my car with 1911 stickers, I found it prudent to not worry the poor deputy by abruptly reaching in my glove box. I would have hated to make him twitchy.

He let me go with a warning :)

Anonymous said...

The reason Joe was pulled over: His license plate lamp was out. The trooper noticed his Ontario plates and thought he might be lost.

Oh, and on the page number thing, I understand that it is an artistic choice and will no longer mention it.

Because, poetry.

Momma Fargo said...

Yuri, you know I love our page number "war" and I fine humor in it. Always love a good jest. And when I write that book that needs page numbers...I will contact you. It might be soon.

We often stopped the ones with the lamp out for PR contacts. Sometimes it would lead to warrants or bad guys. Most often it was just a citizen contact to "fix it" and move on.

Momma Fargo said...


I am starting to think you are a little thug wanna be. LMAO