December 29, 2008

574 words 3 mins read

Stopped by the Cops

It was a long time coming, and I knew it would happen sooner or later… The cops stopped me on my evening walk. Why was I expecting this? Well, my “evening” walks take place between 10pm and 2am (depending on how I’m feeling). I’m also generally dressed in fatigues of some kind (ACU’s, full black, olive drab or LAPD blue — the last 3 being very dark at night), with black gloves and black boots. Plus, in the area I’m in, there aren’t that many people out that late at night just walking the streets. It is a very quiet (and mostly) residential area.

So the cops stopped me. GASP! What happened? Well to be correct, it was a County Sheriff that stopped me. He drove passed me, pulled into a small parking lot about 200 feet ahead of me and pulled right back out to the entrance and came to a complete stop. At that point I knew what he was up to, so I paused my iPod and yanked the ear buds. The officer was very nice, asked me if I had some ID and if he could ask me some questions, and I obliged on both accounts. I gave him my license while he asked me about why I was out so late (what about work, etc). He explained to me that there was a mini crime spree going on in the area. Over the last few weeks there had been at least two people robbed at gun point, not to mention 8 car burglaries in the last week alone. Now I realize that these aren’t a big deal to anyone who lives in a big city, but I live in a very quiet, middle to upper class, residential area. People generally don’t get robbed at gun point in our area. He gave me some tips about not having both ear buds in so I could hear people coming and then sent me on my way.

Now, I know there are more than a few pro-rights people going nuts right now. “You don’t have to give the cops your ID!!!”. Yes, I know, but I felt obligated to give it to him anyways. While I could have politely refused, why bother?

A) I have nothing to hide.

B) He’s just trying to do his job and protect ME (well, maybe not me specifically…).

C) It just makes everything go that much faster.

The entire stop probably lasted no more than 3-5 minutes, and that was with some small talk while waiting for my license to get run and warrant check to come back from dispatch. I look a little suspicious (this I know) and he simply wanted to make sure I wasn’t the bad guy.

Hell, I’ve had to have fairly reasonably background checks run more than once for my concealed weapons permits, plus fingerprints being taken. I think giving the sheriff my license isn’t that big of a deal, at least in this particular situation.

In closing, I ask you to think about the following, next time you have an encounter with Law Enforcement:

  1. Is it possible that the Officer(s) in question actually trying to do their job (i.e could you possibly be in danger, and you haven’t noticed)? In my story, I was quite unaware of the local mini crime spree.
  2. What does it cost to refuse? For me it would have only cost time, but for other people…