Was I stupid to be so stubborn in this police encounter?

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Thread: Was I stupid to be so stubborn in this police encounter?

  1. #1
    Member Array Spirit of 76's Avatar
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    Was I stupid to be so stubborn in this police encounter?

    Move in day in small college town last week, a hot, hectic day when the town's population doubles overnight. I drove my contractor work truck to my friend's student rental property to help him out with a few minor plumbing emergencies and the like. House is on a narrow, one-way street of student rental properties, and it was jamb packed with U-Hauls, SUVs and trucks parked everywhere, with parents moving in kids and their furniture. My friend's house is on a postage stamp lot with room for two cars in the driveway, so I pulled up behind the second one, which left me blocking the sidewalk.

    I got the water shut off and started to assess the problems, running out to my truck (a hardware store on wheels) for parts and tools several times. On my third trip out a village police car pulled up to the curb...I walked over. It was a young officer, less than half my age, and his first words to me were

    "I've driven by several times to give you a chance to move, but you didn't take it."

    This surprised me a little, as I hadn't seen him, and I said

    "I'm sorry, I'll go move it right now." He shot right back

    "How long have you been parked there?"

    "I don't know, not long."

    "You don't know?"

    "I...I'm not sure."

    "Look, I know you know how long you've been parked here. Tell me the truth and I'll cut you some slack. If you're gonna lie to me, I'll write you a ticket".

    Well, for just a second there, I thought about it. On the one hand I believed he meant what he said. If I just told him what he wanted to hear I believe we would have gone our separate ways. But at the same time I could feel some stubborn hackles rising up inside me. I honestly couldn't say whether it was 10 or 15 or 20 minutes. I didn't really appreciate his tone, and I didn't feel like saying something just to make him happy. Makes no sense, but there it is.

    "I don't know, officer."

    Well, he stormed out of his car and went to the front of my truck and started writing...he seemed a bit annoyed. Started asking me at that point what I was doing, and I told him. Wanted to know why I couldn't just unload my tools and park around the corner. I politely tried to explain why that just wasn't practical, under the circumstances.

    He asked me where I lived and I told him I was a resident of the next town over for 40 years, but that I owned a number of properties myself in this town. This seemed to surprise him (maybe it was that my truck is an old clunker). I then said I hoped the previous night was uneventful, and he said no it wasn't...young people + alcohol + hot night = many calls. I told him I knew that's a tough job and I thanked him for doing it. I also assured him that I run a tight ship at my properties and I doubt he was ever called to one of them. He asked the addresses, I told him and he said no, he had never been called to any of them.

    He handed me the ticket, and I told him I would move immediately and wouldn't park there again. He drove off (right past two cars illegally parked in the street), and I got in my truck. Only then did I realize my .380 was in my front jeans pocket! Never occurred to me to mention it (not required to). I wonder if he knew?

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  3. #2
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    Just me, but I would have given a number somewhere about what I thought I had been there. 15-20 minutes, or whatever you thought and avoided the ticket.
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I'm guessing he had no idea you were armed. Does your state require you to notify?

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    Bad hair day. Bad attitude too. Never did understand why some officers act like that when they could: A) ask you politely to clear the sidewalk; B) just go ahead and write the ticket. Maybe he thought you were "fixin" to rob a student apartment. That would explain the the "edge" on him. Crap like that happens in college towns when the kids move in and out. You never know maybe some old jerk was bothering a young lady and he was being extra cautious with a bungled attempt to check you over. Still, I don't really understand that stuff.

    I think you did good diverting the story to where you were able to explain that you are a property owner in the town. Probably calmed him down a bit. Nice de-escalation effort.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Robo-Cop with a pencil.

    That's as nice as I can be at this point, if what you say is true. He was doing his job, but showing no discretion. He treated you like a college kid, as evidenced by the way you said he spoke to you.

    He was certainly within his rights to speak and talk, as well as act, the way he did with you. You are also certainly within your rights to complain to the Chief of Police regarding this officer and the manner in which he spoke to you. He got you fair and square on the ticket though, but it sounds as if he was a Richard Cranium about it.

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    Last edited by BikerRN; September 6th, 2010 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    That would explain the the "edge" on him.
    Not to me. I really don't give a rat's rump what your problems are, Officer, but you will be a complete professional when dealing with me and will take each different situation at face value - notwithstanding other encounters you may have had recently. You will be civil and courteous to me unless I give you reason to act otherwise. You will keep your smart-butt comments and John Bull attitude to yourself. And if you don't? Oh, I'm not stupid enough to get into a confrontation with a LEO in the street, but my face and name WILL become a constant sight in your life as I take my complaints as high as I need to. You will learn who my lawyer is, too.

    This police officer is the type who gives the rest a bad name. He's a complete, total JERK.

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    You could have asked if he was telling you psychically to move since he never actually warned u to move if u wanted to bereally stubborn. I would have just guessed at the time, but sounds like u did a fine job. U were honest and respectful.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEBKAC View Post
    U were honest and respectful.
    Why be respectful of those in authority when they act discourteous?

    For me the badge, uniform, and trappings of duty do not earn respect. The person behind the badge is treated with respect until proven otherwise. In this case, if it happened as such, the officer would not see much courtesy from me, but that's just my way.

    Biker

  10. #9
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    This has very little if anything to do with concealed carry, moved to off topic.

    To the OP, I think you were fine. If you didnt know, you didnt know. I dont view as stubborn at all. Probably the best course of action would to explain you were unloading a few parts for the job at hand, and you would get moving right now.

    BTW, I love those who threaten lawyers because somebody was mean to you. Awesome.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Ah yes. Small towns. Got to LOVE the way wheels turn there. Here in Indy if it isn't a murder, or involves at LEAST 5 people shot, nobody gives a crap.

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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    sometimes you get the young buttheads. sometimes you get the old salts. it takes years for the young buttheads to become old salts. most make it, other don't and they will still be pains in the butt, hard to work with. sometimes with buttheads you can not win, no matter what you say or do.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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    Well, certainly an interesting exchange. I think I wouldn't have been so up-tight and just told him I'd been there about 20 minutes or so and see where that got me. May have avoided a ticket.

    None the less, I think the cop had a bit too much starch in his shorts, but other than that, I don't see much wrong with the interaction. No one knows the LEO's motives for addressing you and not the other illegally parked cars, but that's the way it goes.

    Certainly nothing to complain to his superiors over. JMHO
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    You'd think small college town cops would have a little patience and tolerance on beginning of school days, not be chest-thumping. Somethign tells me the whole PD is like that.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    You'd think small college town cops would have a little patience and tolerance on beginning of school days, not be chest-thumping. Somethign tells me the whole PD is like that.
    I don't know; sometimes its a lot easier to come on strong at first, lay down the rules and be hard nosed right off the bat. Then, the kids know what lines not to cross from day one, and everybody relaxes quicker.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would have told him since he's handing out parking tickets he needs to write every Illegally parked vehicle on that street,or when you show up in court to fight his Attitude ticket you will have pictures of every Illegally parked vehicle on the street at the time he cited you
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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