Some people don’t have the good sense that God gave a goose. I’m talking about the citizen who sees a suspicious person in a parked car, and the citizen decides to take matters into his own hands and confront the occupant of the car. That’s really stupid in this day and age. Follow my logic here. If the person is there for nefarious reasons, might not that person be dangerous? Wouldn’t it make more sense to call the police and make a report of the situation? And, if the person is there for a non-nefarious reason, why would the citizen be intent upon bothering the motorist? For instance, is it not possible that the motorist is a police officer conducting a surveillance?
Here’s what happened to me yesterday. My team is dispersed throughout a neighborhood conducting a surveillance when suddenly a large male aggressively approaches my car from the front holding a video camera and ostensibly videotaping me through the front windshield. He then comes around to the driver’s door and continues the videotaping. If it had been nighttime, there would have been a gun pointed directly at this guy’s chest.
I now have to make a decision. Do I reveal that I am a police officer or not. If I do reveal the fact, is it likely that the person is going to guess the object of the surveillance and tip people off to our presence? In this case, I deem the person to be less than an upstanding citizen based upon his previous activity violating traffic laws, his attire and his aggressiveness. Yes, I profiled him. It’s a fact of life. Got a problem with that?
Decision made, I roll down the window and rhetorically state to him, “Why don’t you just go away?” He says, “You are looking at something. Are you a P.I.?” I said, “No and if you don’t like it, go call the police.” I rolled the window back up, and the fool walked away.
Aggressively confronting people is a good way to get shot if you pick the wrong person to confront. If the citizen had called the police, which is unlikely if he is a creep, they would have told him that there is not a problem without revealing either my identity or the reason of my presence.
I once admonished a woman for sending out her teenage kids to videotape me and my car. What are these people thinking?