Friday, July 18, 2008


I am a 36-year-old white man who is (as far as I know) in violation of no laws. Yet, when a police car cruises past, I immediately tense up. I look at him. No, looking at him looks suspicious; I look away. No, not looking at him looks suspicious. I pretend to be engrossed in something else, much as I do when the panhandlers pass by.

Of course, if I'm driving, there's reason to be nervous. If he wants to, he can always find some justification for pulling you over. But I was on foot today. Jogging. With a sleeping baby. I probably couldn't be less interesting to him if I tried. But still, I got nervous. I think it's a reflex, a response conditioned into me when I was younger and stupider, and there were more reasons why a cop would want to stop me, and more reasons why I really wouldn't want him to.

Now, though? I'm harmless. But still: don't look him in the eye. It'll just provoke him.

1 comment:

Living In a Girl's World said...

So, the underdog little sister in me sort of antagonizes them. I do not fear. I will make eye contact. I will even pass a cop while driving if (s)he's going the speed limit. I figure if I go 5 over and get pulled over, then (s)he is trying to be an ass and so be it. But if I'm doing nothin' wrong, I say bring it on!

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