Thursday, July 28, 2005

Excessive enforcement

Word reaches these parts of an incident in Raleigh: a 73-year-old woman had her doubts about whether a policeman who came to her door after dark was really a policeman. She noted that he wasn't particularly polite, for one thing. So she called 911 to double-check. For her trouble she is charged with obstructing justice!

"Raleigh police officials say when an officer is in full uniform and the car is visible, just cooperate." Or else.

About eight years ago, when we were new in our house, I was home alone with a four-year-old one rainy night when, sometime after 10:00, someone with a flashlight knocked on the kitchen door. The storm had knocked a tree into the street and he was looking for a saw. I would only speak to him through the window, I was so unnerved. I did call 911, and I found out he was a for-real policeman. (But I didn't have a saw, and I still think the request was odd.)

I didn't think twice about calling 911, and fortunately the person on the other end didn't either. As I remember, I was told to call any time I had a suspicion.

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