Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Odd cultural response to citations

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Odd cultural response to citations

    One of the departments I work for is located near a large university apartment complex that houses many of the school's foreign graduate students. As a result, I run into a lot of different nationalities during my traffic stops.

    Since they're all grad students (or visiting professors), I never really have much in the way of problems from them. They're educated, most don't want to make waves and they're usually more polite than many of the US citizens I pull over.

    But I've noticed one particular group that seems to have a common thread running through it. Many of the traffic offenders I pull over that hail from Asian countries will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid getting a ticket. Nothing dangerous, nobody running, nothing like that. Just silly stuff.

    For example, one guy wouldn't talk to me. He complied with all of my directions, but wouldn't say a word. In fact, other than physically doing what I asked, he acted like I didn't even exist. I couldn't even get him to nod or shake his head.

    Another one begged me to take back the citation I'd given him. Literally begged me on his knees. Right there on the side of the road. When I said I couldn't do that, I thought the guy was going to cry.

    One woman wouldn't give me her DL. She had one, she even showed it to me. But she wouldn't give it to me. Even threatening to arrest her did no good. I finally had to pull out my OC and start shaking it up for her to comply. And it turned out she had no warrants, no wants -- didn't even have a single traffic ticket on her record.

    I have to wonder if this is some sort of cultural affectation at work. I admittedly know very little about any of the Asian cultures, so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

    I realize it may sound like I'm stereotyping or making mass generalizations. I'm not. I've never seen this type of aversion to a simple little traffic citation in any other group to any great extent (except maybe drunks). Can someone with a little more experience or understanding of world culture shine some light on this phenomena?
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    Maybe if they get a traffic citation back home they are given a few lashes with a cane!

    Comment


    • #3
      They may feel that they will lose "face" by getting a ticket. Think of it as an extension of "What will the neighbors think".

      Many of them also might think it could affect their immigration status. They could fear that a traffic cite will result in them having to leave the country.
      "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
      John Stuart Mill

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe they don't understand you.

        Comment


        • #5
          People from different parts of the world will have all sorts of different reactions to police officers. Unfortunately the human rights that exist in north america aren't enjoyed by everyone in the world. There are some places where, when the police show up, it's to drag someone away - for good.

          As mentioned, a ticket can potentially mean a lot of different things to different people. Some good points have been made above. A ticket could also mean the loss of family car priveleges (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

          Not addressing a police officer can, in some cultures be a sign of respect. Just like a PO may have to stand at attention on a drill square, the may believe that saying anything, even making eye-contact may be a sign of disrespect.

          A friend of mine who taught English in Japan for a year said that over there, the police drive around everywhere with their lights and sirens on - not just when in pursuit of someone they want to stop. (This brings to mind the question of how they are expected to pull people over, but the conversation never got that far.)
          People always tell the truth. The trick is knowing what to listen for.

          Comment


          • #6
            From my experience, Sleuth is on target with the saving face thing. In many Asian cultures it's considered shameful to "fail" or be reprimanded for virtually anything, and if there's "official" paperwork involved or any "record" of it, that makes it even worse. To some people of that mentality, being cited for a driving offense has connotations similar to the shame many American parents experience when a child or other relative gets "arrested". There's plenty of unAmericanized citizens of other cultures and backgrounds who feel that way too.

            My experience with Asians is pretty much limited to "Americanized", Asians, so I can't comment on being afraid to make eye contact out of respect and so forth, but that sounds very plausible for "unAmericanized" Asians, which many urban Asians refer to as "FOB's" (at least here in NY),for "fresh off boat". With them it could even be doing exactly what(ever) they think would "earn a perfect score" just for being the "best" client in your whole career.

            A silent but physically compliant subject could mean almost anything too: someone frozen in fear, someone paralyzed by shaming their conservative and authoritarian parents, a furious Asian yuppie lawyer ****ed at you for ruining her day instead of rounding up all the local crack dealers before bothering her in her Mercedes, leaving finger imprints in the steering wheel in resentment the whole time you're writing her up, maybe even screaming (in her head) about how you're probably uneducated and have no IDEA how much money she makes or who she knows, or someone terrified of getting smacked by a "very traditional" husband for it.

            The woman who shows it but won't hand it over might never have had the slightest idea how traffic stops normally go down, the same way many (most?) people have no idea what "getting arrested" entails...and the only other time anybody in uniform asked to see her license since she got it was at a checkpoint and they just shined a light on it and said "thank you"...and/or she just saw Dateline last night about cop impersonators...and just like any other racial group, sometimes it's hatred at "racist" cops for targeting theirs.
            Last edited by ProWriter; 02-26-2004, 06:44 PM.
            No longer ignoring anybody here, since that psycho known as "Josey Wales" finally got the boot after being outed as a LE imposter by B&G978. Nice job.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's a novel thought: If the college has an Asian Cultural group, talk to them and ask (out of uniform). You may even be invited to speak to the group, so they understand the meaning of a ticket, and how you expect them to behave, for your safety and theirs.
              "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
              John Stuart Mill

              Comment


              • #8
                I think Slueth nailed it. It's a "face" issue. Face is very important in most Oriental cultures,and the Immigration aspect probably plays as well.I agree with Slueth's suggestion regarding the chance of speaking to the students in an informal setting.It could help clear the air in many ways.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The more I think of it, you have a great chance to improve community relations, and perhaps even identify some informants. I would jump on the chance to talk to any ethnic group, to smooth relations and perhaps prevent something ugly from happening. Looks good as pro-active policing when it's promotion time as well.

                  Hint: If you do get to talk to them, try to learn how to say "Hello" or "Good Evening". I have found that any sincere attempt to speak in their language brings out BIG smiles - even if that is all you know!
                  "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                  John Stuart Mill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most police forces in that part of the world are a branch of the military. They have a completely different concept than ours(FYI if they have to go to their knees they are expecting "lights out " to come next.)
                    My name is Mr. Officer, My special friends can call me Mr.Officer,Sir.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have found that any sincere attempt to speak in their language brings out BIG smiles - even if that is all you know!
                      Especially if you think you're saying "hello" but you're really saying "My tool is smaller than that of a very small monkey".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The use of "OC" for a traffic citation or not rendering a license? Way out of bounds.

                        Comment

                        MR300x250 Tablet

                        Collapse

                        What's Going On

                        Collapse

                        There are currently 2564 users online. 139 members and 2425 guests.

                        Most users ever online was 158,966 at 04:57 AM on 01-16-2021.

                        Welcome Ad

                        Collapse
                        Working...
                        X