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Interesting encounter this a.m.


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  • Interesting encounter this a.m.

    On my way to work this morning, I had an interesting "run in" with the local PD. After the fact, I realized that it could have gone a whole different direction, so I wanted to post my thoughts here to see if I'm nuts.

    I get off the freeway onto the main drag - 3 lanes in each direction. About a block or so later I catch a red light. At some point during the wait, I realize there's a marked unit behind me. I don't tend to freak out about that like some people I know - they get all nervous "OMG it's the cops!!" I'm totally legal so who cares, right?

    Anyway, I'm in the right hand lane, and on this particular street, I always move into the center lane, because people love rolling right turns through red lights that early. I do so, and the unit does the same. Hmmm. It can't be my reg - good till 2014. The unit stays behind me, but no lights yet. I figure I'm maybe speeding (I think it's a 45 zone, but it could be 40, and I was doing more than both numbers, but not by a lot ). My turn's coming up, so I move to the right hand lane just as the unit moves into the left lane and pulls even with me and the driver gives me the finger gesture I interpret as "tsk tsk tsk, you know you shouldn't be doing that" type thing. His partner seemed to be chuckling, but I couldn't tell for sure - it was still dark after all. I gave him the thumbs up and we both catch the red light. I stop, signal on, and go when it's clear. He, meanwhile, goes on about his day. I believe any reasonable person would call that a positive interaction, yes?

    So here's where I think it could have gone different. Say he had stayed behind me, checking things out. Not to over-generalize, but you have probably all done that at some point, right? I'm only on the main drag for maybe 2 miles, then I turn right, go a block, turn right again, then pull into the driveway about 100 yards from the corner, into the parking lot that is so poorly lit, it's only a half step from being completely dark. In the scenario where he would still be behind me, had I done all the normal turns that I did, how likely is it that my movements would or could be construed as "evasive" by your average officer? Mind you, I'm talking about he's just trailing me, and has not activated lights/sirens. In that case, it'd be evading if I failed to stop immediately, of this I am certain.

  • #2

    I would not be worried. I am sure they had bigger fish to fry.

    BTW, I would say that ANY interaction with the police not involving getting stopped is a good one.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.


    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."


    • #3
      Originally posted by VA Dutch View Post
      BTW, I would say that ANY interaction with the police not involving getting stopped is a good one.

      I think we can all agree on that one.


      • #4
        If I was following you, and had nothing other than wanting to scope you out because of the time of day, and you made the turns you stated, I would probably not follow you into the lot but might take my time or pull over to see what you do after you pull in.

        If you get out and go into the building, have a nice day. If you just sit there with your lights off and don't leave your vehicle, I might be inclined to make contact.

        It wouldn't automatically be evasive just because you reached your destination as I was behind you.
        “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” - Robert F. Kennedy.


        • #5
          Thanks for the input.

          On a side note, I checked for a speed limit sign this morning and there is exactly one between the off ramp and the main street where I turn. And that one sign is half hidden behind an overgrown tree. It says "40" so he had me dead to rights for being over. Whether he had "bigger fish to fry" or was just feeling charitable, both me and my insuracne rates appreciate it!


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