Lord J shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.
Date of Interaction: April 21, 2014
Monday night, I rode my bicycle to a spot in Savannah, Georgia where I would be able to watch the sunset, and enjoy the quiet location and wildlife in the area. On the way there, I purchased a 22-ounce bottle of NOS Energy Drink. Anyone that has purchased one of these knows that the decorative cap slips on and off of the actual cap. I was holding my drink bottle between my index and middle finger, as I do many times for convenience while riding, but it was a mistake this time. I also made the mistake of not taking my backpack with me, as that is where I keep my cameras and notepads.
As I was making my way to the spot that I watch the sunset, I noticed a police cruiser had a white car pulled over. I made my way to the other side of the street, and the decorative cap slipped off and fell to the ground, opposite the side of the street that this officer was on. I turned my bike around and went back to retrieve the cap, so that I wouldn’t get a littering citation(plus, I love to do my part, keeping my city clean). The officer got on his PA system and said, “Get away from my vehicle.” I looked over, and his window was up, so I showed that I had simply picked up my cap, was no where near the cruiser, and was about to be on my way. The cop used the PA to respond, saying, “Get the fuck away from my vehicle. I looked around, thinking that perhaps he was talking to someone that was actually near his car, I saw no one but myself, and the two people in the white car. I held my hands out to the side and said, “What are you talking about? I was picking up my trash. If that’s a crime with a victim, I am guilty as charged. But how do you figure I am anywhere near your car, when I am about 20 feet away from you?” The cop did not respond to this, so I put the cap back on my bottle and rode away saying to the occupants of the white car, “This is our tax dollars at work.” The driver smiled at me as I rode to my spot, which was at the end of the road.
After the officer finished issuing his ransom note, the white car AND the police cruiser came to where I was waiting for the sunset. The white car parked about 30-40 feet away from me, and the cruiser came to within 15 feet of me. The cop rolled his window down, and asked me to come talk to him. I asked why, and he simply said, “I just want to talk to you.” I said, in a semi-childish voice, “But, mommy always said not to talk to strangers.” This irritated the officer, and he stepped out of his car, with his hands on his hips. I refuse to be intimidated, so I stood up and crossed my arms in response. He asked if I had my ID on me, to which I responded with a yes. He asked if he could see it. I said, “If I reach in my pocket, I fear that you may think I am going for a weapon, so I will have to decline.” He said that he would not take it as a hostile gesture, and asked again to see my ID. I reached in my pocket, got my wallet, opened it to show my ID, and just as quickly, I placed my wallet back where it was. He asked to hold my ID, to which I asked him why he wanted to see it. He said, “I want to know who you are.” I asked if I had committed or was suspected to be committing any crimes. He said no. I asked, “Am I being detained, or am I free to go?” The cop said, “You aren’t being detained, I just want to talk to you.” I said, “But, I don’t want to talk to you,” and I walked away.
I grabbed my bicycle and walked over to the white car, where I learned that they had been ticketed for failure to use the turn signal. They told me how impressed they were with my handling of the cop. I then handed them some CopBlock flyers, as well as my contact information, and I sat with them to watch the sunset.
To anyone that may think it is illegal to not talk to cops, you are misinformed. Keep in mind that cops are legally allowed to lie to you, so the best way to talk to cops is to simply not do it. Never let anyone take away your rights.