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Weird police situation. WWYD?

I live in the city, and my fenced in backyard butts up again 6 other houses' backyards. I'm working from home today. Earlier, I went to let my dog out and there was a police officer creeping around the backyard directly across from mine. He had a flashlight out looking in corners and he had his hand on his gun. I awkwardly called out "Oh hi! Just letting my dog out!" before realizing he was trying not to draw attention to himself (I'm Liz Lemon awkward all the time). He looked totally bewildered that I would be talking to him and just nodded his head - I scurried back inside.

So I posted a really short version of this on facebook because I thought my awkwardness/obliviousness was funny, and some guy was like "Did you ask what the officer was doing? He could have been serving a warrant at the wrong house and killed someone." Um, no, I didn't ask. Am I naïve and white privilege-y for not interrogating him about why he was creeping around? Shouldn't the police be able to do their jobs without being harassed by random curious people?

I do live in a relatively high crime area, and I would certainly speak up if I saw any type of injustice happening. At least I'd like to think I would speak up - no one ever knows until they're in that situation. Anyways, just wondering what others thought.

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Re: Weird police situation. WWYD?

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    I'd call the non-emergency number and inquire about what he was doing. 

    Yea this. Especially if he had his gun drawn.
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    He just had his hand on it in the holster like he was prepared if he needed to use it. It wasn't drawn.
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    I would have done the same as you. And I would not have asked him what he was doing. 
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    I wouldn't stand there and bother him/question him. He might be pursuing someone, and stopping to chat isn't really ideal for him. Or it would just draw even more attention to him if he is trying to be sneaky. 

    I think of that as the nosy neighbor thing, where an ambulance or something pulls up and everyone comes outside in their pajamas cuz they just want to hear the juicy detials; not cuz they're actually concerned or want to help, which I find really gross and irritating. Leave emergency people alone to do their job. 
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    I'd call the non-emergency number and inquire about what he was doing. 

    Great solution. You can figure out the situation without potentially putting him or anyone else in danger.
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    I'd call the non-emergency number and inquire about what he was doing. 

    Great solution. You can figure out the situation without potentially putting him or anyone else in danger.
    Yeah and they might tell you "Oh, he was looking for this suspect/this happened in your neighborhood. Did you hear/see anything?". 

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    I would never stop a police officer in this situation to ask question. It could put them and you in danger and/or tip off someone that (s)he was pursuing. I agree with PP that your friend's logic as to what could have happened is really out there.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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    I agree with the non emergency # thing.  could be the home owners have an alarm system and it triggered and thus the police are walking around looking for a potential suspect or break-in point. your fb friend is jumping to way too many conclusions
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    I'm one of those naive white girls with a fair amount of trust in law enforcement, so it probably wouldn't even occur to me to question something like that.

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    Working in law enforcement, it probably was no big deal and I wouldn't sweat it.  If he was serving a warrant he would not have been alone anyway.  You can call the non-emergency number but quite frankly they may not know either if it was not a situation that was called in.  He could have heard something and was checking it out for all we know.  There could be a multitude of reasons that he was there. 

    I would have just gone about my business too, if he had questions about suspicious activity he would have asked or come back later to ask.

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    I would have brought my dog back in the house and watched him from the window. I would assume he was doing his job.
                       
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    I would have set up shop near a window to watch him but that's it. To assume he's up to no good is a little ridiculous. 

    So much this.  Yes, there has been a lot of news stories about police brutality but seriously jumping to that conclusion is a bit crazy.

    If it were me I would probably keep an eye out the window because I would be interested in anything that may be going down, but I wouldn't have questioned him about what he was doing and I wouldn't have called the non-emergency number.  I would have just gone about my day while keeping an eye out for any interesting action.

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    I would have done exactly what you did. I probably would have taken a mental note about what the officer was doing and where he was and whatnot, just because I would be like "Dude, what is happening!?" inside my head, but if the scenario that your friend imagined had already happened (he shot someone)...then just being a witness is about the best you could do anyway...unless you were to call an ambulance...but really, how would you know? That isn't realistic.
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    Glad to know I'm not the only one that thought FB friend was ridiculous!

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    FH is about to start the academy. I'm pretty sure they are trained to keep their hand on or near their gun in certain situations. Like when pulling someone over, they usually walk up to the window with their hand near their gun.

    I honestly wouldn't think anything of it, but that's just me.
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    I would have left him alone to do his job and brought the dog inside, just in case. And probably hid in the basement, not near a window. And definitely not assumed any non-emergency number would give a crap about a nosy neighbor calling about what could potentially be an ongoing investigation.

    And yeah, police officers almost always have their hand near their gun. They're supposed to.

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    We hear about the horrible corrupt cops but how often do we hear about the ones who are responsible and kind? We don't because they fly under the news radar
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    I'm a Canadian cop, so it's a little different up here, but we are NOT trained to have our hand on our gun all the time.  It looks super aggressive and people react poorly to it, for obvious reasons.  If I'm doing a high risk search, however, then yeah my hand is going to be on my gun or my gun is going to be out, but if I'm just talking to someone, I'm usually resting my elbow on it - that way if something goes sideways I'm already landmarking where to grab.  We're trained to have our hands in front of us, either resting on our belt buckle or tented in front of us.

    I would have giggled at your Liz Lemon, but then would have continued what I was doing.  I wouldn't call the non-emergency line... you'll likely get something along the lines of 'it's an active investigation that we can't comment on' or whatever.  If you're not directly involved, they likely won't tell you anything. 

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
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    edited June 2015
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    larrygaga said:

    We hear about the horrible corrupt cops but how often do we hear about the ones who are responsible and kind? We don't because they fly under the news radar



    1000x's This. We hear some stories of corrupt officers. We don't hear about the thousands of officers who are in harms way on a daily basis, keeping their communities safe.

    I would have assumed the officer was doing his job (because the majority are) and gone inside. And totally peeped out the blinds cuz I'm a nosy beyotch.
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    I wouldn't stand there and bother him/question him. He might be pursuing someone, and stopping to chat isn't really ideal for him. Or it would just draw even more attention to him if he is trying to be sneaky. 


    I think of that as the nosy neighbor thing, where an ambulance or something pulls up and everyone comes outside in their pajamas cuz they just want to hear the juicy detials; not cuz they're actually concerned or want to help, which I find really gross and irritating. Leave emergency people alone to do their job. 


    SITB

    "ACCIDENT?  WHERE'S MY SHOES???? I was washing dishes, she was in the basement when we heard the accident.  And everyone walks outside and they are shivering, even though it is really warm outside."  Am I a bad person that the bolded reminded me of a Dane Cook standup comedy routine?
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    I have several family members who are or were police officers. One of them died when he was only 24 years old, on duty. When people make comments about "all cops are corrupt" and anything along those lines, I get PISSED. Yes, some are. But to assume they all are is unfair and angers me.

    I would have gone back inside and kept my eye on things. Calling a non emergency number is a good idea when in doubt, even if they don't give you information just a reassurance is never a bad thing.
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