Jeriah wrote:All of this is going to be different in St. Louis, of course, and it seems like "Be careful, especially if you're Black" would be good advice when interacting with LEOs there. I'm not saying "...because the cops are racist murderers," so please don't read that in there. But it may be (okay, definitely is) that ethnic minorities get less of a benefit of the doubt in some situations.
If we had some St. Louis LEOs on here it would be great to hear their perspectives, too.
Do Park Rangers count? I'd be very happy to share my experiences related to this topic.
Given the amount of distrust for law enforcement from certain elements of our society, it's become a dangerous proposition to write a parking citation to the wrong person.... even when they're clearly in the wrong. I can recall multiple incidents in the last two months where I've been challenged by a crowd of individuals, none of whom are actually involved in what is taking place, and being required to radio for assist vehicles because I'm stepping past that clearly marked line on the ground called "dangerous/hazardous situation ahead." Sarcasm warning... wait, too late.
Now, imagine stopping and interacting with someone who closely matches the description of a bank robbery suspect that happened only hours before. You think this situation is going to be more or less volatile than the parking citation? Just wait 'til the crowd around them gets involved too.
So yeah, you wanna hear the perspective of a law enforcement agent post-Ferguson? It's a really crappy time to be a Saint Louis area cop. You can't get your job done under the best of circumstances, and in the worst, something mundane is turning into something that might be hazardous to not only your own well-being, but that of uninvolved bystanders too.
For what it's worth, I swore an oath to protect the Constitution. And I'll die to uphold that oath. But that does not give people license to spit on us, or act belligerently towards us, as a matter of their First Amendment protections to their self-expression.