[*BCM*] Boston PD no friend of a cyclist

Anne Wolfe axw at michelmores.com
Wed Jun 28 10:16:07 EDT 2006

Turtle's right - that is a reality for some people.  

Speaking from the strictly personal standpoint, I've always been nice to
cops.  It's that growing up in the country "if you have an issue ask the
nice policeman/policemen are our friends" thing.  And whether as a
consequence or not, I've never had cops be anything but nice back.
Being the one person who's NOT in their face all day, and asking nicely
with please and thank you, they'll totally go the extra mile for you.

Swearing and saying "give me your badge number so I can report you"
seems to make them cranky, from what I can see.

I also find that being nice even when people are being jerks frequently
gives you something to actually hang your hat on when you DO complain.
If you're nice, people will sometimes tell you just about anything.  You
can then later include that in the complaint you make. 

-----Original Message-----
From: bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org
[mailto:bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: 28 June 2006 15:09
To: Boston Critical Mass
Subject: RE: [*BCM*] Boston PD no friend of a cyclist

Anne wrote:
> But as previously noted, if you go
> into a situation looking for a fight, that's generally what you're 
> going to get.  And indeed, that's what Jon got. And then having been a

> jerk, and sworn, and been established as a jerk by the fact he did the

> same at the car driver, he insulted the cop further by saying "oh, if 
> I was a public servant, I wouldn't be a stupid cop like you, I'd be a 
> fire fighter" thus implying that cops are worse than fire fighters to 
> a guy currently serving as a cop and then being shocked SHOCKED I tell

> you when the guy he's already insulted, sworn at and demeaned tells 
> him that his civil service job of choice is not so great.

I agree that aggressive tactics aren't the most effective. However, it's
an odd fact of humanity that some people are so used to being verbally
(and even physically) attacked that they expect it, and even give you
MORE respect if you fight back, rather than be a "sissy" in their eyes.
 I'm thinking that in this police officer's case, that might be true,
since he did end up backing down to Jon and not arresting him.  People
like this like to push your limits to see how much you care about your
position and watch to see how aggressively you will defend it.  If you
pass the test, and stand your ground, they know you are serious and give
you the respect you want.  

I don't like it, as you know, but it's reality for some people.  And in
this case, I think the officer might have gotten what he wanted out of
the deal (getting a chance to assert his "authority" and getting a rise
out of somone in the process - it's a game to them, kinda like boxing,
but with words).

Having said that, I want to say that I don't promote this kind of
antagonistic behavior as a way to get what you want.  Throwing a tantrum
isn't a particularly mature solution to adult problems, in my book.  And
I think that there are probably better ways to deal with even people who
are naturally pugnacious, like this officer.  But, I also don't think
it's the end of the world, and tantrums like this are not as bad as some
people may think.

Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
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