Three more readers share their experiences with police that probably went too far. (We are also soliciting stories on the flip side: Has a cop ever saved you from bodily harm? If so, send us a note.) This reader had a moment of mistaken identity:
I’m now retired, but at a time when I worked for the court system at City Hall in [a large city in California], I was walking to my car late at night and saw a burglar climb into a second-floor window of a nearby law-office building. I called 911 and gave the police dispatcher both the address and a description of the burglar.
When the cops arrived, they went to the wrong address. When I tried to get their attention and tell them that they at the wrong address, several of them immediately drew their guns and pointed them at me. While I was saying “don't shoot, don’t shoot,” I could see the burglar climb down and run around a corner.
There was no reason for any of them to suspect that I was a burglar. I was the one who called in the crime. But not a single cop, nor any of the brass apologized for drawing down on me. Not one.
A reader in Vermont recalls a tense encounter almost 50 years ago:
This stuff is not new. It was about 1969, anti-war protests were in full bloom, draft centers were being bombed. On the one hand, I had some trappings of respectability; I was IT manager for an office supply wholesaler in Boston, I was married and had a young child, and I was a student at MIT. On the other hand, my car was completely covered with anti-war slogans and images I had painted.
I was driving to work in downtown Boston when a police car started to tailgate me.