Getting what you deserve

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

I received a call from a Police Chief William Freeman inquiring about a Sound Off item that had appeared in the paper.

It was one from a woman in her mid-50s who said she and a couple friends were stopped by Suffolk Police and treated, she thought, in a disrespectful manner.

The official was understandably concerned about what the woman had said and wanted to follow-up on it. I figure he was thinking that if he had officers on his force behaving as rudely as the woman described, he wanted to get them a little training in manners.


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I did not provide the woman’s contact information. I didn’t have it. Most people who call the Sound Off line do leave their name and phone number as requested. (For those of you who don’t get the print edition, readers can call 934-9616 and, I guess, Sound Off, about whatever’s on their mind. We type it up and as long as it is not indecent or overly defamatory, we print it. I think all have been acceptable since we launched in January. The only ones not published have been a few where we couldn’t understand what the caller was saying n Please, please speak slowly, by the way. Callers don’t have to leave a name, much like this site.)

The caller did not leave her name, at least if she did, I deleted it without writing it down. I wouldn’t have provided the name if I had it but would have gladly contacted the caller and told her the official wanted to speak to her about the incident.

But all that’s immaterial to the point I wanted to make. I don’t really think the officer involved in the alleged incident has anything to apologize for.

The caller said it was late and she and two friends of similar age were returning from a night of clubbing or something in Richmond.

They were stopped by a Suffolk Police Officer near Planters. The officer asked to see the ID of our caller, who was seated in the back seat. When she asked the officer why he needed her ID, he told her to “Shut Up.” He apparently repeated it when she persisted in questioning him.


While I haven’t “clubbed” in about 20 years, I could only guess that it must have been somewhere between 1 and 3 in the morning, in an area of Suffolk very near where bad things some time happen at that hour of the night.

When you are in a situation like that, and a police officer stops you, any moron knows that you keep your mouth shut and show a little respect.

I mean this guy’s out at that hour, in a dangerous area, seeking out the bad element to protect the rest of us, and not exactly getting rich doing it. I don’t know about you, but if I were in the police officer’s situation, I don’t think I’d have a heckuvalot of patience with people, and I’d sure as heck expect some respect and cooperation from decent citizens. I don’t care if it was a car load of those sweet little old Red Hat ladies, I wouldn’t take any lip. Women can get pretty weird when they’re drinking.

And who knows? It could have been that a call had gone out seeking a woman who perpetrated a crime? He had every right to ask to see the ID and anybody the age the caller claimed to be should know better than to back talk him. She deserved what she got.

So, to the caller, if you would like to pursue this matter, please give Police Chief William Freeman a call. He’s interested in your concerns. If I were Chief Freeman, and the woman did not call, I wouldn’t worry about it.