My question involves police conduct in the State of: California
I walk just about everywhere. I don't have a choice, medically suspended license.
I try to see it as a sort of blessing - it keeps me somewhat physically fit, I don't have car payments, I don't have insurance payments, I don't have car repairs, gas prices skyrocketing doesn't affect me as much, etc.
But the truth is even when I was allowed to drive, I still walked quite a bit. I'm technically not Asperger's syndrome, at least I've never been diagnosed but I know people who are and I don't think I am, but I do have some tendencies in that camp. I am physically clumsy and I have always been somewhat of a social oddball. I like to walk. I think better when I walk, it's the movement. When I get stuck on some problem I usually solve it by walking. I can't work in a cubicle because I'm just not productive confined that way. I almost always have to have something on my head. Usually a baseball cap, but when it is cool or windy I wear a sweater with a hood. When my head is not covered, I just feel odd.
I'm also a night person. I can be a day person for short periods but I always resort to being a creature of the night.
This results me often walking at night. If I feel like I want a Mountain Dew, I'll walk to wherever sells one. If I need to think, I'll go walk and think. Even at 3 in the morning. That in turn results in a lot of confrontations with cops.
It's getting old. It's getting really old. First they blind me with their bright spotlight. That I can tolerate and understand. Then they ask me what I'm doing out at 3 in the morning, as if it is any of their business what I'm doing. When I tell them the truth - that I'm out thinking or getting a soda, they scoff at it and ask me what I'm really doing. They almost always ask me for ID and want to run it through their system. They ask me if I've ever been arrested, and I tell them no (true, I haven't been) they ask if I'm sure. As if being arrested was something I would forget. They ask me if I'm on drugs and when I tell them no (I haven't used drugs since my early 20's and back then it was only pot and only occasionally. I'm 39 now) they again ask if I'm sure and ask if I could pass a piss test. Often times they have one of their cop buddies show up and they pat me down to see if I have any weapons, which of course I never do.
Now when I'm out field herping (documenting wild reptiles and amphibians) at night and I have a backpack and photography gear on me, I can understand them being more thorough but I always notify the local PD and/or Sheriff of when I'm going to be doing, including a link to the database where I submit my finds, my Calif. ID, and my current physical description. With that and they generally leave me alone. Once a sheriff did stop by to talk and tell me where he often saw snakes warming on the road at night, which was kind of cool.
But I'm not going to notify the local police that I am going to go get a soda or need to think, nor should I have to, and I don't carry a backpack or camera even a fanny pack - but I still frequently get stopped and harassed by them.
I'm really starting to get sick of it. It just happens way too often. They don't pull people over for driving at 3 in the morning. In fact I think it is illegal for them to unless the person commits a moving violation. But I don't even have that option, I have no choice but to walk, so somehow I'm subject to being harassed by the local cops just because I happen to be epileptic and am not allowed to drive? What kind of bull crap is that?
I'm not doing anything suspicious (except when I field herp and notify them of what I am doing ahead of time), I stick to the sidewalk or street shoulder. I don't even J-Walk. Even if there are no cars around, I cross at the corner and wait for the walk signal if there is one.
I'm seriously tempted next time it happens to just ignore the cops request for me to stop. Not even look at him, just keep walking as if he wasn't even there. I won't be stupid, I'll walk with my hands out of my pockets and fingers spread just to make it clear I'm not armed, but I'm seriously tempted to just ignore them and see what happens, and if it goes badly, get a lawyer involved.
Today was a good day, I felt good all day long, everything was going dandy. Decided at 2 in the morning to walk to Winco to flirt with the cute Asian girl who works nights and get some frozen burritos. And a cop had to spoil things and put me in a bad mood. Second time it has happened on this trip to Bay Area (2 weeks here). I'm sick of it.