Oh shit! Oh dear! Cops are collecting social media information. Oh shit! Oh dear! cops are stopping people and not documenting the circumstances surrounding the stop. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The link breathlessly informs readers that LAPD is collecting social media information from people they stop. Here’s a secret…. Miranda may be good law. It is lousy psychology. Cops know the power of the pen. It can reward or punish. Below is a Field Interview, Field Contact, card, whatever. Cops can ask damn anything. It is the prerogative of the person being question to answer, or not.
The theory is that an officer fills one of these out during a contact with an individual. Participation (on both parts is entirely voluntary). Some cops use them. Some suspects holler bullshit and refuse to answer outside of basic identification. The theory is that field contacts may provide information links to individuals, activities and locations that are not reflected by other means.
Good patrol officers know generally know the shitheads in their patrol area. They know where they can be found. They have an idea of what other turds are associates. The FI card is for the benefit of office pogues and reporters on a slow news day.
I was a cop for thirty years. I used the hell out of FI cards. Filled out a bunch of them. Don’t know what happened to them, didn’t care. I knew the secret. Whip out a form and a pen and a low key confrontation becomes a cooperative effort. Everybody understands, forms have blanks and blanks need to be filled in. That’s a given. Unbelievable bullshit doesn’t get written down.
For the turd, a pen scratching on an FI card is a reward. The BS is working. A steely gaze and a restful pen is a punishment. It serves as a signal for the turd to do better, be more forthcoming. It is also a reassurance. Just one more piece of bureaucratic bullshit that nobody cares about and you can be on your turd way.
There were other benefits to filling out an FI card. I worked for a sergeant who was a retired Marine. He was pure 100% asshole. He had no business being a cop. I frequently ran across transvestite prostitutes. They worked a section of Broadway in San Antonio. They lived in flea bag motels on, Austin Highway also in San Antonio. Their daily commute took them thru Alamo Heights. They knew that they couldn’t pursue business opportunities in Alamo Heights. But at 2 AM hope springs eternal and as they made their way home they would find themselves strolling in the street.
The Texas traffic code is specific, pedestrians are confined to the sidewalk, where provided. Alamo Heights had very good sidewalks. I could have dabbed citations on the working “its” as they returned to their humble abodes. Instead, I stopped them to remind them not to work their way thru town. I would also run then to see if the were wanted by SAPD.
Here is another secret. Shit heads know they are shit heads. They don’t need to be reminded. Once reminded, they still aren’t going to change. Don’t believe me just view the antics of Cuomo, Biden and company. I would stop these pavement princesses to remind them of the ground rules. The first time I stopped Brian, I recalled my initial reaction. I gazed at this overweight six foot tall, apparition with pasty white thighs, ensconced in a miniskirt and thought, “bitch gotta have a lotta balls to wear that outfit!” It turns out I was right. Brian did have balls.
Here’s the deal. Nobody is likely to go to jail, based on the stop. It could happen, but it is mostly a tune up. These are the rules. Brian wants to dress up like a girl and suck dicks in San Antonio, not my problem. I’m going to check Brian for outstanding warrants, remind him to get on the sidewalk, make sure he has no contraband and send him oh his way. I don’t figure it is my place to point out that mama and daddy probably wouldn’t be happy with his career choice.
At about this point, my cover officer would show up. You got it, the asshole. He brought with him a tsunami of righteous indignation. Remember what I said about the pen and punishment and reward? Brian was a guy masquerading as a girl. If he wanted to be GIGI, then okay he was GIGI. As long as he cooperated he was GIGI, sweetheart, darling and dear. (Never she). If GIGI responded inappropriately or got caught in a lie, then he went back to being Brian. Brian wanted to be GIGI. Using the name his mama gave him signaled my displeasure. It was enough to adjust his attitude and bring him back to the program.
At some point the all the blanks on the FI card were all filled in. But the conversation continued. Now it wasn’t about Brian, but about who was doing what, where. In case you hadn’t figured it out, that was the whole object of the exercise. And all the time the asshole was in the background, radiating outrage, because I was laughing and joking with tranny scum. I would conclude the contact with a final question.
“What’s your occupation?” I would ask.
I would get a simper and a reply, “you know.”
My response was always the same, “Were you ever in the Marine Corps?”
Had it been any other Marine I would have expected an ass whopping or attempt. But I knew the asshole wasn’t going to make the offer.
There is shit about being a cop that will never be found in a policy manual, never be taught in a classroom and never be caught on a body cam.