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Unhappy about encounter with police

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, July 18, 2005

It's ironic that on the Fourth of July I was told I could not voice my opinion by a Douglas bicycle police officer.

When we were trying to leave Douglas, we observed that a road leading up to the main street was open (or so we thought). The cones had been moved to the side. We proceeded to turn onto the main street when two officers rode up.

One was yelling and very rude. I told him we hadn't moved the cones and thought the road was open. I asked why was he being so rude, as the cones were on the side of the road. We were told to back up. He didn't listen and continued to yell as we backed down the road.

This all seemed so unreal. The nicer of the two then gave the come-here with his pointer finger while smiling. I smiled back and gave him the come-here (thinking he was just kidding) as we hadn't done anything except what we had been told to do.

Then they told us to stop and raced down the hill, really upset. We stopped and they caught up, with one on either side of the car. The one on the driver side asked for license, registration and proof of insurance. I asked, "Why are you harassing him. It was me that had said we hadn't moved the cones." The fact was the driver had never said a word.

I was then told, "Do you want a warning or a ticket?" I then asked "What for? Telling you we hadn't moved the cones and that the other officer was being rude? Are you telling me I can't talk and I don't have the Constitutional right to tell you that we hadn't moved the cones?"

I never once said anything inappropriate or foul. We had only been out for the parade with our 10-year-old son.

Our son later said it scared him and he asked why they had been so mean. We told him that maybe they were hot and tired.

It doesn't show our children they can trust officers. If fact I'm afraid that our son may not seek out help from the police when he or someone else may need it, for fear of having them treat him the way we were.

Nancy Deutschman

Juneau



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