Dream of: 29 January 1994 "No Probable Cause"
As I was eating the last of some scrambled eggs from a paper plate, I began to realize I was sitting on the ground, almost lying down, on the sidewalk of a street, next to a parking meter. What was I doing here? I recalled that I would occasionally come out on the street and sit like this for quite a while, similar to the way a homeless person might do. I tried to remember why I would do such a thing. Although it felt natural for me to be here, it felt strange at the same time.
I recalled I had sat in the street numerous times like this; no one whom I knew had ever approached me when I had been in the street, even though I thought people whom I knew had seen me in the street. I also thought my reputation in the community had been shaped by my being in the street. I kept trying to remember why I would sit in the street like that; finally I remembered I did so to teach myself humility. I had discovered that staying on the street for short periods of time, just like a homeless person, was a powerful tool for learning humility.
Although I even felt somewhat like a homeless person, I thought I was different from many homeless people because I never begged.
Finally I decided it was time to go home. Just as I stood and began walking away, somebody passed me. I realized it looked as if I were standing up to follow that person; but my doing so had only been a coincidence. I hadn't walked far, when I noticed a police officer right behind me. I thought the officer might think it was strange that I had stood just when the other person had passed.
The police officer was a slender black-haired woman (probably in her late 20s). She was wearing a black hat and a black short-sleeved shirt which was part of her black uniform. It appeared that she was carrying a billy club.
She approached me from behind and stopped me. She first asked me a couple questions, and then asked if she could search me. Although I was carrying either a bag or brief case, the officer seemed most interested in what was in my left front pocket. My billfold was bulging out a bit in my left front pocket – it looked a little strange.
I stopped and thought. The easiest response would be to allow her to search me. She would find nothing and I would then be allowed to continue on my way. However, I also knew she had no right to search me; I responded, "No."
She seemed confused by my response. Another police officer was behind us about a half block away. The two officers were obviously working together. I continued on my way and she followed. She stopped me again. I told her that this country still had laws which prohibited the police from searching anyone they wanted to. However, I knew inside me that due to drug prohibition the laws in the country had been changing, allowing police more power to conduct searches. Nevertheless, I thought the laws still protected people from unreasonable searches. I began to walk away.
Again she seemed uncertain what to. She seemed unaccustomed to being denied the permission to search. It was unusual for her because although she was used to everyone allowing her to search them, she was also aware she needed a reason to search me.
She stopped me again and spoke about an incident which had taken place early that morning. I recalled that early that morning I had been walking down the street, on my way to a seminar at a law school. I had seen the officer on the corner of the street that morning. I also recalled I had spat on the ground while she had been near me, and then I had continued on my way. She spoke of the incident, indicating that she had thought I had been out on the street all day. I knew that early in the day I had actually gone to the seminar, and had spent most of the day there.
I began explaining to her that I had gone to the law school. I knew the initials of the law school were "TEC." I knew the "T" stood for Texas, but I couldn't remember what the other letters stood for. When I told her my story, I could tell she didn't believe me since I didn't know what the other letters of the school stood for.
I told her I had gone to a legal seminar. I told her that I was a law student at another law school, and that I was in my last quarter of law school. I told her I had only been visiting that law school today. I didn't really want to discuss it with her, but I did anyway. She told me everything I was telling her didn't make sense. I told her everything in her life probably didn't make sense either. I told her if she began putting all the details together in her life, it would probably not be perfect. Just because all my details weren't perfect, that didn't mean I had done anything wrong.
She continued to pressure me to let her search me; I asked her what her probable cause was for searching me. I told her that I wouldn't allow her to search me, and that if she had a reason to search me, she would first have to put me under arrest.
As we talked, we reached some branches overhanging the sidewalk. I had to bend down low to get under the branches. She followed me. When we came out from under the branches, she stopped me again. When I turned around and faced her, she said, "You're under arrest."
I asked, "What are the charges?"
She couldn't seem to come up with an answer. I said, "I think I'm entitled to know why I'm being arrested."
I asked for her name and she told me. I looked to my right and saw another man standing there. He also appeared to be in his late 20s. He was in plain clothes, but obviously a police officer. He was holding a large red and white teddy bear in his hands. He pushed the bear toward me, as if he were trying to hand it to me. I backed away. He let the bear go and it fell on the ground. Neither he nor I said anything about it.
I turned to him and asked if he would tell me why I was under arrest. He mumbled something about my bag. It sounded as if he might have said something about "mixed evidence", but I couldn't clearly understand him.
I thought I was being confronted because everything I had told them didn't make sense. I knew the root of the problem was that they had seen me sitting on the street like a homeless person. They were suspicious of me simply because I had been sitting out there.
I asked the fellow again why I was being arrested; again he mumbled an unintelligible response. Obviously he knew they didn't have any reason for arresting me; but they were determined to do so anyway. I asked him his name and he told me.
Another police officer suddenly appeared behind me. He was probably in his early 20s and was quite aggressive. He was wearing a black tee shirt. He grabbed my right arm and pulled it behind me to put on handcuffs. As he did so, I asked him his name. He replied "Spencer."
I had already forgotten the other two officers' names. I needed to pay closer attention to remembering the names because I might need to know them later. I repeated his name in my mind.
Spencer reached down around my right knee to cuff me there. I thought they intended to take me to the police station and search me there. I would then be in their control. I continued trying to figure out why I was under arrest. I knew they didn't have a reason, and I blurted out, "You'll have a law suit on your hands."
I immediately knew I had said the wrong thing. If I were intending to file a law suit against them, it was stupid for me to say anything about it now. Now, to protect themselves, they only needed to plant a drug on me. That could cause me serious problems. I shouldn't have threatened them. I should have just kept quiet, and then sued them later.
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