10 on the Creep-O-Meter
This one registers
a solid 10 on the Creep-o-Meter:
A woman (Im
leaving her name out on purpose) was recently pulled over for speeding
by Chicago cop, Chris Collins. The cop issued her a piece of payin
paper, but apparently that was merely foreplay. Collins later did
a search for the womans home address in the state motor vehicle
database, then went to her home and left a note on her car
asking her out on a date.
some of the actual text, first published after the AP got hold of
the court documents:
Chris that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket.
I know this may seem crazy and youre probably right,
but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since. I dont
expect a girl as attractive as you to even go for a guy like
me, but Im taking a shot anyways.
The note concludes:
cost you $132 least I can do is buy you dinner.
youve got an amigo!
the woman was extremely creeped out by all this which she
not unreasonable construed as mildly threatening in addition to
being extremely invasive of her privacy. In her lawsuit, filed shortly
after finding out she was being cop-stalked, she described the great
fear and anxiety the situation caused her and that she felt
she was being manipulated by Collins into some sort
of sick, force-fed relationship with a person who is
probably someone she had hoped to never see or have to deal with
The story is
interesting on several levels because it gives us insight into the
cop mindset. For one, it shows us that some cops dont realize
how menacing they are to non-cops. That being confronted by an armed,
costumed man anointed with literal life-or-death powers is not
pleasant. The obliviousness to the gross inequality of the power
relationship (the cop has all the power; his captive, none) is disturbing.
In a bar, a woman can turn on her heels and walk away from a suitor
shes not interested in. But this woman had no such option
and more, was under extreme pressure to be compliant and
submissive. To pretend she didnt loathe Collins, because
Collins had a badge and a gun and state-sanctioned power to impose
punishment at his whim.
the matter of Collins contempt for the privacy of his
intended paramour. His egregious violation of (supposedly) private
information. To all who dismiss the concern many people have about
giving the government open access to our private information, here
And more: Does
anyone doubt that such things are routinely done by those
with access to our private (cough) information? This cop easily
found out where his prospective date lived and felt
no compunction about going there, without even a flimsy official
excuse for doing so. It reminds one of KGB cretins such as Lavrenty
Beria, who had a special liking for the nubile daughters (and wives)
of his political targets. Come, step into my office. I see you are
the daughter (or wife) of Comrade Smirnoff. Perhaps you can help
In this case,
no obvious threat was made. But threat is always implicit
in any interaction between a cop and a Mundane. Thats the
point here and the reason for the 10 on the Creep-o-Meter.
This woman had to fear that declining the cops advances might
result in consequences.
It is an entirely
And who would
she file a complaint with? Other cops? That saying about foxes guarding
hen-houses comes to mind .
will be no meaningful repercussions for Collins. He will explain
that he meant no harm; that he was just trying to be, you know,
Yet it goes
without saying that if a non-cop performed this sort of stalking,
the outcome would likely be very different. A non-cop hacks into
the state motor vehicle database, acquires the home address of a
woman and then shows up at her home, leaving creepy love notes for
the poor woman to find on her windshield. End result? A felony bust
and upon conviction, a likely (and deserved) tag as a sexual offender
or at least, a known creep to be kept at several arms-length
will likely receive The Usual: A few days or weeks of administrative
leave (that is, paid vacation) and perhaps a reprimand or
demotion. The likelihood of him being thrown out of the cop shop
for good and perhaps thrown into prison is slim to
heroes deserve special treatment.
with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.
© 2012 Eric Peters