10 on the Creep-O-Meter

by
Eric Peters
EricPetersAutos.com



This one registers
a solid 10 on the Creep-o-Meter:

A woman (I’m
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 woman’s 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.

Here’s
some of the actual text, first published after the AP got hold of
the court documents:

“It’s
Chris … that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket.
… I know this may seem crazy and you’re probably right,
but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since. I don’t
expect a girl as attractive as you to … even go for a guy like
me, but I’m taking a shot anyways.”

The note concludes:

“I did
cost you $132 – least I can do is buy you dinner.”

Drew Peterson,
you’ve got an amigo!

Not surprisingly,
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
again.

The story is
interesting on several levels because it gives us insight into the
cop mindset. For one, it shows us that some cops don’t 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
she’s not interested in. But this woman had no such option
– and more, was under extreme pressure to be compliant and
submissive. To pretend she didn’t loathe Collins, because
Collins had a badge and a gun and state-sanctioned power to impose
punishment at his whim.

Then there’s
the matter of Collin’s 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
is why.

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
me… .

In this case,
no obvious threat was made. But threat is always implicit
in any interaction between a cop and a Mundane. That’s the
point here – and the reason for the 10 on the Creep-o-Meter.
This woman had to fear that declining the cop’s advances might
result in consequences.

It is an entirely
reasonable fear.

And who would
she file a complaint with? Other cops? That saying about foxes guarding
hen-houses comes to mind… .

Probably there
will be no meaningful repercussions for Collins. He will explain
that he meant no harm; that he was just trying to be, you know,
friendly.

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
distance.

But Collins
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
none.

After all,
“heroes” deserve special treatment.

Reprinted
with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.

January
9, 2012

Eric Peters
[send him mail] is an automotive
columnist and author of
Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs
(2011). Visit his
website
.

Copyright
© 2012 Eric Peters

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