I have had two run-ins with police in my life. One in 1984 when I had some guy also on active-duty US Army got on my nerves with borderline racist and culturally insensitive garbage. I got fed up so I sorta hit him. No full swing, but I got his attention. He said, “You do that again, I will kill you!” So I hit him again. I had to. The MP’s picked me up at the Augsburg, Germany bowling alley.
The second incident happened in 1997. I was working as the city editor for the Delta Democrat Times in Greenville, MS. The local grain elevator blew its top. I knew workers were still on site when I pulled up to the area. A squad car blocked my way. The young police officer told me if I walked past him, I was going to be arrested. I told him, you do your job and I will do mine. By the time I got to the station, the chief of police was notified that a newspaper man has been picked up. I eventually wrote a front-page story for the Sunday edition.
I was released after some paperwork, but I was facing an $80 fine. I was so mad at the paper when they refused to pay it, that I opted for “community service” which included trash pick-up and painting some playground equipment. In Mississippi, whites always pay their fines. The rest of the work detail were all black. One guy drew me close and whispered, “Are you DEA?”
Law enforcement in the United States is one of three major components of the criminal justice system of the United States, along with courts and corrections. Although each component operates semi-independently, the three collectively form a chain leading from investigation of suspected criminal activity to administration of criminal punishment. Also, courts are vested with the power to make legal determinations regarding the conduct of the other two components, according to Wikipedia.