So, there I was, two days without sleep after two days in the Emergency Room with a parishioner, carrying my Glock while driving away from Emery University Hospital in northeast Atlanta, GA, three hours away and out-of-state from my residence and way out of state for the licence plate of the car I was driving, which was that of the new parishioner. So, of course:
“Bwoop! Bwoop!” Bluelighted right outside the Emergency Room while pulling away.
- LEO: “Hello, sir.”
- Me: “Hello, Officer. I have to advise you that I’m practicing carrying my carry.”
- LEO: -smirk, smirk- (because I’m dressed, of course, as a priest with collar).
- Me: “We’re just leaving the Emergency Room after two days there.”
- LEO: “Yeah. I figured you weren’t up to any trouble here. Just wanted to let you know that you didn’t have your headlights on. I assume that you didn’t notice because the street in front of the hospital is so well lit up.” (It was just before sunrise).
- Me: “Oh! Thanks Officer. I guess I’m not used to driving this car. [You can leave the lights on in a Subaru as they shut off automatically and come on the same way.] It belongs to my parishioner here. We came down from WNC.” I flick on the lights.
- LEO: “Well, the lights work. Is your license up-to-date?”
- As I struggle to remove the license from my wallet I answer “Yes sir,” and he doesn’t bother to have me even take it out.
- LEO: As he walks away he says with a smirk, I suppose because I’m a priest carrying, he says: “You guys be safe out there.”
- Me: “Thanks, Officer. You too.”
And that was the exchange. Professional. Polite. Pleasant. Humorous. I’m thankful. It was helpful to our safety. That’s how all interactions with the police should go. Great guys. It might be thought that my being a “white” “Jew-boy” and a Catholic priest to boot, and out-of-state, and in the South, might make for a different outcome when he saw all that. But, no. My experience with the police was fantastic.
It’s not always that way, of course. Some feel entitled to break the law and mortally endanger lives. It’s that which makes for a bad outcome. Not profiling. Not police misbehaving. That can happen, but, just as a for instance, here’s an instructive incident where none of that happened and the Officer was as polite as he could be. He had to do what he had to in calling for backup, but none of this was on him. This is how NOT to interact with the police: