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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stopped by the Police When Walking

Monday I took a really long walk ... to quote Forrest Gump ... "for no particular reason". I live in the county, so there are no sidewalks. I walked facing traffic on the shoulder of the road. When a car approached, I'd move a few feet over, into the grass.

After I'd walked six or seven miles, a Sheriff's deputy stopped on the other side of the road and motioned to me. I walked over and stood on the side of the road.

Below is our conversation, the deputy in red, me in blue.

"No," he said, "stand in front of the car."

Odd, I thought, but I obliged.

"What are you up to?"

"Just taking a walk."

"Where did you start walking from?"

"From my house," and I told him the location.

"Where are you headed?"

"To my daughter's house."

"Where's she live?"

I told him the location.

"Do you have any ID on you?"

"No, I only brought my house key and some money."

Taking out his memo pad, he said, "What's your name?"

I told him.

"Is that what is says on your ID?"

"No, it says Jacquelyn."

He had me spell my first and last names. "Do you have a middle name?"

"Yes," I told him, then gave him my middle name.

"What's your address?"

I told him.

"What's your date of birth?"

I told him, and half-laughed as I asked, "Are you going to run my name through your database?" 

Be my guest, I thought. I don't have a criminal record and I haven't even gotten a ticket in over twenty-five years, so there's nothing to "find".

"I just might," he said smiling. "Would you like a ride?"

"No, I want to walk."

Then he told me to be careful, then got in his car and drove off.

As I continued my walk, I became more and more disturbed by the interaction. Why did he feel the need to stop and question me? I'm about five feet tall and weigh around 100 pounds. Aside from my kids when they were very young, I don't come across as intimidating or threatening. I was wearing shorts, a tank top and sneakers, and holding a bottle of water. There was no place to conceal anything. I was obeying all the traffic laws and I wasn't staggering around. Days later, I'm still perplexed and bothered by the whole thing.

I guess the next time I take a walk I need to have my ID on me, huh?

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