It's common to see someone walking down the street with their hands in their pockets– especially when it's cold outside. But the cold wasn't enough to convince one "nervous" resident who called 911 after spotting a man trying to keep his hands warm.
A police officer in Pontiac, Michigan responded to a call around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The officer captured the encounter on video using a smartphone.
"You were walking by," the officer said to the man just before pausing to respond to a radio call.
"Walking by and doing what?" the man asked.
"You were making people nervous."
"By walking by?" the man asked again.
"Yeah, they said you had your hands in your pockets," the officer said.
"Walking by having your hands in your pockets makes people nervous and call the police when it's snowing outside?" the man asked in a surprised tone. The officer then asked the man what he was "up to" and whether it was an "inconvenience" to talk to the officer.
[sharequote align:"center"]Walking by having your hands in your pockets makes people nervous and call the police...[/sharequote]
"Hell, yeah," the man said. "Just because of the whole police situation going [on] across the country this is outrageous... "There's 10,000 people in Pontiac right now with their hands in their pockets, so how many—"
"You're right," the officer said. "But we do have a lot of robberies, so just checking on you. You're fine, you're good."
The man then pointed out that he'd recorded the encounter for his own safety and for the officer's safety. The run-in ended with a high five between the two and the officer letting the man continue along his walk with his hands in his pockets.
But the man didn't hold back the rest of his frustration: "I'm really mad at the situation and whoever called," he said.
Cornell University Law School defines this type of police stop, called a Terry stop or "stop and frisk," as a "brief, non-intrusive, police stop of a suspect." But an officer must have a "reasonable suspicion" that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed before stopping a suspect. Police must "reasonably suspect" the person is armed and dangerous before conducting what is known as a frisk, or a quick pat-down of the person’s outer clothing.
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